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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,606 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know how to remove the velour-covered under-dash knee bolster in the 560? Mine has 2 broken tabs, and I hope to remove and repair it in order to re-install it correctly. Complicating things, a previous owner installed a radar detector on the left side, which will be removed once I figure out the wiring.

Thanks
Chief
 

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1998 ML320, 2000 ML320
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213 Posts
About two years ago I took mine out along with the underdash panels to get at the cruise control brain. I cant remember for sure if you have to take out the under dash panels first but the bolster is held on by bolts or screws that are installed from the very bottom of the bolster in deep holes going up vertical in the bolster. You will need a little light to look up the holes to see what you are dealing with. Mechanics never put the panels back in right but if you look it all over carefully it's doable especially if you like working in tight spaces standing on your head. I guarantee the seats weren't in the car when the bolster and panels were installed at the factory. Good Luck
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,606 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I can feel my back aching already! When I get it back from brake surgery (rear pads became rear calipers became new master, and while we're at it new hoses)
I'll see if I can make myself feel better by fixing something for free!

Thanks!
Chief
 

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1986 560SL
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210 Posts
Chief:

Save your back for other activities! Here's how. Gently pull the carpet covering down from the bottom front edge of the bolster (there are at least three fragile plastic clips) -- you won't be able to pull the carpet off the edge that tucks under the dash below the steering wheel while the bolster is in place. Then, using a 10mm socket on the end of a 6-inch extension on a ratchet, loosen the two nuts in the holes on the bottom of the bolster under the carpeting. (You'll know you've stuck your fingers in the right holes if you feel the styrofoam filler.) If you loosen your nuts too much so that they fall off, no worries. Now, slide the bolster towards the rear of the car (the bolts fit into two metal slots on the top of the bolster), and it's off. Replace in reverse. Good luck.

KTT
 

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Outstanding Contributor
450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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21,903 Posts
Chief:

Save your back for other activities! Here's how. Gently pull the carpet covering down from the bottom front edge of the bolster (there are at least three fragile plastic clips) -- you won't be able to pull the carpet off the edge that tucks under the dash below the steering wheel while the bolster is in place. Then, using a 10mm socket on the end of a 6-inch extension on a ratchet, loosen the two nuts in the holes on the bottom of the bolster under the carpeting. (You'll know you've stuck your fingers in the right holes if you feel the styrofoam filler.) If you loosen your nuts too much so that they fall off, no worries. Now, slide the bolster towards the rear of the car (the bolts fit into two metal slots on the top of the bolster), and it's off. Replace in reverse. Good luck.

KTT
That's right. Installation appears to be done by putting the 10mm nuts loosely on the studs and hanging the bolster like a picture before tightening the nuts. I will post a picture later.

Most importantly, I would like to add that the studs are at a slight angle coming out of the dash. So when you put the extension socket up there you will have to do it at a slight angle.
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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Discussion Starter #6
Fonzi, this thread is 9 years old! My old 560SL is leading a happy life in western Massachusetts these days!
 

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1988 560SL (California Model)
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5,059 Posts
Here's a couple of shots of mine. I don't use it so getting it repaired is on the long list. I'm 6'4" so leg room is not an option. The larger holes about a third of the way up is where your 10mm socket and extension goes. Suggest you use a 1/4" drive 10mm socket and at least a 6" extension. Insert and feel around for the bolt head.



Here's what the back looks like. All 3 of my tabs are broken. Like I said I never use the damn thing so not too worried about the repair.



Edit...shit I didn't look at the date either. Oh well...here's some pics.
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500seAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Fonzi, this thread is 9 years old! My old 560SL is leading a happy life in western Massachusetts these days!

That doesn't change the fact that it is the best thread on knee bolster removal.

Here are the pics I took today.
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1468010508.323358.jpg
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1468010520.624920.jpg
ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1468010532.909014.jpg
^^ the 3 pins sticking up apparently don't need to be removed to take the bolster off, just the two covers that are flat in the pic above.
 

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US spec MB560SL 1986, Audi A4 and A6, Ford Taunus 1964 17M and 2.0 1975
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1,416 Posts
I have installed tweeter into knee bolter. Now I need another (original) bolster for Classic/Historic car inspection...Classic car insuarance will be extremely cheap.
 

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W211-E500 4-Matic-MY2004 (Traded in), X164-GL550-MY2012, W218-CLS550-MY2013, R107-560SL-MY1986
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3 Posts
I was replacing the factory speakers in our 1986 560SL, with upgraded ones from BECKER Autosound.
The passenger side went fine, but of course I had to remove the knee bolster on the drivers side to access the 2 tiny screws that hold the bottom of the speaker grill on that side.
After reading this post I understood what needed to be done, access the 2 bolts deep up in the bolster, sounded easy enough, if you can stand on your head in an already tiny space.
I fumbled with it for some time, but then found a hand mirror and placed it on the carpet/floor directly below each bolt hole (with the flexible carpet piece held back out of the line of sight, made it a breeze to see the bolts and guide my socket extension to the bolt head. Needless to say, reattaching the bolster went much easier, after this discovery.
Thank you for the info on this subject to get started with.
 

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1987 560sl (chrome bling now removed), 2002tii, FJ40, FJ62, M5
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8 Posts
This may be an old thread, but what a help! Thank you all. I was replacing my speakers and while I was in there I cleaned up up some loose wires and added a ground strap to the cluster. The knee bolster came out in less than 5 minutes. I used the holes with the blank plugs, just inside and slightly to the rear of the fasteners, and and did not remove the plastic fasteners. Regular 10mm socket with a 12" wobble extension. It located both nuts immediately while taking off and putting back on. I only loosened the nuts about 5 turns each. 1 banana job.
 
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