Tech Article Title Author Date
Removing the Center Console Dan Masi 1996

There are two large pieces that form the center console. The rear part is removed first. Slide the front seats all the way back, and remove an 8mm hex bolt from each side of the console (you first need to pry off the trim cap, you'll see it, just a few inches aft of the gear shift). Remove the rear ash tray. This will expose two 13mm nuts with large washers; remove them (there may be a third nut visible, that is visibly different; do not remove this one). Remove the rectangular rubber pad from the rectangular well to the right of the parking brake (in front of the phone jack); it just sits in there, not glued or anything. Now remove the phone jack assembly; it's a black box that sits in the rear of the rectangular well, and it is held in place by spring clips. Push the front edge of it aft, and lift it out. This will expose another 13mm nut that you need to remove.

The rear part of the console is now essentially free, after removing 2 screws and three nuts. To lift it out, though, you need to first remove the parking brake trim. As you look at the parking brake, notice that the black plastic trim is in two pieces: the handgrip, about 5" or so long, and the rest of it, to the rear of the handgrip. You must first detach the handgrip from the larger rear trim. Where they meet, underneath, there is a square plastic "plug" that is pushed in from below. This plug is part of the handgrip, and must be removed by prying it downward. Once the plug is removed, the handgrip will slide forward and off. You can then slide the larger trim off (you may have to slide it forward and back a bit to loosen it, there is a piece of it near the top rear that fits into the parking brake handle).

Once the parking brake trim is removed, you need to lift the console at the rear and slide it backwards a bit to free it from the front part of the console. First, though, you need to remove the diagnostic connector from the rear ashtray area; do this, by using a small flat-blade screwdriver and sliding it down along the grooves in the side of the connector housing, to free the connector catches. You'll be able to push the connector down and out of the console. The rear console is now free to remove.

Remove the front part of the console as follows. The rear console must have been removed first, as above. In the driver's side footwell, there is a nut that must be removed. Pry off the trim cap in the side of the console, up near the gas pedal, and remove this nut. (The passenger's side doesn't have a nut, the console is held in place by a clip... sliding the console forward will free it off this clip). Remove the gear shift knob by unscrewing it. Pull the top of the leather shifter surround up and over the shifter. Remove the wood trim from around the switches/radio/climate control as follows: first, slide the radio forward. This will expose two 8mm hex screws, one on each side of the radio, that hold the wood trim in place. Remove these (and verify that they are indeed the screws that hold the wood trim, which is mounted to a plastic frame, in place!). The trim is also held in place by two spring clips, one on each side of the climate control. With the screws removed, you should be able to snap the wood trim out of these clips. Once these clips are free, the trim slides straight out (NOT up or down... there are slots above the switches, that tabs in the trim frame slide into for alignement, so the trim must be pulled straight back).

Removing the wooden trim will expose the four 8mm bolts that you need to remove to free the console. It should slide straight back a bit, then you can remove it; you will first need to disconnect the cigarette lighter connector (the connector has a tab on each side of it; squeeze these tabs inward to remove the connector).