Removing Blocker Plate Bolts

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Tips for reaching hidden bolts in blocker plates. Learn about gaining access to dashboard lights in a 1996 Ford Explorer in this free auto repair series from a master mechanic.

Part of the Video Series: How to Replace Dashboard Lights
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Video Transcript

Today we're changing instrument cluster lights on a '96 Ford Explorer. In this step I'm going to demonstrate the proper service procedure for removing your knee blocker plate. Now this piece of metal right here, is a safety device. It's there to absorb some of the impact, if you were in a front end collision, from the steering column. Instead of the steering column just dropping down and breaking your knees, they put this reinforcement there to kind of try and help you out. We have two hidden bolts for this instrument cluster bezel, one down in here and one down in here. So we are going to have to remove our knee blocker plate, to gain access to them. You're going to have a whole bunch of screws; your parking brake release handle may be a mounting point for one of these screws. You're going to want to take a good look around and find them all before you attempt removing it. On this particular vehicle it happens to be an eight millimeter socket, I'm going to take and drop all our bolts we take out into our magnetic tray so we don't lose them. The number of bolts may vary and their size may vary as well. This particular vehicle has between five and seven depending upon the exact model, and the size socket it takes is an eight millimeter. Any time I?m working on the interior of a vehicle I prefer to use my quarter inch wrench whenever possible. It's the smallest wrench typically available in the standard and metric socket set. And it fits real well in some of the tight spots on the inside. Alright and there's the last bolt. You can go ahead and remove your knee blocker plate, and set this aside for later installation. Now this thing is made out of stamped relatively heavy gauged steel and it does have some sharp edges. So you're not going to want to set this on your leather or plastic interior, it may damage it. That is the proper service procedure for removing the knee blocker plate.

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