Dash RR

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20 Dec 2012 23:42 #12972 by Kiln_Red
Dash RR was created by Kiln_Red
I am unaware of a good dash r&r writeup and decided that this may be worth sharing. I do know of one writeup, however, I do it in fewer steps than the one that I have found. Also, the car in the writeup that I speak of is right hand steer, so maybe that requires more. I could do this in .pdf form and include it in the Tech Library, if that is desired.

Car is an '88 S4.

Disconnect battery.

Remove the horn pad. Grab the horn pad, at each side, and pull it toward you evenly. If you don't pull it toward you evenly, there is a good chance that you will break one or more of the three mounts for the horn pad on the steering wheel. Now you can remove the wire for the horn and set the horn pad to the side. The steering wheel is held on by a 27mm nut. You need a shallow 27mm and an extension to get the best bite on the nut. Be careful not to lose the washers as you ease the wheel off.

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There is a cover that blocks access to the pod mounts. Sorry, I forgot to photograph it. Two Phillips head screws secure it. Remove it. Now you can remove the two 10mm bolts that hold the cover for the turn signal switch.

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Remove the cover. Now you can remove the turn signal switch. It is fastened on with a clamp. Loosen the 8mm bolt and pull forward a few inches.

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Disconnect the 3 plugs.

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Pull the headlight switch, fog lamp switch, trip odometer reset, defrost switch, hazard switch, and the ring around the ignition lock. To pull the switches, pop the covers off. Simply pull them toward you. Close the tabs that secure the switch to the pod and pull them toward you. Unplug them. Note: I prefer to use 2 small screwdrivers rather than needle nose pliers for removing the switches from the pod. You don't want to break the tabs as the switch will not be secured when reinstalling.

Now you can remove the switch entirely. Proceed to the instrument pod. Pre MY90, there are 2 mounts. Later cars have 4. Two 5mm Allen bolts hold it on for this '88 S4. One is located near the ignition. The other is located near the headlight switch. The hardware are different lengths, so keep that in mind for reinstallation.

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Now, move the pod toward you so that you can disconnect the plugs to the cluster. Mark them for reinstallation.

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Disconnect the dimmer switch and wiper delay. Remember the orientation of the wires.

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Remove the pod and cluster.

Remove the parcel trays beneath the dash. There is a plug to disconnect from the passenger parcel tray before it can be removed.

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Remove the glove box door. Open the door, remove the light by extracting it with a small screwdriver & disconnect the wires, remove the 3 Phillips screws for the striker. Remove the screws from inside the glovebox. The glovebox can now come out.

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Remove the shift handle. Slide the boot down to access the screws. Remove the handle and boot. Gently pry the shifter trim and indicator out from the console with a small screwdriver. Make sure that the indicator is free from the shifter mechanism so that it doesn't break.

Remove the radio.

Remove the 2 small Phillips head screws for the ash tray. I usually guide the ashtray through the cutout to allow for the console to be pulled rather than to unplug it.

Remove the carpeted panels at each side of the center console. Two Phillips head screws hold them in place. You may have to reposition the seats to access the one of the screws. In the case of this car, the screws were missing and the panels were just resting between the seats and center console.

Remove the screws for the center console at the dash. 4 total. 2 by the glovebox cutout and 2 opposite of that side. 2 bolts hold the rear of the console to the transmission hump.

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Now it is time to remove the console switches. I use a small screwdriver to disconnect the switches. Put the screwdriver into 1 side and slowly turn it. As you turn the screwdriver, the switches will release.

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Disconnect the plugs for the door locks, climate control, warning indicator, and clock. Move the shifter to Neutral or Drive and place the cutout for the ashtray over the shifter. This will give more space to work.

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Remove the center console.

Remove the 3 5mm Allen bolts that secure the steering shaft to the dash.

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4 bolts secure the dash to the car. You need move the vent tubes to access them all. There are 2 bolts on each side. Be careful not to damage the A frame interior trim while removing. I photographed each of the bolts.

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Reverse steps for installation.

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Optional Steps:
Remove front seats
Remove A frame interior trim

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21 Dec 2012 07:53 #12974 by martinss
Replied by martinss on topic Dash RR
Great write up Austin. It is certainly worth adding to the Technical Library (TL) IMO. I did the same on my '88 but did not record pictures. I used some of the other write-ups, but they are for other years or LHD as you note. Ideally there should be a write-up for each major version in the TL.

A few thoughts:
- As you know the clips for the major wiring plugs have levers that need to be disengaged. They are easy to break - I found some on mine already broken by a PO or mechanic. It might be worth noting.
- My '88 had four bolts for the pod, not two
- It is worth noting the top to bottom order of the switches on each side of the pod. I had to refer to my drivers manual as I had forgotten, and you can put them in almost any order
- As you know, there is an unused plug that is covered in tape as the wiring harness is used for all markets, with a chocie of plugs selected in each market. I've seen a number of people wonder what this unused plug is for - me included :rolleyes:

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21 Dec 2012 09:07 #12979 by Kiln_Red
Replied by Kiln_Red on topic Dash RR
Martin, thank you for posting. I'm glad that you mentioned that your '88 had 4 bolts for the pod. Obviously, it depends on which cluster is in your car as to how many bolts there are. I will edit the writeup to address this. A photograph of a pod with 4 bolts would be handy. :)

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21 Dec 2012 12:34 #12989 by martinss
Replied by martinss on topic Dash RR

Martin, thank you for posting. I'm glad that you mentioned that your '88 had 4 bolts for the pod. Obviously, it depends on which cluster is in your car as to how many bolts there are. I will edit the writeup to address this. A photograph of a pod with 4 bolts would be handy. :)


I didn't take any pics when it was out, but I may have to take it out again as I am chasing down a short in the fuel level circuit :( I'll let you know.

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