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Old 03-17-2004, 09:05 PM
WCF WCF is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbus, GA
Posts: 6
Post Console removal & service, 74 SL


In that some electrical components must be worked with or removed, it is advisable to disconnect the battery for safety reasons.

Many plastic parts become brittle and are subject to breakage when cold. Select a suitably warm day to do the removal.

The seats should be removed for easier access to the console, especially the two screws at the trailing edge of it.


1. Remove the driver and passenger DASH KNEE TRIM PANELS. There are 2 to 4 hex head screws on the upper edge and 2 screws (or upholstery push pin clips) near the lower edges.
Remove these mounting screws and drop the panels. Lift out the courtesy light from the panel and unplug it from itís wiring harness. Pull the wire harness out from the back side of the trim panels.

2. Remove the ASH TRAY HOPPER from itís mount. Remove the two screws that secures the ASH TRAY MOUNT to the console. Lift out this mount by pulling toward you on the right side. Unplug the cigarette lighter electrical connector on the left of this mount. Replace the mount screws for safe keeping. Take note on reassembly, This mount fits OVER the lower edge of the
control panel face plate as if to hold it in place. If it is behind the face plate, you will never be able to reinstall the face plate screws. It is best to follow the reassembly sequence as outlined here.

3. Remove the SHIFT PLATE COVER. There are two screws on the front edge of this cover in the ash tray chamber that holds it secure. Remove the two screws and lift the cover up and back
enough to unplug the window switches and warning light from their respective wiring sockets. Replace the two screws for safe keeping.

4. Remove the SHIFT LEVER GUIDE. There are three10mm bolts that hold it in place. Remove them and lift the guide up enough to unplug the lamp socket from it (found on the left side). The guide will not be fully freed until the LEVER is removed next.

5. Remove the SHIFT LEVER. Lift up the rubber dust boot at the base of the shift lever shaft and loosen the 15mm shaft locking nut. Then unscrew the shaft from itís mechanism below. Now
the lever and guide can be fully removed as a unit. The mechanism area should be cleaned from debris and oiled before reassembly.

The CONTROL PANEL: This requires the most attention to detail.

6. Remove the 4 SLIDE LEVERS by gently pulling them toward you. They are held in place much as a fountain pin shaft is snapped tight in itís cap. Use your judgement. Try and not break
the plastic leavers or their plastic receptacles. Spray lube may help.

7. Remove the A/C KNOB and FAN SPEED KNOB by pulling them toward you in a similar manner. Unscrew the locking rings guides for these two knobs from the console face plate.

8. Remove the SLIDE LEVER GUIDES from the control panel face plate. They are held in place by 4 cleats or tabs that extend outwards from the guide sides found about a half inch from
the top and bottom edge. Try and lift the guide out from the lower end first. If it does not release, place two small blade screwdrivers behind the guide about half an inch from the bottom and press inward to disengage the cleats. Do the same for the upper portion if necessary. An alternate way is to depress both tabs on one side of the (same) guide and rock it out of the mount. Remove the guides from the face plate. Their removal will now expose the two control panel securing screws.

9. Remove the CONTROL PANEL FACE PLATE by removing the two screws at the inside base of the slide openings. This releases the panel. The upper edge of the panel is simply held tight by two cleats to the underside of the radio support bar. Replace the 2 screws for safekeeping.

10. Remove the FAN SPEED SWITCH from the rear of the control panel face plate. It is held in place by two small screws.

11. Remove the upper CONSOLE SECURING SCREWS. Near the upper end of the slide guide opening and below their respective lamp sockets there are two screws that secures the console to the dash frame. Remove them. This console material is plastic and is frequently broken from misuse. It may not be necessary to repair these brackets should they be found broken. (Newly placed screws in the sidewalls of the console near the floor may provide added stability to the console should it be needed. See item 17 below)

12 Remove the various console LAMP SOCKETS. The sockets are simply twisted tight in their mounting brackets. Twist them CCW and they should release. Most lamps are for general illumination of switches but a few lamps are dedicated to specific function as ďFasten Seat BeltsĒ. It is best to label these wires now for accurate re-assembly. The wires have small spade connectors that slip on to the two rear pins of the lamp sockets. These brass pins are very soft and weak. Check these pins to be sure they have not been pulled out of their sockets and short circuited across to the opposite pin! This will be a constant source of blown fuses. Note: There may be a FIBER OPTIC cable spade clipped to the right slide lever lamp socket. It illuminates one of the dash switches above.

13. Remove the RADIO. Mounting may vary. My after market was held tight in place by two flat side tension springs. It was removed by pulling firmly forward on the radio control shafts, freeing the chassis from the console opening. Unplug the antenna and multi function power plug and remove the radio. If necessary, the CLOCK can easily be removed at this time by sliding it toward you. It is held in place by the friction of a rubber sleeve or collar in the dash. The application of a little silicon lube to the retaining sleeve will make for much easier R&R of the
clock in the future.

14. Remove the FIREWALL screw. There is a tab on the firewall edge of the console carpeting that secures the console to it. There is one on the passenger side and there MAY be one on the
driver side near the accelerator pedal as well. Remove them as necessary. They may be broken off from previous attempts at removal. Fabricate a new replacement bracket if you like.

15. Remove the REAR CONSOLE SCREWS. At the rear of the console there are two screws that secures it to the drive shaft tunnel. Remove them and reinstall for safe keeping.

16. This should free the console to be removed.. Lift it up and out of the vehicle.

17. CLEAN and SERVICE all the slide lever mechanisms as necessary. This would be an ideal time to replace all the 1.2 W bulbs (Sylvania #2721). There are two caps at the base of the heater box (about 3'íX4") that can be unsnapped and removed. They are usually full of old dust and bits of small debris and should be cleaned. Clean and refurbish the console trim as desired. A fresh coat of vinyl dye/spray will make it look like new. With age, the consoles have a tendency to warp or flare along the lower edge. A couple of screws will help bring it back snug against the transmission housing. Be cautious and do not use screws longer than necessary. Velcro does not appear strong enough to do this trick. Do check for satisfactory console-dash alignment before drilling the holes for these screws.

18. For CONSOLE REINSTALLATION. Reverse this sequence. Best of luck!

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Old 03-21-2004, 07:43 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 766
Very well done description--thanks for the great reference post!

Craig Bethune

'97 SL500, 40th anniversary edition

'04 Olds Bravada (SWMBO's)
'06 Lexus ES330
'89 560SL (sold)

SL--Anything else is just a Mercedes.
(Kudos to whoever said it first)
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