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Dash removal - UPDATED 10/09/2017

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Mazda Mender
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Dash removal - UPDATED 10/09/2017

Postby Mazda Mender » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:36 pm

Mk2 dash into a Mk1
If you're looking to update the interior of your mk1, probably one of the best ways to do this is to replace the mk1 dashboard with a mk2 unit. Whilst it may seem like a big job, it's actually fairly easy for anyone who can wield a screwdriver and a spanner, to swap the unit. It's a half day job to swap the units over but you will need to leave longer for the additional wiring requirements including wiring into the mk2 hazard switch and rerouting the headlight service button.

It's a job best done on a warm day when you can have the roof down and the doors open outside - the more space the better for this job.

This is a long write-up but please stick with it - it's long because I have tried to include all the little bits of detail to enable anyone who can identify the tools to do this job.

Tools and Other items Required
medium-sized Phillips screwdriver (the one that fits everything else)
14mm socket
12mm socket
10mm socket
ratchet for the above (I like the 1/2 for the 14mm and 3/8 for the 12mm and 10mm but that's just me)
10mm open ended spanner
radio removal tools (if applicable)
torx keys

Step 1: Remove the centre console
First thing to do is remove the centre console.Start by removing the two screws (one either side of the gearbox tunnel).
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Then remove the ashtray / cupholder and remove the screw beneath
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Lift the arm rest and remove the two screws contained within
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Remove the gearknob (standard roadster gearknob should just unscrew anticlockwise)
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Lift the centre console slightly. Underneath, on the Driver's side, you should see a small electrical connection for the ashtray light - unclip this.
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Where applicable, you should also see the electric window switch wiring block. Undo this (it has a clip on one side that needs depressing to release.
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You can now remove the centre console.
In preparation for removing the daqshboard and loom, disconnect the electrical plug on the handbrake at this point (it's easily forgotten if left til later).
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Step 2: Radio Surround Removal
Next Step is to remove the radio surround. Depending on how your stereo is fitted (if applicable) you either need to remove this before or after you remove the surround. One our project car, the radio has already been removed.

First step is to remove the heater vents - there are two methods for this, we use a long sturdy screwdriver and lever them out. Alternatively, you can feed a piece of string so it loops out again and pull on both ends to pull out.
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Where you have removed the vents, there should be a single screw to the top of each vent hole. Remove these with your phillips screwdriver.
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Also, at the bottom of the surround, to the left (passenger side), there is another single Phillips screw - remove this also.
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Pull the radio surround forward slightly and reach behind to unplug the hazard warning / headlight service switch. You should now be able to remove the radio surround.
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To make dashboard removal easier, remove the small metal bracket to which the centre console is screwed. This is held in with 2 phillips screws
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bracker removed:
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Step 3: Removal of Trim / instruments
Moving to the driver's side, remove the panel from underneath the steering wheel. This is held in with two phillips screws.

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Next remove the steering wheel cowling. This is held in with 4 screws - 3 standard trim screws and 1 shorter brass coloured screw.

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Once you have removed the 4 screws the cowling should come loose and should split in two - a top and bottom section. Remove both sections and put to one side. You will reuse these with the mk2 dash.

Next is the instrument cowling - this is held in with 2 phillips-headed screws - one on either side of the steering wheel on the underside of the cowling.

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Once the screws have been removed, grab hold of the cowling at either side, and pull sharply toward you. It should now unclip.
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You can then maneuverer the cowling out, revealing the instrument cluster.
This is held in with 4 more phillips-headed screws - one in each corner. Remove these.
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Once the screws are removed, pull the instrument cluster forward slightly and unclip each of the electrical connectors that plug into the instrument cluster. You will also need to disconnect the speedo cable. Two options to do this - either hold the instrument cluster at either end and pull towards the steering wheel with a quick jerk. Alternatively, if you can, reach behind the instrument cluster and unclip it (I find this difficult unless someone with small hands is around).

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Step 4: Heater control removal
You've almost stripped everything off the dash, ready to undo and remove. The biggest tasks left to do is to remove the heater controls. This is held in with 4 screws - 2 either side of the heater controls (they should be obvious but here are two pictures to help).

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And two with the screws removed

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Now you will need to disconnect the manual control cables where they connect to the heater system (not from the heater control panel). There are three cables - the easiest two are located either side of the heater matrix (centre of the car) and are accessed via the two footwells.
Driver's side:

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They simply pull off the lever and unclip

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Passenger side:

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The remaining one is located behind the glovebox, up in the far left. You really will need to get your head into the glovebox area but it is fairly easy to find:

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Once the cables are released the heater control panel should pull forward, out of the dash. Once it is slightly out of the dash, reach behind it and disconnect the electrical connections:

DSC00362.jpg (290.5 KiB) Viewed 380 times

You can now pull the heather controls out (taking care they don't snag on anything and bend the heater control wires.

Step 5: Windscreen trim removal
In order to remove the windscreen surround you first need to disconnect the sunvisors. These are held on with two phillips screws. Remove these and place somewhere safe (the glovebox is usually a good option).

