Chevy Suburban Dash Removalby Wesley Tucker
Removing the dashboard from a Chevrolet Suburban SUV is necessary to do a number of things: install a radio, work on the air conditioner or replace a gauge or other control mechanism. Although such a job might seem daunting, it's not necessarily difficult, just a step-by-step procedure. Just remember, however, before doing any work on the dashboard, to disconnect the car's battery to eliminate any electrical current through any part of the car. This will avoid any problems later with exposed wires and circuits.
Removing the Suburban's dashboard only takes a Phillips-head screwdriver and some needle-nose pliers. A flat-head screwdriver should also be kept nearby. No need for a hammer, saw, drill or any kind of cutting tool. Remember: if a part won't move, don't force it. Examine where it's connected and double-check to make sure any connection is disassembled. Also, have containers to hold all loose screws or clips. Put them in the container immediately after removal. Looking for a lost fastener later can lead to hours of lost time.
Under the Dashboard
Start under the dash on the driver's side and look for all attaching screws and clips. Be sure, though, that the screws or clips are securing the dashboard fascia and not another component. Remove the dashboard first, then work on what is attached to the dashboard. Also, work around the side of the dashboard next to the door. Look for all screws and clips and remove. Under the driver's side is the fuse box cover. Remove the cover and remove the screws. Work across the Suburban's dashboard, removing all fasteners. Open the glove box. Fasteners securing the glove box also support the dashboard. Work to the passenger door. Remove any loose trim pieces freed by removal of the fasteners and set them aside in a safe place. Don't just place them on the floor where they can be damaged or lost.
Remove all the control knobs, dials and switches interfering with the dash's freely coming forward. Some controls have very small screws underneath. Remove where necessary. Again, though, remove only the controls needed to free the dash. Items such as the accessory stick on the steering column or knobs on the radio, if the radio is not attached to the dash, do not need to be removed.
The top of the dashboard directly under the windshield is the cowl. Look for any recessed screws holding the dashboard to the cowl and remove.
Removing the Dashboard
Once all the fasteners are removed, do not lift the dashboard. Bring it straight out slowly and check behind it for any attached wires or other items. Remove each attachment one at a time. Don't try to bring the dash forward and "yank" anything loose. Remember: if it won't move, check again in the area where it is snagged and look for additional fasteners. Once the dash is completely free, bring the assembly forward and then lift it over the steering wheel. The Chevy Suburban dashboard is now removed.
Wesley Tucker is a lifelong southerner whose politics are objective, whose sports are many and whose avocations range from aviation to anthropology to history and all forms of media. With a master's degree in mass communications from the University of South Carolina College of Journalism, Tucker has been a writer for more than 30 years, with work ranging from news reports to feature stories.