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I dropped the little plastic pad off the end of the front clamp on the removable hard top. Right down between the dash and the windshield. How do I remove the dash to try to retrieve it? I have gotten so far as to know that it didn't fall all the way to the floor, I can see the dash support (or whatever the aluminum or grey plastic casting is called) from the drivers side. It has to be on top of that, but I don't want to mar up the dash without knowing I can get the dash off. HELP!!

:afro::confused::confused::confused:
 

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I am trying the think of what part you are talking about...

I removed my hard top this spring and the only pieces that were removeable were the 2 bolts... I think!
 

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he's talkin of the rubber pad that keeps the freedom hardtop snug when closing the latch. Its slipped onto the latch itself (front windshield header location) Sometimes they work loose and fall into the abyss.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
he's talkin of the rubber pad that keeps the freedom hardtop snug when closing the latch. Its slipped onto the latch itself (front windshield header location) Sometimes they work loose and fall into the abyss.
correct. How do I get into the abyss? Not only do I want the pad back, it is rattling loudly. Thanks for any help on how to get the dash off, especially the "brow" over the gauges.
 

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:idea: I book marked this thread because I lost something in the ABYSS and it is noisy on rough roads. The dealer stated it was not easy to dismantel and would be a several hour job.
 

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It may be easier for you to fold the windshield down to get better access than remove the dash. I've had some the dash off, but only the driverside up to and including the instument cluster. Here's how to get that far at least....

Start by removing the bottom knee bolster on the drivers side. Pull at it and it will pop free.

Remove the upper portion of the lower dash beneath the steering column(the "U" shaped piece) by either getting your fingers between the steering column at the top side, or by using a screwdriver to pop it out on the outside. Start at the top and work down. The retaining clips are the same as on the centerstack. The bottom is hinged similar to the glovebox.

Once this piece is removed, you will see 2 7mm bolts on either side of the steering column toward the bottom of the dash. These retain the instument surround piece. Remove them.

BTW, tilting the steering wheel up and down helps in accessing the fasteners and removing the pieces throughout this process.

Grasp the surround at the top and give it a tug straight back toward you. It will pop free. Same clips as on the centerstack, located at the top.

Now you will see the four 7mm bolts holding the instument cluster in place. Remove them.

Carefully tilt the cluster toward you and you will see three wire harnesses connected in the back on the top. Push the little retaining tab and pull the connectors free from the cluster. The interior lamp will go off, so don't freak out when it does.

After that is uncharted territory for me.

Good luck!!
 
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:idea: I book marked this thread because I lost something in the ABYSS and it is noisy on rough roads. The dealer stated it was not easy to dismantel and would be a several hour job.
X2. I dropped a level-o-guage down the ABYSS back in December and need to get it out :D
 

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Good luck! I put my keys on that cliff to never never land while at the beach. Of course they fell when I jumped back in to leave. :shaking: Luckily my wife had her set with her. I had to use my pencil magnet when I got home. Lesson learned.
 

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If and when you retrieve that rubber pad, there is a quick fix that you can do so that you don't lose it again. This is what I did:

I put the pad back in place. In the metal clamp there is a small diameter hole through which I drove a small screw about 5mm in length right into the rubber pad.

That was one of the very first mods I did to my Jeep after I removed the top and the rubber pad went bouncing across my driveway.

I have pics on my home computer that I can post later.
 

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Have'nt tried this but was thinking (until that pad completes its journey to the floor)...You might be able to take a small (approx 2") piece of 3/8 dia tubing...cut a slit all the way through it...and put it around the footman loop (on the widshield part- not the panel latch part). That might work, at least temporarily...until the pad falls out of the dash. You might also try rocking the jeep back and forth to see if that bastard drops out...dont know? If you ever find that thing again, you might use a drop or two of Shoegoo or Goop inside the pad to keep it from ever leaving home again. (Or the dealership might be willing to replace it for about $50...lol)
 

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I am getting concerned now... I don't remember seeing this rubber piece!

How crucial is it to sealing the top down? I may have hever had one?
 

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It is on the end of the latch(es). If it isnt, then the latches would be rattling and the front panels would likely start to lift on the hwy...or at least I think that you would know it, unless the radio is blaring all the time and you never look up...The tjs never had this thing...dont think that helps though.
 

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WOW...I just tried my suggestion and it works! Just cut the "tubing" to about 1 1/2" length, slit it open , and pop it on. I think that the latch actually fits more snugly than the OEM rubber "thingy" did. Hell, I'm gonna do the other side now... as it only took like 10 seconds. Even if you dont already have the 3/8 dia hose/ tubing...You can pick up a foot for $3 or $4 and have plenty of spares. (Home depot/ Napa, etc...)
 

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Im afraid that jsek29 is in the process of ripping insanely into the dash. Like you said Dave 1.0...what a PIT(F)A...Hope he reads my suggestion before diving in too far. Oh well...
 

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Damn that is a lot of work to get the dash off. I suck at stuff like that and typically wind up breaking something.
Im afraid that jsek29 is in the process of ripping insanely into the dash. Like you said Dave 1.0...what a PIT(F)A...Hope he reads my suggestion before diving in too far. Oh well...
Honestly, it took longer to write it up than to do it. About 10 minutes tops if you can work a nutdriver. I was working without a net AND I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
 

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no offense...but if hes got the hose..much simpler, and I swear it works great. I guess that when its 106 degrees in the shade, anything outside taking more than 60 seconds, seems like a pain... (all in good fun). JohnL, Good to know... if someone does ever have to tear apart the dash.
 

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no offense...but if hes got the hose..much simpler, and I swear it works great. I guess that when its 106 degrees in the shade, anything outside taking more than 60 seconds, seems like a pain... (all in good fun). JohnL, Good to know... if someone does ever have to tear apart the dash.
None taken:D I think he's more concerned with retreiving the lost piece at this point. I still don't know what piece you guy are talkin' about, you'd think I would have looked on the way home. I guess I'll have to go out to that hot ass garage and check it out.

Are you using the hose in place of, or in addition to the plastic thingy?

BTW, good thinking on your solution:beer:
 

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Just using the hose to replace it. If you look at either of the hardtop latches that attach under the sun visors and feel it, you will notice that there is a small square rubber insert at the end of the latch.It keeps the front two panels snug when closing the latches...But my fix seems to work better (without using the rubber pieces at all). I even had it on the hwy at 65+mph and no issues at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I like your tubing fix, StubEx. I will try that. I don't think it will fall out to the floor, looking up underneath, I don't see how it would get down. That grey plastic (or aluminum) piece is a pretty well built pan. Either way, the dash description by JohnL should get me in. Seems fairly straightforward, so I will give it a try this weekend. The rattling is driving me crazy. Probably because I know it is caused by something that I did, and that shouldn't be where it is. Thanks for all your help, I will let you know how it goes,
 
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