Guide: 760 88+ / 960 / Mk I S90 -V90 RHD dashboard removal & heater core replacement
(This thread is a work in progress until this text is removed)
This guide covers the COMBU type unit with air conditioning and ECC fitted in RHD cars only; LHD cars will be different.
"Step AAE#" refers to the Green Book designation for the process in LHD cars, if it exists.
References / sources of pics, etc :
- TP 31127/1 Green Book ("Body Fittings - Interior - Climate Units, 740/760")
- RobertDIY video - 'How to replace the heater core in the Volvo 960'
- writer's experiences
Before you begin:
- Order the following / have these on hand:
1 x replacement heater core for RHD COMBU unit - OE p/n is 1307277-2, but the 20528 heater core made by vehicleheaters.co.uk is readily available, well made, less expensive... and ships from the UK to OZ in about 10 days.
5x dashboard clips - p/n 1348040
1x replacement 4-port heater tap - Gates HV5631 or similar with 5/8 inch fittings
2x Calibre CH1780C or similar Z-shaped heater core hoses. (One of the OE heater core hoses for RHD cars is now NLA, so some improvisation is necessary)
8x good quality hose clamps for 5/8 heater hose. Adding the 4-port heater tap means you'll need 4 more hose clamps - 4 at the heater tap; 2 at the heater core; 2 at the engine.
(if your system suffers from loss of face-level air under acceleration, etc) Replacement vacuum motor(s). You may as well replace the perished one(s) while you're in there. Complete replacement 2-port units are AC Delco p/n 15-71438 or GM p/n 1996686, or @asiandriver sells a replacement seal for them.
Many, many replacement cable ties. Cable ties are a central design element of the Volvo 700/900 series.
- Tools list (minimum)
7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19 mm sockets with a variety of extensions (and preferably also combination spanners of same sizes)
Needle nose pliers
A variety of flat blade screwdrivers - small and large
A variety of Philips head screwdrivers - small and large
A magnet (for collecting errant screws that want to screw around with you)
A plastic trim tool
A variety of Torx bits /drivers - you will need at least T10, T15, T20, T25, and T30 sizes.
An Allen key (for size, see Step AAE10)
- Prepare the car (Step AAE-0, not in Green Book)
Park the car so that the front wheels and steering wheel can be rolled backwards or forwards enough to point straight ahead. (You'll see why later).
If the car has power front seats - before disconnecting the battery, raise them and move them fore/aft so you can easily access the four 14mm bolts which secure the seats to the floor.
Empty out the centre console and oddbins box under the radio of personal effects.
All set? Let's begin.....
Steps AAE1 & AAE2 from the Green Book - image reversed:
Notes: panel below glovebox removal
Once the panel is off, you'll need to disconnect the foot-level courtesy light. There's a cable tie (of course) which holds the connector to the lamp body.
Notes: glovebox removal
Not all the glovebox screws are shown in the LHD diagram above. There are two more screws inside the glovebox itself. This is one of them - the one's inside the glovebox on the LH side. There's another on the RH side.
Also, when you remove the glovebox, you're only removing the box itself at this point; it's not like a 740/940 where the whole glovebox door and box are removed as a single unit.
See those two Torx screws just above the glovebox lip? They hold the passenger's side air bag unit in place.
Glovebox door frame removal; passenger side airbag removal; LH duct removal - not covered in Green Book
Remove these two T25 screws, and the airbag lifts up and out.
Carefully unplug the airbag, and now you have a big hole in your dash, plus a glovebox door (not in pic) getting in your way.
The airbag support / glove box door support frame is held to the dash proper with a series of T10 screws. To remove this frame, first remove the shiny curved metal trim piece which runs around from the LH air vent to the centre of the dash. It's held in firmly in place by one little black plastic mould clip. If you need to replace that metal trim piece, they're different between cars with passenger side airbag, and those without.
Next, remove these T10 screws, and clip the 3 cable ties which hold a wiring harness to it. One of these in the pic above is partially hidden by the airbag connector; the other two are its companions to its left and right. There are two more bigger Torx screws near the glovebox door hinge.
Then you have an even bigger hole in the dash! However, this then allows you easy access to the duct for the passenger's face-level vent near the LHF door. It's in 3 parts - the LH side connects to the air vent; the RH side connects to the air mix box, and the large central part is then very easily removable.
Pic below shows these 3 of the 4 components once they've been removed.
Dash speaker / tweeter removal and solar sensor disconnection - not covered in Green Book
There's a trick to this:
There's more to remove from the LH side of the car, to be covered in Step AAE3.
Step AAE3 from the Green Book - image reversed
Notes about footwell panel
For RHD (and because this image is reversed) here are two T25 screws which hold this panel in place:
Here (note this pic was taken before AAE2).
Like a 740/940, you need to peel the LH door's weather seal back a bit to remove the panel.
Unlike a 740/940, you don't need to remove any screws from the lower floor trim to remove this panel. Unscrew the two screws, move the panel forward, and it's out.
Notes: LH A-pillar trim removal
Opinions may vary, but I believe when dealing with antique NLA trim, it's best to know how these clips work and where they're located before work begins to remove the trim parts.
This is the bear - sorry, bare - LH 'A' pillar with the trim removed. Note there are 3 clips of two types.
The upper two clips are metal spring clips. The third clip, made of white plastic and appearing below the black grommet and above the wiring for lighting and sunroof motor, is more of a peg-type clip.
