How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Technical Question and Answer - On topic to 71-74 Plymouth B-bodies only.

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71_bronze_gtx
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How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71_bronze_gtx » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:09 am

I'm trying to get the IP either rolled forward or pushed forward enough to get my non-working clock out and put a tach in.

Per the FSM, I have the six screws holding the IP removed. I have taken out the two nuts that secure the heater control head to the back of the IP.

However, the control head still seems to be firmly attached to the IP, which is preventing it from moving forward much.

See pic attached. Am I missing something still holding the control head in place?

Also, how is the speedo cable released from the speedo? Pull off? Twist off?
Attachments
heater control cropped.jpg
71 Satellite Heater Control Head

71bird
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71bird » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:45 pm

Sorry to say, but the easiest way is to lower the steering column.
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71_bronze_gtx » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:32 am

That really doesn't answer how to get the cable loose and how to get the heater control head separated.

Using my nifty new digital inspection camera (borescope), I saw that there is a retainer on the cable similar to what's found on electrical connectors, so assuming I can get my hand or some pliers in there, that one is solved.

Still studying what I saw around the control head - maybe a phillips screw with a clamp on the top side.

The FSM says to drop the column to get the IP out, but I'm not trying to get it out. If I can replace the gage without dropping the column, I will do it that way.

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71bird » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:17 am

It's almost impossible to do it without dropping the column. And you may or may not have to go as far as removing the column and rolling the dash down. The rally dash was not made to be worked on easily.
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71_bronze_gtx » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:58 am

To further answer my own questions:

There are alignment pins protruding from the back of the cluster, and they fit very snuggly into the openings in the tabs on the top front of the heater control head. Once I got the control head pulled free, the cluster still doesn't move forward much more, and certainly not enough to get the clock out. The cluster at this point is rolled up against the top of the column.

So as advised, next is to unbolt the column from the dash supports and see if it will "drop" far enough to let the cluster roll forward enough to get at that clock.

For anyone - including me - who wants to install a new dash harness, it would appear that the smart thing to do is make all the connections to the cluster while the cluster is out. On a rat's nest like mine, it might be necessary to chop all the wiring to the cluster to get it out.

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71bird » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:53 pm

The easiest way, is to think, how did they put it together? They did it the the quickest, and easiest way.
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71_bronze_gtx » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:03 am

Had to give up - could not get the cluster forward enough to get access to one of the two screws. The one that was accessible still would have been tough. It looks like the column would have to come out, followed by the brake pedal bracket. Too much work just to put in a tach. Has to wait until a big restoration is done.

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71Satellite98661 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:58 pm

You'd be surprised with what little time it takes to remove the entire dash assembly. The hardest part is finding a proper wobbly attachment to get the (4) dash to cowl screws out. It seems daunting but like mentioned earlier, this is how the factory did it and likely dealerships too for repairs such as yours. Oh, as for the speedometer, just pinch the "barbed hook" at the end and pull straight out.

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by gary » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:28 am

I am reviving this thread to learn more on replacing the Inst.panel.
Column (floor shift) gets dropped or removed ?
Metal frame ,same for 1971-1974 B Bodies ? Only Difference is with or without A/C ?
I am pondering replacing mine in my '71 GTX (No A/C)
The lower metal frame at the column and heater switch area is bent and has several holes from a dent puller.
Any one got the I/P frame without A/C ? :beer:

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71bird » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:22 pm

I think the frame has a cut out on the far left hand side for the vent, on the right the same. You might can get away with removing the wheel and lowering the column, but I think it would be so much easer to just to have it out and have it out of the way. The dash is hard enough to move around as it is, I wouldn't want to have to do it with the column in the way. Your milage may vary.
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by gary » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:46 pm

Can the dash frame Assy.be removed without removing the windshield ? :beer:

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 71bird » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:01 pm

Yes
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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by 72Rdrnner » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:34 am

gary wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:28 am
I am reviving this thread to learn more on replacing the Inst.panel.
Column (floor shift) gets dropped or removed ?
Metal frame ,same for 1971-1974 B Bodies ? Only Difference is with or without A/C ?
I am pondering replacing mine in my '71 GTX (No A/C)
The lower metal frame at the column and heater switch area is bent and has several holes from a dent puller.
Any one got the I/P frame without A/C ? :beer:
I removed the instrument cluster but left the frame in place when I restored my '72.

Getting the panel out is a bitch, period, but can be done.

RULE ONE! EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING UP IN THE BOWELLS OF AN INSTRUMENT PANEL/CLUSTER IS SHARP! PREPARE TO BLEED SOME!

1. take out the driver seat
2. remove steering wheel and drop sterring column down
3. remove heater controls & radio (gives you room to work behind dash board and instrument cluster)
4. disconnect speedo cable, held in by a plastic clip that you disengage from back of speedo and then pull cable off.
5. screws that hold it in are visible and are around the bezel (fake wood part of instrument cluster)

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Re: How To Get The Instrument Panel Loose....

Post by rradar71 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:05 pm

Well Gary, I don't know how far away you are from me and if the no a/c is a big issue, but I have a really nice 71 SSP dash frame that is just taking up space in my garage. If I could get somebody to help me get it down, you can have it.

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