Ferrari 599 dash install

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by tcw, Apr 5, 2017.

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  1. tcw

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    #1 tcw, Apr 5, 2017
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    Like most back yard mechanics, when you want to work on your car for a problem that you haven’t tackled before, I figured I would just go to the internet and get started. But when you have a Ferrari 599 and you want to take your dash out to get the leather redone good luck. Sure, there are some pictures of blown out interiors for some guy’s end stereo install or a shop showing a limited shot or two of their upholstery work (probably to scare anyone from doing it themselves) but not much of anything else, certainly nothing I could find in a “how to” format with pictures. Probably most 599 owners would probably pay some one else to do it but, since I bought this car as a project, I thought I would take the time to post some pictures and comments as a thread on the forum and let others add their own (hopefully friendly) as well. I am going to post as I prod along over the next couple of weeks.

    First of all, I am going to cheat a little and show the process as an install of the dash as opposed to taking it apart, since in retrospect, it is easier to explain and post the most important points of the process (at least the process I am following). I also did break down and buy the manual cd for a couple of hundred bucks but found it a pain in some respects as a dash removal and install requires you to jump around through many sections. It is otherwise ok but does make some assumptions that the mechanic knows some things that are not talked about. It is helpful for the sequence of events and finding the fasteners the engineers have so well hidden. Once you know these facts it really is not that hard to do.

    Here is a shot of the car at the end of the first night and a picture of the tools I used. Only a few items are not already in most guy’s (or gal’s) tool box. You might also want to use a battery operated screw driver to speed things along.
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  2. tcw

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    #2 tcw, Apr 5, 2017
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    As for the reason I pulled the dash, as I explained to my wife in a way she could appreciate, is because of “shrinkage”. It seems that every Ferrari I have owned has this problem with the leather on the dash. On one of them it actually bent/distorted the fiberglass structure to which it was attached. The guy I had cover this one told me to just do it in vinyl and I will never see the problem again, And I almost did but we couldn’t find a suitable match to the rest of the interior. I ended up having to buy a whole hide since, despite some helpful leads from other forum members, no one had a reasonable size piece they would sell me. I ended up getting a good match from a supply house in Seattle for about 7 to 8 bucks a square foot going through my upholstery guy who got it wholesale (about 1/2 what it costs to the public). They sell leather for aviation so you have to make sure you don’t order it with the fire retardant which my guy says is harder to work with due to stiffness. The original stuff comes from a leather factory in Italy called POLTRONA FRAU GROUP. Mine originally came from Bridge of Weir leather in Scotland. The second reason was that the defroster vents were broken or bend at the outer tips, a problem with a weak design that gets stress from tightening them down into the fiberglass structure.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the leather on the dash and the problem with the binnacle.
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  3. tcw

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    #3 tcw, Apr 5, 2017
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    I basically took off most of the bits and pieces off the dash structure and took it to the upholstery shop. They did all the leather removal as well as the foam underlayment and redid everything except the air bag which has an embedded emblem that would be hard to reproduce and which also was in good shape. Here are some pictures of that dash after I got it back as well as the interior of the car as I started this evening.
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  4. tcw

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    #4 tcw, Apr 5, 2017
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    Tip of the day: Go ahead and remove both seats, the panels from the luggage areas and side ceiling panels in the beginning. It will make your life easier in the long run. Also, use moving blankets to protect everything during the removal process so the leather around the doors and other structures don't get scratched. You don't have to remove the steering wheel but it is much easier if you take out the four socket head bolts that hold the steering structure up. I probably is actually better than removing the steering wheel which still leaves some of the shifting and other mechanisms in the way.

    Thats all for tonight but will post some more as the project moves along.
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  5. Dave rocks

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    Cool thread - following :)
     
  6. flat_plane_eddie

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    +1...unfortunately I can't help you but definitely following this!
     
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  8. tcw

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    #7 tcw, Apr 6, 2017
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    Next I will post some pictures on the assembly of the dash. First I started with putting in the windscreen vents of which there is a left and right. I also show the old vents in place so you can see why I replaced them. Two of these pictures are from the underside view. You can see the duct work that was left in place along with the installed airbag unit. The remaining duct work is installed later as you will need access for the installation of the speakers to be described ahead. The last picture shows the vents screwed in place.
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  9. tcw

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    #8 tcw, Apr 6, 2017
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    Each has three screws of which the lateral most screw is hidden by a hole in the ducting and covered by a rubber plug. I am some what paranoid about the screws loosening so I did put a small dab of ABS cement on the tips of them before inserting. The plastic structure is also prone to stripping so be careful not to be too aggressive.
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  10. tcw

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    #9 tcw, Apr 6, 2017
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    With the vents in I moved on to the speakers (left, right and center), and wiring harness for LED (for the alarm) and sunlight sensor. The LED sticks through to the upper surface where the cover button is installed as an interference fit from the top. The sunlight sensor has a plastic dome that is positioned through from the underside prior to installing the sensor unit itself. Also note the little tabs poking through around the underside near the speaker which have been folded over which are for the speaker grill and hold it in place.
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  11. Anthony James

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    Excellent! Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Hawkeye

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    Did you cover leather over the LED Alarm light? I'm not seeing it in the photo next to the light sensor. This little light seems to be a problem area with the leather popping off. Thoughts? Edit, it's on the other side, can't see it in your picture.
     
