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Old 02-10-2002, 01:42 PM
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MikeTangas MikeTangas is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Center console

Here ya go Matt, as quick as I could make it .

Starting at the back of the console with the rear fresh air vent. Pop off the slider knob, then pry out the vent. Under the vent will be two phillips head screws, you might have to pull them, but what you are looking for is the cable housing clamp which should be to the lower left of the slider mechanism. Pop off the clamp, then work the cable end off the post. I can't recall ever seeing this step listed when people talk about the center console. The cable can be separated forward of the shifter, but it's a pain to get the console out of the way without disconnecting.

With the parking brake set, place the shift lever in "N" or lower. Next pull the ashtray out and remove the recepticle. Under there you will find two more screws, remove them and the entire ashtray assembly will come out, be sure to disconnect the electrical connections for the lighter and light. Now the coin tray will slip forward and you can lift up to disconnect the seat heater switches. With that out of the way try sliding the console wood forward about 10-15mm to disengage the slip locks. Once the tines are free the back edge of the wood will lift enough to disconnect all the switches (windows, mirror, fader). Now the wood should come up and off. The carpeted recess is next, pull the carpet up and you will find a deep screw hole, one phillips holds the back of the console down.

Now the book says you only have to remove the stereo face plate, but I find it easier (read more room to work) to slide the entire unit from the dash. Once the stereo plate or unit is out, carefully remove the ACC unit. You can try lifting the lower edge out a few mm's and pulling down, or carefully, very carefully pry it down from the top. Once the two dogs are free at the top, the unit will lean out toward you. Disconnect the 5 or 6 switches, be extra careful as the back lighting to the switches is via optic fiber. The ends of the fiber cables (blue) have brass ferrules and fit snugly into the switches, the ferrules also have a rim which is trapped between the switch and the plug, holding everything in place. Once the switches are removed you can disconnect the two multipin connector to the ACC, there is one on each side of the unit. I found these to be a very tight fit which required gentle persuasion via a small flat tip driver.

Now with all that removed, you will find two screws securing the top of the console to the dash and two screws still securing the console to the shift gate (I saved these till the end to help hold everything in place). Once these four screws are out you should be able to lift the console from the rear and dislodge it from the dash.

Piece of cake.

Underneath you will find the plenum for the fresh air vent, it is sort of "Y" shaped to go around the shifter It is a PITA to reconnect, but not undoable. Might as well replace the bulb for the shifter backlighting while you are in it this far. At leading edge of the shifter you'll find the socket, should be on the same side the side the letters are on, the bulb slips into the socket, might even be a string attached for retrieval, you'll find it. Just replace it because sure as shooting, you'll get it all back together and the bulb will burn out.

Reassembly is basically the reverse of above. I found that it was much easier, when installing the ACC unit, to fish all the plug ends and optic fibers through the openings, then attach the switches once the panel was in place. This gave much more room to work the panel in place and gave a stable location for the connections.

Hope this helps.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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