65-66 Chrysler Dash Pad Removal


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Feb 9, 2023
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Bel Air, MD
Has anyone been able to remove the dash pad from a 65-66 Chrysler without removing the instrument panel? It seems like the dash trim has to come off in order to remove the dash pad.
This is from the 1966 Service Manual, which you can download for free at mymopar.com.

It has been 20 years, so I don't remember the details, but I definitely pulled a pad without removing either the windshield or the metal dash frame. I suspect the instrument cluster, radio etc all have to come out.
65 chrysler dash pad.jpg
Yes, your suspicions are correct. I did wind up removing the Instrument cluster, radio, ash tray, clock, glove box and center AC outlet and flexible duct. After removing those pieces, I had clear access to the 6 speed nuts used to fasten down the front part of the dash pad just below the windshield. The other trick is trying to remove the instrument panel chrome trim that holds the other side of the pad in place to the instrument panel. There doesn't appear to be a way to get access to the screws on the ends of the LH and RH end chrome trim pieces that would allow you to remove them without pulling the whole dash assembly. Would be curious if you remembered how you were able to free up that part of the dash pad to remove it. I'm thinking maybe the chrome trim doesn't have to be completely removed but just loosened up just enough to free up that part of the dash pad?
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After removing the 6 speed nuts from the front retainer studs, I was able to loosen the front of the dash pad somewhat. But it feels like there was some sort of adhesive that was used to hold the dash pad to the instrument panel assembly? Either that or the Summer heat and time have helped to bond the pad and instrument panel together?
Finding and getting access to the Philips head screws that hold the chrome trim to the instrument panel is a tough job and one that almost has to be done by feel as it is difficult to see the back side of the trim and then when you do locate the screw, care must be taken not to strip out the head of the screw. I used a mini ratchet tool with a 3" Philips head for this. Also I found these pictures of the back side of a dash that was helpful for location of the chrome trim mounting screws.
As a follow up to my original post, I was able to remove my old cracked dash pad without removing the whole instrument panel frame. I removed all the dash components that I described earlier and was able to loosen the dash trim enough to allow removal. The bad part was that sections of the underside of the dash pad had fused onto the metal dash frame almost like it had been glued, and so I wound up having to destroy the old cracked dash pad to get it off. I was able to find a nice replacement dash pad with no cracks and put it back onto the dash with no issues. I wasn't able to find a way to get to the screws that hold the end trim pieces in place, but by removing all the other screws on the dash trim, you can loosen up the trim enough to release the front of the dash pad. A word of caution though, I would put some painters tape down on the painted part of the dash in front of the dash trim to avoid scratching that part of the dash once you loosen up the dash trim and begin to move it around to free up the the front of the dash pad that the trim holds into place.