How to Remove the Dash Panel on a Ford Taurus

by Chris Moore
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steering wheel and dash of british sports car image by Bo Widerberg from

Removing the dash panel on the Ford Taurus is a long and complicated process, necessary if you need to change certain components within the engine such as the heater core. The dash panel contains the stereo, heater/air conditioner controls, steering column, instrument cluster, air bags and switches like the headlight switch. The procedure for removing the dash panel can vary depending on the year of the Taurus.

Panels and Switches

Step 1

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable and wait at least two minutes for the airbags to disable.

Step 2

Detach the center console assembly by opening the storage bin, removing the bolts at the bottom, prying off the trim panel around the shifter with a flat-bladed tool and removing the bolts near the center on each lower side.

Step 3

Remove the heating/air conditioner control assembly using bent heavy wires or special hooked tools in the holes at the face plate and disconnect the electrical connectors, vacuum harness and control cable. Unscrew and unclip the assembly finish panel.

Step 4

Disconnect the headlight switch, then pry out its finish panel and the trunk release button's finish panel. Unplug the electrical connectors for the switch and button.

Step 5

Remove the instrument cluster by unscrewing and removing the upper steering column cover, tilting the steering wheel down, removing the trim panel, removing the cluster's screws and disconnecting all electrical connectors.

Step 6

Pry down on the push-in fasteners on the panel beneath the dash panel on the passenger's side to remove it.

Step 7

Remove the glove box by removing the screws below it, opening it and squeezing the sides until it pops out.

Step 8

Detach the brake release handle by removing the metal clip from behind the dash, disconnecting the cable end from the release arm, sliding the cable housing out of the bracket and pulling on the handle to slide it out.

Steering Column

Step 1

Unscrew and unclip the trim panel beneath the steering column and disconnect all electrical connectors in the column's assembly.

Step 2

Insert the ignition key and turn it to the Lock position, then remove the steering wheel by unbolting and removing the air bag, removing the wheel's retaining bolt, marking the wheel's relationship to the steering shaft and separating the wheel from the shaft with a puller.

Step 3

Mark the relationship between the steering column's U-joint to the intermediate shaft, then remove the joint's pinch bolt and the four nuts securing the steering column. Lower the column and slide it off the shaft.

Step 4

Pry off the cable at the steering column's base and release the cable's housing from its bracket on the column.

Removing the Panel

Step 1

Unscrew and disconnect the diagnostic connector from the lower frame of the dash panel.

Step 2

Remove the screws for the dash panel frame located at the sides of the glove box opening and the top of the panel.

Step 3

Pry and remove the finish panel at the windshield's base and the panel's left and right sides--open the doors to reach the sides--then remove the screws at each end.

Step 4

Lift the dash panel up and out of the car.

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