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Old September 4th, 2017, 18:45
katuah katuah is offline
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Location: NotTheMountains :-( ,NC
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pulling dash w/o removing steering wheel - issues

So I'm doing the dreaded heater and AC evap core replacement, and I'm running into some issues that I can't seem to find detailed info about.

First - how to "drop" the steering wheel without removing it. I tried removing the two nuts from the vertical bolts, and the wheel dropped down slightly, but only about an inch, nowhere near as far as in the many photos and videos that show it resting on the edge of the seat.

I then tried to remove the nuts from the two horizontal bolts (on the black pivoting bracket-things lower down), and it dropped a little more, but still not enough.

I then tried to put all the bolts back on, thinking maybe these just weren't the right ones - and now I can't get the bolt holes for the upper vertical ones to realign. What am I missing? Do I need to also remove the coupler linkage bolt? Is it supposed to drop now and it's just getting hung on something I can't see?

I will get pics tomorrow, but for now if you have the FSM, this is section 19-28, upper right diagram. I'd love if you had a pic you could show, or could point me at a video. I've spent a lot of time watching youtube and cannot find any good pics/video of this AT ALL.

Second question: The brackets where the dash was bolted on at the rear just below the windshield don't want to come free, it's like they are glued on. All the screws are out and the nuts are off the 2 studs. Should I pry them loose or is there something weird going on? The side "roll-down" nuts are plenty loose. (FSM 8E-26)

Third question: I was planning on replacing the accumulator with the evap core, but should I replace the lines too? And if so - do these parts come with their sealing rings/gaskets? And is there anything else I should replace while the system is empty of refrigerant? (I had it evacuated at a local shop first, FYI, and I intend to take it back to get them to re-pull the vacuum and recharge it)
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Old September 4th, 2017, 20:02
md21722 md21722 is offline
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Re: pulling dash w/o removing steering wheel - issues

I assume this is the 98 XJ in your profile?

The steering wheel should drop to the drivers seat. A drift and hammer may be needed to be able to the put those 2 bolts back in. Should be no reason to deal with the coupler.

The brackets at the windshield can get stuck because of the windshield sealant used when installed the windshield.

There are 4 studs in the engine bay that hold the heater box in.

I don't see any reason to replace the lines. The accumulator should come with what you need.

The biggest things are that some aftermarket heater cores are reported to not heat very well. Also, you have to cut the foam off the back of the heater box to open it up, so don't forget to buy that from the dealership if you want it done right.
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Old September 6th, 2017, 22:25
BCKNBLK's Avatar
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Re: pulling dash w/o removing steering wheel - issues

For starters, I took out the drivers seat. That gave me so much more room. Undo those four nuts from the vertical studs. I believe I also took off the bolts from the firewall bracket, that gave me a bunch of play. There is no need to take apart the coupler. And yes, as said by md21722, the windshield sealant holds some of the hardware. My foam was in great shape, so I carefully used a long blade to separate it, then glued it to the new piece. The whole dash pulls right away from the firewall amazingly easy if you follow the shop manual and disconnect everything, which really isnt a whole lot. It also slides back in just as easy.
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Old September 17th, 2017, 11:36
katuah katuah is offline
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Re: pulling dash w/o removing steering wheel - issues

Update and another question. Using a pry bar I finally got the brackets broken free, although the plastic around the pin on the drivers side shattered. Hopefully the other bolts and such will be sufficient to hold it up when I put it back together.

The question: It turns out the 98 has the cable actuated blend door, and when we went to pull the dash, it hadn't been disconnected and broke the lower mounting bracket completely off. Can this be repaired easily? Will it work without the bracket? Or do I have to replace the whole box to get the bracket back?
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Old September 17th, 2017, 11:39
katuah katuah is offline
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Re: pulling dash w/o removing steering wheel - issues

Since I don't have a photo handy, in the FSM it's page 24-38, figure 43, and they call it a "flag retainer receptacle" not a bracket.
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