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Dashboard Lower Pad removal

Joined
3 November 2011
Messages
3,410
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
This thing goes by various names on Prime - Bolster, lower bolster knee pad .... Honda calls it the Dashboard Lower Pad so that is what I will go with. You will find numerous posts on Prime describing what a pain it is to remove, including one by me back about 2012 or so. The problem is the rather tenacious clips at the top of the pad, one on either side of the steering wheel. You have to pull the pad straight back to release the clips and there is nothing obvious to grab on to. I was mucking about experimenting with my turn signal cancel unit which required removal of the pad to access the turn signal cancel unit. While doing the typical try to grab the curved top of the pad, pull and curse because nothing was moving (other than my headlights every time I bumped the headlight cover switch) I discovered that with the steering wheel fully extended there is an ample gap between the left side of the steering column and the pad. It was easy to fit the index finger of my right hand in there and grab the pad towards the top (as close as possible to the clip location) between my index finger and thumb. With a good grip on the pad it was fairly easy to pop the clip free on the left hand side. With the left hand side released you can lever the pad back a couple of inches on the left side and this will expose a similar gap on the right side of the steering column and you can slip your finger behind the pad to pull and release it. Takes about 60 seconds to do, unlike my effort back in 2012.

If you have gorilla fingers the gap on the left hand side of the column may not be wide enough for you to fit your fingers. For average sized hands with average strength, releasing the pad should be no problem.
 
I wish I had known this a month ago, when I had to clean out my cancel unit as well. I lost a week of trial and error trying to figure out how to pull that sucker off without breaking it!
 
That was a PITA. You almost pull like you want to break it.
Thanks again for this thread!

Rich Wong
 
Did the same years ago and failed.....

So which direction do you pull exactly, down toward the floor or toward the front of the car?
 
Once you get your finger in the gap between the pad and the steering column on the left side, pull the pad straight back to release the clips on the left side. Once released, pull the pad on the left side back a couple of inches and this will bend the whole pad a bit creating a larger gap on the right side of the steering column. You should be able to fit your finger into this gap and pull straight back to release the clips on the right side. Remember that the steering wheel has to be pulled completely back in order to do this.

Definitely do not pull down. That is likely to just jam the retention clips in their mounting holes or snap the clips right off.
 
Thanks...

Once you get your finger in the gap between the pad and the steering column on the left side, pull the pad straight back to release the clips on the left side. Once released, pull the pad on the left side back a couple of inches and this will bend the whole pad a bit creating a larger gap on the right side of the steering column. You should be able to fit your finger into this gap and pull straight back to release the clips on the right side. Remember that the steering wheel has to be pulled completely back in order to do this.

Definitely do not pull down. That is likely to just jam the retention clips in their mounting holes or snap the clips right off.
 
Something else worth mentioning is that once you safely remove the pad, you can make life much easier in the future by either modifying the metal clips to make them less grabby (bending the barb with pliers to make it less of a barb so it pops out easier) or removing them entirely and replacing with them foam or felt tape or a glob of butyl rubber. On my car I used foam tape in place of the clips, the pad still stays securely but removes easily once you undo the 2 screws at the bottom;.
 
(y)Thank goodness for Prime/ @Old Guy and these nuggets.

(n)I've been trying to get this driver's side dashboard lower pad off for the better part of a day. I've graduated up to basically pulling as hard as I can considering the angle and getting my fingers in there and I can't seem to get it out even pulling hard enough that I expect it to break. I can't put a hammer in there for fear of breaking the dashboard, which would be way more expensive. My old NSX had them broken off and I'm going to take @EuroBoutique's advice and replace the metal clips with foam if I can ever get it off.

Any other suggestions?
 
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Are you trying to pull the whole pad out at once? First off, in my case the dashboard lower panel was already out. I can't remember whether this is a requirement prior to removal of the pad. Make sure that the two screws along the bottom the lower pad have been removed. With the steering wheel pulled all the way back to establish that gap between left side of the steering column and the pad, you get your finger into the gap between the column and the pad as close as possible to that top of the pad. Pry the pad back to release the left clip. Once that clip is out it releases the left half of the pad from the dash. With the left half of the pad released from the dash you carefully lever the pad back which creates just enough of a gap along the right side of the column for your fingers and you get to repeat the process of getting your fingers in there at the top to pop the right side clip out. A picture.
dash pad _2.jpg

I should be clear that this makes it easier, not exactly easy. The only new thing I discovered was that pulling back the steering wheel created a gap that allowed you to get your fingers onto something to pull. You still have to pull back on the pad with enough force to get that clip to release that you swear that something is going to snap. Prior to that I was looking at the pad and thinking " so exactly what am I supposed to pull on to get this thing off".

A strip of Velcro as a replacement for the clips might be an option if you can find Vecro thin enough to fit between the pad and the instrument panel attachment point.
 
Tried one side at a time like you recommended, Left first. Steering wheel up and back. Bottom did need to be removed to access and remove the lower screws. I got my fingers in there pulled for all I was worth. I have got to be pulling with 40-50 lbs and it's not letting go.

Ironically, I was able to access the red/black wire to add running light flashing to the keyless entry by reaching up from the bottom & unplugging the connector. So the job is done (driver's side anyway) but I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to get my dash out for @Briank to do the caps. Maybe I'll try to make some sort of tool.
 
Not even moving a little bit? Any chance that a previous owner had the pad off to do something, broke the clips and decided to glue it back in place?
 
Not even moving a little bit? Any chance that a previous owner had the pad off to do something, broke the clips and decided to glue it back in place?
That's what happened to mine- they glued the round plastic pins in place. :mad:
 
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