1970 cougar instrument dash removal

Hi im new to the group but not to cougars i own a 68 base and have recently picked up a 1970 cougar which of all jobs i need to do one is to remove the dash as nothing works but iam struggling to find anything as to how this dash comes out i have a second dash with a factory tach so would like to fit this can anyone put me in the right direction many thanks…

If you have the factory shop manual for the 70 the dash removal process is well illustrated.

Take off the vertical hard plastic trim pieces at the ends of the dash (One screw at the bottom of each and one on the side). There is a dash pad screw behind each of these. (The plastic pieces next to the radio do not need to be removed)

Three dash pad screws above the glove box door.
Two dash pad screws, pointing straight up, above the radio.
Take off the hard plastic parts around the steering column and below the instrument cluster.
Two dash pad screws, one at each lower corner of the instrument cluster.
Three dash pad screws in the top of the pad, one in the center, one at each outer end of the defroster vent opening.

This should allow the pad to come out. Reach behind the pad on passenger side to disconnect clock, lights etc if so equipped.

There are four screws holding the cluster to the dash frame. remove these, then pull the cluster out far enough to disconnect the speedometer cable and electrical plug.

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Hi Monkey ! The 1969 / 70 dash caps are a whole lot easier than the 1967 / 68 to remove, but they are heavier and bit more cumbersome and unwieldy. There is not a whole lot to locating the screws that remove the plastic trim caps on the ends of the dash and around the radio/stereo ( as well as the one trim piece under the instrument cluster ), to expose the screws that are used to secure the dash pad to the upper and lower ( metal ) dash supports.
I would strongly advise getting a hard copy ( or the CD / digital downloadable ) version of the Ford Service Manuals. The diagrams of the dash removal and step by step instructions are invaluable and perfect in every detail.

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The plastic pieces that flank the radio do not have to be removed.

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I would remove them. There are small recesses / slots in the radio side-trim pieces that downward pointing metal tangs from the dash slide into. They are used to align the side trim pieces to the dash pad just above and to the side of the radio-stereo opening. The chance of cracking them, or breaking off a top corner or portion of the plastic pieces is very high when you are maneuvering the dash pad during its removal. Just my experience - and I’ve done a lot of dash install and removal on the 69’s and 70’s !

I have taken my pad out several times as well. No need to remove those pieces. The end pieces have the metal tabs.

Pretty sure the radio pieces do not need to be removed to pull the dash pad.
Although Don has the pieces removed in this video and the radio is out, there are no screws for the dash pad behind those pieces, just two straight up in front of the radio as he shows.

This is a fairly easy job which can be done in about ten minutes once you know what you are doing. No need to add complication.

Dash Removal / Access Dash Cluster on 1969 - 1970 Mercury Cougar at West Coast Classic Cougar. :: The Definitive 1967 - 1973 Mercury Cougar Parts Source (cougarpartscatalog.com)

Thanks for all your replies im in the uk and sounds like i will be busy the workshop manual is on my list to get, it sounds like i have to remove the the dash pad first is this correct :thinking:

Don’t forget those pesky screws in the defroster outlets.

Make sure you disconnect the battery. If your car is standard, you can not just add the XR7 cluster.

Converting a standard cluster to XR7 is a ton of work - most of it wiring. If the end result is to get a tach, have your clock or clock delete converted to a tach:


Scroll down to G2S - 1969-1970 Mercury Cougars (non XR7)

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A friend of mine is visiting the states in about 3 weeks he is going to pick up a manual for me stick form is recommended so thanks for all your help much appreciated,
As for the tach i have read that it isnt an easy swap so maybe it will be keep original dash and fit a tach instead :thinking:

I think the standard dash is actually better looking than the XR-7. (clock on passenger side…) The indash tach from Rocketman makes it perfect .