I hit a snag. I left the steering wheel on, but there is no way I can get the dash out - the steering wheel blocks removal, even if its set to its lowest position. Is it possible to drop the entire steering column by unbolting it, which would hopefully give me enough room ?
To refine what I said in the last post - I could unbolt the 4 bolts that secure the steering column to the support column. I can then drop the entire thing a few more inches which should give me clearance to get the dash out. However, I am concerned that the steering column has only a limited degree of freedom (similar to how you should not over-bend a CV joint) and letting it droop would damage the steering shaft joints.
Sorry for the delays, I do have more pics. I got to the point of getting the dash out, into my workshop. I ended up getting the airbag and steering wheel off. Now that I have the tiger by the tail, I am struggling to figure out the best way to reseat the vinyl coating, which has somewhat peeled off the plastic frame.
First, disconnect the battery and for good measure, remove it from the car. Let the car sit 24 hours. Yes, this is probably overkill, but why take chances. The last thing you need is an airbag deploying on your face. best also to wear safety glasses.
On the backside of the steering wheel, there are two rows of 3 holes (see pic). The middle hole on each side houses a retaining screw that holds the airbag in. Reports vary on the screw - some ay say Torx 20, 25 or 30. Mine was Torx-30. Undo both both bolts. Once both bolts are free, the airbag can come out.
The airbag will be connected by a cable. Carefully disconnect the cable. Store the airbag, face down, in a safe location.
I should of posted something this summer when I finished, but I did, and it looks good. When you have the dash out, make sure to carefully inspect it for lifting off the plastic frame. This is an ideal time to glue down the vinyl onto the frame if its coming loose. I had to use a heat gun, lots of spray glue, and multiple clamps. It took a week of slow, careful work, but it was worth it. once finished, I got the dash back in but reversing my steps (it was a lot easier), and done !