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After searching for a good guide for removing the dash of my 2003 SVT Focus, I decided to use what little info I could find and write a guide of my own.

I am going to post the text portion now, and follow it up later with a seperate document with about 40 pictures. I would post both together, but I think there may be a couple people waiting to see the guide and I don't have time to finish the pics right now.

Comments/corrections/clarifications are welcome. I think with this guide, and all the tools lines up - I could have the dash out of a Focus in 1 and a half hours working quickly.

The nice thing about this method is that the plastic dash and metal frame all come out as one unit. The harness is not removed from the dash at all, it comes out with the dash. This should mean no rattles.

I also have this document as pdf. It will print a lot better. I can email copies if you would like.

2003 Focus SVT EAP 3 door Dash Removal Guide
This is the process that I followed to remove the dash in my Focus. This guide is provided for informational purposes only. This may not be the way Ford recommends, but it worked for me. If you are not mechanically inclined, do not attempt this. I am not a professional mechanic but have done it for a hobby for many years. While it is not difficult, you do need a working knowledge of automotive trim fasteners and electrical connectors. Some can be difficult if you do not know how to do it. Also your car may have other options or a different design than mine, so treat this guide as a general how-to. Use at your own risk, I am not responsible if you ruin your car. Steps that have a * mean to do both the driver and passenger side.

1) Disconnect your battery! THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL. I skip this step a lot when I’m working on my car, but if you pinch a wire while trying to get the dash out you are going to have a fire. Not something you want in your garage.
2) Remove seats. This is OPTIONAL and a preference. I removed my passenger seat and left the driver’s seat in. If you remove them, you have to remove the electrical connector underneath, and the 4 torx screws holding the seat in.
3) *Remove the skinny trim piece on the side of the dash. Pull on the bottom of the trim, then slide it down.
4) *Remove the trim that goes from the top of the dash, along the door opening, to the middle of the car. There are several push fasteners there, don’t break them!
5) *Remove the kickpanel. There are two large plastic screws and a clip. Don’t push on the screws as you are removing them, turn them out gently.
6) Remove the glove box. (3) bolts (8mm). Rotate it down, and push the sides in to release.
7) Pull the shifter surround out and disconnect 3 connectors (heated seats and traction control).
8) Pull the front and rear cup holders out. Remove (3) nuts (10mm) under rear cup holders and 2 phillips head screws under the front cup holders.
9) Pull the E-brake up as far as it will go. Begin to raise the console up, and reach under to disconnect the power point on the front passenger side. Remove console.
10) Remove lower trim panel under radio. (2) bolts (8mm), and two plastic phillips screws.
11) Remove duct work for rear seat heat/AC. Pull plastic off studs and remove.
12) Remove foam block under radio.
13) Remove gauge surround and trim from top of steering column (one piece). 3 phillips screws (use a shorty screwdriver). One release tab on either side of steering column. Pull gauge trim out slightly and disconnect trunk release button. Remove trim.
14) Disconnect hood latch mechanism from bottom trim panel below steering wheel. Use a 17mm open end wrench to loosen nut behind panel, slide the handle down and off.
15) Remove panel under steering wheel. (4) bolts (8mm).
16) Remove steering column audio controls. Simply press the tab in the middle with a small screwdriver, it will pop out easily. Disconnect and remove.
17) Take bottom cover off steering column. (3) T20 Torx.
18) Remove radio using Ford removal tools. Disconnect and remove. (I have an aftermarket stereo and the radio bezel has been modified. Yours will look different.)
19) Remove 2 (black and gray) HVAC controls. If you look from the driver’s foot well area, they are on the side of the HVAC box. Push the clips gently on each side of each connector and they pop right off.
20) Remove the radio surround. Remove (4) bolts (unsure of size, probably 8mm.) Pull surround out. Disconnect hazard and lighter connectors. Pivot face plate down and remove (4) connectors on HVAC. Only disconnect the electrical ones, the two mechanical ones you disconnected from the HVAC box on step 19. Slide those out through the slot in the dash and remove bezel.
21) Remove driver’s front wheel/tire. *SUPPORT CAR PROPERLY WITH JACK STANDS*
22) Remove driver’s side front fender liner. T30 Torx and 8mm.
23) There are two connectors behind the strut on the firewall. Loosen the bolts (10mm) in the center of each connector and pull connector out. Pull black plastic housing out. Push tabs on the side of the harness so you can push the harness into the inside of the car.
24) Disconnect large harness behind drivers kickpanel. (10mm).
25) Disconnect ground behind drivers kickpanel. (8mm).
26) *HINT* For the following two steps (4 connectors total), pop the spring clips out with a flat screwdriver. Pull the connector off the sensor, then immediately put the clip all the way back in the connector. When you re-connect them, all you have to do is push the connector back on and the clip will automatically re-seat itself. And you won’t lose the springs 
27) Disconnect clutch pedal sensor.
28) Disconnect red, green, and black connectors from gas/brake pedal bracket.
29) Disconnect 2 connectors on door side of steering column.
30) Disconnect 3 connectors on ignition side of column.
31) Pull harness under column down. There are two plastic clips holding the harness to the column bracket. Pull harness free of column.
32) Drop the steering wheel. Put the drivers seat all the way back if you didn’t remove it. Remove 3 nuts (13mm) and 1 T40 Torx. Let wheel lay on floor.
33) Disconnect 2 connectors (tan and black) behind passenger side kickpanel behind fuel cut reset switch (10mm).
34) Behind glove box on the right, disconnect top 3 connectors only (black with yellow latches).
35) Disconnect ground (8mm).
36) *Remove 3 bolts holding triangle brackets on (10mm). Remove bracket.
37) Remove 6 nuts for shifter and console support bracket (10mm deep socket). Lay shifter on it’s side so you don’t scratch the bottom of your dash when removing (Ask me how I know).
38) Remove white connector on airbag control module. You can leave the other one connected.
39) Remove black connector on E-brake.
40) Remove the 3 screws (Torx T30) holding the airbag module down.
41) Pull the wiring harness with the white airbag control module connector so that it’s loose all the way to the dash.
42) Remove bolt inside driver’s door jam. Open the door and find the black plastic cover. Pop cover off. Use a short extension and 10mm regular socket. Put those in the hole, then attach your ratchet. (My extension and socket combo was 3-1/2” and worked perfectly).
43) *Remove 3 gold bolts (10mm) on each side of dash. The dash will now be loose so be careful.
44) CAREFULLY (and with a friend) remove the dash from the car, making sure not to snag harness that are laying on the floor. The 3 fasteners on the defrost panel by the windshield should pop out on their own (they did for me). You can reinsert them on re-install using a long bolt.
 