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You'll also need to remove the roof catches from the windscreen surround. These should be held on with two star-shaped bolts - you can get these out with an allen key but it is better if you have the correct tools.

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Once the sunvisors and roof catches are removed, you need to remove the windscreen rubber seal. Start at one side and pull if off around the windscreen. It should have a small black or white plastic stud holding it in place to the side of the windscreen near the top (these are be difficult to find!). You remove these with a trim tool or carefully with a flat screwdriver. Be careful not to pull the trim over the stud, leaving them in place as you risk splitting the trim and a water leak later!

Once the seal is removed, remove the rear view mirror / interior light (depending on year), unclip the plastic panels, starting with the one along the top. These should just unclip but be careful not to break them.

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You should now have everything removed from that dashboard that is necessary. Now time to remove the dash itself...

Step 5: Dashboard removal
In order to remove the dashboard now, there are 9 bolts to remove. These are located as followed:
1 in the middle of the dash board, under the small square cover near the windscreen
2 on each end of the dashboard behind blank plates that are visible when the doors are open
2 on either side of the the middle of the dash, where the radio and heater live (again, behind the blank plates - sometimes used for additional interior lighting).

You also need to disconnect the bonnet pull from the dashboard and the steering column (you can leave the steering wheel on) as well as undo a few electrical connections.

In order to access all the dash bolts, you need to remove 7 blank plates. To remove, you can use either a small screwdriver (be careful not to scratch the dashboard), a thin trim removal tool or you may find they can be popped out with your hands.

pic of driver's side end blank plate location

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pic of driver's side central blank plate location

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pic of all 6 long blank plates removed

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central blank plate (on top of dash near windscreen) to be removed

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central blank plate (on top of dash near windscreen) removed

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To remove the bolt you will need a 10mm open spanner (you can try a swan neck spanner but they don't always fit). Undo the bolt and set to one side.

driver's side blank plates removed

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To remove the bolts use a 10mm socket.

driver's side central blank plate removed

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To remove the bolts use a 14mm socket.

The bonnet release is held on with a nut on the underside of the dash (at the back of the pull). Undo the nut, twist the bonnet pull and slide it towards the floor - it should now be hanging freely:

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To remove the dash you will also need to disconnect the sterring column from the dashboard. To do this, remove the 2 12mm bolts (one either side of the sterring wheel) - they are long bolts so they take a while.

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To give an extra bit of room (it all counts when it comes to getting the dash out!) you also should slacken (but not remove) the two 12mm bolts which hold the steering column in place on the bulkhead. To locate these follow the sterring column down to the bulk head. You should be able to get to both of these with a 12mm socket and a couple of extension bars.

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This should give you a drop on the steering column like this

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Once this is all done you need to unplug some wiring. Disconnect the blocks underneath the steering column.

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you only need to undo these ones!

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Moving to the passenger side, unplug the wiring from the heater matrix

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You also need to undo these connectors:

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Once all this is done the dash should be ready for removal. Obviously if you have additional aftermarket kit fitted you'll need to ensure this is all removed first!

There is no exact science to removing the dash once at this stage. In general it is easiest to pull it forward slightly and roll it forward at the same time as the brackets on the gearbox tunnel (where you undid the screws behind the blank plates have ridges for the dash to sit in. Once over these you should be able to pull the dash out (normally easiest to head out the passenger door area).

This should leave you with something looking like this...

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and this...

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and this...

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and this...

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While you have the dash out ,jump on opportunity and and remove the trunking clips if fitted with A/C, clean them up and stick on new foam seal and re-fit to the trunking as i can guarantee the old seal will be dry and past it's best, so you will not be getting the best from the heater.

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In order to fit the mk 2 dash you need to transfer the mk1 loom over onto the back of the mk2 dash. To keep it simple, lie each dash face down (on something soft to prevent scratches and dents). Remove the loom from the mk1 dash, lay it out on the mk 2 dash and wire tie it securely in place (you can't just transfer it over on all the clips as they are in different places on the two dashboards).

When doing this you'll need to take care to reroute any wiring you will be connecting in a different place. For example, the hazard wiring need to go in a similar place on both dashboards but you'll need to consider a location and switch for the headlight service switch (i put mine next to the cigarette lighter on the mk2.

You'll also need to think about how you are going to connect the various switches now (HOW-TO ON THIS WILL FOLLOW).

Once the loom is transferred over and secured you can maneuver the mk2 dash into the mk1. At this stage, install the dash and finger tighten done the various bolts which secure the dash (one on top of the dash near the windscreen, 2 at each end of the dash and 2 either side of the radio / heater section. These should fit straight in. Reconnect all the electrics you undid from either end of the dash and try starting the car. If it starts, all is well and proceed to reinstall everything else. If it doesn't (or it seems to run differently to how it did before you removed the dash, check all the plugs / earths are reconnected (it's easier to remove the dash again now if you need to than once you've installed everything and think you are ready to start her up and drive off into the sunset!).

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