P38 Dashboard Fascia Removal & Replacement
Introduction: Reasons for Removing the Dash Fascia
Tips for Preserving the Old Fascia
Fascia Removal Sequence
Replacement With a New Fascia
Introduction: Reasons for Removing the Dash Fascia
Jos Geuze of
Kuala Lumpur found that exposing his 1995 Range Rover 4.0 SE to the tropical climate in Malaysia eventually caused
warping of the top of the
dashboard (or "fascia panel").
After inspection from underneath through the glovebox compartment,
and the instrument area with the instrument pack removed, he
concluded that he needed to change the whole thing as the underlaying
plastic was cracked nearly everywhere. Jos bought a dash fascia panel
breaker in the UK and changed it without much problem. He kindly shared
his procedure with us so that other owners could benefit.
Jos found that removing the whole top of the fascia is actually not much work, and gives excellent access to such items as the blend flap motors and heater core pipes. Accordingly this may be an excellent alternative approach to servicing these items (see the heater blend motor page and the heater o-ring page).
Tips for Preserving the Old Fascia Panel
Temporary cures for dashboard fascia panel warping can stave off replacement for a while. Shown below is a photo of Jos's old dash before removal -- with glued plastic strip visible. Old dash is held down with some tie wraps through holes drilled in vent duct behind instrument panel which tie down the plastic piece for demisting the window. Without the plastic strip and the tie wraps the foam lining climbs up so far that from outside you can look under it through the window.
Old dash before removal,
with glued plastic strip and tie wraps in place.
Dash Fascia Removal Sequence
Before beginning the job, it is desirable to disconnect the battery. Also, have an assistant ready for when you get to the end of the sequence, to help with lifting out the dashboard as one piece. Jos offers the following step by step advice for the actual removal process. Jos's instructions are for the Right Hand Drive models, but are similar for LHD.
1. Remove the glove box compartment
2. Remove panel under the steering wheel
3. Remove the side panels of the middle console. I would
like to add that I did this the following way: I removed the
fixing screws of the panels. I
took out my radio (which is not original range rover but a pioneer)
from the center console. Pushing aside the top part of the side panels
gently will reveal fixing screws of the center console. I unscrewed
them but left them in place. Further unscrew one more fixing screw from
the center console next to the light switch. After this the whole
center console is loose and can be lifted up a bit to undo the sprag
clips of the side panels, where after they will come off easily. Some
degree of careful twisting is necessary to get the end from under the
chubby box, window switches pack, but I managed it without damaging
anything. After the side panels are off, you can remove the screws of
the centre console. When fitting be sure to put the screws in place
before mounting the side panels screwing the tight afterwards.
4. Because the center console is loose already, remove
all electrical wires. Make photo if you are not sure how it was
connected, or write down which color goes where.
5. Remove the veneered panel above the glove box. I
found this the most difficult part of the whole operation. It is fixed
with 4 pins into plastic fixtures and need careful pressing
between the plastic of the dashboard and the veneered panel.
6. Now remove the airbag unit by unscrewing 4 special star bolts 5/16 inch from underneath. Unclip the electrical wire and handle with care and maintain upright position as described in the workshop manual warnings.
7. Remove the climate control ECU by unscrewing 4 screws, removing electrical connections through hole of the radio and move it out
8. Now remove screws of the plastic panel around the cockpit, and remove it. Unclip electrical connection of the opening button for the fuel tank lid.
9. Remove instrument pack after unclipping electrical connections.
10. Now remove the fixing bracket of the instrument pack at the driver door side, by unscrewing 2 nuts 8 mm. After this you can remove the screw that holds the air duct in place. In my case it was not fitted. Probably too difficult to get it back in for the service crew from Land Rover Malaysia. You need a special screw driver with the small claws that hold the screw in place if you want to put it back. After this move the sliding duct and remove the whole duct out.
11. Do the same thing with the duct at the passenger side.
12. Now you can access the 4 bolts that hold the top fascia (8 mm bolts). One each at the outside, and the others above the sliding ducts. In the photo's attached you can clearly see the fixing points of the fascia.
13. Undo the screws that hold the bottom plastic parts to the steel frame. (around the glove box 6 pcs under the steering wheel 4 pcs.)
14. Now the whole fascia is loose and can be moved 10 cm from the front. In the center there is covered with some tape a round hole in which the connectors of the sun sensor and alarm system led are hidden. Unclip those.
15 To be able to move the whole fascia I removed the plastic side panel at the driver side. This side panel under the foam covered part is fixed with just two screws, which can be easily unscrewed, and removed.
16. Now you can lift out the whole top of the dashboard together with the plastic bottom parts through the passengers door.
Above is a picture showing what
the interior looks like after removing the dash assembly. Below is a
view of the dash after removal, with the loose bottom part turned over,
separating it from the rest of the assembly.
Replacement with a New Dash/Fascia Panel
The photo below shows the new dash lying upside down before installation. Note that the plastic piece at the driver's side that needs to be removed (see step 15 in the sequence above) is still present in this photo, but is removed in the second photo below.
The photo below is a comparison of the old (foreground) and new (background) dash fascia assemblies. In the shoebox at left are the plastic ventilation pieces for defogging of the windows and some other broken plastic pieces. On the tip of the old dash is a plastic strip glued to keep is somewhat in shape while waiting for the new dash. The plastic between the window vents and the window was all in pieces lying under the dash. Through the opening for the center face vent you can see that the bottom part that was glued onto the top part had come off, with the hot melt glue transferred to a sticky greasy substance!
Before removing the old fascia panel, cover the steering wheel with foam or plastic to prevent scratches. The steering wheel should also be moved to the lowest possible position. Signaling lever and lever for control of the wipers to be at the most down positions. Chairs to be moved as far backwards as possible.
If it is difficult to remove the screws that hold the ducts in place ( item 10 and 11 above), you can try to leave the ducts and just move them aside while you undo the bolts, by turning them around the fixing point. As I already mentioned in my case the screws were not fitted anymore, and I myself did not bother to fix them back.
After the dash is removed remove the cable from the glovebox lock and fix it back only after you have placed the dash back. This to prevent the cable from being trapped between the steel frame and plastic parts of the dash. A bend in the cable will cause problems with the closing of the glovebox lid. I had to fit stronger springs in the glove box lock to overcome the extra resistance of such a bend.
With the dash top removed it is now a piece of cake to remove the other ducting and access blend motor flaps etc. The operation described above took me around 3 hours to remove, and 3 hours to put back. (Also another hour to make the glovebox lid work again!)
It might be handy to have some help when moving out the
dashboard. It is not heavy I estimate it at 10 kg, but it is better
when someone guides it around the steering wheel and control levers.
A complete new dashboard, if available at all, is likely to be extremely expensive. This is the sort of part I would source from a recycler.
Removing the dash/fascia is an excellent alternative method of providing access for some of the operations described on other pages. For example, see the Heater Blend Motor page and the Heater Core O-Ring page, and the A/C Evaporator Replacement page. The latter page also has additional tips and illustrations for removing not only the fascia panel but the entire dash assembly.