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Very nice, thorough write up. This deserves a sticky! When I swapped an 02 SVT dash into my '05 ST, I had to disconnect the OBD plug from the plastic dash cover next to the hood latch release (between steps 14 and 15). Also, I did mine the "easy" way, in two steps. First, the plastic dash cover, then the steel frame. That, of course, requires detaching and re-attaching the various wiring harnesses and substituting zip ties in several places where Ford has changed the method of securing harness to frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very nice, thorough write up. This deserves a sticky! When I swapped an 02 SVT dash into my '05 ST, I had to disconnect the OBD plug from the plastic dash cover next to the hood latch release (between steps 14 and 15). Also, I did mine the "easy" way, in two steps. First, the plastic dash cover, then the steel frame. That, of course, requires detaching and re-attaching the various wiring harnesses and substituting zip ties in several places where Ford has changed the method of securing harness to frame.
Thank you! Did you have to remove the OBD because you separated the plastic dash and metal frame? I did remove my OBD port, but that was before I decided to take both out as a unit. Does that wiring stay in the car? If so, I'll add the step to the write up.

Also, do you really think that method is easier? You have to remove the gauge cluster and passenger airbag cover both which open yourself up for dash scratches etc. I started down that road and then decided to take them out together. To me, removing them together is much easier/cleaner.
 

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This looks like it will be a big help when I go to change out my evaporator coil. I guess it is better to have a partner to help? Or is it just easier to do it itself so you keep everything straight?

Awesome detail!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's easier to do 99% yoursef - until the end when you have to pull the dash out. It's a little heavy/akward on your own.
 

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this is a bump for a pic. ive been needing to take mine out for mpg. at 46 right now and would like to get above 50. NEED PICS
 

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Great write-up, used it to do an evap replacement. There were a few differences because mine was an SE auto. Also, ford uses a lot of 7mm bolts on mine, and very few 8mm.

Thanks, couldn't have done it this quick or sanely without this write-up.

[cheers]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You're welcome, and sorry that I didn't have pics up. I'll have to see if I can still dig them up and do a re-write with pics.

It seem odd that they would have switched bolt sizes, but you never know!
 

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Very nice, thorough write up. This deserves a sticky! When I swapped an 02 SVT dash into my '05 ST, I had to disconnect the OBD plug from the plastic dash cover next to the hood latch release (between steps 14 and 15). Also, I did mine the "easy" way, in two steps. First, the plastic dash cover, then the steel frame. That, of course, requires detaching and re-attaching the various wiring harnesses and substituting zip ties in several places where Ford has changed the method of securing harness to frame.
I have to replace the evaporator coil on my '02 Focus SVT and am looking to save as much time as possible.

Could you provide more detail on the "easy" way and perhaps some pictures of where to find all the bolts used to secure the dash?

Thank you.
 

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Great write up. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

I know it has been a couple years but do you have the pictures you referred to?

Thank you.
 
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