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Old 01-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
Bob of QF
 
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Default Center panel removal/access

Hello.

I've been lurking for weeks, and reading as much of the back-logged threads as I find might apply to my 2004 sprinter cargo van, normal roof.

My question is this: how hard is it to open up the center console panel? The one with all the empty switch panels (mine has but one populated: the one that disables the traction control).

I'd like to modify it with additional 12v outlets in addition to repairing the original (it is broken, and is currently dangling by it's wires). The module I wish to use has a low-volt circuit that disables the outlets, if the battery's volts drop below 11v. And it also has a USB outlet.

But after nearly mangling the window winder handle (not standard from what I'm used to), I'm reluctant to damage the panel by ham-fisted tools.

:)

Also I'd love to know if I can open up the steering colum's covers-- I have but one RFID key, and I'd like to relocate the RF antenna together with the RF module from my solitary key, so I can use standard non-RF keys. I'm not really worried about vehicle theft where I live-- I'm far more likely to have my tools stolen, which the RF won't help.

I looked at each panel/cover for screw holes, or even little round covers, but to no avail.

This van is truly held together by plastic clips ... as I discovered when getting the passenger's interior door panel off-- the door handle has to be unsnapped apart, to expose the two Torx head bolts that hold it in place.

I did look through the past couple of years of threads for information but did not see any threads addressing panel opening.

I also looked at the manual, but it presumes you already know how...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

The console cover removal is hidden in the service manual under the Transmission section (removing the shifter).
All the text says is "remove the covers".
Nope... found more words (same pictures) in the Instrument Panel Center Bezel section (pg 23-55):
Quote:
Originally Posted by manual
(1) Move selector lever to position D.
(2) Using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, remove shift lever frame trim. (Fig. 157)
(3) Using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, remove storage compartment.
(4) Remove ashtray.
(5) Remove screw and using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, remove bezel.
(if you have a Aux Heater 7-day timer, it goes where they put a "storage compartment")
and (for the surrounding ring (fig 158)):
Quote:
(1) Remove accessory switch bezel. (above)
(2) Remove the screws and using a trim stick C-4755 or equivalent, remove bezel.
Here are the images they supply... i suspect the arrows point to plastic latch points.
Note the one screw in #157, and the four in #158.
ConsoleRemoval.gif

good luck
--dick
p.s. service manuals can be downloaded from http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/
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2005 T1N 118" Freightliner 2500 Passenger Wagon (2.7L, 15" tires, standard (short) roof)
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli

Last edited by autostaretx; 01-04-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

For the RFID detector antenna, they really don't say much, do they?
SkreemRing.gif

In another chapter, they precede the "remove shrouds" with "Remove the securing cover for the central electronics."

Ahh... found it under Body/Instument Panel/Steering Column Cover/Removal

Shroud.gif

But you *do* want to disconnect the battery (do you know your radio code?) to disable the airbag system.

--dick
p.s. if you remove the ring antenna, you make it *much* easier to remove your ignition key lock cylinder.. it might even fall out when you're just fiddlin' with the key.
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http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

Thank you!

Apparently, the manuals I got (they were sent to me by someone else, and I don't know where they were downloaded from) do not cover such details-- certainly I could not find them.

As for the trim ring removal, that's a good point I had not thought of-- I may just remove the panels, then locate the RF tag itself next to the ring under the covers, leaving it in place.

I'll have to experiment, but my local locksmith showed me where the actual RF tag is located in my key-- it's not a "switchblade" style, as I do not have factory electric locks.

However, I am working on an aftermarket refit-- my first attempt did not work, as the motors I purchased lack the torque to manipulate the factory levers directly. I'm waiting for warmer weather to remove the plastic door panel (again), and install a lever-type torque amplifier aka Archimedes. Not unlike a bell crank on an old cloth-style airplane's rudder actuator. I'm only currently working on the right-front passenger door, as that is the most annoying one to do manually. Once I get the requisite leverage worked out, I'll do the remaining 3. I was planning on posting pictures of how I ran the power to the various doors-- I'm using telephone curly-cords, for easy replacement down the line, but direct, constant feed to the motor. The motors are Swiss made, and extremely reliable, but alas, not quite strong enough.

Again, thank you for both of your timely answers. I'll try your manuals first, for the next questions I may have.

Last edited by Bob of QF; 01-04-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
But you *do* want to disconnect the battery (do you know your radio code?) to disable the airbag system.

--dick
p.s. if you remove the ring antenna, you make it *much* easier to remove your ignition key lock cylinder.. it might even fall out when you're just fiddlin' with the key.
Since I'm not messing with the ignition system, or the steering wheel itself, is it really needful to worry about the airbag? Especially as I will be spending my time below the wheel's face, working from the floor, as it were?

