Project Cappuccino: Witchcraft and Wizardry
Cappuccino HVAC removal
The dashboard in the Cappuccino comes out as a nearly complete assembly, so the next steps involve unplugging the items that will stay in the dash when its removed and removing the items that will stay plugged into the car.  The first part of this process required removing the HVAC/stereo surround trim and the HVAC control panel.  Next, we removed the steering wheel for clearance, then removed the trim panel below the steering column. Then, we unbolted the steering column support and let it hang for more clearance.
Cappuccino Speaker Cover
The speaker cover panels will also have to come off. Check out the mount for the mandatory Japanese flare. If your trim clips are broken, we found that Toyota trim retainers are perfect replacements at your local auto parts store. These panels will need to come off to reveal two of the dash mounting bolts. Obviously we had removed these earlier so we could remove the speakers.
Cappuccino Upper Dashboard Mounts
There are 6 bolts that hold the dash in place: three at the bottom and three at the top. There is one next to each door (revealed when the speaker panels are removed) and the middle bolt is under the radio. Up top, remove three trim covers (two of which can be seen here) and the upper three bolts are revealed. Remove all of these and the dash will drop free. Reach underneath, unplug the two big connectors for the ignition switch and gauge cluster, and lift the entire assembly free.
Maximum Cappuccino Destruction
We have now reached maximum Cappuccino destruction. Obviously when tearing this deep into a car, organization is really important. We ended up with over a dozen sandwich bags full of screws and clips, all labeled according to where they came from in the car. This made reassembly a million times easier, especially since all of this work took place over the course of about two months (specifically during rolling furloughs at work thanks to Covid in the Spring).
Cappuccino Wiring Short
With the dashboard out, we finally found our smoking gun. This portion of the harness connects the key, wiper, and headlight switches to the rest of the car.


    1. In the Cappuccino, there is no dimmer for the dash lights. I’m not sure if they are dimmable in other vehicles. But for the Cappuccino the dash lights are so dim to begin with they bring the readability up from “useless” to “regular 90’s car.”

      1. I replaced the cluster lights in my e30 with leds, and they dim perfectly with the standard dimmer.
        It really is a great upgrade. And they will practically work forever.

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