The most recent “adventure” was removing the Vanagon’s sun baked, ruined dashboard to reseal the small rust spot on the bottom of the windshield and put a nicer dashboard in. Quite a bit of the trim had already been removed before I started but those pieces and plastic covers are relatively simple to remove via compressing the clips and rotating them off, or via visible mounting hardware.
I started with removing the cluster from the dashboard via 4 screws
After which you need to unplug the speedometer cable, warning light indicators, toggle switches, and in our case power to the clock. Labeling them along the way is in your best interest by either using masking tape, taking photos as references or both.
Next step is removing all the knobs and buttons from the fan controllers and switches on the dash.
The only knob you will not be able to remove from the front of the dashboard [if you have it] is the A/C controller dial. you must simply remove the plugs from the back of it.
Stock configuration of those cables are [if looking from the nose of the bus];
- top-yellow solid
- top left- yellow blue
- top right- yellow black
- bottom left- black solid
- bottom right- double green
- then there are two yellow cables that are routed to the side of the dial that go to a female male connector located deeper in the dashboard that can be unplugged [as seen in first photo of post].
Then you will need to remove two bolts from either side of the dashboard located in the doorjam area. This is on both sides of the dashboard.
Next up are the Phillips head screws on the edge closest to the windshield. There are four larger sized Phillips head screws here that are not holding the dashboard up, these hold the motors/rack for the windshield wipers, no need to remove those four. The smaller ones of which there is about 6 do need to be removed.
Then comes the steering column. Ours already had the plastic trim removed, which I believe is just held in with two screws. The steering wheel and column has 4 bolts that hold the dashboard in place as well as the steering wheel as well [13mm bolts]. Removing all four causes the steering wheel to swing downward so make sure to keep a hand holding the wheel in place while removing the last bolt.
The steering wheel has 4 unique plugs, all of which are removable by simply pulling them, no clips or other fasteners on these ones.
Now to detach the fan controller from the dashboard. With two flat head screw drivers pry the faceplate from the dashboard to access the two screws behind it. Then remove those two screws.
There is still one screw holding that assembly to the dashboard. Up where the speedometer was located on the right side of that now gaping hole you will see a single screw that matches the size and color of the other two you just removed, remove that screw.
This should completely release the dashboard from the car, at this point the dashboard is likely tucked under the window seal and will require quite a bit of force to remove. As long as you take your time slowly removing the dash the trim shouldn’t break or snap.