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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Dashboard removal

From Datsun 1200 Club

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Category: Body Electrical System

Nissan calls the dash assembly the "Instrument Panel". Both square-gauge type (Standard) and round-gauge type (Deluxe) are removed in the same way.


Instrument Panel Mounting

The dash unit (instrument panel) mounts to the firewall via three screws on the top side, and a bolt at each side, underneath. The sixty bolt is on the bottom of the dash.

5044.jpgAlbum 5044

The top screws are accessible close to the windshield. A right-angle Philips screwdriver can be used to remove/install them.

5045.jpgAlbum 5045

The three top brackets are welded to the Firewall
24154.jpgAlbum 24154

Top Center bracket is right above the heater
24155.jpgAlbum 24155

Dash Assembly Removal

Dash assembly (LHD pictured)
5028.jpgAlbum 5028

You will need to remove the dash assembly to remove the dash pad, troubleshoot wiring, or to replace/lubricate the wiper linkage. Having the dash out makes changing the radio easier, but you can alternatively do that by only removing the glove box to gain access. It also much easier to install a tachometer after removing the dash, but again that could be done by reaching up under the dash.

It would be a good idea to label each wire you remove with masking tape. Write on the tape what the wire is for so that when you put the dash back in, you'll know which wire goes where. This is especially important for all the green wires (flashers and brake-pedal wires). If you get stuck, see the Wiring article but beware the wire colors vary for different years.

It's easiest to remove the entire dash (with gauges, radio, etc.) after separating the wiring harness from the firewall. I've done it by removing wires from dash/gauges etc. and leaving the harness in the car, but it's much easier to separate the harness first from the car, then remove the whole thing.

You don't need to remove the steering column plastic cover or the steering wheel, though it is recommended, so that the cover doesn't break while maneuvering the dash.


Here are BASIC OVERVIEW steps:

  1. Disconnect the battery
  2. Disconnect interior wiring harness connectors from dash harness
  3. Disconnect radio speakers and antenna cable
  4. Remove Package Tray if equipped
  5. Disconnect Speedometer cable from back of dash
  6. Disconnect heater control
  7. Unbolt dash assembly
  8. Pull unit back and then out through passenger door

Detailed Steps


Step 1

  1. Disconnect battery. There's live power in the dash assembly, so this is important. Only the Negative cable needs to be removed from the battery
  2. Reach up under dash and unscrew the speedometer cable from the housing
  3. Unbolt glove box
    1. Open glovebox door, then remove two tiny bottom screws, and two larger top screws. Leave the latch bolted in. Pull the box out from behind
    2. Remove the round clip holding the glove-box door swing arm. Then remove the little plastic rectangle. Then set the door in a safe place, it scratches easily
  4. Remove the two 12mm-head bolts holding the steering column to the dash assembly. The column will hang free just a bit, enough to get the dash out
  5. Remove the heater-defroster tubes (they simply pull free)
  6. Remove the ashtray
  7. On driver's side a-pillar, unplug the door switch wire, and if equipped, speaker wires
  8. Unplug the ignition switch connector, and — if equipped — the two ACC wires

Step 2

  1. Unplug the two Turn Signal switch connectors, the Hazard flasher green wire (but not white wire), the two brake pedal switch wires (GY), and the two T/S Flasher wires (GW, GL)
    5043.jpgAlbum 5043
    No. 2, No. 4 - Hazard and Turn Signal connectors
  2. Unplug the speaker wires (L/Gray) and antenna wire through glovebox opening
  3. Unplug passenger corner wiring (door switch wiring, and the plugs that come through the firewall)
  4. Unplug the two wires for the heater (black, blue/white)
  5. Remove the three dash-top machine screws (visible through windshield)
    5044.jpgAlbum 5044
    Be careful, these are Philips-head, and strip easily. Use a No. 1 stubby or a L-shaped screwdriver tool
    5045.jpgAlbum 5045
    NOTE: the center bottom bolt doesn't seem to be on some/all dashes
  6. Remove the dash-to-A pillar bolts: One on left bottom of dash, other on right. 10mm head
    5043.jpgAlbum 5043
    Dash-to-Pillar connector (far right, below No. 3)
  7. Carefully pull dash away from firewall. Make sure the heater control levers are out of the slot
  8. Carefully and slowly pull dash assembly out passenger door. While doing so, check to ensure wires and heater control are all free

18121.jpgAlbum 18121 18122.jpgAlbum 18122 18123.jpgAlbum 18123

Clean Up and Maintenance

Now that you have the dash out, it's the most convenient time for these tasks:

  • Tighten heater hoses (four clamps: three on one side, one on the other)
  • Ensure all the dash lights are working (see the Wiring article)
  • Wipe dust away from firewall, pedal box, heater box, etc.
  • Lubricate the wiper linkage. This is a Heim-joint/rose-joint type of system. Just put some general-purpose grease on it as best you can and wipe off the excess.
  • Align the dash defrost ducts. Mine had 1/8 gap. By loosening, moving and retightening, I've got a much better seal. Hopefully the heater will demist/defrost better now
  • Clean the heater ducts (if you feel like it)
  • Lubricate pedal shaft
  • Lubricate hood-opener (bonnet lever)
  • Lubricate heater lever assembly (dry grease) and cables
  • Lubricate accelerator pedal pivot point
  • Wash dash with mild cleaning solution
  • Remove dash pad and paint it with vinyl/upholstery paint
    flat black or semi-gloss?
    POST satin black

Removing the Dash Pad

If you need to ...

The dash pad is held on by eight small screws on inside of dash (four near top, four near bottom).

But first you need to remove the "Cluster Lid" (gauge assembly) ...

Cluster Lid Removal

The cluster lid is held in place mostly by the knobs (Radio, Wiper Switch, Lighting Switch and Choke).


This is actually the hardest part ...

Fit the dash assembly back into place through passenger door:

  1. Place dash assembly into the general area, then make sure the heater levers come through the slots before setting it fully on the three firewall brackets
  2. The bottom of the dash fits between the pedal box and steering column brackets
  3. The hardest part for me was putting the two bolts back in for the heater control. These are screwed in behind the dash, so a mirror is helpful. If the radio is out, it makes it easier. In any case, remove the ashtray base (three screws), so you can reach up under the lever assembly. Use a #1 (large) Phillips screwdriver to avoid stripping the bolt heads.
  4. Hook up the wires
  5. Put the three dash-top machine screws in, loosely
  6. Put the right and left dash-to-A pillar bolts in, then tighten the dash-top screws
  7. Replace and tighten the two 12mm-head steering column bolts
  8. Reach up under dash and screw speedometer cable into back of housing
  9. Reconnect the battery, test the lights and ignition 

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