You might contemplate changing your Jeep TJ dashboard if it has become worn out or you don’t like its bubbly surface. Replacing the dash might seem to be a daunting task. But once you learn more about how to upgrade the dash on Jeep TJ, you should feel more confident about doing the replacement yourself.
Removing the old dash and putting in a new one in your Jeep TJ is way easier than you had initially thought. All you need is some basic tools, and you are good to go. So, if you are looking for a custom interior upgrade, why not start with the dashboard?
When To Upgrade Dash In Your Jeep Wrangler TJ
If your stock dash has become discolored and damaged, you should go for a dash upgrade. You can also look for upgrades if you want to give the interior a touch of your personality. Moreover, you can add new features to the dash which were previously absent from the original dash.
Overall, if you want to spruce up the interior of your Jeep TJ, the dash can be a pretty good starting point.
How Much Do You Have To Spend To Upgrade The Dash In Your Jeep Wrangler TJ
If you factor in labor costs, it will add an extra $100 or more to the material cost. We will disregard this expenditure since changing the dash is one of the simplest modifications you can make in your vehicle. You don’t need extensive know-how of the blueprint of your car to get it done.
Just get a plastic pry tool that you can buy for less than $10 from your local hardware store. Then, buy a dash that will set you back around $100. For an upgrade, you will have to rely on aftermarket dash. You can expect to find one within the $100 price bracket.
Can You Paint Your Jeep, Wrangler TJ Dash?
What if you can’t find a dash that comes in the ideal color? Or, what if you did, but you don’t like its texture and features? If the only shortcoming for you in a particular dash model is the color, can you paint it to be more in line with your taste?
Of course, you can. But instead of traditional paint, you should look for paints that are purposefully made to be used on plastic. The Jeep Wrangler TJ comes with a stock plastic dash. If you choose a dash made of different material, make sure the paint you are using is compatible with the surface.
How To Upgrade Dash On Jeep TJ?
The first order of business is to take out the Jeep TJ’s dashboard. Then you can begin the installation of the new dash.
How To Remove The Dash
To get going, you should take out the window controls. Run a plastic pry tool into the edges and lift the window control unit. After it pops out of the socket, pull it out with your fingers. You will find 7mm bolts underneath. A standard screwdriver will be a good enough tool to take them out. But an impact driver will make things faster.
Then, turn your attention toward the panel on top of the dash. You can easily pull it out with your hand. If you have any accessories installed, like a phone mount, take it off as well.
Look for a panel under the steering wheel. If you have upgraded the Jeep Wrangler sound system, you should be familiar with it, as you can place the amplifier or the subwoofer there. Get your fingers into the small opening you find along the edges, and then pull the panel out.
There are two more dash panels on either side of your steering column. They will not come out as simply as the one that was under the steering wheel. Pick up the impact driver again, unscrew them, and remove the panels. Lowering the steering column will make it easier for you to bring out the panels.
After you take off the bigger panel, the rest will come off easily. There’s also a panel below the window control unit panel. This one houses the air conditioning and heater controls. It’s secured with snaps, so it will come off the compartment if you pull it out gently. But you will have to undo the harnesses on the back to remove the panel altogether. Undo the fasteners and remove the glove compartment and other remaining panels.
How To Install The New Dash
This one is the easiest part. You will have to do everything you just did in reverse to install the new dash. Start with the glove compartment, then the smaller panels, and finish up with the main panel. Reread our dashboard disassembly guide, and you will understand how you should proceed to install the new dashboard.
To get the best dash for your Jeep Wrangler TJ, don’t only prioritize the aesthetics. You must look for premium construction quality as well. Since you know how to upgrade the dash on Jeep TJ, you can save the mechanic service charge and spend your entire budget on the new dashboard.
I am Rick Bofia, a Jeep mechanic with a wealth of experience in repairing and maintaining Jeeps of all models and ages. I take pride in my expertise in diagnosing and repairing complex Jeep problems, from engine and transmission issues to suspension and brake system repairs. My passion for Jeeps and my dedication to delivering top-quality services have earned me a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy mechanic in the Jeep community. Whether you need routine maintenance or major repairs, you can trust me to get your Jeep back on the road in optimal condition.