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 Post subject: Remove Dashboard 97 SSEi
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Retired Gearhead
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 12:35 pm
Posts: 3989
Location: Ames, Iowa
Year and Trim: 98 Caravan is the daily driver 215K
You will want to avoid this job if at all possible, but if you MUST remove the dash, here is what you are in for.

I removed the defroster and HUD cover to undo the top dash screws, removed the hush panels right and left and the glove box to remove the 10-mm head bolts holding the dash panel to the body right and left, dropped the steering column to a styrofoam block placed across the driver's seat by removing the lower filler panel (4 bolts), and undid the two front bolts holding the steering column, then removed the 6 bolts securing the dash around the column. The last big bolts are behind the left side of the glove box. Then, the center console had to be disassembled to the point where the nuts and bolts holding it to the floor could be removed allowing the whole deal to be slid rearward enough to unbolt the bottom center of the dash panel from the floor mount and slide it back and up.

I removed the HUD, the CD player and the EEC head. Then I opened both front doors, pulled the dash back and pivoted it on a heavy cloth on the console so the passenger side came out and down several inches. There was plenty of wiring except for one two-wire connector on the back of the driver's side of the dash to allow the dash to come back several inches with no pull on any wire. The instrument cluster was not removed. The dash is heavy and hard to move and must be handled carefully to prevent damage. The center console seat switches and the panel surrounding the shift lever had to be unfastened and raised and the trans shifted back to 2 to allow rear movement of the dash.

It took a lot of patience to undo everything without breaking, scratching, or damaging any delicate components or trim. I just took my time and quit for a while or for the day when I got frustrated. At that slow and careful pace, it took me about three days to take it apart and two to put it back together. But everything is nice and clean and tight, and I had an opportunity to realign some of the little anti-squeak pads the factory had glued on crooked in a couple of places on the dash trim pieces. (The edge of one of these was visible above the EEC head and looked out of place.) So now everything works and the dash looks like new, well really, better than new.

This was not easy.

Hope this all helps the next guy who might have to do this job!

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1998 3.8 Dodge Caravan 214K
2000 3.3 Dodge Caravan 175K
1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe 4-dr sedan 25K (needs some work!)


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