Below is the underside of the LH 'A' pillar trim, in which the lower fitting (for the peg clip), and where one of the two spring clips can be seen.
Knowing this should make it easier for people to remove this NLA / hard-to-get trim part without trashing it.
This trim part is removed by -
Once done, it's time to swap sides, and move onto the car's RH side - the driver's side - in Step AAE4.
Step AAE4 from the Green Book - image reversed
Notes on Step AAE4:
There is no knee bolster on the RH side on a 95+ 960, so that's covered (if you'll pardon the pun).
Notes on removing the RH lower cover under the steering wheel
See image above and note holes for:
* Two T25 screws under the steering column when the panel is in place.
* One plastic clip - to release, turn 90 degrees.
* One more T25 Torx screw, located inline and forward of the plastic clip.
Process: Remove the Torx screws, then release the plastic clip, then swing the panel down to the right.
Beware of the plastic peg on the left side; it plugs into the lower section of the dash.
You will also need to disconnect the dealer-fitted alarm switch, and the footwell lighting connector.
The aperture on right of pic is where the hood release handle passes through the panel.
The picture below shows the inside of this panel.
Note here how the alarm switch committed seppuku and will need to be replaced; be prepared for this if one is fitted. If it's intact, disconnect its wiring.
Also, unplug the footwell courtesy light harness and then the panel can be lifted free of the car.
It then joins the vast and growing collection of other parts which need cleaning now they've been removed.
Step AAE5 from the Green Book - image reversed
Notes on Step AAE5:
The engine ECU is hidden under this panel, and is the same as LHD cars, so the reversed image above isn't quite accurate.
One T25 Torx screw releases it. You will also need to peel back the door seal.
This requires a similar process to that already done on the LH side. The RH side is also set up with 2 metal clips, and one lower plastic peg clip. (You can see the antenna there for the door remote).
However, there's usually no courtesy handle on the driver's side; instead, there's a pair of plastic covers to cover the holes where the handle would attach. In order to release the A-pillar trim, you need to remove this cover, and the single Torx screw which holds its retainer to the upper trim panel.
On this cover, there's very short piece of what appears to be plastic ribbon that's similar to the handles. Don't try to pry it out the same way you remove the ribbon from handles, or you'll break the cover (don't ask me how I know...) The process to remove it is unclip the cover , then remove the T25 Torx screw  holding the clip retainer  to the upper trim panel, and then you can get to the hidden Torx screw at top edge of the A-pillar trim.
If you did what I did (and broke the cover), here are the part numbers for these covers, if you want new ones from GCP.
9144016 is beige for 95+.
There are still plenty of steps left to do.
Step AAE6 from the Green Book - image reversed
Notes on Step AAE6
Notes / images - Defroster grille removal
The process of removing this part isn't as simple as the Green Book makes it appear.
The 760/960 demister setup is a totally different design to the 740/940 dash types. Unlike those versions, there's no separate demister air nozzles which attach to the heater and the underside of the dashboard top. Instead, a manifold on the top of the heater blend door box (and bolted to the firewall) channels air to the screen via a pair of cavities in the firewall.
Here are 3 of the six rectangular cavities in the firewall (below) into which the 'tongues' from the demister fit.
Note also (1) missing f**arse clip due to breakage and (2) one of the 12 grille clips (ditto).
These two holes under the wiring loom in the pic below show where air from the heater box enters the firewall cavity - the black 10mm hex screw of right side of pic is one of 2 bolts that holds the (missing) manifold to the firewall.
This 760/960 type defroster grill has a total of six outlets, each of which have two plastic clips on the underside. Pic below shows one outlet of the six, viewed from underside.
Each of the 6 outlets has a 'tongue' on the underside of the trim, which poke down into those cavities along the top of car's firewall near the edge of the windscreen.
Pic below shows one of the 6 'tongues' - this one is the RH side - viewed with the visible edge of the grille at the lower part of the picture.
Each of the 6 demister ducts also has 2 clips which hold it into the holes in the firewall. Photo below show one which broke off on me (remains in pic above), and one survivor. Miraculously, the other 5 ducts (10 clips) didn't break.
Why all the pictures .... they're just to show you the hidden parts of what you're dealing with, so then you won't have to replace that gigantic piece of plastic.
Removal of the grille entails much careful lifting, twisting, and unclipping of the 12 hidden clips within each defroster nozzle.
After that ordeal, you may wish to take a break before moving on to Step AAE8 and removing the centre console.
Step AAE7 from the Green Book - image reversed
Notes - centre console removal - order of removal
Step AAE8 - not covered
Why? Because most RHD cars were equipped with SRS airbags.
On to AAE9.
Steps AAE9, AAE10 - column shroud removal
Notes on AAE10
Replacements upper shrouds are available (at time of posting) from GCP. However, before replacing your intact one (or before you attach your new one) on reassembly, it's worth adding generous amounts of Araldite to secure those two weakly-held screw pegs which face towards the front of the car.
Step AAE11 - Steering wheel airbag removal
Step AAE12 - Steering wheel removal
Step AAE13 - Clock spring and stalks removal
We're not there yet - on to AAE14.
Step AAE14 - Headlight switch gear & RH switch panel removal
On to step AAE15, which is complicated and where much caution is needed.
reserved for AAE15 part 1
reserved for AAE15 - radio box
reserved for AAE15 part 3
reserved for AAE16
reserved for AAE17, 18, 19, 20
reserved for 'getting to the heater core'
drawing 68703 - reversed for RHD