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[HOW TO][INTERIOR][GEN III DAKOTA] Ext Cab Rear Interior Removal

19464 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  gpitner
This "how to" is going to explain the process of removing all of the interior behind the front seating. Reasons for doing so may include but are not limited to:

- Water leaks
- Floor pan rust
- Custom panels
- Rear speaker replacement
- Rear seat re-upholstery
- Loose panels

Tools required:

- Ratchet, spinner handle, or drill (ratchet preferred)
- 10mm deep-well socket
- 13mm socket
- Size 4 or smaller flathead screwdriver
- #2 phillips screwdriver
- Large Torx bit (size unknown) or 1/4" allen wrench

Tools recommended:

- 18mm socket
- Dremel with cut-off discs
- 5 inch ratchet extension bar

Before you start removing the rear interior I strongly recommend removing the front row seating. This can easily be done by removing two 13mm bolts on the front of each driver and passenger seat, as well as two 18mm bolts on the rear of each seat. If you have a center console, you may remove the entire row as a whole now; if not, each seat will come out on its own.

All pictures have green circles highlighting points of interest. You may need to click them to enlarge the image and clearly see where they are marked. All panels shown that are side-specific are drivers' side only. Passenger side panels will be mirrored.

Here is the interior before any parts have been removed.

First, flip up the two seats and remove eight 10mm bolts holding the seat to their arms.

STEP #2 If you are only removing/replacing speakers, skip this step:
I preferred to go ahead and remove the bolts holding the bottom panel to the truck now, as I knew it would be the most difficult piece to remove, and having any complications now would be easier than later. There are five 10mm bolts, mirrored from the center one on the passenger side. The two bolts in the cupholders and the next one in, in the round wells are where a 5 inch ratchet extension bar will come in handy. However, if you are using a spinner handle, there is no need.

The next panel to remove is the center one that serves as the back of the seating. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE CUSHIONED PANELS YET IF YOU ARE REUPHOLSTERING. Doing so will most likely cause them to break. Before you begin pulling the panel off look and see each of the eight ribbed push-in pins. Pulling in the wrong place can break a panel, and be sure to pull straight out so you do not bend or break the panel as well. There are also three metal clamps holding the base of the panel on. Use the flathead screwdriver on the backside, as there is a lip on each side, to lift it enough to pull off.

Keep in mind, this is a rear view of it, so the pins' placement will be mirrored when looking at it installed.

STEP #4 If you are only removing/replacing speakers, skip this step:
You should now be able to see the lower seat's arms entirely. Remove each of the eight nuts with a 10mm deep-well socket.

STEP#5 If you are only removing/replacing speakers, skip this step:
Now that the arms no longer hold the foam to the back wall (some will, and some will not), you simply pull each of the four ribbed push-in pins straight out, as shown below.

STEP #6 If you are only removing/replacing speakers, skip this step:
Next, you will want to remove the bolts that the arms mount to. Do so by pulling out on the tabbed end of each piece slightly and sliding it in it's corresponding direction to the larger opening.

After you have those removed, start on the seatbelts. The cover at the top has a hooked tab at the top center in the back, and two prongs in the middle, so you will want to use your thumb at the bottom center, pulling up and out. With the bolts exposed, unbolt both the front and rear seat belts by using the proper Torx bit or a 1/4" allen wrench, but be careful not to strip the bolt when using the improper tool.

Before pulling out on the upper panel, open the rear windows and then see where the three ribbed push-in pins are marked in the photo. Again, be sure to pull as close to them as possible, and only pull straight out.

This is how it will look when the upper panel is removed.

As you continue to your lower panels, you should see two screw for each side, as shown. Remove these before you begin pulling and again, see the photo for placement of the push-in pins.
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NOTE: The rear seatbelts will slip around the panel, but the front ones will not. If you are only replacing/removing speakers, you may choose to skip this step if you like.

STEP #10
In order to free the panel from the front seat belt, simply remove the bolt holding the free end of the belt (not the reel), with the appropriate Torx bit or 1/4" allen wrench. Then run the belt back through the panel.

STEP #11
This next step is optional to all. Depending on what your purpose is, you may or may not want to put the seat belts back up, without the panels on, for the time being. The lower belt bolts on with the label facing away from you (label against the body). If you are removing/replacing speakers, simply unscrew the three screws shown with a phillips screwdriver and disconnect the speaker.

Repeat steps #7 - #11 for passenger side.

For those doing speakers, you are done. To reassemble, follow the steps backwards, play a good song, and enjoy!

Continue doing steps #1 - #11 and here is what you have.

STEP #12
If you unbolted your bottom panel earlier, you can simply remove it now. However... I had trouble with two bolts, due to them being rusted in. After trying everything to extract them, I decided to use my dremel and cut the panel around the bolts, being sure to stay 1" above the floorboard, so as not to cut into it.

If you wish, you may unbolt the rest of the seatbelts that are restrained to the floor.

You have now finished removing all of the rear interior.
To reassemble, simply follow the steps backwards.
I do hope that this will help some people. I know my first time trying to remove interior was all but delightful, and breaking panels, tabs, push-in pins can add up in $$$. I will later do a "how to" on removing all of the front panels, door panels, and disassembling the dash to access different parts.

If you did this because the floor behind your driver seat continues to stay wet during inclement weather, but you can not find a leak in any of the windows or doors try this... Check to see if you can fit a piece of cardstock paper between the floor and any of the caulking used on some of the seams. Here is what I found when I could.
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Thank you. I only had up to a 30? I think? So I had to improvise. Idk if this will prove useful to anyone, but hopefully so.
I did it because of the extensive rust, I am coating the whole interior once I rid it of the blasted stuff. I figure I would show everything removed, just in case *shrugs*
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