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EA81 Dashboard Removal Help

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Hi All,

I have any 85 Brat with a blue dash thats cracked badly.  Luckily, this weekend I scored an 84' Turbo wagon (badly rusted) that has a perfect blue dashboard.

I am looking to swap this good dash into my Brat without destroying anything.  I understand there are 3 bolts by the defroster vents and know the methods to get those.  There is also one on each side underneath on the sides of the footwells.  

Does anyone else know what else needs to be done?  I'd imagine I need to pull or drop the steering columns and remove the heater vents/speedo surround?  How do I deal with all the heater and vent controls?  Any other tips??



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G’day Scoby4wd, 

As you’ve said, under the defrost vents are three bolts. Under the dashboard left and right are two bolts on the lower A pillar. 

Remove the centre console. 

Remove any panels from above foot area. On either side of the heater box is some moulded ducting. Remove this, it clips in top and bottom. Can be a tight fit in there. 

Again, either side of the heater box are the cables for vent and temps. There is also one for the outside air vent high up under the dashboard. Disconnect these. 

Disconnect the main wiring plugs near the fuse panel. You might need to drop the fuse panel to access them properly. There will be other fiddly wiring clips to undo here and there. Take note of these for reassembly. I believe there is one wiring plug that goes to a relay or some box on the firewall. Keep an eye out for this sucker. 

Remove the steering wheel and drop the steering column - or remove the whole steering column (leaving the steering wheel in place).

Pull the speedo cable from the back of the instrument cluster. 

Hold the dashboard and jiggle it gentle to loosen it’s sitting position. Feel for any resistance as this could indicate a missed mounting bolt/nut. 

Carefully lift the dashboard avoiding the windscreen (can easily crack the windscreen). Again check for any resistance while removing, it’s usually easiest to go out the passenger door, but really it doesn’t matter and will be more about what has better shed access (if indoors). 

It’s easier to do if you’ve got the windscreen removed! Those bolts under the demister vents are vertical and are a PITA to get at with the windscreen in place. Still doable though. 

The replacement dashboard should drop straight in place of the old one. Install is the reverse of removal, or close enough to it. 

Pull the cracked one first! Learn, clean the firewall etc. Then pull the good dashboard out. Now is a good time to add AC if you don’t have it but have access to a full kit. 

I think that’s about it. It’s been a few months since I did this last so I may have missed some finer details. 




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When I first asked a Subaru specialist shop I was told step one was remove windscreen.

What a crock....

1/4" sockets, extensions and wobble uni joint make it so easy

When you get those vent covers out ....I cut 25 mm holes directly over the three bolt locations, added rubber bung plugs for the next time

Keep a few lines pages to write your own notes for reassembly - I did still got them on paper

Unsure if your fan and hot cold controls are same as our Brumbies , you can leave it in place so as not to have to disconnect heater tap cable

You juggle the panel up or down and across to be behind the dash so it just stays when pull dash out. Reverse juggle panel back in front of dash part

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wow this is fantastic advice, big thanks to both of you!  I feel like I will be able to get it done now.  It would be amazing if my Brat had a nice dash so I am excited.

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Get a compartment box like for bits n bobs you can see into

Tape on the lid to mark each contents

Start top left, work across top then down to next row for all the screws in each step

So reassembly you have a sequential clue in reverse of what goes where, when and with what

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