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Dash Pad Removal and Special Tool Help Please


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I may....or I am fairly sure that I have to remove my dash pad in order to replace the photocell for intermittent inoperative IPC lighting. I have located and read the Dash Pad Removal and Photocell Replacement turorial/s on Ronnies site, but I am a little confused on some of the instructions. The instructions/tutorial are fine/great, and I consider myself lucky that someone has "been there-done that" before me as well as grateful that time and effort was taken to post the tutorial. I am by no means attempting to pick the tutorial apart, but since this is my 1st time at removing the Dash Pad, I don't want to mess it up because I didn't understand something.

Where I am confused:

*I do not seem to see any screws for the looooong middle vent in the center of the dash pad....the instructions/tutorial suggest 3 screws. I am working on a 1990 model ('90 may not have any screws?).....are there just pressure clips holding the vent in on a '90 maybe? If so where and how should the vent be pryed out - maybe?

*The tool fabrication instructions suggest implementing "lightweight metal" for some reason.....Both aluminum and mild steel are available in the Do It Yourself Home Stores in different widths, lengths, and thicknesses. Mild steel would be easier to fabricate (easier to bend and heat can be applied), and just as strong if not stronger I would think, but I would certainly not want to use steel if there is a reason/s for not using . Also, no tool width is suggested. Can someone who has made a sucessful tool comment on which metal is more desirable and for what reason, and how wide should the stock metal be please?

*There is no mention (or I may not be reading the tutorial properly) of how deep into the dash the clips are located.....need to know as far as when to start the upward lift? Also are there any tricks as to how to insert the tool between the lower dash and top dash pad seam.....the two sections seem to be almost glued together, and I am somewhat worried about tearing or buggering the leatherette?

Thanks for any helpful comments...


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Nic, I'm not able to answer most of your questions. Daves89 did the tutorial on my website and I just wrote it up. He will probably offer the help you need. I have not removed my dash pad but I do have the tool shown in the photos in the tutorial thanks to Dave. It is made of steel that is .074" thick (14 gauge). It is 1 inch wide. (I added that to the tutorial. If I can answer any other questions about it I would be happy to do that.

Before you begin removing the dash pad be sure that it is necessary. I'm not an expert on the Reatta electronics but from what you have said about the IPC problem I don't believe the photocell is the problem. I don't really know what is but what you are saying does not convince me the photocell is the root of the problem although it must have some part in making your IPC malfunction like it is.

You said you could cover the photocell when it is dark outside and the IPC would light up. It should do the opposite. It should make the IPC get dimmer.

The photocell reading is one of the diagnostic displays (BD-44 - 0%=daylight and 100%=dark) Could you check to see what value diagnostics BD44 is showing ? Maybe it will give a hint as to what the problem might be.

Are you getting code B123 (Panel lamp enable circuit problem)?

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If you don't see 3 torx head screws in the first trim piece, that means there are no screws to remove and that the narrow trim piece is held in place by friction/pressure clips that are molded as part of the next wider molded plastic piece. The removal of this is done either with your finger tips or by use of a very small pry bar. If I remember correctly one is to start in the center , by prying under the flat area of this narrow trim piece first.

The lip of the special removal tool is only as wide as what fits in the groove about 1/16". But remember to remove the torx screws that hold the wider trim piece on the edge closest to the windshield. The tutorial was very clear as to where the hold down points are on the edge closest to the cabin side of the dash.

As Ronnie stated, I too do not believe that the bulb is bad, because if it was bad I don't think you would have illumination at all. The advantage of the '88/89 is that one can increase the brightness thru the touch screen.

Hope this helps...

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Thanks Tons for the replies gentlemen .... I am very very grateful :) . I tried to communicate with Dave previously, and did not know of his situation. I am sorry that I bothered him. The information you folks provided should keep me out of trouble :) . The car I am working on is the Select Sixty, and I am just very concerned that if I don't fully understand the instructions I will mess something up.

Anyway, I have emailed Padgett for his comments and hopefully I may not have to remove the dash pad.

Thanks again,


Ronnie, thanks for the precise figures (I was a machinest per say the 2nd tour I did to the Middle East in the last Sixties).

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