How to Remove the Dash From Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer

You can remove the dashboard from your Toyota car right from home using a few automotive tools. Just take care when removing the dash from the vehicle so you don't rip any carpeting or upholstery. If your dash is a dark color, it may become cracked or faded over time or due to sun damage, requiring replacement. Or perhaps you need to access the electronics behind the dash. Whatever the reason, this time-consuming task is nevertheless doable by the home mechanic.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Dash From a Toyota 4Runner

Trim Panels

Disconnect the truck's negative battery cable.

Unscrew the two screws for the knee bolster with your screwdriver. These are located at the bottom edge of the panel. Disconnect the hood latch and fuel cables and pull out the knee bolster.

Lower the steering column and then unscrew and remove the column covers. The screws are located at the bottom of the cover. Separate the two halves after removing the screws.

Pry the instrument cluster bezel off its clips with a trim stick; make sure you don't damage the surrounding trim. Disconnect the electrical connectors.

Remove the fasteners for the center trim panel and pry them off the clips with your stick. On some models, you may need to remove the heater and air conditioner panel first.

Pull out the scuff plates along the bottom edges of the doors, then remove the fasteners for the kick panels and pull them off their clips.

Open the glove box and remove its stop strut fastener with your screwdriver. Squeeze the box by the sides to remove it. Unscrew and remove the panel surrounding the compartment.

Unscrew and remove the insulating panel.

Pry off the trim panels surrounding the gear shift lever with your trim stick and remove the screws for the center console to remove the console.

Instrument Panel

Unscrew and remove the instrument cluster using your screwdriver, disconnecting the electrical connectors in the rear.

Remove the mounting bolts for the radio with your wrench and remove the radio, disconnecting its antenna lead and electrical connectors.

Disconnect the electrical connector for the passenger's air bag. It is usually in an access panel within the right side of the glove box opening. Unbolt the air bag from the dash.

Unscrew the mounting bolts for the steering column with your wrench and lower the column away from the dash.

Disconnect all remaining electrical connectors fastened to the dash.

Remove all of the instrument panel's fasteners with your wrench or screwdriver. You may need to pry out the vents to access some of the fasteners. Lift and carry the panel out of the truck. This should take two people.

 How to Remove the Dash from a Prius

Push down on the top of the vent to the left of the steering wheel. Press down on the release tabs with the plastic pry bar. Pull back on the vent to separate it from the dash.

Locate the tan colored plastic piece directly under the stereo. Grab each side and pull back. This will release the yellow snaps. The panel will hang by a wire used for the cigarette lighter.

Insert the plastic pry tool into the top or bottom of the vent to the right of the navigation screen. Pull on the vent to separate it from the dash.

Find two screws below the steering wheel. These are used to secure the panel below the steering wheel. Remove these screws with the Phillips head screwdriver. Pull on the panel to release the yellow snaps. This panel hangs in place by various wires.

Pull on the panel above the steering wheel to release the yellow snaps. This panel will hang by a wire for the start button.

Separate the vent to the left of the stereo by pulling back to separate the yellow snaps. The wire for park prevents you from pulling this vent out too far.

Locate the screws on the left and right of the panel below the stereo. Remove these screws with the Phillips head screwdriver. Pull on the panel to release the yellow snaps.

Remove the screws on the left and right side of the touch screen with the 10 mm socket wrench. Pull on the LCD screen to release the yellow snaps.

Items you will need

  • 1-inch plastic pry bar

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • 10 mm socket wrench

 How to Remove the Dash from a Toyota Truck

Remove the ashtray from the dash by pulling down on the retainer and sliding it out.

Pry off the radio's bezel with a slotted screwdriver.

Open both front doors, and remove the bolts on the sides of the dashboard with a socket wrench.

Locate the kick panels on the lower part of the dashboard on both the driver's and passenger's sides. Remove all of the bolts with a socket wrench, and remove the kick panels.

Find the trim on the outside part of the dash, and pry it up with a trim removal tool. Work your way around the perimeter of the dashboard. Remove the trim from the vehicle.

Pull the dashboard toward you, and unplug the wiring harness behind it. Lift up on the dash, and slide it out the passenger door.

Items you will need

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Socket wrench set

  • Trim removal tool

 How to Remove the Dash on an FJ Cruiser

Disconnect the car battery's negative terminal with a 1/2-inch wrench. This will prevent any short circuits.

Remove the two Phillips screws with a No. 0 Phillips screwdriver, located at the bottom of the side trim panel.

Pry gently with the panel removal tool or nylon pry bar to remove the side trim panel. Start by prying the bottom corners then gently pry the top corners of the side trim panel. Only use a panel removal tool or nylon pry bar, since these tools give enough flexibility to pry without cracking or damaging the panel.

Remove the two Phillips screws with a No. 0 Phillips screwdriver from the side metal brackets of radio trim panel to gain access to the radio. The radio trim panel is a section of the dash that contains the hazard light and climate control knobs.

Pry gently with the panel removal tool or nylon pry bar to remove the radio trim panel. When prying, work your way gently around the panel to loosen before you remove.

Remove the four 10 mm bolts with a 10 mm socket wrench. These bolts are securing the radio to the housing bracket.

Unplug the radio connectors and remove.

Items you will need

  • 1/2 inch wrench

  • No. 0 (0.100 mm) Phillips screwdriver

  • Panel removal tool or nylon pry bar

  • 10 mm socket wrench