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Premium Member
2001 Fortester S
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me how to remove the center vents from my 2001 Forester? I know that part of the process is removing the screws located inside the center storage lid. That loosens things up but something else is holding the lid and vents in place.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gene
 

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Premium Member
2001 Fortester S
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
pleiad7,

Thanks for the post. I did see this elsewhere and though it appears perfect for removing the dash I only need to remove the center air vents. I did locate the 2 screws in the top storage lid but that only loosens things up - the lid and vents cannot be removed simply by removing these screws.

Any idea what else I need to do?

Again, thanks for your post.

Gene
 

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2001 Forester
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6 Posts
Same question as posed by Gene:

I've removed the two screws in the upper center box, but I cannot get the #*&$!! thing out. I have pulled out, up, but it just won't come. And I managed to crack the lid to the box in the process, so now I have to replace that, as well as the center AC vents. Any help/advice?

thanks...
 

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2001 Forester
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6 Posts
PS: This is the part of the above linked instructions that is not clear to me:
"...however if its never been removed since being fitted the lugs at the front near the vents will hold it fast."
Where are those lugs, exactly? On the outside of the vents? In the center? Or? And where/how do I insert a small screwdriver to pry those loose?
 

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2001 Forester
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6 Posts
Here's the answer to my own question (above). I got a new center box unit today, so was less scared about breaking the old one. I've attached 5 photos; hopefully, those will make things a little clearer.

The mystery tabs referenced in a previous post are on each outside edge of the unit, to the right and left of the vents. They snap over the thin but flexible edges of the dash.

To get the old one out, I first removed the screw covers and then the screws under the top lid, then pulled up slightly and outwards (away from the windshield) hard. Really hard. Mine didn't break, but it takes enough force that it sure seems like you're going to snap something.

Inserting the new one was pretty easy, but there is one thing to watch: The first time I put mine in, the forward edge (closest to the windshield) was slightly higher than the dash.

I re-examined the old unit, and noticed the plastic slot along that edge (shown in my last two photos). The trick is, when you're pushing the new unit in, you have to make sure the plastic edge of the dash goes exactly into that slot -- and it's pretty narrow.

Hope this is helpful to someone else wrestling with those #@!%! vents...
 

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2001 Forester S
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32 Posts
I pulled like hell on mine until it sounded like it was cracking and going to break and it still wouldn't come out. I found that a small flat tip screw driver place in the side where the tabs are, once I discovered what was holding it in place, and prying lightly helped the tabs release.
 

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2001 Forester
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6 Posts
Yeah, I should have added: Once I knew where the tabs are (from looking at the new unit), I inserted a putty knife at those points and sort of flexed it side to side; maybe that helped to loosen the edges of the dash that lock on to those tabs.
 

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2001 Forester
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30 Posts
Thanks for this!

I have a 2001 Forester and the top of the storage box became unbolted to the back of the plastic mounting. Without this posting I wouldn't have been able to quickly (and cheaply) fix this. GREAT POST!
 

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2001 Imp. Outback Sport Manual
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1 Posts
No need for gorilla force!!!

I have a 2001 Impreza Outback Sport. According to this forum the same console fits 98-2001 Forester & Impreza Outback Sport models.

I purchased a salvaged console for $40 from a 2000 model and it fit perfectly. Contrary to the responses above it takes little to no force to remove the console unit (top compartment & vents together).

The trick is to depress the larger plastic tab (NOT the small metal one as stated above) that is located approx. 1” above and behind the vents. This is the tricky part!

After removing the two screws located inside of the top compartment insert a thin metal piece (I used the end of an angle finder - just be careful not to cut the dash) about a half inch above the top of the vent. It takes a bit of finagling, but once you depress the tab the console “pops” right out. Try angling the metal end towards the center of the console as the tab is located above and behind the vents - kind of like using a pry bar or picking a lock with a credit card. You will have to insert the metal piece about 3 inches in to reach the tab. I think the angle finder worked best b/c it was only about 1 ¼" wide and less than ⅛” thick with a pointed end. I tried a few other things, but this is what worked. A screwdriver would be too wide and would probably damage your dash.

Once you get it out this is also a good time to fix those pesky vent panels that keep coming loose and clean them. Both my original and salvaged part had loose panels. Flip the console unit over and look for the horizontal bar that holds the panels together (w/plastic hooks). You can literally just snap the loose panels back into place.

I’m attaching photos that will hopefully help illustrate where the tabs are located. Hope this helps someone!

~ Jessica
 

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2011 Forester
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1 Posts
Dash Storage Box

Thanks Jessica for the helpful post and pictures.

I found that a 1' putty knife worked well to release the tabs.
And, I discovered that 2 screws on base of the storage box that hold the lid in place were missing.... probably for 15 years.

I'm getting ready to sell my 2001 Forester S and fixing all the little broken parts that we have been living with for a few years.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to share your experience and advice.
It is very much appreciated.
Jim
 
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