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Old 10-27-2021, 11:58 AM   #1
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Dash Removal

I've searched the forum, but got 6500 results and none of them seemed to be talking about this subject.

I'm cosmetically renovating a 2000 Winnebago Chieftain. It sits on a Ford chassis, if that makes a difference. The current task is to recover the dash in marine vinyl.

How does it come off?

I'm not talking about the console. I've got that off, but I'm not trying to replace electronics or instruments. I need the whole 8ft dash to come out, so that I can take it out and power wash away the "foam turned to sand". I've got the passenger side to lift up so far. The driver side seems to lift up, but it's like half the motor home is tied to it.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:32 PM   #2
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I think the odds of finding someone who has disassembled that dash and has posted on here, would be one in a million.

Without seeing it, it's like anything else, you just have to keep disassembling stuff until you get to the last bolts. Often the first time you do it, you have to take apart more than is needed, but that's just the nature of these projects. Unfortunately, once done, you'll be the expert on something you'll never need again.

Just a thought.....if it's as bad as you say, why not cut up the material and foam to gain access, leaving the structure intact. It might give you some access to other bolts/screws.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:47 PM   #3
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I gave up

I have a 2000 Hurricane on the F53 chassis. I removed every screw I could find on the full-width dash upper panel, loosened the instrument cluster, and so on. It became painfully obvious that I was heading for a complete cockpit tear down if I continued, so I cleaned up some of the loose panel and proceeded with only half of the original plan (find and fix loose, noisy dash sections).

I had the good sense to take a few pictures during the tear-down. I might have been able to do a more compete dash removal had more photos given me enough confidence to reassemble, but I had reached a point where the outcome was no longer worth the effort.

Moral: go as far as you want, but make your own reassembly instructions with a camera. Class A MHs are all basically custom jobs, and there are a gazillion ways to install the cockpit equipment and trim.
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:42 PM   #4
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I'm quickly reaching the same point. Only difference being that I tape screw to the part they go in so I know where they go on reassembly.

I'm now thinking that with the console off, I may be able to cover the exposed dash and tuck material under and around pieces to hide the sides after applying glue.

I got frustrated enough that I moved to the back of the rig to tear out all the old carpet instead of messing with it.
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Old 10-30-2021, 09:44 AM   #5
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I have removed dashes before. It's a matter of removing screws, jiggling to find the one you can't see, removing it.

There is no magic. And one person's experience won't help you because they are all different. Just hunker down and get busy.

More important is to document all the wires and where they connect / go with photos.

RVs aren't like cars that it's one big piece. There are lots of pieces screwed together.
But the good news it can be a one person job. Cars typically want two people to lift the dash assy out.
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Old 10-31-2021, 06:40 PM   #6
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Oh, It likely would be a whole lot easier just to remove the bad foam when in place and recover in place. No need to power wash. Just use a single edge razor and scrape it off and use a shop vac to clean up. Followed with Prepsol to degrease. Then, use proper contact adhesive to apply your chosen top material. Marine Vinyl generally is fine with standard contact adhesive. Test before you try. Putting new material on is much more of a challenge to make it look good then removing the old.

Post a pic for more accurate recommendations.
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Old 11-01-2021, 05:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echristley View Post
The driver side seems to lift up, but it's like half the motor home is tied to it.

Half the motor home is attached to it, the left side that's hanging you up is the control center of the vehicle. Dash removal is one of the most tedious repair jobs. LOTS of wiring, HVAC, sometimes the steering column is attached. The only way to get it out will be to remove the seats so you have room to work, get a good light, get under it and start disconnecting. They're heavy and awkward when loose, get someone to help you remove it.
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Old 11-01-2021, 06:42 PM   #8
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The top pieces will come off without removing the seats, HVAC, etc.

Posted a couple pictures in this thread.

Front half (of mine - a Winnebago, but an Adventurer) had some studs with nuts accessed from in the hood. Bolted down near the defroster ducts. There were similar bolts at the rear edge of the front piece that were BARELY accessible from the various openings in the dash.
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Old 11-22-2021, 02:46 PM   #9
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Now that I've removed, recovered and replaced the dash, I thought it appropriate to give an update on my experience.

tederonne's advice was spot on.

First, remove as much of the console as you can and move it out of the way. I removed everything except the engine instrument cluster. There are some large molex connectors that can be disconnected, and the backup camera comes out.

There were four 1/2" nuts that had to be accessed from inside the engine compartment, right up against the windshield. One in front of each of the defrost vents. Use a long extension to get a socket up there.

There were five 1/2" bolts spaced equally across the dash, bolting the front/lower half to the rear/higher half. Three were easily reachable with the console removed. The one near the passenger window wasn't too bad either. Without the passenger seat removed, I could have got at it with a couple of long extensions on the socket. The one between the center and passenger side bolt required lifting and entire assembly to get a ratchet on it.

Before you can lift it to get at that last bolt, you have to remove four "legs" that have self tapping screws into the center box (heater plenum?) and side walls. The lower aluminum channel holding the stabilizing jack controls, vents and cigarette lighter sockets is held by small screw going down into it from above about every eight inches, and one screw going up at each leg.

With that, it will come out, slipping the engine instrument cluster through the console's hole. It doesn't come out easy. It's a tight fit, and the glue used on the original covering has a hold. But, removing it is worth the effort. It appears condensation will trickle down the windscreen, and rot out the metal support structure in front of the dash.

Using cardboard to protect the glass, I sprayed that area with rust conversion, primer, and then paint. Then I spread a layer of Sitka sealant. If your dash hasn't been off in 20yrs, I would suggest pulling it to inspect this area.
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Old 11-22-2021, 03:37 PM   #10
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OMG.


And I thought replacing the heater core on a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee was a big job.
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