D.I.Y.: How to Dismantle the Dash of Your S197 Mustang

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2005 Mustang Dash

The dash panels of the S197 Mustang have to be removed in a specific order, detailed in this DIY.

One of the forum members took the dash of her S197 Ford Mustang apart to replace a variety of the panels and during the process, she put together a great DIY explaining the order in which the panels have to be removed for the least headache. This thread is great for anyone adding new panels, but if you are looking to access the gauge cluster, the stereo head unit or anything else that requires tearing down the dash – this is a handy write-up to have bookmarked.

The Introduction

Before getting into the process of dismantling the dash of the S197 Mustang, forum member “BlueSkyVert” explained her motivation for putting together the DIY. She also included the short tool list, emphasizing the importance of patience while removing the various pieces of the interior.

I am swapping out my dash panels, and realized that having this information step-by-step in one place would have saved me some time. So I decided to do a quick DIY on this process while I did it myself

Tool List
– 7MM socket
– 8MM socket
– Phillips head screwdriver

Thanks tmcolegr!

The Teardown

Removing all of the dash panels of the early S197-era Ford Mustang begins with the bezel around the instrument cluster, which simply pulls away from the clips that hold it in place. Everything else is bolted down, but before getting into more removal, the OP points out the importance of disabling the passenger’s side airbag.

Mustang Fuse Box

Once the right-side airbag of the Mustang is disarmed, the full teardown can begin. You will need to remove the glove box, the air bag panel and the passenger-side HVAC vent. The airbag panel is the trickiest piece and the OP also shows how to separate the airbag module from the dash panel, for those who are changing the panels themselves.

Mustang No Airbag

A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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