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(1) 2 »

Dashboard removal
#1
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humanpotatohybrid
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I'd like to remove the instrument cluster from my Clipper to service the speedometer etc. but it's quite difficult to follow the directions in the service manual. I'm wondering if removing or lowering the dash is easier.

Looks like the dash is held in with some screws, per the parts book, but I'm wondering if anyone has specific instructions or advice in this regard. Is it worth just lowering the dash out of the way to patch up everything behind it? Note, my engine side wiring harnesses are already almost completely disconnected.

Posted on: 5/8 20:43
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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Re: Dashboard removal
#2
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HH56
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Others will disagree but if you are going to rewire under the dash I found removing it to inspect and easily access everything paid off in the end. If you want to download the 55-6 AC install manual there are some fairly good photos of the back side and instructions on how to remove the entire dash.

Posted on: 5/8 20:59
Howard
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Re: Dashboard removal
#3
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks Howard.

I suspect that disconnecting the steering column from the mount, then removing dash assembly bolts and just kind of laying it against the wheel and floor would work.

The main thing is I want to polish up the dash properly on my 400 sometime too and to do that requires the removal of the instrument cluster of course.

Posted on: 5/9 7:11
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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Re: Dashboard removal
#4
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CarFreak
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The steering column does need to be removed. There are bolts running along the top edge of the dash board that meet the windshield. They are hiding under that trim piece. Then there are two bolts on the bottom two corners that are behind the kick panels. Unbolting it isnt the hard part, it is pulling the wiring through their holes as well as the bodine cables that connect to the heater box area and the areas in the engine bay.

take lots of pictures so you know where everything goes. Would be easier with 2 to three people. May also easier, but maybe not more comfortable if you take the front seat out.

Posted on: 5/9 11:57
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Re: Dashboard removal
#5
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks. On my Clipper all the front of firewall wiring just except the foot switch is already disconnected but not so on my 400. Likewise for the Bowden cables... for various reasons they're all already disconnected on the Clipper. So looks like the only thing "in the way" is the steering column needs removed which I assume requires a wheel puller etc.

Posted on: 5/9 16:18
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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Re: Dashboard removal
#6
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HH56
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Quote:
is the steering column needs removed which I assume requires a wheel puller etc.


Yes to the puller. On a 55 the wheel needs to come off and after unplugging wires to turn signal sw etc and loosening or removing clamps and disconnecting linkage plus removing the toe board the outer column and shroud will slide up and off the shaft. You might want to note the gap distance between wheel and column upper shroud before anything comes apart so as to make reinstallation less of a guess. There is also a split concave ring around the shaft that forms part of the upper bearing that may need to come off before the column will slide up the shaft. If you are able to slide it up without removing the ring be sure to keep track of it because the ring must go back on for the bearing to work.

55s had the old box with full length one piece steering shaft so the shaft is integral with the steering box and will remain. You will probably have enough room to tilt the dash out a bit but if it looks to stress the shaft and becomes absolutely necessary you can remove bolts and loosen another at the steering box so the box will tilt and shaft can drop down slightly. I never tried it but there might be enough play in loosening the steering box bolts you could get enough lowering of column without removing it or the wheel. Need to really protect column from scratches though and you will probably find the wheel will be a pain to work around.

56 models had the short column and stub shaft connection to steering box so that column is easily removed in its entirety with minimal disconnections without touching the wheel.

Posted on: 5/9 16:41
Howard
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Re: Dashboard removal
#7
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Ross
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Big yes to pulling the whole dash as you can attend to all the details and bowden cables etc. in one go. And paint it white on the backside for future maintenance ease.

Never a need to buy a steering wheel puller: cut a little piece of 1" by 1/4" thick bar stock and drill two holes in it to match the puller holes in the steering wheel hub. Thread suitable bolts down through it and tighten them. The bar will push against the steering shaft and pop the wheel loose.

Posted on: 5/9 20:28
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Re: Dashboard removal
#8
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks Ross and Howard. I think I'll try that soon on my Clipper. My 400 I'm trying to wrap up the couple issues keeping it from driving, so that will need to wait until later.

Posted on: 5/10 9:52
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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Re: Dashboard removal
#9
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Pete '56
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I completely removed my dash from the car to install a factory A/C set up. Howard is spot on, use the A/C installation instructions to remove the dash. There are about 9 screws along the windshield and one bolt each at the kick panels. I removed the top screws first, then loosened the 2 bolts at the kick panels and rotated the dash down pivoting on the bolts at the kick panels. You will have to remove the steering wheel and drop the column. I have a '56 so dropping the column was easy due to the addition of a "coupling" just forward of the fire wall. The '55s will require you to unbolt the steering box from the frame to lower it. Hope this helps.

Posted on: 5/15 17:53
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Re: Dashboard removal
#10
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humanpotatohybrid
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I was able to get the whole dash out today. Worth noting that I don't think you can do the "pivot down" trick on a 55 since the steering column moves down only a couple inches. Also the bolts to pull the steering wheel are 5/16-24 (fine thread) which threw me off—had to go buy some.

Regarding disassembly, be sure to tape the steering column as it says as it's very easy to scratch. Don't care for this car, thankfully. Also, I'm not sure if it forgets this, or I missed it, but be sure to remove the wires from the door switches. It was the one thing I forgot and had to do with the dash halfway pulled.

To-do list: (let me know if you can think of anything else)
- test voltage regulator and gauges
- replace burnt lights
- lube speedometer
- repair vacuum wipers and switch
- repair/service heater valve
- polish electrical connections
- lubricate heater switch
- lube Bowden cables ✅️
- clean mouse house out of heater plenum ✅️
- R&R / lubricate wiper drivetrain ✅️

Attach file:



jpg  20240526_184100.jpg (3,777.35 KB)
225076_6653ef2ee7775.jpg 4032X3024 px

Posted on: 5/26 21:25
1955 400 | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Deluxe | Registry | Project Blog
1955 Clipper Super Panama | Registry
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