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If what you need to do is replace the heater core, then this is a very hard job. I just did one on a 5.0 V-8 Explorer and it was a nightmare. Since you don't mention heater core replacement I'll assume you want to remove the plenum box for another reason.

To remove the plenum box you will have to remove the steering wheel and unbolt the column from the dash and disconnect the shifter cable, it will then hang down. After that you will find two large bolts at either end of the dash after it curves downward on each end. There are also large bolts running across the top of the dash, probably two on the left above the instrument cluster and two on the right above the glove box. Plus one or two more in the center. All these are under the molding that should just pop out. You will also find a long bracket and bolt under the dash to the left of the glove box and a smaller one on the drivers side which have to be removed. And this is just the big stuff, there are several small lines,cables,nuts, clips and vacumn lines that will have to be removed once the dash is lose. Also to completely remove the plenum box the main wiring harness will have to be disconnected and partially or totally removed as well. If what you're trying to do is replace the heater core then you'll also have to disconnect the air conditioner lines and remove the underhood plenum box as well. This is an extremely hard job especially if you have a V-8, don't try this job at home without experienced help. I did this in a 96 model and there are small changes from year to year but all Explorer's are basically the same. This is one job worth paying for, Good Luck!!

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โˆ™ 2010-05-04 00:43:26
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Q: How do you remove the dash when replacing the heater plenum box in a 1997 Explorer XLT?
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*** Caution ***Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink ant that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old. Heater Core 1. Disconnect the battery ground cable 2. Drain and recycle the engine coolant. 3. Remove the instrumental panel. 4. If equipped with the 5.4L 4V engine, remove the junction block splash shield. 5. If equipped with the 5.4L 4V engine, remove the bolts and disconnect the cable ends from the starter relay. 6. If equipped with the 5.4L 4V engine, remove the junction block bracket. 7. Disconnect the heater core hose couplings. 8. Remove the retaining screw and remove the A/C plenum demister adapter. 9. Disconnect the vacuum line from the A/C plenum demister adapter. 10. Remove the heater core bracket. 11. Remove the 13 plenum chamber top retaining screws. 12. Remove the plenum chamber top. 13. Remove the blend door assembly from the case. 14. Remove the heater core. 15. The installation is the reverse of the removal.