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Thread: E34 dash removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Washington USA
    My Cars
    1995 530i E34

    E34 dash removal

    Today I decided to swap my dash from the beige to a black one. I took pictures to hopefully help any future people who want to take on this challenge. This should also work on e32’s but some parts might be in slightly different places.

    1/4 Ratchet
    3/8 Ratchet
    Size 10,13 sockets
    T-30 Torx
    Lots of Patience
    Needle Nose Pliers
    Wire cutters/Strippers (Just in case)
    Flathead and Philips Screwdriver
    Glue (If you break of something)
    Cup for screws

    Disconnect the battery before anything. It takes a 13mm.

    1) Remove the window arch trim, all you have to do is pull straight out and it should come right off. Under them will be a screw on each side.

    Place these screws in a cup or a safe place as you will have many more that will join them.

    2) Remove the center vent. There are two screws

    Then just lift and pull

    Next just remove these three screws

    3) Next we will be pulling out the radio/climate control. First you gotta pull of the black trim on the side. Just stick a flat head under and it will come off
    Under that will be 4 Philips screws or 2 on each side that will need to be removed. Make sure you dont like the thread clips under them.
    You will next need to open the glovebox and remove the screw that connects the trim to the center console.
    After this you will be able to pull the radio/climate control but you will need to kinda shimmy it out but it will come out without breaking.
    The climate control is held in at the too by a gold bracket with two screws.

    Take a right angle screw driver or if you are like me and dont have one take a 1/4 in socket and put a philips head bit in it and ratchet it out.
    4) After this you will want to remove the trim on the drivers side so you can get to the screws. If you pull out with equal pressure it should come right off.

    You will be meeted with this and a similar thing on the other side.

    There are three screws two on the left side one on the right. Then under the circle vent that goes to the door vent there is another screw, after that the leather cover under the steering wheel should come off. You will be meeted with a metal panel with 4 10mm bolts that will need to come off.
    5) Next you will remove the 13 mm bolts that actually hold in the dash on the drivers side.

    Right above the hood latch is where they are located.

    There is one black screw with a gold bracket under it and a gold screw that just has the dash bracket both are 13 mm and don’t require much work to get out.

    6) Next on the passenger side there are a few screws that you can see that screw the dash in a line. All are easy to see and none are really hidden. Next in the glove box you will see three screws on the right hand side. Some are kinda hidden but you will see them near the rivets.

    You wanna unscrew the green circled screw, not the red one with the X. The green arrows point to the approximate location of the other two that will remove the trim piece.

    Near the is gonna be the black 13 mm bolt under the bottom green circled screw. This will loosen the dash almost completely.

    In the glove box there will be a few screws keeping the upper trim in the glove box from falling, then above that will be the piece holding the glove box latch catch, this will have 3 gold screws holding it in, you will want to remove this.

    7) Now we will remove anything that will get in the way of the dash.

    First you are gonna want to pull up the dash speaker covers on both sides.
    The speakers are held down with 2 screws each and will be easiest to get out with a right angle screwdriver or the 1/4 socket ratchet mentioned earlier. While doing this you can remove the 1 other screw on each side holding in the speaker vents. When you pull the speakers out they will be connected by two wires. They won’t fit if you put them on the wrong way so don’t worry about marking them.

    Next the light switches and odometer should come out. The fog lights and lights switch are easily taken out by taking a flat head and prying them out.

    This next part is to remove the steering wheel, if you know how to remove it, have an aftermarket wheel, or want a tutorial with pictures you can skip or look online.

    If you still have a stock steering wheel then to remove it you will need to take the cover off from around the steering column, there will be a philips screw on the bottom.

    Then with the battery disconnected disconnect the orange airbag connector and the connector for the horn.

    Afterwards there will be two T-30 torx screws on the back of the steering wheel. Remove these and the airbag will come out. Place it somewhere safe not upside down.

    After this you will need to remove the steering wheel bolt which is a size 19mm or 21mm and then it should come free.

    Make sure you mark the steering wheel so you dont lose your exact spot where you took it off.


    Next you will need to remove the odometer, this is done by undoing the two screws and the top, taking a flat head, then sliding it out. Afterwards you can disconnect the (4) plugs and it will come right out.

    The wiring harness the goes through the dash is held in by clips. My clips didn’t want to come out so I decided to just cut the zip ties and pull the harness out of the way.

    The airbag connector and bowden cable to the center vent can stay in until you pull the dash out. They will be easier once the dash is loose.

    8) Removing the dash.

    The dash if you have removed everything will slide right out with a little bit of pulling on both sides and praying you don’t break anything.

    The vents might fall out while you are taking the dash out but they will fit back into place afterwards.

    Once you’ve pulled the dash out a few inches the passenger airbag can be removed. There are three screws that will hold it in on the underside of it towards the back, you might have to move vents out of the way. After they are removed the airbag will pop out. Just make sure you disconnect the airbag connector before you take it out.

    Now remove the bowden cable from the center vent. You position the slider to about halfway and you can slide it off.

    Now you can take the dash out all the way and pull it out of the car.

    You will be greeted with a dashless car.

    Putting it back in is the exact opposite of what you just read. Make sure you transfer all the pieces back and not lose any wires when you put the dash back in. A lot of stuff or techniques is kinda a figure out on your own and see what works, but if anyone has any questions about this I will be happy to answer. This was my final result.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    My Cars
    11/88 E32 750iL+98 E36M3
    dashboard removal E32 is here, should be same/similar to E34

    will later move a copy of this thread to the DIY section.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Horsham, PA
    My Cars
    e34 540ia/e32 740il
    Nice writeup!

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