And no, alas, I do not know the code for my radio-- I was planning on using a 9v battery when battery replacement time comes around (soon--it's starting to slow down during a start) I suppose that's not effective if I do need to have zero-current conditions, such as for starter-motor or alternator replacement.

I guess I better contact Dodge and see if they can send it to me.

Or just replace the darn factory radio with a better unit... how hard could that be?



With the new downloaded manual, I ought to be able to find out how to remove it myself... right?

... right?

I'll go look at the forum-- I think I saw discussions about radio replacement the other day...
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
p.s. service manuals can be downloaded from http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/
Now.... this is odd... I see "2003" and I see "2005" but I do not see "2004" in the list of files on your link..... no, wait-- there is a different nomenclature at the top.

I see "04va-parts manual.pdf" which I presume lists the parts for my 04, and I would presume the "2003SprinterManuals.zip" would contain most of the procedures I'd likely need?

How different can they be, from one year to the next? (he says with mild sarcasm and a grin)

Okay, there's also this: "T1N-2002-2006-UpdatedRearSensor-ToneWheel-A_902_357_02_51.pdf", which clearly covers my 2004, but appears to be an update of some kind.

Obviously, there are quite a few documents that are not year-dated, and likely are more or less generic to the whole series.

Now this looks interesting: "radio_code.pdf"... I wonder...

Okay, I suppose I ought to simply get the whole slate, including those marked 2005 (just in case) and start reading...

... Thank you once again.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

Ooooh--oooh... As I was carefully examining and saving the list of available manuals, I saw this one: "Sprinter Becker radiocodes02-04.pdf"

Yaaay! I don't have to wheedle Dodge for this information after all.

Many thanks!
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

I do not know who to tell this, so I'll post it here.

While opening and viewing the various manuals from the link in post #2, above, the file "espar_sprinter_manual.pdf" does not open, but renders an error message that the file is damaged and cannot be repaired.

I'll pass this along to whomever is maintaining that site, if anyone knows who to contact.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

For your 2004, i can recommend *both* the 2003 service manual (whose name starts 05_VA...) and the 2006 manual.
They both cover most of your vehicle, and they both have errors/omissions/confusions.

I happen to *have* a 2005 Sprinter, and the full 2004 service manual CD (from the dealer when i bought the Sprinter).. and the 2006 manual has better part-location diagrams (at the end of section 8W).

I was going to ask for your VIN to provide the radio code, but you're probably already there...

If you're using a *real* telephone coil-cord, the conductors are quite likely too thin to pass adequate current for the (i assume) window-crank application. It's better to find/buy a *power* coil cord, or choose different wiring. A telephone coil cord is usually "tinsel wire"... thin copper ribbons wrapped around a fabric string (for flexibility). They're only intended to carry a few milliamps of signal current, not amps of motor power.

And yes, you DO want to disconnect the battery if you're working on the steering column with the covers off.
The airbag system uses stored energy to fire the squibs, so an accidental brushing of the wrong wire/connector could be a startling (and expensive) experience.

--dick
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Center panel removal/access

Thanks for the warning-- you're correct about the air-bag, and it's not a DIY as you cannot even buy one unless you have the proper licensing. It's a federal gub'ment "good for you" thing I suppose...

... anywho, I've used the telephone cord trick before with great success-- I know it drops the volts to the motor, but it's only "on" for a second, then it's done-- I used this trick on my Christler minivan's electric door lock on the sliding door-- the OEM was a very poorly "designed" contact pad, which only operated when the door was firmly closed. I wanted the motor to work the lock open or closed, and reliably. So I installed a couple of jacks-- one on the door itself, and another on the post-- the cord is stretched (but not too much) when the door is closed, and re-curls when open, not being in anyone's way. Worked beautifully even though the lock mechanism required two motors to function properly. As I observed, you do get a slight voltage drop, but not enough to matter, as the motors are not on long enough to heat up the wiring. (and no, the two motor had nothing to do with the cord-- I tried one motor, directly connected to the battery with large-gauge wires before I added the telephone cord-- the contact-plate was failing at that point, and the curly-cord came later, after the two-motor trick fixed the sticky mechanism)

But the telephone cord is extremely durable and able to withstand constant flexing for years before breaking-- coiled power cords? Not so much. The one I used on my (now defunct) minivan outlasted the vehicle-- nearly 10 years of hard use.

By the way? I got the user manual for the 2004 from Dodge, which is missing in the files from your link (post #2)

I'll see if I can attach it here...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2004_VA_Sprinter.pdf (22.71 MB, 198 views)

Last edited by Bob of QF; 01-04-2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: attatchment failure-- try again
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