How to Remove the Dash In Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Removing the dash from a Ford car truck is a necessary procedure if you wish to install replacement dash lights on the instrument panel or even place a new radio into the truck. It is a long process and requires quite a few tools, but it is fairly straightforward. When removing the dash, it is important to place all the parts in a clean and safe location so that you do not lose any of the screws or bolts that need to be removed as they will be required Ford car the reassembly of the dash.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove the Dash In a 1994 F150

Turn the F-150's engine off. Open the glove compartment and push the side tabs in. Pull the glove compartment while pushing in the side tabs to remove it from the vehicle.

Remove the four screws from the center dashboard trim panel. There is one screw in each corner. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws. Once the screws are off, remove the dash trim panel.

Remove the two screws holding the radio in place with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the radio out slightly and disconnect the electrical wiring connection at the rear of the radio. Pull it out of the vehicle.

Uninstall the seven bolts behind the dashboard, close to the windshield. They are located at the edge of the dashboard. Once the seven bolts are removed, pull the dashboard out of the truck.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Remove the Dash on a 1995 F150

Pull the hood-release mechanism to the left of the steering wheel. Open the hood.

Remove the battery's negative-terminal cable with a socket wrench.

Open the truck's glove box and remove all of its contents. Press in on the tabs on each side of the glove box in order to release it. Remove it from the dashboard.

Lower the truck's steering wheel as far as it can go. There is a steering wheel adjustment lever at the back of the steering wheel.

Remove the six nuts and six bolts along the edge of the dashboard, near the windshield. Once the nuts and bolts are removed, you can snap off the dashboard.

Pull on the dashboard to remove it from the vehicle. Assembly of the dashboard is the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

 How to Remove the Dash of a 2003 Ford Explorer

Turn the Explorer's engine off and open the hood. Remove the negative battery terminal with the socket wrench.

Remove the cup holders and the center storage shelves with a slotted screwdriver.

Remove the two bolts under the center dashboard trim and the two bolts under the cup holders. Remove the four screws securing the center dash trim panel and pull it off.

Remove the four screws behind the steering wheel to remove the steering wheel cover and air bag. Remove the single bolt holding the steering wheel to the steering column and remove the steering wheel. Remove the four bolts holding the steering column in place and remove it.

Use a slotted screwdriver to pop out the headlamp switch panel, the emergency brake lever panel, and the hood latch panel.

Remove the glove compartment by pressing in on its walls and pulling it off the dashboard.

Use a slotted screwdriver to pop out all the air vents.

Remove the two bolts above each kick panel. Pull the kick panels out of the vehicle. Remove the two screws revealed by removing the kick panels. Remove the two metal plates underneath the kick panels. On the driver's side of the vehicle, disconnect all five of the electrical wiring harnesses by pulling them apart.

Remove the five bolts securing the dashboard to the vehicle. These bolts are located along the edge of the dashboard, near the windshield.

Pull the dashboard off the Explorer and remove it from the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Remove the Dash From a Ford F-150

Disconnect the truck's negative battery cable by peeling back the insulator if one is equipped and loosening the clamp nut for the black cable with a wrench. Set this cable aside so it won't accidentally come into contact with the battery post during the dash removal.

Remove the driver's-side knee bolster by removing the two screws located at the bottom (they should require a Phillips-head screwdriver) and prying around the top of the panel with a trim stick, flat screwdriver or other dull, flat-bladed tool to release the panel from its clips.

Unscrew the screws for the instrument cluster bezel, which surrounds the cluster and steering column; these screws are at the two lower corners. Use the trim stick to release the bezel's clips at the top end, pry it off and disconnect any electrical connectors attached to it. You may need to remove the steering wheel in order to remove this bezel.

Work the trim stick or other flat tool around the entire edge of the instrument panel center bezel--which surrounds the stereo and heater/air conditioner controls--to release it from its clips. This one panel has no screws to remove.

Remove the screws for the upper finish panel, which aren't accessible until you remove the instrument panel bezel, and remove the panel from the dash.

Open up the glove compartment door. Press the two sides of the compartment inward until until its bumpers clear the stops. Remove the fasteners at the bottom of the box to remove the glove compartment.

Remove the pushpin fasteners that secure the center brace cover at the bottom of the panel and remove the panel.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Trim stick or other flat tool

 How to Remove the Dash From a 1996 Ford Ranger

Turn the Ranger's engine off and open the hood. Use a socket wrench to remove the ground-terminal of the Ranger's battery.

Remove the four Torx screws along the upper dash panel above the instrument cluster with a Torx screwdriver.

