Have pulled many dashboards over the years in automotive... and 42 years in my own repair shop. If you don't think they are nearly all a nightmare, then I would have to wonder exactly what you were working on. I had said for (many) years that the dash should be made in two or three sections with an easily removable top or windshield filler plate (which some cars do have). On small aircraft you have a pressed firewall which is fairly heavy aluminum, roughly 1/8". It holds the engine mountings and is (obviously) extremely strong. Why not make the basic dash parts this way, then fit them on locator pins, and secure with flange washer nuts like a steel wheel? This would help with structural integrity, too. The driver's side could stay the same or similar and then add a removable center and right side section. It could be configured in roughly a 40-20-40 set up. Imagine your next heater core, evaporator core, HVAC blower or blend door motor replacement! Pull off some trim, loosen the stud nuts and remove the panel. Reassemble and torque the plate to specs. Sounds too easy to me. Design and production could not really be that difficult to do, right? There are currently many hidden parts behind the dash that routinely fail after 8-10 years and WILL need service (not so much in the older cars.
... View more