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I removed a p38 dashboard yesterday. Surprisingly straightforward and I’d definitely do it again to sort heater matrix/blend valves than try to do it in situ.

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This is one job I'll be doing next month. Had a car here for the last couple of days that needed a few jobs doing, one of which was heater core O rings. Now I've done these numerous times on a number of different cars and have it down to about an hour now but when I started on this one it was pretty obvious someone had been in there before me. Changed the O rings (which appeared to be generic rubber rings and were being dissolved by the coolant), fired it up and watched while a small trail of coolant came out from just behind the screw head. Seems that whoever had been in there before had done the screw up too tight and cracked the heater matrix. Shot off to Rimmers to pick up a replacement but got partway through and realised the only sensible way to change the matrix would be to pull the dashboard out and do it properly. So the heater core has been temporarily bypassed and I'll be doing a proper job on it when the car is next in this area. It'll also give me chance to seal the joints in the heater ducts while I'm in there. Any hints? RAVE says to remove the wiper motor, pollen filter housings and steering column but I've seen where others have done it without, is it really necessary? With the steering column out I'd have been able to change the heater matrix with the heater box still in place and it was only that which stopped me from going any further.

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I took my dash out without removing the steering column. Now I do not remember how to put it back together after 3 years, but that is another problem :-)

I left the metal structure in place, with a dremel I just made a cut on the lower side enabling me to remove the heater matrix laterally, without issues. After that I rejoined the metal "corner" and that is ... is not structural.
Only if you want the heater box out (say, to change the AC evaporator) , it does need to come out, and this does mean taking the the steering column out for clearance.
Plenty space to fiddle with ducting and fans' housing, if it comes time for such repairs as well.

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But your car will be LHD Leo, on a RHD, the matrix comes out half way then hits the steering column. At that point I gave up and bypassed it so the owner could drive his car home......

I'm working on the principle that if I can at least get the heater box loose, I can twist it a little so the matrix will slide straight out.

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I forgot you guys are on the wrong side of the road ...

I think after the dash (top) is off, if you loose all the metal structure there is somehow a way to make it pass, also because you have access to the box perimeter bolts/nuts. The AC lines might be a problem if they dont 'wiggle' enough.
I cannot today, but maybe tomorrow will pass in the garage where I keep mine (still 'naked') and will take a good look underneath for both sides.

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Dash removal

Hope it is of some help.

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leolito wrote:

I think after the dash (top) is off, if you loose all the metal structure there is somehow a way to make it pass, also because you have access to the box perimeter bolts/nuts.

It's fine if you're leaving the lower a/c half in the car - took my dash out leaving the steering wheel in and loosened the 4 floor bolts/removed the centre metal bit that's across the heater control area, after undoing the screw that holds the top half of the heater unit on and with a fair bit of pulling on the metal (car coloured bits stay in place but loosened) it comes out. https://rangerovers.pub/topic/2219-although-not-oily-it-did-leak?page=1#pid31037 <-- Not sure if I can link to one reply but there's mine in bits on here at No 12.

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I've also found this http://www.mez.co.uk/p38-heater-orings-1.html so with a combination of the various guides, it should be fairly easy (he says but at least I won't be doing it until early September and will have the car for 3 days).

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i removed my dash and didnt remove the steering column , i did remove one off the leavers from the steering to make it easier the biggest problem i had was removing the wood grain strip above the glove box a real pita . my only advice is to make shore the flaps in the heater box are free and move easy. if you are going to do the heater core you have to remove it to replace the core without cutting anything and dont forget the fans , might as well do a good job of it
PS i used dash removal paulsp38.com

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I removed the steering column which is a piece of cake to do. Just disconnect UJ by bulkhead and 6 bolts cabin side.

Then yes it’s plenum and windscreen wiper motor out the way and 6 bolts on bulkhead and on cabin side it’s 2 nuts opposite edges and 2 bolts in the middle under radio area.

It’s heavy so a helper is advised!

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I had my dash out twice a couple of years ago. Followed this guide PaulP38 Dash Removal It was actually much easier than the guides show. First time was about 3-4 hours, but second time only took 2 hours because I replace the difficuly screws & bolts with hex heads instead of pozi.

Once the top section is out, you can undo the screws in the metal frame around the heater box, and then lift it out (with some wriggling). No need to remove steering column at all.

Mine now has Audi heater, so no more o-rings to worry about.

Pete