Pop out the two plastic dash panels on each side of the steering wheel with a slotted screwdriver. Remove the two screws revealed by removing the panels with a Torx screwdriver.

Lower the steering wheel as low as it can go. Remove the single bolt to the left of the steering wheel. Remove the driver's-side kick panel by removing the two Torx screws holding it in place.

Remove the black plastic trim on the right side of the vehicle to reveal more Torx screws. Remove the four screws.

Open the glove compartment and empty it. Push in the two tabs on the side and pull the glove compartment off the dash to reveal two screws. Remove the two screws.

Remove the eight Torx screws along the edge of the dashboard near the windshield.

Remove the two retaining bolts on each side of the dashboard. Slightly pull out the dashboard. At this point, disconnect any electrical connections that have been revealed by pulling on the dashboard. Once all the connections have been pulled out, pull the dashboard out of the Ford Ranger.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Torx screwdriver

  • Slotted screwdriver

 How to Remove the Dash on a Ford Focus

Disconnect the negative battery cable and allow the vehicle to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. You will be removing the passenger's side airbag, and the airbag system must be disarmed.

Open the glove box door and squeeze the outer panels to release and remove the door. Remove the two airbag clips made visible when the door is removed.

Use the flat-head screwdriver to carefully pry out one corner of the passenger airbag trim cover. Lift the airbag out of the dash and disconnect the clips and electrical modules. Place the airbag in a safe location; keep the front of the airbag facing away from you.

Remove the bolts connecting the dashboard to the vehicle; they will become visible when the airbag is removed.

Remove the lower part of the steering wheel panel and remove the trim panel to its left, near the lighting controls. Remove the bolt made visible when the trim panel is removed, then remove the trim panel on the driver's side of the dash next to the door.

Remove the three bolts on the driver's side of the dash. Remove the upper part of the steering column to access the instrument panel screws. Remove the instrument panel and unplug the electrical modules from the rear. Keep the instrument panel in a safe place.

Remove the trim panel that connects the floor center console to the dash. There are two screws on each side of the panel.

Remove the center dash air vents located directly above the radio. Unscrew the bolts made visible behind the center vents. These bolts connect the radio surround panel, which can be pulled off when they are removed.

Use the ford radio hook tool to release the radio clips. Remove the bolts connecting the radio in the dash and remove the radio; disconnect the antenna cable and connection module from the rear.

Remove the bolts from the top of the dash, from end-to-end. Have a friend help you lift the dash from the vehicle; start with the driver's side to maneuver over the steering wheel.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Socket wrench

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Ford radio hook tool

  • Helper

 How to Remove the Dash from a Ford Fusion

Open the hood of your Ford Fusion. Remove the bolt clamp from your negative battery terminal using an adjustable wrench. Lift the negative cable away from the terminal.

Enter the passenger seat of the vehicle. Open the glove compartment, and remove the two screws which hold it in place using a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the glove compartment from the dash.

Unscrew the rest of the screws from the lower dash section. Pull the face plate from the front of the dash to gain access to the radio and its bracket. Remove the screws that hold the radio in place. Disconnect the electrical wiring from the radio. Lift the radio and its bracket from the vehicle.

Pull the rubber bezel from around the instrument panel. Remove the screws fixed to the panel, and slide it from the dash. Reach around the rear of the panel, and unhook the electrical connector. Remove the dash from the vehicle.

Locate and remove the rest of the screws found on the upper dash assembly. Carefully lift each panel from the vehicle one at a time until you have completely removed the entire dash.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Remove the Dash From a 1997 Ford Pickup

Turn the truck's engine off and open the hood to disconnect the battery. Use a socket wrench to remove the negative terminal of the battery.

Pull the headlamp switch to release the clip securing the dash bezel. Pry the trim panel on each side of the steering wheel to remove two securing bolts. Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts. Pry the bezel off the truck by pulling it off with your fingers. Unplug the electrical wiring harness before you completely remove the bezel.

Insert a slotted screwdriver into the four holes on both sides of the radio in order to release the clips holding the radio to the vehicle. Once the four clips have been released, the radio will be able to be pulled right out.

Open the glove compartment and press on the tabs on the inside of the compartment to lower it and reveal two retaining bolts. Remove the two gold bolts and remove the glove compartment.

Remove the six bolts on the upper dashboard trim by the windshield. Pull the upper dashboard trim out of the vehicle. Remove the two bolts from both the driver's side and passenger's side kick panels and pull them out of the truck.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Flathead screwdriver

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.