How to Remove the Dash Board on a Dakota

by Chris Moore

There are numerous reasons that you might want to remove the dash in your Dodge Dakota. These can include accessing a part, such as the heater core, or replacing a cracked and damaged dash. The dash in a Dakota has a number of different trim bezels connected to it. Those bezels and the fasteners will always vary, depending on the model year of your Dakota. Removing the Dakota's dash can be a bit tricky, but it's still a doable DIY project.

Trim Bezels

Step 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable and wait two minutes to deplete the power to the air bags.

Step 2

Apply the parking brake. Move the gear shift lever (if the truck has an automatic) to clear space for removing the instrument panel.

Step 3

Detach the underside screws for the bezel above the instrument cluster. Pry around the bezel's edge with a trim stick. Pull the bezel off the panel and disconnect the electrical connectors behind it.

Step 4

Remove the screws at the bottom edge of the driver's knee bolster. Pry off the bolster's top edge with your flat tool. Disconnect the clip on the parking brake handle.

Step 5

Open the glove box door and remove all screws within the compartment. Squeeze the compartment's sides, pull the door down to clear the bumpers and pull it away to disengage the clips.

Step 6

Remove all the screws at the bottom of the steering column cover with a small screwdriver. Separate the top and bottom halves of the cover and detach them from the column.

Remove any screws on the center trim bezel -- they can be at the top, bottom or side -- and pull the bezel away from the dash panel. Disconnect the electrical connectors.


Step 1

Pry up the front ends of the door's sill plates with a trim stick. Remove the end caps on the dash. Unscrew and remove the cowl trim kick panels.

Step 2

Lower the steering column using either the tilt lever or the screws/bolts at the bottom of the column.

Step 3

Disconnect all accessible electrical connectors, especially ones near the driver's side and those for the passenger's air bag. Some of these may have screws that you will need to remove.

Step 4

Pry out the defroster grilles and any trim panels along the inner windshield.

Remove all mounting screws and pivot bolts from the dash using a screwdriver and/or wrench and pivot the dash toward you. Disconnect the electrical connectors while holding the dash in its pivoted position.

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