The Ultimate Guide to Removing Your 1990 Subaru Legacy Dashboard – Step-by-Step Instructions Inside!

Are you a car enthusiast or DIY mechanic looking for information on how to remove the dashboard of a 1990 Subaru Legacy? Whether you’re experienced with basic repairs or modifications or new to this kind of work and looking to learn, this article will provide a comprehensive guide to help you get the job done.

Why Remove Your Dashboard?

There are several reasons why you might need to remove your dashboard. It could be part of a larger repair or customization project, or you may need to access certain components behind the dash, such as the heater core or air conditioning system. Whatever your reason, removing the dashboard can be a complex and challenging process, so it’s essential to approach the job carefully and methodically.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Before you begin, you’ll need to gather the proper tools and equipment. Here are the items you’ll need to get started:

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers (flat and Phillips head)
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Pry bar
  • Torx drivers (T10-T40)
  • Allen wrenches
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves

It’s essential to have the right tools and equipment to avoid unnecessary damage and make the job go more smoothly. Always wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands while working.

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Step-by-Step Dashboard Removal Guide

  1. Disconnect the battery. This is a crucial first step to avoid any electrical hazards or shocks. Locate the negative battery terminal and use a socket wrench to remove the cable.

  2. Remove the steering wheel. Use a socket wrench to remove the horn pad, then disconnect the electrical connector and remove the steering wheel bolt.

  3. Remove the instrument cluster. This step requires removing several screws and connectors, so take your time and be careful not to damage any components. Once you’ve removed the cluster, disconnect the electrical connectors and remove the speedometer cable.

  4. Remove the center console. Here, you’ll need to disconnect the parking brake and shift lever, then remove the ashtray, radio, and any other components that are mounted to the console.

  5. Remove the lower dashboard. Use a socket wrench to remove the screws that hold the lower dash in place, then carefully pull the dash away from the firewall and disconnect any electrical connectors.

  6. Remove the main dashboard. This step requires removing several screws, so be sure to keep track of where each one goes. Once you’ve removed the screws, carefully pull the dash away from the windshield and disconnect any attached wiring.

  7. Disconnect any remaining electrical components. Once the main dashboard is removed, you may need to disconnect additional wiring or components, depending on your specific needs.

Tips for Working with Electrical Components

Working with electrical components can be dangerous, so it’s essential to stay alert and take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips to keep in mind when working with electrical components:

  • Always disconnect the battery before working with any electrical components.
  • Use caution when handling wires, as they may be brittle or damaged.
  • Avoid touching any exposed wires or connectors while the battery is connected.
  • Use the proper tools and equipment when working with electrical components.
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Common Issues and Challenges

Removing a dashboard can be a complex and challenging process, so it’s essential to prepare for any issues or challenges that may arise. Here are a few common problems you may encounter:

  • Difficulty accessing certain components due to tight spaces.
  • Stubborn screws or connectors that won’t budge.
  • Damage to wiring or components during the removal process.
  • Difficulty reassembling the dashboard once the repair is complete.

If you encounter any of these issues, take a step back and assess the situation. You may need to try a different approach or consult with an expert to get the job done right.


How long does it take to remove a dashboard?

The time it takes to remove a dashboard can vary depending on your level of experience and the complexity of the job. Typically, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day or more.

Do I need any special tools to remove a dashboard?

While you don’t necessarily need any special tools, it’s essential to have the right tools and equipment on hand. This may include a socket set, screwdrivers (flat and Phillips head), pliers, wire cutters, pry bar, torx drivers, Allen wrenches, and safety goggles and gloves.

Is it safe to remove a dashboard on my own?

While it is possible to remove a dashboard on your own, it can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Always take the necessary safety precautions and consult with an expert if you’re unsure about any aspect of the job.


Removing the dashboard of a 1990 Subaru Legacy can be a challenging and complex process, but with the right tools and knowledge, it’s possible to get the job done right. Remember to take your time, be patient, and stay safe while working with electrical components. Whether you’re an experienced DIY mechanic or just starting, this guide should provide the information you need to successfully remove your dashboard and complete your repair or customization project.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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