P38 Center Console Side Panel Removal
Removal of the
So, why would we describe this operation on these web pages? Well,
do a number of jobs on the P38A, e.g., Heater
O-ring replacement, HEVAC bulb replacement,
Fascia Switch Pack bulb replacement, radio removal, etc., either or
side panels need to be removed and the method described in the workshop
manual is not exactly clear. Ron Beckett
of Australia supplied the pioneering information on improved methods of
removing and replacing the panels, and I have supplemented it with
observations based on my own experience.
Start by moving each front seat as far back as it will go. This will
give access to the side panel rear fixing screw (one each side -- see
photo above right). Remove
this screw and the front lower screw near the foot level air vent.
(Shop Manual) Procedure:
The Range Rover shop manual now tells you to simply pull the side panel out by pulling it down and to the rear, disengaging the sprag clip that holds it at the top. This is rather an over-simplification and cannot be done without a bit of extra knowledge. If you choose to try this abbreviated method, you actually have to lift the rear of the panel up first to disengage it from the retaining lip, then pull the rear of the panel out sideways to clear the center console switch pack. THEN you can try to pull the whole panel down and to the rear to disengage the sprag clip. (If you don't know what you are looking for, you'd never find it - see photo below). In order to disengage the sprag clip you will probably have to get it started by prying gently in the seam between the side panel and the upper panel with a chisel or screwdriver.
I would only recommend this procedure once you have experience taking the panel off by the longer but gentler and surer method outlined below, which will show you how the various parts fit together. That way, when removing the panels later by the official method, you are less likely to break something.
Longer but Easier Procedure:
Oddly enough, there are better instructions in the accessory fitting documents than the workshop manual so the method below is based on those. The whole task is made much easier if you remove the window controls switch pack and the gear lever surround trim. Then you can see how the panels are attached and can remove them gently without fear of damage.
Open the centre console lid and remove
two fixing screws that
retain the electric window switch pack in the centre console cubby box.
These are located on the top front edge of the cubby box. The pack is
retained by two flat spring steel tabs at the bottom. You can tilt it
forward and pull it
upwards to disengage them. To remove the pack completely, you would
need to remove the handbrake grip, but this is not necessary to move
the pack out of the way enough to get at the fixings for the gear
Above: Remove these two window switch pack retaining screws.
Above: Single retaining screw for transmission panel.
Now remove the single screw that holds down the rear edge of the gear selector surround (again, auto models). Lift the panel out - it is only retained by simple spring clips at the front - and unplug the cigarette lighter socket and the lamp and holder. You might want to replace this bulb whilst you have it apart - it is a standard 1.2 watt 12 volt wedge base bulb as used in the HEVAC and instrument panel.
You can now, with your fingers or a
screwdriver, pry the
rear edge of the finishing
panel up and sideways to get it over the retaining lip. See photos
below. This will then allow you to slide the panel back and release the
sprag clip from the switch pack panel. The intermediate photos (below)
retaining lip were taken after removal of the side panel in order to
illustrate this article.
Top: Side panel retaining lip shown with panel removed
Bottom: Pull down to release the sprag clip
And that's it for the removal. You can now refer back to the various other pages on this site which deal with HEVAC LCD backlighting, or with Heater O-ring replacement, etc.
While you have everything apart you might as well replace the cigar lighter bulb (below). This is another 1.2 watt wedge base bulb like so many of the others (see HEVAC backlighting replacement page).
Cigar Lighter Bulb
When refitting the window control switch
pack, if you did not remove the handbrake grip it is a little tricky to
get the bottom retaining clips back into place due to the limited
degree of free movement the switch pack has with the handbrake lever
still protruding through it. To fit the bottom clips, you may need to
bend them down slightly with a screwdriver to get them under the gear
selector surround. However they are made of spring steel and
this will not bend them permanently.
When refitting the side trim panel you will have to push firmly to seat the sprag clip, then carefully lift (with your fingers) the rear edge of the panel over the retaining lip. Refit the screws and you're done.
If you have corrections, comments or suggestions, email us.
Page revised February 2, 2012