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Thread: Some questions regarding removing the dash (BH)

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    New User MrFin's Avatar
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    Some questions regarding removing the dash (BH)

    Hi everybody,

    I have some questions regarding removing and reinstalling the dash. I'd like to swap over the last piece of the LL Bean interior I picked up:





    Note: this is just a swap of dashes between two 3rd gen wagons.

    1. How long should removing and reinstalling the dash take? This is my primary vehicle so I'd like to know how long the dash swap will have it out of commission: an afternoon, a day, a weekend?
    2. Does the wiring harness un-clip from the shell easily? The wrecker cut the harness to get the dash out - also, the black dash is from a 6cylinder while my car is just the 4 cylinder the wiring will have to be swapped over as well.
    3. How long of rivets will I need to put the VIN tag from the brown dash (the shell of the car) onto the black dash? They look like small rivets so its being a challenge to find them small enough.
    4. Are there any other supplies I will need for the swap?
    5. Is there anything else I should be aware of during the dashboard swap?


    I'd like to put the black dash put in the car so it's no longer being stored in the travel trailer and no longer at risk of getting broken.

    Cheers!
    2001 Outback - Current daily driver
    1999 Outback - R.I.P.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I have done a couple of 3rd gen dash swaps.. twice in my own car. The first time took me about 2 1/2 hours start to finish. The last one I did took about 45 minutes. Other than the obvious bolts, there are two at the bottom of the center stack that I didnt immediately think of on my first try... that is largely why it took so long.

    The entire wiring harness unclips/unscrews from the dash fairly easily. You do need to remove the ducting from the dash before you can remove the wiring. It is held on with a couple of screws.

    Since the dash is from an H6 car, that means that there is a sunload sensor on the passenger side of the defrost vents. You can either just leave it there to fill up the hole, or replace that vent piece with your original H4 piece.

    The VIN plate is a little tricky, because it actually attaches to pieces of metal embedded inside the layers of the dash. I ended up drilling them all of the way through, and used 1/2" long rivets to attach it to the back side.

    Otherwise, it looks like you have the matching airbag, so you should be okay. There were at least two different different airbag designs, so mixing and matching dashboard and airbags from different years usually ended up in odd fitments. (this is why I swapped the dash twice in my car)

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    Super Moderator Dead91silvia's Avatar
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    Rob covered it pretty well. I've done a few removals, but havent done an install yet, but it should take at least a couple hours from what I have seen.

    The VIN plate rivets can be interesting. You need to make them look original also. Some states down here it's actually illegal to sawp the VIN tags to even a new dash, at least here in WA. Most people (cops) dont care though.

    Good luck!

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Oh, you do not *need* to remove the seats or the steering wheel from the column.. However, removing either one will make things quite a bit easier.

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    New User MrFin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses gents!

    As long as the dash wiring harness of the original H4 dash will un-clip from the shell, it sounds like this job should be fairly straight forward and not take me a full day (or weekend) I was dreading. Looks like my next step will be removing the remaining H6 wiring and tags from the black dash.

    Thanks again, and cheers!
    2001 Outback - Current daily driver
    1999 Outback - R.I.P.

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