This all started because I wanted to hardwire my Passport 8500. That being said, I searched the Tech pages, and I read my Bentley Publisher Service Manual. I was ARMED with information to remove that A-pillar trim! Basically, remove the grab bar, and pull trim from pillar! Gee, how easy is that! WRONG! The upper clip, near the top of the windshield is not like the other clips. It has a special retention system which needs to be undone prior to removing the trim piece.
Below are more detailed instructions and pictures.
So, lets get started. Wash your hands! The cloth will pick up any grime on your paws!
BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST OR BEND THE TRIM. It will wrinkle the material underneath and you will lose that smooth cloth look.
DON'T USE ANY SHARP OBJECTS TO POKE UNDER THE TRIM. You might damage your airbag.
(If you are worried about potentially deploying your airbags, disconnect the ground terminal on your battery).
Gently pry off the AirBag Cover at the top of the B-Pillar with your fingers or small screwdriver. Under it you will find a Torx screw. Use a T-25 Torx screwdriver to remove the screw.
Then remove the Clothes Hanger Clip just to the left of the Airbag cover. You will need Philips screwdrive to remove the clip. Behind the clip is another Torx screw (T25). Remove it. It should look like this.
Note that the A-Pillar Trim Retention piece sits UNDERNEATH the rear trim piece. This is why we had to loosen up the rear trim piece.
Next pull down the grab bar to expose the screw covers. Gently, pry the covers towards you, with with a pick or your finger nails. This will expose two more Torx screws (T25). Remove them.
To make things easier, remove the driver's sun visor. GENTLY remove the screw plug to expose the Philips screw underneath. Then CAREFULLY pull out the bracket and wiring harnesses.
Remove the cloth electrical tape between the brown harness and the visor. Then gently pull apart the plug from brown harness and also the plug from the black harness attached to the visor. BECAREFUL to support the visor and NOT put too much strain on the wires. You don't want to RIP the wires out of the blocks.
Now comes the fun part! The upper clip of the trim has a special retention clip. The clip is meant to be inserted, but not removed UNLESS you remove the retainer holding it to the trim. This is what it looks like from the INSIDE.
Notice the little cable attached to the clip? The cable goes to here.
The whole thing looks like...
Actually, once the retention system is undone, it will have to be put back together before you put the trim piece back on.
However, ALL YOU SEE FROM THE OUTSIDE IS THIS.
(This is just to the right of the grab bar screw hole. The trim is just barely pryed away from the car.) If you look closely between the GREEN wiring harness (left of the green harness) and the grey of the trim piece, you will see a tiny sliver of silver. That is the cable end you need.
So, now that you can see the cable. You have to PULL ON IT until it POPS loose from the retainer clip. You will need to pull the cable about an 1" to 1-1/2"s. You should feel it POP or give.
Carefully, pry the rear retainer bracket from the middle of the B-Pillar, and now you can gently remove the A-Pillar trim. Pull up and out away from the windshield. Now it should look like this!
With the trim piece removed, you need to remove clip that should STILL be in the metal pillar and reinstall it back in the trim piece. You will have to insert the head of clip in the trim hole, and slide the retention clip over the head. See the picture above!
Now go hardwire your V1 or Escort! Actually, both units use a 4-wire flatwire with a fone plug on the end. So, the same wiring harness could be used for EITHER.
With the trim clip reinstalled on the trim, installation is basically the reverse! Make sure that the trim piece is seated firmly and the clips are secure.
Don't forget to put the cloth tape back on the wires from the visor removal. Also, put the rubber seal back on the trim pieces like it was before. Use your fingers or something smooth to reseat the rubber piece over the A-pillar trim. NO screwdrivers. You might tear something!
Good luck! Remember this is just what I encountered with my '01 A6 2.7T. Your car may be slightly different. I take no responsibility if you try doing this and damage your car, yourself, your love life or anything else!