Subaru Forester 1998-05

Instrument Panel, Pad, and Dashboard

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Removal & Installation



1998-2002 Models

CAUTION
After disconnecting the negative battery cable, wait for at least 20 seconds for the air bag module to deplete its energy.

  1. If equipped with a manual transmission, remove the shift knob.
  2.  
  3. Remove both the front and rear console covers.
  4.  
  5. Remove the console box-to-chassis screws and the console box.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 3 lower left side cover assembly screws, disengage the 3 upper clips, and remove the cover assembly.
  8.  
  9. Using a screwdriver, disconnect the data link connector from the lower cover.
  10.  
  11. Remove the knee panel.
  12.  
  13. At the glove box, remove the right side cover screw, the clip and the side cover.
  14.  
  15. Remove the glove box screws and remove the glove box.
  16.  
  17. Remove the center panel bezel.
  18.  
  19. Remove the audio assembly screws, disconnect the electrical connectors and remove the audio assembly.
  20.  
  21. Remove the 2 steering column-to-instrument panel bolts and lower the steering column.
  22.  
  23. Move the temperature control switch to FULL HOT, the mode selector switch to DEF and the recirculation switch to FRESH positions.
  24.  
  25. Disconnect the temperature control cable and the mode control cable from the heater housing.; then, the recirculation control cable from the intake housing.
  26.  
  27. Disconnect the electrical harness connectors.
  28.  
  29. Remove the instrument panel-to-chassis bolts.
  30.  
  31. Remove the 2 front defroster grille bolts.
  32.  
  33. Carefully, remove the instrument panel.
  34.  

To install:

  1. Install the 2 front defroster grille bolts.
  2.  
  3. Install the instrument panel-to-chassis bolts.
  4.  
  5. Connect the electrical harness connectors.
  6.  
  7. Connect the temperature control cable and the mode control cable to the heater housing. Then, the recirculation control cable to the intake housing.
  8.  
  9. Install the steering column and lower the 2 steering column-to-instrument panel bolts and torque to 14-21 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the audio assembly, connect the electrical connectors and install the audio assembly screws.
  12.  
  13. Install the center panel bezel.
  14.  
  15. Install the glove box and the glove box screws.
  16.  
  17. At the glove box, install the right side cover, the clip and the side cover screw.
  18.  
  19. Install the knee panel.
  20.  
  21. Connect the data link connector to the lower cover.
  22.  
  23. Install the lower left side cover assembly, engage the 3 upper clips and install the cover assembly screws.
  24.  
  25. Install the console box and the console box-to-chassis screws.
  26.  
  27. Install both the front and rear console covers.
  28.  
  29. If equipped with a manual transmission, install the shift knob.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Instrument panel and related components-1998-2002 models

  30.  

2003-05 Models
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    CAUTION
    After disconnecting the negative battery cable, wait for at least 20 seconds for the air bag module to deplete its energy.

  2.  
  3. Remove the lower cover from below the steering wheel.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the in-vehicle sensor hose and connector.
  6.  
  7. Remove the console front cover.
  8.  
  9. If equipped with a manual transmission, remove the shift knob.
  10.  
  11. Remove both the front and rear console covers.
  12.  
  13. Remove the console box-to-chassis screws and the console box.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 3 lower left side cover assembly screws, disengage the 3 upper clips, and remove the cover assembly.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the A/C and hazard switch connectors.
  18.  
  19. Remove the side console panel.
  20.  
  21. Remove the glove box screws and remove the glove box.
  22.  
  23. Disconnect the passenger side air bag module connector from the support beam and the module.
  24.  
  25. Unfasten the air bag module screws and remove the module.
  26.  
  27. Remove the driver-s side air bag module Torx® bolts from each side of the module.
  28.  
  29. Slide the module forward and disconnect the air bag connector and remove the module.
  30.  
  31. Remove the steering wheel.
  32.  
  33. Matchmark the universal joint and remove the bolts and the joint.
  34.  
  35. Remove the trim panel from under the instrument panel.
  36.  
  37. Remove the knee guard panel and steering column lower covers.
  38.  
  39. Remove the 2 steering column-to-instrument panel bolts and lower the steering column.
  40.  
  41. Loosen the 4 instrument panel installation bolts but do not remove the lower bolts for alignment purposes.
  42.  
  43. Remove the instrument cluster cover screws and the cover.
  44.  
  45. Remove the cluster screws, slide the cluster forward to detach the electrical connector and remove the cluster.
  46.  
  47. Loosen the instrument panel screws.
  48.  
  49. Using a flat bladed tool, pry the instrument panel center compartment up to disengage the clips and remove the compartment.
  50.  
  51. Remove the center panel screws and clips at the radio, remove the panel.
  52.  
  53. Disconnect the center panel connector.
  54.  
  55. Loosen the radio screws, slide the radio forward and detach the antenna and electrical connectors and remove the radio.
  56.  
  57. Remove the side covers from the instrument panel and loosen the two bolts.
  58.  
  59. Remove the instrument panel.
  60.  

To install:

  1. Install the instrument panel.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the 2 side bolts and install the side covers.
  4.  
  5. Install the radio.
  6.  
  7. Connect the center panel connector.
  8.  
  9. Install the center panel.
  10.  
  11. Install the instrument panel center compartment.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the instrument panel screws.
  14.  
  15. Install the cluster, screws and the cover.
  16.  
  17. Tighten the 4 instrument panel installation bolts.
  18.  
  19. Raise the steering column and tighten the bolts to 18 ft. lbs. 925 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Install the knee guard panel and steering column lower covers.
  22.  
  23. Install the trim panel under the instrument panel.
  24.  
  25. Install the universal joint and tighten the bolts to 17 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
  26.  
  27. Install the steering wheel.
  28.  
  29. Connect the driver-s side air bag connector and install the module.
  30.  
  31. Install the driver-s side air bag module Torx® bolts on each side of the module.
  32.  
  33. Install the air bag module and tighten the screws.
  34.  
  35. Connect the passenger side air bag module connector to the module and the support beam.
  36.  
  37. Install the glove box.
  38.  
  39. Install the side console panel.
  40.  
  41. Connect the A/C and hazard switch connectors.
  42.  
  43. Install the left side cover assembly.
  44.  
  45. Install the console box.
  46.  
  47. Install both the front and rear console covers.
  48.  
  49. If equipped with a manual transmission, install the shift knob.
  50.  
  51. Install the console front cover.
  52.  
  53. Connect the in-vehicle sensor hose and connector.
  54.  
  55. Install the lower cover below the steering wheel.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Instrument panel and related components-2003-2005 models



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Console and related components-2003-05 models

  56.  

 
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