Removing a dashboard

Many shops shy away from dash work because there are so many things that can go wrong — an overlooked electrical connector left unplugged can cause all sorts of trouble; a bit of insulating felt that falls off while the dash is off can cause an irritating buzzing noise. One wrong step can lead to doing a lot of work over again. On older cars, plastic parts become old and brittle from years in the sun and can crumble like dried seaweed when you try to remove them. Unexpected breakages can lead to delays and cost overruns and disappointed customers. These difficulties coupled with the fact that estimating guides to not cover this type of work make this type of work make it very tempting to let “some other shop” fix it.

At Art’s we love a challenge, or maybe we’re just masochists, either way, we do a fair amount of dash work.

The pictures below are of a 1994 Integra some idiot broke into and stole the computer from. To make it even worse for the poor owner, the thief sawed through the wiring harness instead of simply unplugging the computer. Unfortunately the destroyed harness ran all the way across the dash, from the fuse box on the driver’s side, to the instrument panel, to the airbag, to the radio, to the heater and air conditioning controls, to the computer, and then through the firewall to the engine compartment. The harness was the first part to go in; everything else was installed on top of it. In this picture you can see the harness running along the firewall where the carpet is pulled back. It’s the black tube held in place with the neon yellow clip on the right side of the picture.

This next picture is a view of the carnage from the other side of the car.


This is a picture of our intrepid dash man Matt, demonstrating one of the many awkward poses necessary to remove and replace the dashboard.


Here’s another shot of Matt. The new harness is laying on the ground next to the car.