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Replacing Your Lower Driver Side Dash
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Lower Driver Side Dash

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$0

Tools:

T20 Torx, trim removal tool

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Hot Tip:

Move the driver seat back

Performance Gain:

Fix what ever is located behind the lower dash

Complementary Modification:

Replace switches

This article will show you how to remove the lower dash and panel on the driver side. To remove the lower panels and dash you will first need to remove the upper center console and light switch to get access to the dash screws. Please see our article on removing your upper center console and replacing your light switch module. It is not a difficult job, and while you can perform this work with a screwdriver, if you are going to be working on your own car, it is a good idea to purchase a set of trim removal tools. They are a set of hard yet flexible plastic tools of different shapes and sizes that are used in removing trim pieces. They work a lot better than a flat head screwdriver and there is nothing worse than ruining a "do-it-yourself" project by scratching up your car or damaging expensive interior pieces. Pelican sells a full line of these tool sets for under $20.

Begin by removing your upper center console. Please see our article on how to remove your upper center console.

With the console removed you will have access to the two T20 Torq screws securing the dash to the center console mount. Remove these two screws.

Next remove the bezel or trim surround around the ignition switch. This simply unscrews counter clockwise. You should be able to do this with finger pressure but some trim pieces need a little help to get started with your trim removal tool.

Moving to the far left side of the dash remove your light switch module. Please see our article on removing your light switch. With the switch removed you have access to the three T20 Torx screws securing the upper section. Remove the three screws.

Working below the dash you will need to remove the parking brake cable from the parking brake handle. Lower the handle and move the cable until it can be slipped out through the small channel in the handle.

Remove the three T20 Torx screws holding the lower panel to the dash along with the one T20 screw holding the dash. Note: a previous owner had replaced some of the Torx screws with household Philips screws on our project car.

Lower the panel. You will see a large electrical connection beside the parking brake, this is a data link. Once you lower the panel the connection can be removed from the back by sliding the top of the housing to the right. Once the clip has been slide all the way to the right you can pull the switch out of the connection.

Be sure to check around for loose wires or anything that could get caught up with the wiring below the dash then remove the panel from the car.

The lower dash is now only held in by two clips, one on each side of the steering column. Pull the dash down to release these clips.

Next remove the parking brake cable from its holder and the dash is free to be removed from the car.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure the air duct in the lower panel is seated correctly when reinstalling.

Begin by removing your upper center console.
Figure 1

Begin by removing your upper center console. Please see our article on how to remove your upper center console. With the console removed you will have access to the two T20 Torq screws (red arrows) securing the dash to the center console mount. Remove these two screws.

Next remove the bezel or trim (red arrow) surround around the ignition switch.
Figure 2

Next remove the bezel or trim (red arrow) surround around the ignition switch. This simply unscrews counter clockwise. You should be able to do this with finger pressure but some trim pieces need a little help to get started with your trim removal tool.

Moving to the far left side of the dash remove your light switch module.
Figure 3

Moving to the far left side of the dash remove your light switch module. Please see our article on removing your light switch. With the switch removed you have access to the three T20 Torx screws (red arrows) securing the upper section. Remove the three screws.

Working below the dash you will need to remove the parking brake cable from the parking brake handle.
Figure 4

Working below the dash you will need to remove the parking brake cable from the parking brake handle. Lower the handle and move the cable until it can be slipped out through the small channel in the handle (yellow arrow).

Remove the three T20 Torx screws holding the lower panel to the dash (red arrow) along with the one T20 screw (yellow arrow) holding the dash.
Figure 5

Remove the three T20 Torx screws holding the lower panel to the dash (red arrow) along with the one T20 screw (yellow arrow) holding the dash. Note: a previous owner had replaced some of the Torx screws with household Philips screws.

Lower the panel.
Figure 6

Lower the panel. You will see a large electrical connection beside the parking brake, this is a data link. Once you lower the panel the connection can be removed from the back by sliding the top (red arrows) of the housing to the right.

Once the clip has been slide all the way to the right you can pull the switch out of the connection (red arrow).
Figure 7

Once the clip has been slide all the way to the right you can pull the switch out of the connection (red arrow).

The lower dash is now only held in by two clips, one on each side of the steering column (red arrow, one shown).
Figure 8

The lower dash is now only held in by two clips, one on each side of the steering column (red arrow, one shown). Pull the dash down to release these clips.

Next remove the parking brake cable (red arrow) from its holder and the dash is free to be removed from the car.
Figure 9

Next remove the parking brake cable (red arrow) from its holder and the dash is free to be removed from the car. Installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure the air duct in the lower panel is seated correctly when reinstalling.

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Comments and Suggestions:
sam Comments: There is a weird screw that is still attached to the dash, it is at the bottom of the dash. how do you remove that?
June 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Unscrew it? Can you share a photo of the screw? I might be able to identify the fastener type. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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