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  #1  
Old 07-30-2004, 09:21 PM
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Angry Help!! 300E A/C vent removal

I've searched the archives referring to instrument cluster removal, my odo is ticking but not moving.

I've tried removing the speaker, but there is all this padding in the way. Tried to get the knee panel off, but it is hung up on something. Have considered the hook method, but don't like it (scratches) and can't tell if it goes in around the inner or outer portion of the cluster.

With frustration mounting, but trying to be ever so careful on this more complex machine, I've managed to get the A/C vent out halfway but it is stuck on the left side.

I have the screw out on the right, the allen screw loose from the flap, there aren't any tabs anywhere in sight (must have been out before) but it wont come out.
Are there screws on the left side? Is the plastic shaped like a hook on the left. Something is going to break, I'm sure of it if I continue on this path. Please help me avoid this!!

thank you!!!
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2004, 03:29 PM
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Wow, you sure are making this a hard job!

Your best bet is to remove the panel below the dash. It will come out. Make sure you have all the screws out. Then reach up and push the cluster out far enough to disconnect the speedo cable.

Did you actually take the left speaker out? You should be able to reach behind that way, too.

And, there's always the hooks. They work fine if they're strong enough but if the cluster has not been out before it can be tight.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2004, 05:30 PM
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Ya, I can make most jobs difficult.

The panel is hung up around the light switch, ignition and the curved trim that is on top of the steering column. I should have all the screws out unless there is something I can't see.

The speaker hole had all this padding in the way. It was glued in so I'm not going to mess with it.

My best bet seems to be the AC vent. Do you know why it might be hung up on the left side?

I really don't want to break anything. It's going to the mechanic on monday to get a ball joint replaced, so if anything I'll ask him.

Thanks
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76 300D W115
2013 VW JSW TDI M6

previously-
73 280 SEL 4.5
86 300E 5 speed
2010 VW Jetta TDI M6
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2004, 09:34 PM
LarryBible
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REGARDLESS of your method to get the instrument cluster out you must disconnect the speedometer cable at the transmission.

Believe me. The ONLY way to pull the instrument cluster is with the hooks. You won't scratch anything and you will have it pulled loose in 30 seconds. Not counting the time to disconnect the speedo cable from the trans of course.

The hooks are cheap for the trouble that they save you.

Good luck,
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2004, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by joshhol

The panel is hung up around the light switch, ignition and the curved trim that is on top of the steering column. I should have all the screws out unless there is something I can't see.
Did you remove the big nut on the light switch?
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2004, 08:34 AM
LarryBible
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Why are we talking about taking out the light switch? I thought he is trying to get out the instrument cluster, not the instrument panel.

Just get the hooks and hook it out.

Good luck,
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2004, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryBible
Why are we talking about taking out the light switch? I thought he is trying to get out the instrument cluster, not the instrument panel.
I know, I know. I was just mentioning the light switch nut before he tears up the trim trying to pull it off.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2004, 12:13 PM
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You must remove the two screws holding the speaker cover down under the trim strip to get it out.

You can make hoods from some heavy (1/8" or so) wire by bending up a handle and bending a 90 degree hook, then grinding the hook off to about 1/8" long (smooth the edges so it won't scratch).

Pull on the angled portion at the sides, there are some ridges there for the hook to fit into.

Why do you have to remove the cable from the tranny? Just curious, as it's clamped to the tunned under the console.

Peter
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2004, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Did you remove the big nut on the light switch?
This is going to sound stupid. So, I just pull the light switch nob out until it pops off and reveals the nut? I removed all screws I can see, but wasn't sure about the light switch and didn't want to find out the hard way.

I've taken a cylinder head off an M117, but don't know how to remove the light switch.

I guess that would be irrelevant if I use the hooks. I greatly appreciate all the help. I'm going to take the car in tomorrow to have my mechanic install a ball joint, so hopefully he'll be able to point and show me the way.

So the instrument panel and cluster are two different things?

Also, psfred, I got the speaker out, there's a bunch of padding glued in the hole that's in the way.

What I still can't understand is why the A/C vent wont come out.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2004, 07:21 PM
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If you don't have hooks...


You can push the cluster out if you have the lower panel removed. Hooks are only about $10 for a set from the dealership. I can take the speedocable loose at the back of the cluster- but larry is right : it is easier from below.

Of course, that is because larry has his own lift!!

You can make a set of hooks from a nice piece of small drill rod. and a few small pieces of wooden dowel.


Michael
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2004, 07:24 PM
LarryBible
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I expect that 1/8" stiff rod would work to make the hooks, but the MB hooks are MUCH thinner than that. They are very inexpensive and because they are so thin, they won't make marks on the dash pad when hooking out the cluster.

My speedo cable is not connected to the console and there is no provision for that. In the book they say to unclip the cable, but mine comes up just behind the gas pedal.

If you remove the speedo cable at the trans, it will allow the cluster to come out far enough to disconnect the cable at the cluster.

Yes, the instrument cluster is the unit in front of the steering wheel that is covered by a plastic lens the instrument panel is the cover over the top of the entire dash.

Good luck,
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2004, 09:43 PM
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Larry:

If that's not the speedo cable clamped to the bottom of the brace for the dash, what is that armored tube?

I didn't have any trouble, but I may get the hooks anyway, the wire is kinda big. No marks, though.

Vent is held in by a screw on the right side visible when you open the glove box door, and by a spring clip top and bottom on the left side AND a screw hooking the closing knob to the flap inside. Unscrew with a 4mm allen through the front of the vent, remove the screw on the right, then use a small Torx or similar to fit into the hole in the spring clip, visible about half an inch from the side behind the vanes in the vent. Pull the top one down about 1/4" while pulling on the vent and it should stay out, then lift the bottom one up the same way and the vent should come out easily.

If you don't take the vent screw out, the vent won't come out. Going back in, line the vent flap fitting (white plastic) up with the screw and screw the screw in until the vent will close completely with a slight preload.

Peter
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2004, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by joshhol
I guess that would be irrelevant if I use the hooks. I greatly appreciate all the help. I'm going to take the car in tomorrow to have my mechanic install a ball joint, so hopefully he'll be able to point and show me the way.
Just have your mechanic slip the cluster out an inch or so. You can drive it home that way and then remove it.

BTW, I know the manual says disconnect the speedo cable at the trans. But I have never done that and always had room to slip my hand behind the cluster and unscrew the cable.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2004, 05:09 PM
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The hook works, my mechanic demonstrated.

There is a screw on the left side of the A/C vent. Don't know if I'll put that back in.

Will go buy a hook. Thanks!
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2013 VW JSW TDI M6

previously-
73 280 SEL 4.5
86 300E 5 speed
2010 VW Jetta TDI M6
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2004, 05:33 PM
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I should have this stashed away for a C&P, but I'm too lazy . . .

On the W201, similar to the W124, the cluster can easily be pushed out without hooks, with the speedo cable unscrewed from the cluster (not the trans), IF you remove the plastic air vent ducting that runs from the center console to the driver's side vent. Remove the underdash panel and knee bolster. The black plastic ducting is snap fit plastic and does not require any tools to remove, it just pulls off the ends of the vents on either side. With the plastic ducting removed, even the Incredible Hulk can get his mitts on the knurled brass speedo cable fastener on the back of the cluster and undo it. Then it's just a push from the underside/back and the cluster can then be grasped from the steering wheel side. The only tools you need are a screwdriver to remove the underdash panel, a flashlight and oossibly a wire cutter to clip one ground wire, which is repaired when re-installing.
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