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Transmission & Other Stuff Drivetrain tech and other Taco build related stuff.

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  #1  
Unread 02-27-2009, 11:28 PM
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Default Cleaning Under the Dashboard in the Tacoma

I could never get my Toyota Tacomas interior to smell very nice. There was just too much dirt inside the cab from off roading and no air freshener could ever hide the basement smell. So while I'm installing my new engine I might as well make the cab smell new inside again. First I just started cleaning out some dirt here and there but I soon realized I had better remove the whole dashboard and do things the right way.

I have put a couple stereo systems in this truck in the past so removing everything is really really easy for me at this point. So I started pulling off panels and removing the glove box and supports. It is not pretty under there!

Here is the AC box covered in dust inside and out.


And the fan box and interior intake
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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:30 PM
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The dash is just hopelessly covered in dust under the whole thing.



There are only a few nuts holding the dash on the mounting bar and then there are snapping retainers along the whole top near the very front under the windsheild.

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:31 PM
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Once you start pulling out plastic panels you will realize how bad it really is under there.

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:33 PM
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And a few minutes after starting I had the whole dashboard off. It really isn't that difficult but doing it your first time might take a noob maybe 20-30 minutes without breaking anything, hopefully.



Now you'll see the true power of the force.

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:36 PM
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The Tacoma's AC controller unit was equally as dirty and is the last thing I have yet to clean out. I'll probably just use a simple rag to keep from spraying any substance on it. It works great as it is so I want to make sure it works when I reinstall it! A rag and a brush is all it needs to clean up.

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:42 PM
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When you start to lose track of time then you will really start to make progress.

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:45 PM
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Now all the wires are properly wired and routed. I couldn't stand the rust on the dash support. The spray can was handy and the Hammerite dries very quickly. Brushes dust off the rest of the dirt and after a minute of compressed air the loose dirt should be gone. From here I brought out some disposable Armor All wipes and went to work. Time really starts to fly when you are having so much fun. :P

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Unread 02-27-2009, 11:49 PM
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For all the air tubes I pushed rags through them with a common claw type extension that is good for recovering dropped bolts. Some people call them titty twisters. Anyhow a good wiping with some towels and then I used the Armor All to hopefully remove some of the dirt smell and make things shiny.

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Unread 03-01-2009, 08:53 PM
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So you already saw how dirty the fan box and the AC condenser box was above now here is the result after a couple hours of cleaning:
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Unread 03-01-2009, 08:55 PM
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Here is a picture of the AC box just before I put it back together. It all comes apart fairly easily and I was more than happy to spend the time to clean it out! It was filthy on the inside just as it was on the outside. I can't wait to have the new car smell once again. It just smelled dirty before no matter what type of air freshener I tried.

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Unread 03-01-2009, 08:58 PM
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The condensor was packed with all sorts of little leaves and a few bugs as well. And for some reason there was some fuzz stuck to the little louvers as well. I used some tiny pliers and some pics to try and get everything out but it didn't work so well. So then I resorted to using a propane torch to burn the stuff out of there. That worked great. If the leaves and stuff didn't completely burn at least they shrunk a little and I was able to shoot them out of there with compressed air. Just getting this stuff out probably got back another 20% in AC performance.

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Unread 03-01-2009, 09:01 PM
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Here are the main AC box and fan box all cleaned up perfectly. Taking pictures really helped speed things up since I could refer to them while putting these parts back together again. It was like taking a little puzzle apart and putting it back together again. The Toyota engineers did a good job designing these AC parts to fit in such a small location in this Tacoma. The fan was REALLY dirty and the dirt didn't come off so easily. I used some small acid brushes and some little scrapers to clean the little squirrel cage out. That took the most time to clean out the fan.



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Unread 03-01-2009, 09:02 PM
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And the result: Super clean like new Tacoma air conditioning system. It will be worth the time invested to have it all working and smelling line new.
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Unread 03-01-2009, 09:04 PM
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I've got the dash panel all cleaned up and it will pop right back in. It shouldn't take another 5 minutes to put the dash back in and then a couple more minutes to assemble everything else. These all come apart and go back together really quickly.
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Unread 03-01-2009, 09:06 PM
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The next job I have to do is clean out the instrument cluster. This thing has always had dirt inside of it and even a couple rocks! I also have some plastic polish and I'll be putting it to the test to try and remove some of the blemishes in the clear face panel.

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