Remove '97 Center Console Without Damage? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 14th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Remove '97 Center Console Without Damage?

Hi everyone,

I need to remove the center console in a '97 SW, and I'm concerned about breaking the bits and pieces, especially considering how rare they are.

I've read the instructions in the workshop manual, but the details are a little thin. I can pull the stereo, CD player, and cubby with no problem, of course.

Is there a trick to removing the gear selector housing surround? Just pull the back edge rearward and lift? Is it that easy?

How about the high-low gear lever gaitor? Is there a particular point that I want to flex to release it?

Any other caveats?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old June 14th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Spalding View Post
Hi everyone,

I need to remove the center console in a '97 SW, and I'm concerned about breaking the bits and pieces, especially considering how rare they are.

I've read the instructions in the workshop manual, but the details are a little thin. I can pull the stereo, CD player, and cubby with no problem, of course.

Is there a trick to removing the gear selector housing surround? Just pull the back edge rearward and lift? Is it that easy?

How about the high-low gear lever gaitor? Is there a particular point that I want to flex to release it?

Any other caveats?

Thanks in advance for your help.
I have the same issue as I need to replace the lamps in the selector...I was afraid that it might break. I took the top plate off and stopped for fear of breakage. I decided to look into it more this weekend.
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  #3  
Old June 14th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
I have the same issue as I need to replace the lamps in the selector...I was afraid that it might break. I took the top plate off and stopped for fear of breakage. I decided to look into it more this weekend.
Thanks for reminding me. The selector lamp bulbs have been out so long in my truck that I forgot they were there. I'll add it to the "while I'm at it" list. Now, if we can only figure out how to get at them without breaking anything . . .
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  #4  
Old June 14th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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It is very easy. Remove the radio, the cd player and the rear cubby and the bolts holding it to the floor. Then pull the pin on the shifter to remoe the handle, shift it into neutral. The transfer shifter boot has plastic clips. Then there are two clips/pins in the very front. Lift it/pivot from the back and gently remove it.
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Old June 14th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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The main shifter base-plate, is removed by popping up the rear edge of it, use a standard screw driver in the center-top of the unit to assist.

Besides the bolts at the rear interior of the console, my center console also has 2 bolts, one on each side (outside), towards the bulkhead holding the forward end down. When you go to "lift & pull" the unit it's best to be in the rear area and remove it to the rear of the vehicle.

On replacing your bulbs, make sure you use the proper Wattage as if you go higher you chance melting the housing.

On the shifter handle removal, the top of it is actually a cap, hard to see the seam but it's there around the top groove, a thin flat screw driver works best to get an edge under it. Now you'll see the retainer etc. to get it off. It's not required to remove the handle just to pull the console.

Pry the transfer case boot around the edges, it'll pop-up, then unscrew the knob (and boot) off 'till it comes off.

You may want to service your shifter housing as outlined here in this post while your this far into it.
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...hifter+housing
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  #6  
Old June 14th, 2012, 10:34 PM
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Great advice guys, Thank you for the help!
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  #7  
Old June 14th, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Spalding View Post
Thanks for reminding me. The selector lamp bulbs have been out so long in my truck that I forgot they were there. I'll add it to the "while I'm at it" list. Now, if we can only figure out how to get at them without breaking anything . . .
You don't need to pull the whole console to change the lights under the shifter. You can remove the trim around it and reach underneath.
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Old June 14th, 2012, 10:58 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll get after it this weekend.
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  #9  
Old June 14th, 2012, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronlam View Post
You don't need to pull the whole console to change the lights under the shifter. You can remove the trim around it and reach underneath.
Yeah I figured...but I just can't help myself.
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  #10  
Old June 15th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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I have had mine out a few times. This ECR link helped:
http://www.eastcoastrover.com/LEDflasher.html

Getting it out is easy but I suggest you recruit help when it comes time to reinstall as it has to be carefully worked into place and the plastic is fragile.
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  #11  
Old June 15th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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Jeff- thanks for the link, that does help alot. I didnt even think to look at ECR. They do have a good knowlege base on line. Thanks!!
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  #12  
Old June 19th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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I would like to send a big thank you to you all for your advice. The operation was ultimately a success. But it did not go smoothly.

