goldfinger847

Panel Removal

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I removed the radio/CD combo from my '04 RX330 for repair. In the process the socket and extension popped off my wrachet and fell down to the bottom of the shifter console. I need to remove the lower plastic panel under the shifter to retrieve it. My hand is too big to go under from the back and my magnetic tool won't reach it either. I can't see any caps that would indicate a screw or other fastener so I'm assuming it just has clips. Given the location of the panel and the likely cost to replace it if I damage it, I'd rather get advice from someone that knows how this panel is removed. Thanks in advance for any help.

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You need to remove the panel below the steering wheel column and the entire glove box to gain access to screws/bolts at the sides of the panel you want to remove. I've done this before for the same reason you describe... the bolts i dropped (from navigation and radio) ended up going into this little cavity and i needed to use the magnetic tool to find them. They were rattling like crazy!

I just took some pics to show how to get started...

16iwm0l.jpg

2qsntc7.jpg

2utj7z6.jpg

zus1s0.jpg

50sh1i.jpg

9iwdg9.jpg

2lnvhbd.jpg

After these are removed, you should be able to pull away the panel under the steering wheel column and see 2 bolts (screws i think actually) that attach the left side of the panel you want removed. Then remove the glove box and you'll see the two bolts that hold the right side of the panel in place (symmetrical location to the left side). Then lift the shifter surround piece and remove the two screws holding it to the shifter area (pictured). There may be 2 more screws at the top of the shifter panel, i don't remember.

Then you should be able to remove the panel. Pull "out" and watch the center shifter area as you'll need to guide a flat piece (connecting left side of panel to right) out and over the shifter plate.

If your socket and extention fell in the same place as my bolts did (and i bet they did) then you may need to remove the center console (the one with the cup holders) and remove the flat tray at the bottom, followed by the air duct that feeds the center console rear vents. My bolts were right underneath the duct about 6" from the front. You'll see a round hole into a shallow (2" deep) cavity. Try driving back and forth very aggressively to see if there's anything rattling down in there.

If you have everything removed and can't find the socket and extension, take a few pictures of the car opened up and let me see them, i can draw arrows to where i think they might have gone in the cavity. If you need me quicker, my email is cduluk@cox.net. Good luck!

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I removed the radio/CD combo from my '04 RX330 for repair. In the process the socket and extension popped off my wrachet and fell down to the bottom of the shifter console. I need to remove the lower plastic panel under the shifter to retrieve it. My hand is too big to go under from the back and my magnetic tool won't reach it either. I can't see any caps that would indicate a screw or other fastener so I'm assuming it just has clips. Given the location of the panel and the likely cost to replace it if I damage it, I'd rather get advice from someone that knows how this panel is removed. Thanks in advance for any help.

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You need to remove the panel below the steering wheel column and the entire glove box to gain access to screws/bolts at the sides of the panel you want to remove. I've done this before for the same reason you describe... the bolts i dropped (from navigation and radio) ended up going into this little cavity and i needed to use the magnetic tool to find them. They were rattling like crazy!

I just took some pics to show how to get started...

16iwm0l.jpg

2qsntc7.jpg

2utj7z6.jpg

zus1s0.jpg

50sh1i.jpg

9iwdg9.jpg

2lnvhbd.jpg

After these are removed, you should be able to pull away the panel under the steering wheel column and see 2 bolts (screws i think actually) that attach the left side of the panel you want removed. Then remove the glove box and you'll see the two bolts that hold the right side of the panel in place (symmetrical location to the left side). Then lift the shifter surround piece and remove the two screws holding it to the shifter area (pictured). There may be 2 more screws at the top of the shifter panel, i don't remember.

Then you should be able to remove the panel. Pull "out" and watch the center shifter area as you'll need to guide a flat piece (connecting left side of panel to right) out and over the shifter plate.

If your socket and extention fell in the same place as my bolts did (and i bet they did) then you may need to remove the center console (the one with the cup holders) and remove the flat tray at the bottom, followed by the air duct that feeds the center console rear vents. My bolts were right underneath the duct about 6" from the front. You'll see a round hole into a shallow (2" deep) cavity. Try driving back and forth very aggressively to see if there's anything rattling down in there.

If you have everything removed and can't find the socket and extension, take a few pictures of the car opened up and let me see them, i can draw arrows to where i think they might have gone in the cavity. If you need me quicker, my email is cduluk@cox.net. Good luck!

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I am wondering how are the plastic side door frames can be lifted so I can reach the bolts. As well as the little plastic cover where another bolt is hidden. It is under the steeling and next to shift selector.

Which are these two parts,

16iwm0l.jpg

2qsntc7.jpg

I am having the same problem that I dropped the bolts in the little cave......it is kind of annoying when it is rattling.

thanks for the instruction and please forgive my poor English :P

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Hi all, I know this is an old thread but I just spend a while trying to find two of the stereo bolts and a ratchet head (yes, I know, I was having a bad day and may have lost my patience a bit while working on the stereo) but I finally found all three pieces in that hole at the base of the center stack that's been referred to. I removed the center stack as well as the air ducts that connect to the ducts below the front seats. I was able to get them all buy pushing this tool...

https://smile.amazon.com/Master-Magnetics-07229-Magnetic-Retrieving/dp/B00GVJJJ6K/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1505086765&sr=8-16&keywords=magnetic+pick-up+tool

...into the hole about 10 inches and slowly pulling them up. They were driving me nuts rolling around down there so while I'm still an idiot I'm feeling slightly redeemed. I've attached pictures of the cabin with the center console removed and the hole at the bottom where I fished the bolts out. 

 

 

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