  13. tcw

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    #12 tcw, Apr 7, 2017
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    No I didn't, cover it with leather. I just made a small hole in the leather and pushed the plastic cover on. Mine was pretty tight when I took it off. There are some thread like marks on the cover shaft but I think they are just groves. The hole in your leather may be too big and or the LED cover is worn if it is popping off. If you are not redoing the leather may be you can find a thin black washer to put over the LED first (if the fit is tight enough with the plastic. I you do redo the leather make a hole only just large enough to stretch while forcing the cover shaft through. I don't know if that makes sense. Here is a picture of mine now.
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  15. tcw

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    #13 tcw, Apr 8, 2017
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  16. tcw

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    #14 tcw, Apr 8, 2017
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    You basically just slide them in place, bend the tabs in the front, screw the tabs on the side and put on the larger and smaller nuts/washers.

    Once in place you then can put on the remaining ductwork. I one picture you can see why you need to wait until the dash covers and speakers are in place before doing so (because of the need to access the smaller studs. The ducts have one end that slides into the tunnel already mounted and then 3 screws holding each of them to the sides of the structure base.

    The dash is now ready to instal although in retrospect I might try to attach the under panel on the driver's side next time (if ever) but that would require removal of the steering wheel and possibly the shift paddles and stalks. I'll go into that later.
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  17. tcw

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    #15 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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    From here I put on the VIN plate and installed the dash back into the car. A second pair of hands is helpful, but not necessary, mostly to keep from scratching anything up. I found it easier to remove the 4 bolts holding up the steering mechanism ( and two smaller bolts that attach the front of the block to the framing) at this point to make life easier and in retrospect can figure out how I got it out in the first place without doing so. I also took care to make sure all the wires tracked out from front to back so all the various connectors from the speakers, air bag, and sensors can be accessed. The picture of the dash was taken here during the removal process.
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  18. tcw

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    #16 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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    The three tabs on the front of the dash structure slide into the matching fixation points on the body below the windshield. You can refer to the previously posted overhead dash picture to see the tabs on the structure.
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  19. tcw

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    #17 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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    Next is is a matter of attaching the dash structure with the fasteners which include one nut on each side, 4 bolts and metal shim to the airbag mount, and screw midline at the center front (including 2 through bolts, washers and nuts holding the fibercarbon dash cover in place which could have been put on with the dash out). Note there is only 1 center screw at this point even though you can see three holes. The outer 2 come later when attaching the center side cover.
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  20. tcw

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    #18 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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    But before you get carried away and tighten everything down, don’t forget to put in the upper right and left ducts that go from the center distribution area that supply the air to the dash. I learned this the hard way and had to go back and undo all the fasteners so I could get them in. Unfortunately they are an interference fit so would probably get knocked off if you put them on the dash before sliding it in place. At some point when you are taking the dash apart they’ll fall off as you ponder where they came from. After they are in you can tighten all the fasteners.
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  21. tcw

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    Tip of the day: Before you tighten down all the fasteners make sure your wires are going to where they will end up and not pinched down or hidden behind something.
     
  22. tcw

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    #20 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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  23. tcw

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    #21 tcw, Apr 10, 2017
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    Then install the hood release latch while it is easy to get to.

    Because of the difficulty in attaching the 2 screws indicated in one of the attached pictures I might do things differently in the future and will let other experiment. These two screws probably took me an hour to get out and about the same to get back in. You have to contort your body position and work through the light switch hole and from the steering column side to painfully start the screws and use a short stubby phillips head screwdriver. This is where I think if you removed the steering wheel it would be easier because you could attach the undercover to the dash before you put it in the car. I think this is the way they must have done it at the factory because there are paint marks on the screw heads (and I don't think they could have put them there after the dash was installed). IN any case the cover otherwise goes on in a pretty straight forward manner with 5mm x .8 phillis head screws. You will have to reinstall the steering column first. There are 2 screws on the bottom out side, the 2 “hidden painful screws and 8 underside screws.
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  24. tcw

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    Another tip of the day: When taking apart the dash, separate and label all the screws as to where they go. Although they look similar there are various lengths, some are too long to fit in certain “blind” end holes and you will waste a lot of time putting them in and taking them out trying to find out which one goes where. Also some use black washers and some are zinc.
     
  25. tcw

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    #23 tcw, Apr 19, 2017
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    Although when I was taking the dash out I removed the glovebox before the center console area, I found it easier to install it first so that the upper right aspect of the console had something to attach to. The glove box is attached without the hinged front door. The connectors are attached to the light to the glovebox light and light switch at this point but not the motorized latch release which is in the door.
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  26. tcw

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    #24 tcw, Apr 19, 2017
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    When installing you need to be careful of the connector to the light switch as there is not much clearance and it could be bent as someone did here on mine. I used a heat gun and was able to mold it back into shape. I think this may have been a factory design flaw.

    With the glovebox in place I next installed the sides of which there are 2 capture pins, 2 phillips head screws for the driver’s side and 1 for the passenger side.
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  27. tcw

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    #25 tcw, Apr 19, 2017
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