Fore-armed with the advice I got here, getting the console out and back in again was relatively easy.

There was an hour or so of panic after I got the center console and instrument panel put back together. In preparation for patting myself on the back, I like to test to make sure I haven't screwed anything up. I always check beforehand, because patting oneself on the back without having expressed the proper humility is definitely asking for a jinx. I had to check everything out before beating my chest and congratulating myself on another nearly impossible job well done. So, once I'd put the last screw in the instrument cluster, I went to start the truck. I put the key in and turned it. Immediately the seat belt reminder chime sounded and the truck started as usual. The seat belt reminder stopped chiming but instead of going silent it went to a constant steady beep. That was weird. I switched off the engine with the key. The beep stopped, but I couldn't get the key out. I tried all the usual suspects - wriggled the steering wheel, played with the gear shift, the brake pedal. Nothing worked. The car was turned off, but with the key in the ignition. I went in to dinner and brooded over it. I wondered if I had nicked some wiring with the drill, or if there were some bit of electronics that needed to be reset.

After dinner I went outside and repeated everything that I did before. Finally I decided I would disconnect the battery to reset whatever chip I imagined might be the culprit. The second the negative terminal was removed from the battery, I heard the solenoid in the steering column click, and I could remove the key. I waited 10 minutes, reconnected the battery, inserted the key, and started the truck. Again the continuous beep, and again I couldn't remove the key unless I disconnected the battery. I could drive the truck - I only drove it a foot or two forward and back, as there were wires dangling beneath the truck. But the problem persisted.

I would rather stand naked on a street corner holding a sign that says "free spanks" than take my truck to the mechanic and tell him I screwed it up working on it myself and now I need him to fix it. Nothing could be more humiliating.

So I went inside and asked here what the problem might be. The first replies I got were about the interlock switch. Grateful as I was for those replies, I already knew about the interconnect switch. Or so I thought.

There are things you have to accept with older cars. This goes double for British cars. When I removed the center console I had the whole gearshift assembly laid bare before me. The first thing I noticed is that the gear selector is supposed to be illuminated but one bulb was missing and the other was burnt out. The other thing I noticed were some tiny nuts and bolts on the floor next to the gear shift. Whenever I take something apart on my Defender I find mystery hardware laying there. It's fruitless to try to find out where the hardware belongs, and when I find it, I don't even question it. I just put it in a ziploc bag in the cubby with all its brethren. Every once in a while a squeak will develop and I'll find out where some of the hardware goes. But now, as I was having a problem, I thought about those tiny nuts and bolts. I wondered if they were supposed to be in the gear shift mechanism, and wondered if their absence from the mechanism might be the cause of my problem. I pondered removing the center console again to get at the mechanism. Then I pondered taking apart the shift lever assembly to find out where the nuts and bolts go. Then I imagined not being able to get it back together, and thought that driving my truck to the mechanic with the beep sounding continuously for the entire drive and the key stuck in the ignition wasn't nearly as humiliating as having my truck flat-bedded to the mechanic with a disassembled gear lever mechanism.

Desperate now, I went back out to the truck. Heart rate increasing. Vision narrowing. Hearing the acid pouring into my stomach. Darkness was falling. I sat in the truck. I pulled fuses and replaced them. I turned on the lights, the fan - I tried every switch. I tried every gear on the transmission individually. I tried the transfer case the beep ceased. The key could now be removed. Evidently the interlock system includes the transfer case as well as the automatic transmission. Pulse slowing. Breathing becoming more relaxed. Veins relaxing back into my neck. That was a close one. Evidently when I was removing the the knob and gator from the low-high shift lever I must have nudged the lever enough to make the switch think the transfer case was out of gear.

Whew. On the bright side, there are two new bulbs illuminating the gear selector.

In this thread, where I asked about the stuck key, there was some mildly heated debate about defeating the interconnect mechanisms. I'll ponder that and save it for another day

Thanks again everyone.
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  #13  
Old June 19th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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Can you summarize the above post?
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 09:07 PM
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Yea, the PRND321 must be in P and the TC has to be in any position other than N.

By the way, have you ever considered writing as a career?
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  #15  
Old June 19th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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A most excellent write up Captain...
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