Dash Swap –Retaining 89-93 wiring
A couple of observations from my swap.
The swap can be accomplished without any welding or bracket addition, You just have to remove the early firewall “nubs”. Drill the spot welds and twist the braket free from the top weld with a pir of Vice Grips. With those removed you can use machine screws to secure the top of the dash to the firewall piece. The Right hand kick panel bolt will go right in. The drivers side needs a new hole drilled for the lower hole, or, the upper hole can be used. The trick: Through the headlight switch hole, push on the side of the dash out from the inside and you can use a wobble and a long extension to run the top bolt in. You don’t need the other bracket inside the dash in that area. The central two studs will line up in the center bottom of the dash. The extra ear on the driveshaft tunnel mount is not necessary.
The wiring swap is not that bad. Where rod installed a 94+ harness I reinstalled my old harness into the new dash. You will have to cut and lengthen the wires for the A/C & Photocell (dash top) sensors, cig lighter, defrost switch, misc light bulbs and decide what you want to do about the headlamp switch & auto-on. I plan on rewiring mine for the nice dial type. Pull the plastic “tray/tunnel” off the old harness and reroute everything into the new dash. Make a bracket for your fuse block as this is the hardest piece to position, everything else has a good spot in the new dash. The door wiring is a little trickier. The new switches have a lot more wires than the old ones. You will need the ends of the door harnesses off of a 94+ to mount the switches. I will post my wiring diagrams as soon as I revise them.
The steering column is the other fun part. You will need the ignition switch slider harness to re-pin the old harness into. You will have to splice in the additional ground and powers wire used in the 94+ harnesses. Other than the couple of addition g/p wires it’s a color for color re-pin. Now for the trouble spot: the Multi function switch. The 94+ is shorter, sharper angle, and has the intermittent wipers controlled by the EEC rather than the switch/motor interface. Rather than losing my intermittent wipers, I cut away the alum on the steering column that interferes with the 93- multi switch. With the column cut down, the switch is a bolt in. Now the down side to that; the longer handle sits only ½ inch away from the steering wheel meaning you hit it while turning and you no longer have flash-to-pass. My temp solution is to drive with the switch in “bights” mode during the day and flat hand the steering wheel at night. Takes a little getting used to but it works. You could swap the bright and regular light pins, but I am still working on that.
The seat belts become the next issues. If you want to retain the Auto belts, you will have to knoch out the bottom of the door panel a large amount where the lap belt box resides. The Door is ½ inch too close even with the plastic off. I am doing this as I want to retain the belts. Rod’s route is a much easier way. The a-pillar plastic leaves a little gap at the dash if you reuse the early ones.
The steering wheel is up to you. The SC/ Early can be bolted on, but you need to “clearance” (bend over) the wire connection that protrudes under the steering wheel coming out of the column “contact slider”. Also warp it in electrical tape or the Steering wheel will cut in to it and short-circuit your buttons. The horn wire gets cut first and will leave you on the side of the road wondering why your horn is stuck on. You will have to splice both ends of the cruise/column wire into the old dash harness and the steering wheel buttons. Or use the airbag wheel and you only have to splice the column to harness wires.
The ignition switch will swap in, just be sure to install the top cover before you push the cylinder in. Radio fits in stock place. Old climate control plastic face needs cut down a little to fit in the DIN hole but it works. You can also install it in the bottom slot with no wire/vac line modification. The issues of cluster clearance was not a problem for me, 94/92 could swap back and forth with the same bezel to cluster clearance. Just be aware that the 92/94 (complete cluster) is not interchangeable.
Get a center console for what you have. An auto with a hand brake needs a 94+ SC auto center. I have a 95 5-spd from my swap (can’t shift past N) and a 94 LX auto (not for handbrake), so I drive without a console top for now. 94 speaker bezels need new holes drilled to install them, no provision on the old doors. The crap foam inside the doors can be tossed if it can't be re-glued.
Do ALL maintenance / modifications at this convenience; like heater core, clutch bracket/hole, firewall wire grommets, extra wiring for gauges sensors, dynamat, ect. Don’t forget to reinstall the dash to heater box foam seal or you will be pulling you dash again… don’t ask.
Also on a side note; for a 5-spd swap the LX brake pedal resides directly behind the clutch pedal when installed, if you cut it down you would have to cut it off. I will torch, bend the arm and weld on a new smaller pedal for the brake to make it work. The pedal bracket is specific to the type of brake system you have. IE: Early SC pedal or bracket does not work on vacuum style brake cylinder.
And a question for Rod, what did you do about the area on the forward part of the door where the old little plastic triangle held the old door panel down? If you can think of anthing I missed please let me know and I will try my best to "reverse engineer" my install.