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TSB 23-19-00

Instrument Panel Creak

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Date: May 5, 2000

THIS BULLETIN SUPERSEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 23-08-99, DATED MAR. 5, 1999.

Models: 1994 -2001 (BR/BE) Ram Trucks

Symptom/Condition:

A creak or squeak may be present near the left and/or right side(s) of the instrument panel. The noise is caused by the sheet metal joint between the A-pillar and the dash panel plenum lower rubbing together.

Diagnosis:

Drive the vehicle slowly over a bump that will allow the body to twist, such as a driveway approach, to verify the condition.

NOTE: IN SOME CASES, THIS CREAK CAN BE PRODUCED BY HAVING AN ASSISTANT STAND ON THE FRONT BUMPER ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE SQUEAK/CREAK AND BOUNCING THE VEHICLE UP AND DOWN WHILE YOU ARE LISTENING FOR THE CREAK INSIDE THE CAB.

If an instrument panel squeak/creak can be heard coming from the A-pillar area, open the hood of the vehicle and inspect the 3-T welds (cowl panel welds) (Figure 1) located aft of the hood hinge and inside of the fender. If the 3-T welds appear cracked or rusted, refer to the appropriate Ram Truck Service Manual Group 23 for sheet metal weld information.

NOTE: IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO HAVE AN ASSISTANT STAND ON THE FRONT BUMPER ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE SQUEAK/CREAK AND BOUNCE THE VEHICLE UP AND DOWN WHILE YOU ARE LISTENING FOR THE CREAK. IF THE SQUEAK/CREAK CAN BE HEARD, SPRAY PENETRATING LUBRICANT ON THE 3-T WELDS. IF THE SQUEAK/CREAK IS ELIMINATED, REFER TO THE APPROPRIATE RAM TRUCK SERVICE MANUAL GROUP 23 FOR SHEET METAL WELD INFORMATION.

If the condition is present and the 3-T welds are not causing the squeak/creak, perform the Repair Procedure.

Parts Required:
AR (1)  
NPN Body Seam Sealant, 3M - 08302 (or equivalent)

Repair Procedure:

1. Record the radio station presets.

2. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.

3. Remove the left and right cowl side trim.

4. Remove the knee blocker beneath the steering column.

5. Disconnect the shift indicator cable.

6. Loosen the lower instrument panel attaching bolts.

7. Remove the steering column support nuts.

8. Remove the left and/or right A-Pillar molding as necessary.

9. Remove the five instrument panel attaching screws holding the instrument panel to the dash panel.

10. Remove the two screws that secure the trim cover to the Airbag Control Module (ACM) (Figure 2).

11. Remove the two instrument panel to ACM mounting bracket-retaining nuts (Figure 3).

 

12. Roll the top of the instrument panel away from the body as shown in Figure 4.

13. Peel down a portion of the door-to-A-pillar weatherstrip from the cab (Figure 4).

14. If the repair is to be performed on the right side of the vehicle, peel back the dash silencer pad and wiring harness.

15. Scrape away the body seam caulk between the A-pillar inner panel and the plenum lower panel (Figure 5).

 

16. Using a flat chisel no more than 1/4 in. thick, drive the chisel between the A-pillar inner panel and the plenum lower end. Start the chisel 1 in. below the joint line between the plenum lower and the gusset/cowl bar and drive the chisel horizontally to a depth of 6 - 10 in. (Figure 6)

NOTE: ALTHOUGH YOU MAY VISUALLY SEE A LARGE GAP BETWEEN THE A-PILLAR INNER PANEL AND THE PLENUM LOWER END, THE GAP MUST BE AT LEAST 1/4 IN. WIDE THE ENTIRE 6 - 10 INCH DEPTH.

17. Repeat Step 16 by starting the chisel in the same place but drive the chisel upward at a 30° angle.

18. If necessary, perform steps 14 through 17 to the other end of the cowl panel.

19. Verify the repair by having an assistant stand on the front bumper on the same side as the squeak/creak and bouncing the vehicle up and down while you are listening for the creak inside the cab.

20. Perform Steps 16 and 17 until the squeak/creak has been repaired.

21. Reseal the area with body seam caulk (3M 08302 or equivalent) to prevent water leaks.

22. Reattach the door-to-A-pillar weatherstrip seal(s).

23. Re-assemble the instrument panel to the body.

24. Install the two Instrument panel to ACM mounting bracket-retaining nuts. Tighten the nuts to 14 Nm (125 in. lbs.).

25. Install the two screws that secure the trim cover to the Airbag Control Module (ACM). Tighten the screws to 2.2 Nm (20 in. lbs.).

26. Install the steering column.

27. Install the knee blocker.

28. Install the left and right side cowl trim.

29. Reconnect the battery negative cable.

30. Reset the clock and reprogram the radio station presets identified in step 1.

notes:

Policy:    Customer satisfaction

Labor Op. Number
23-50-01-94 Provide Clearance Between Instrument Panel Support Joint
                     And Cowl Side Panel (One Side) ......................... 1.0 Hrs.
23-50-02-92 Provide Clearance Between Instrument Panel Support Joint
                     And Cowl Side Panel (Both Sides)....................... 1.2 Hrs.

Failure Code: XX - Service Adjustment


Thanks to Bob Bergevin for supplying this TSB information

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This page was edited on: May 3, 2004