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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished doing this for about the sixth time - didn't find a good thread in this forum that shows a NON-destructive way to remove it. Par time for the first time you try this is 90 minutes to 2 hours. With experience it's more like one hour.

1) Remove left and right foot well trim panels under dash (2 screws each)
2) Remove radio console (one screw holds the triangular trim piece on each side, then 4 bolts on each side; you may not have to remove wire harnesses if there's enough slack to sit the panel on the passenger floorboards)
3) Disconnect various-colored wiring harnesses on passenger side firewall.
4) Remove two large factory cable ties next to wiring harnesses; these retain the harnesses to the dash frame (these are re-usable; release the ties by pressing on the small tab on the upper side between the tail end and the metal frame, then push the tail end back out of the tie)
4) Remove the steering wheel shroud, remove steering wheel (with a punch, lightly mark the steering wheel relative to the steering shaft so you can center the wheel on re-assembly).
5) Loosen one screw on the right side of the turn signal assy to release the clamp holding the turn signal assy on the steering column. Disconnect wiring harnesses and slide turn signal assy forward off the shaft - it can dangle.
6) Reach under dash on the right/passenger side of the steering column and disconnect speedometer cable near the firewall (this is easy to forget)
7) Remove cosmetic plugs over four screws on top of dash - try to preserve them, they're hard to find.
8.) Remove 8 main dashboard screws/bolts: four screws across top of dash, four bolts on bottom side of dash (two of the bottom bolts are hidden by the radio console until you remove it)
9) Remove five screws holding the center dash vent trim in place; remove center trim panel, now remove two screws holding the heat/AC control box to the dash frame. (This is really easy to miss.)

You may now remove the dash. Try not to scrape it on the A-pillar trim too much. I find it easier to pull the passenger side forward first; keep it low so it won't jam the dash in place.

The dash weighs about 40 pounds when free - take it out the passenger side door.

Re-assembly is the reverse of removal. NOTE: make SURE when setting the dash in place to re-locate the speedometer cable properly. if you get it on the wrong (left) side of the steering wheel brace, you will need to pull the dash again and move it so it will connect.

The only specialized tool required is a standard steering wheel puller. Most of it is done with a #2 and #3 screwdriver. You may need a small flat-blade screwdriver to carefully pry off the bolt covers on top of the dashboard.
 

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I may soon be following your lead as I've gotta decide which way to go to deal with my (growing) cracks/fissures (plastic cover, carpet cover, fiberglass repair, etc.).
Photos would make this already excellent post even better.
Thank you!
 

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...You dont have to remove the steering wheel, just the clamshell. I never remove the steering wheel. If you search my posts you will see how to do it. An hour? pff. More like a maximum of 30 minutes for me. I could change out your center dash speaker by just removing the trim panel, floor nozzle, and defroster duct. Its all about body position and the right tools.
 

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THE BIG SECRET
9) Remove five screws holding the center dash vent trim in place; remove center trim panel, now remove two screws holding the heat/AC control box to the dash frame. (This is really easy to miss.)

I'm too old to lay in contorted positions.......and you have to lift it over the steering wheel...which can be removed and out of the way in 30 seconds.

...and the most time consuming is pulling the radio harness in my opinion.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
heroe said:
...You dont have to remove the steering wheel, just the clamshell. I never remove the steering wheel. If you search my posts you will see how to do it. An hour? pff. More like a maximum of 30 minutes for me. I could change out your center dash speaker by just removing the trim panel, floor nozzle, and defroster duct. Its all about body position and the right tools.
That's likely to be possible, but it is NOT easy. In addition, the chances of damaging the steering wheel or side trim on the A-pillars is much higher if you leave the wheel in place. I agree that it takes time to remove the wheel, but it's WELL worth it to me.
 

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Pilgrim said:
heroe said:
...You dont have to remove the steering wheel, just the clamshell. I never remove the steering wheel. If you search my posts you will see how to do it. An hour? pff. More like a maximum of 30 minutes for me. I could change out your center dash speaker by just removing the trim panel, floor nozzle, and defroster duct. Its all about body position and the right tools.
That's likely to be possible, but it is NOT easy. In addition, the chances of damaging the steering wheel or side trim on the A-pillars is much higher if you leave the wheel in place. I agree that it takes time to remove the wheel, but it's WELL worth it to me.
+1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
 

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IMO it is easier to get it out than in...and the pillar trim and steering wheel hinders that operation.

Per FSM p. BF-26 "Remove steering wheel, shell cover and combo switch."
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
heroe said:
...You dont have to remove the steering wheel, just the clamshell. I never remove the steering wheel. If you search my posts you will see how to do it. An hour? pff. More like a maximum of 30 minutes for me. I could change out your center dash speaker by just removing the trim panel, floor nozzle, and defroster duct. Its all about body position and the right tools.
I respectfully disagree. Taking off the wheel, shroud and column switches (one scre holds that assembly on) eliminates a major obstacle to the process. if it works for you, fine, but I can't see any way to get the dash in and out with the steering wheel in place...nor would I attempt it.
 

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I can get it out by myself, with the steering wheel out, but I need help getting it back in.
 
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