05-06-2015, 10:55 PM
Dodge Ram Forum Newcomer
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Vehicle: 2001 Dodge Ram 2500
Trim Level: ST
Engine: 2001-2003 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 24-Valve Diesel I6 235hp 460lb/ft (manual and auto)
Rep Power: 0
I just replaced the dash on my 2001 Ram 2500 with a dash from LMC Truck. LMC Truck has zero technical help (they suggest you talk to a local mechanic). On the other hand, the quality of the dash seems excellent, the color very close to matching the original (would probably be perfect except for 14 years of aging) and the fit was great. The youtube videos were only marginally helpful. In hope that the job goes smoother for you than it did for me, here is what I learned:
1. Chock the wheels. You will be taking the truck out of Park (auto trans.) and when you later tilt the dash out you are likely to release the parking brake.
2. Disconnect the leads from the negative side of both batteries. You do NOT want an air bag accident.
3. Move the gear shift (auto trans.) all the way down (low). Carefully pry the bezel away from the front of the dash and remove it.
4. Remove the glove box. To do this, flex the top of the box to pull the sides together and work the top sides of the glove box out of the dash. Once the top is clear, tilt the box down and it will detach.
5. Remove the trim piece at the top of the glove box opening (3 screws) and the glove box latch (2 screws).
6. Remove the air bag. Four small screws and three bolts at the front plus two bolts at the back (get at these from underneath the dash). Slide the airbag forward and disconnect the yellow connector. Then remove.
7. Remove the kick panel below the steering column. Three screws at the bottom and carefully pry it loose at the top.
8. Move the gear shift back to park and disconnect the gear indicator cable. On the steering column approximately opposite the gear shift handle and behind the dash, there is a lever that sticks out the side of the steering column. There is a small cable hooked to this lever ... remove it and then disconnect the cable from the mounting bracket.
9. Drop the steering column. Remove the two nuts on the bottom of the steering column and carefully lower the column. You may have to disconnect some wiring connectors as you lower the steering column.
10. On the lower front part of the dash there is a bolt on either side that connects the dash to the side of the truck. Loosen these two bolts.
11. Remove the five screws connecting the back of the dash to the firewall (8 mm). Tilt the top of the dash away from the windshield (about 4-6 inches). You may want to remove the column panel pieces to give you a little more room on the sides.
12. Remove the screws from the front of the dash (a bunch of them). Remove one screw from each side of the dash (connects upper dash to lower dash sides). Here comes the one tricky part ... remove 12 screws (7 mm) from the bottom windshield side of the dash. Eight of these screws connect the dash to the four vents and the other four screws connect the dash to the four outer metal supports. You will want an 8mm socket, 1/4 ratchet and various length extensions. It worked best for me to kneel on the seat and place my hands behind the dash on either side of the screw I was removing. Try REALLY HARD not to drop any screws. A magnet inside a deep dish socket helps.
13. Carefully pull the dash up and toward you. There is a heater tube connecting each side vent to the plenum. As you pull the dash out, you will need to reach in from the back side and pull these tubes loose (they will remain connected to the dash.
14. Test fit the new dash.
15. Disconnect the two heater tubes from the old dash and screw them onto the new dash (2 screws for the left tube and 1 screw for the right tube). NOTE: On the inner screw of the left tube, there are two holes in the dash that can line up with the screw hole in the tube ... use the INNER hole. Use the screws and washers that came with the new dash.
16. Place the dash in position, inserting the hearing tubes into the plenum as you go.
17. This step will probably take up more than 50% of the total installation time. Install the 12 screws (I used the original screws rather than the replacements that came with the dash). TIP: Wrap 1-2 layers of tape around the socket and screw to hold the screw in the socket ... you will still have to be careful but this will greatly reduce your chances of dropping a screw. I started the screws without the ratchet handle attached. When they were finger tight, I attached the ratchet handle and snugged them up). Start by installing the four screws that connect the dash to the four metal braces. Get snug but not tight. Next, install the eight screws that connect the dash to the four vents. You may have to do some pushing and pulling to get the holes to line up. However, if you manage to avoid bending any of the metal pieces, things should line up pretty well. After you have all 12 screws installed, tighten the screws holding the dash to the metal supports.
18. Tip the dash into position against the fire wall. There are two locating pins (on either side of the middle bolt connecting the dash to the fire wall). Make sure these pins mate with the holes in the fire wall. Install the five bolts connecting the dash the firewall.
19. Reverse steps 10 to 1.
If I had to do it over again, I might be able to do it in four hours. However, I think you should plan on 6-8 hours if you are doing it for the first time.
Last edited by dtrmmr; 05-06-2015 at 10:57 PM.