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Early 944 dash removal (lots of pics). Interior restoration begins.

 
Old 08-20-2004, 04:25 AM
  #1  
ckathens
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Default Early 944 dash removal (lots of pics). Interior restoration begins.

Greetings! I figured Iíd use this board to archive my efforts to restore the interior of my í83 944; this part relates to the installation of a new dashboard which I purchased off ebay for just $100 a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully this will help someone in the future who decides to do the same thing!

I began by using the Clarks Garage procedure for removing and installing an early Ď944 dash. However, I realized after doing all the steps that it failed to mention four screws which hold the dash to the body. Two of these screws are attached to short pieces of metal which then screw into a portion of the frame, and are located directly behind and sort of below the center console. The center console must be removed before getting to these screws. The other two screws which are not listed are on either side of the dash (but inside the dash) and screwed into the body. These can only be removed once the gauge cluster and the glovebox are removed.

I did have problems getting the ignition switch off Ė in fact youíll notice in my pictures that it is still installed. Honestly, I donít think you really need to take it off to install/remove a dash, but it probably does make things a little easier. Iíll try to remove it this weekend if I get a chance, just to make sure it doesnít damage my new dash in anyway while it is going in.

You can see what I was up against in the pictures below. I believe the car was probably left outside in the sun and heat of silicon valley for at least a couple of years before the PO (my gfís cousin) salvaged it. The interior was a mess but Iím slowly restoring it. Thankfully the engine, tranny, clutch, and body all seem to be in good conditionÖ

My biggest piece of advice to anyone who decides to do this job is exactly what Clark recommends: bag and label EVERYTHING. Iíve done that and I have so many bags full of random parts now that I wouldnít have ANY idea where they went if I didnít label. Plus there is an amazing amount of wires which needs to plug into something behind the guage cluster or center console.

Hereís my old dash (after removal):









Hereís my new dash (not yet installed). Unfortunately you canít tell it has no real cracks on the top Ė I had my gf take the pics and she didnít know what to focus on.









Hereís what the inside of my baby looks like currently:



Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:13 AM
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Here is a tip that i found VERY usful for cleaning.

With some cotton and very VERY little thinner, you can remove any traces of dirt (even the smallest using a tooth brush).

I am 80% done with restoring my '86 951 interior (hav ethe carpets and leather seats left).....just do NOT use it on ANY plastics.....

Gr8 work on the dash !
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Old 08-20-2004, 10:37 AM
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That looks like a nice dash, but what would be more useful would be to photograph the process of removal, like where the various screws, bolts, wiring harnesses are, things of that nature. I'm not looking forward to doing that job at all; how long did it take you?
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:08 AM
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It's been a while since I pulled my dash but my recollection is that it was much easier than I would have thought. I would lable each connector to make installation easier. My wiring harness looks like a garage sale with all the tags on the connectors.

Take a lot of photos. Having reference photos can be a godsend. When I rebuilt my SE-R engine I took something like 300 photos of the tear down for reference. Saved my butt. I've got a ton of pix of my car coming apart as well.
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the comments & tips. Porsche-O-File: it probably took about 3 hours, but add onto that time extra time for getting the center console out. I had removed my center console quite a while ago and I don't think that took more than like 30 mins.

Labelling every little tiny wire is very important because alot of them look alike and are interchangeable. Putting all the screws in their own little baggies/containers are important too. I *SHOULD* have taken more photos when I was taking it apart, but totally forgot. I was actually in such a rush to get it off because I wanted to get that part done before I start classes in a few days.

I have to deal with some wiring issues (some of the connectors were stripped off by the PO!!) but once I do that, i will put the new dash in and I will be sure to take pictures of that whole process. This time I WILL take pictures of where all the screws are and so forth. Hopefully this will be of more help to ya'll later.
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:34 PM
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thank you very much for posting this. my dash looks exactly like your old one, but black. same exact cracks in the same places. im going to be taking mine out sometime to try to recover it with somewhat softer material(lace)(im joking). how do you get the ac **** off the center consol? i want to re-silver my gauge pod thingers. or did you just unplug the connectors and leave things together? i hope it goes in smoothly for you. good luck. im claiming this to be the hardest job on my 944, and i hope it proves me wrong.
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:04 PM
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Kenny-

If I remember correctly, you don't even have to take the AC **** off - You unplug the wire that goes into the back of the AC controls instead. I'll check this again when i get home. Good luck with your restoration too!
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Old 08-20-2004, 09:19 PM
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The AC **** can stay on I'm pretty sure. Unless you need to take out the switch for some reason. Mine came off fairly easy. Just pulls off, IIRC.

CKathens: While you've got the dash out, be sure to clean each and every ground you can get your hands on, especially the grounding ring right above the steering column. There's about 8 wires connecting to that one ring alone and you'll be amazed at how much better everything in the car works for you. If the interior has been wet at all in the past, the moisture will cause corrosion in all the connections. Clean them with electrical contact cleaner, then add dialectic (Sp?) grease when reassembling. I did the same your doing to yours two years ago and no longer have jumping gauges, dim dash lights or any of the usual electrical gremlins. It's worth the time/effort.

The wiring behind the dash is suprisingly easy to lay out. Mainly have to label the tach, oil pressure, clock and that's about it. Everything else is a plug that can be easily id'd when reassembling.

Good luck. You'll really like the results.

BTW, are you changing the color of the interior?
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:24 AM
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Bart-

THanks for the tips - especially about the grounding. I've been meaning to check ALL the grounds because i've seen some of the others (like in the rear by the spare tire) are not looking too good. No longer havnig jumping gauges would be AWESOME.

And you're right, of course, that most of the wiring behind the dash is easily id'd by its connector... However my problem is that the PO (or someone else in the past) did a number on the wiring and some of the wires are bare w/o any connectors. I have to look at the wiring diagram and figure out what some of them are - although by process of elimination, I think i've narrowed it down quite a bit.

I am indeed changing the colors from the really light tan and brown mixture (which I don't like at all, and which gets dirty quite easily) to black.. THe PO began the transformation, and i'm continuing. Its also alot easier to find black interior parts so I'm thinking its worth it. I'm a little worried about what to do about the brown headliner, but my gf says she thinks she can work with some material and do it right. Has anyone here tried replacing the headliner? Just curious on how difficult it really is.

Thanks for the comments guys.
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Old 08-21-2004, 01:41 AM
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How would you remove the two bolts holding down the ignition ?
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:41 AM
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So... anyone have the original pics for this? I just see image icons, but no pics. Am I missing something?

Hoping to put in a newly refurbished dash into my '83 944...
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