Need help removing dashboard


Registered User
Has anyone ever had to remove their dashboard? I need to pull the dashboard on my '89 SC so that I can replace my AC evaporator. I have the factory manual, but the instructions are strangely confusing. I would appreciate any hints, tips, etc.
I dont remember, so here goes nothing, disconnect battery, remove teh pass seat, drain the coolant and A/C refrig, open the glove box and to the right there are some brackets that are bolted on, same on the driver side, remove those plastic trim panels on top of the dash and under those are srcrews,there are other steps I forgot but this is a start. Remove all the nuts from the engine side of the firewall that retain the heater box and remove the heater core lines, the dash should swing out from the pass side, yea you also have to undo the bolts that retain the steering wheel to the dash and just let it drop down(might have to disconnect wires)
racecougar said:
And if you want a brand new AC evaporator, email me at I have one that I don't need, and I will sell it for much less than you can buy one anywhere else.

I wish I would have know earlier. I have already bought my evaporator. I am looking for a heater core though. It looks like this is going to be a big job so I might as well replace them both. metalman on this board,he can walk you through a dash removal...he just did his last yr.
Check on TCCOA for an illustrated example of removing the dash for a 94LX. I found it quite useful when I removed a dash Monday. There is an additional bolt that is hidden on the driver side above the fuses. Take your time as the plastic trim panels are brittle and some of the trim clips get twisted.

Good luck.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Z :D

Ok, heres step 1.
There are 10 bolts holding the dashboard on.

2 on the driver's side lower left trim panel. The bolts are basically in the door jam facing the front of the car

2 infront of the center console. Remove the center console and the bolts are underneath the A/C controls screwing into the tranny hump.

2 bolts on the passenger lower right side trim panel at a 45 degree angle to the door.

2 on the top of the driver's side dash underneath the long, thin panel that covers the auto light eye and a defroster duct.

and 2 behind the passenger side dashboard trim piece

Remove the driver's side trim panel which is at your knees (to gain access to the steering column bolts and wireing harnesses.
-to remove the panel, remove bolts on bottom side (8mm) and then pop off with screw driver or the like. Then remove bolts on the steel panel behind it.
Unbolt the steering column support and let column hang down.

Disconnect the main wiring harness from engine to pass. compartment. Open hood. Look in the far right side corner of the engine compartment at the firewall (next to the master cylinder) There is a big white, circular harness with a grey cover and a 10mm bolt. 3 tabs hold on the grey cover. Pop them off. Unbolt the retaining bolt (it won't come all the out, just loosens up) to disconnect harness.

Go back in the car and pull the inside end of the harness from the firewall. It is notched into the firewall. Ya kinda have to turn it to free it up.

Disconnect any other random wireing harness in the car to free up the dashboard. If I think of anything else or you have other specific questions let me know. I did this just last June. I can probably get mine off in a hour now :D

Good luck....and patience

Don't forget to get the INstrument cluster out and disconnect the vaccuum/boost tube.

Carefull with the HVAC control wire, it can be tight.

Also, ther's a plug at the bottom of the middle of the dash by the ash tray.

2 people helps.
Definately Mike,

Remove the Radio and A/C controls. You can slide coat hanger ends or the actual removal tool in the small holds on the corners of the Radio and AC controls. The real ford removal tool is like 2 bucks at Pep Boys. Get it, it's save you a headache.

In the rear of the A/C controls on the rubber vacuum cluster that is held on by small metal reverse locking tabs that bite into plastic. You have to pry it off one side, then the other unlike it rocks off. It bites into the plastic coming off, so it'll take some patience.

Then the hot/cold controls are held on by a locking tab like an arrow on the left side. Use needle nose plier to sqeezing the locking tabs and pushing through the hole towards the middle of the unit. Next remove the small metal rod from the hot/cold sliding controls.