I have a 2003 Ranger XLT that has an annoying raddle behind the center dash panel that goes around the radio and heater controls.I need to remove this panel to see what is going on!Can anyone give me directions on removing this panel without breaking something. Thanks,Russ
You may be able to have more access to the center area by taking out the radio/cd player. There should be two holes on each side of the radio that you can insert a release tool into, in order to pull out the radio. Once the radio is out you can unplug it and set it down out of the way. Also once the radio is out you can remove the bezel that goes around the radio, vents and heater controls. Take out the two screws that are seen between the opening for the radio and the opening for the heater controls on the outside of the bezel. Once these screws are out you should be able to pull the bezel off if you can get your finger nails or a slim piece of metal between the bezel and dash and pull straight out. It has metal fingers on the back that go into plastic sockets to hold it in place. You can also go under the dash from each side to get to the center down low by the floor mounted drink holder. For removing the radio, you can buy a set of two release tools at a auto parts store for only a couple of bucks. Or you can make some from coat hangar that will work good if you use a coat hanger that is made from the larger diameter wire. The release tools look like an extra long horse shoe that has straight ends instead of going on around in a bend and are about 4-5" long each. Insert each end of one tool into the holes in the side of the radio case. They only need to go in about an inch and a quarter to engage the lock clip on each side. When inserting the tool in each side you don't need to push very hard or the tool can go in too far and not engage the clip correctly. Once both tools are in place, push outward to the left on the left tool and outward to the right on the right tool. Push in slightly on the radio first so the clips will be free of the inner panel. While you maintain the outward pressure on both tools then try to pull the whole radio toward you either by getting a finger into the tape player slot and pulling or by pulling on the release tools and trying to wiggle the radio at the same time to get it to start moving out. If you buy the radio removal tools it may be easier to get it to come out because they have a notch at the end of the tools to help grab the clip and make it easier to pull it out. With either the radio out or the bezel off you should be able to get to your rattle source. Let us know how it goes.