I had some free time and all the necessary pics, so I put this little DIY together. Hope it's useful to someone.
STEPS FOR REMOVING REAR ASHTRAY & CUP HOLDER, CENTER ARMREST, E-BRAKE CONSOLE, FRONT ASHTRAY, LOWER CENTER CONSOLE AND GLOVE BOX
The following outlines the procedure for removing the above items on a MKIV Jetta and Golf/GTI. The procedure was based on a 99.5 Jetta GLS VR6 with a manual transmission - it may be slightly different on later-models cars (those with no rear cup holder) and all models with automatic transmission. Please do these procedures at your own risk and be ready to make small adjustments while doing them. Also, please be observant while removing parts so that they go back together correctly.
- To remove the rear ashtray and cupholder, follow steps 1 through 7.- To remove the center armrest, follow steps 8 through 10.- To remove the e-brake console, follow steps 1 through 17.- To remove the front ashtray, follow steps 18 through 24.- To remove the lower center console, follow steps 1 through 35.- To remove the glove box, follow steps 1 through 42.
1. Slide the driver's and front passenger's seats completely forward.
2. Open rear ashtray and remove red insert as shown in picture below.
3. Remove the two sides to the rear ashtray as shown in the picture below. Pry the top of the ashtray side off of the ashtray housing (1). Once this is done, pull upwards on the ashtray side (may have to pull hard) to remove it (2).
4. The picture below illustrates how the top and bottom of the ashtray sides are connected to the ashtray.
5. Remove the rear ashtray housing by carefully prying up the two tabs on each side with a screwdriver, as shown in the picture below. Be careful not to break the tabs while doing this - they are somewhat difficult to get off.
6. To remove the rear cup holder (if applicable), push down the two retaining tabs indicated by the arrows in the picture below.
7. Slide the rear cupholder out of the e-brake console as shown in the picture below.
8. Remove the driver's side of the armrest trim as shown in the picture below. First pull the top of the trim towards the driver's side (1) and then pull upwards at an angle to remove (2).
9. Be careful doing the above. The trim piece is held in by 6 tabs as shown in the picture below (arrows). I've removed this piece enough times that I've partially broken one of the tabs (red arrow). You can use a thin screwdriver protected by a thin rag to help ease the tabs out.
10. Remove the 13mm bolt in the picture below to remove the armrest. Once the bolt is out, you may need to wiggle the armrest back and forth to get it free - then move it up to remove.
11. Remove the two T20 Torx screws indicated by the arrows in the picture below.
12. Slide the driver's and front passenger's seats completely backward. Pry out the trim tab on both sides of the e-brake console indicated by the arrow in the picture below.
13. This is easily done with a screwdriver, as shown below.
14. Remove the T20 Torx screws behind the tabs, as shown below.
15. Pull up the emergency brake handle as high as it will go - the higher it is, the easier the next step will be. Remove the e-brake console by (1) raising the rear of the console relatively high (see picture below for approximate position) and then (2) sliding the front of the console out from under the lower center console (where the shifter is). When the front of the e-brake console is free, slide the console up and over the e-brake handle. This may take a few attempts - it's somewhat difficult to free the front of the e-brake console from under the lower center console.
16. The image below shows the 4 tabs (yellow arrows) and two posts (red arrows) that make it difficult to release the front of the e-brake console from under the lower center console.
17. The picture below shows the position of the e-brake microswitch. It just clips onto the e-brake support and can be easily removed.
18. Slide open the front ashtray lid and remove the red insert seen in the picture below. (I apologize for the detritus - I should have done some detailing before I took the pics.)
19. Remove the small trim piece just below the A/C controls (or Climatronic if that's what you have) by pulling it towards the rear of the car, as shown below. While this step is not absolutely necessary, it makes the removal of the front ashtray significantly easier.
20. Remove the T20 Torx screw at the bottom of the front ashtray indicated by the arrow in the picture below.
21. Using two screwdrivers (only one is shown), pull the two tabs indicated by the arrows in the picture below up simultaneously (1) and slide the ashtray toward the front of the car (into the center console) approximately 1/2" (2). Be careful to only pry the tabs up slightly as they break very easily - I managed to break the left one in the picture. They only need to come up enough to clear the metal bracket underneath that the ashtray attaches to.
22. Raise the rear edge of the ashtray upwards, as shown below, making sure the two tabs on the edge of the ashtray clear the center console (1). Once they're clear, slide the ashtray towards the rear of the car and out of the center console (2).
23. Disconnect the power wire for the 12v outlet from the ashtray by removing the wire retaining clip (red arrow) from the hole in the bottom of the ashtray (yellow arrow), as shown below.
24. Disconnect the power wire from the 12v outlet by pressing in the white tab (1) and pulling the harness connector out (2), as shown below.
25. Remove the T20 Torx screw from each side of the front of the lower center console in the footwell, as shown below.
26. Disconnect shifter boot from lower center console by pulling up on the rear edge of the boot support, as shown below.
27. Slide the boot all the way up and out of the way and remove the foam piece that surrounds the shifter mechanism inside the lower center console, as shown below.
28. At this point, attempt to slide the lower center console backward, disconnecting it from the main (vertical) center console. If you are able to remove the lower center console without any difficulty, goto step 34 (ignore steps 29 through 33 - they are not applicable to your model year).
29. If you can't slide the lower center console backward easily, there is a good chance that there is a small metal bracket in the way, indicated by the yellow arrow in the image below. From what I can gather, this bracket only interferes with the lower center console removal on early-model MKIV cars. To remove the lower center console, the bracket must be removed - this is by far the most difficult step of the entire DIY.
30. Begin by removing the 10mm nut (right) which holds the bracket down, as shown below.
31. The lower center console sits directly above the nut, so a flex-joint socket or something similar is needed to remove the nut. I put a 10mm socket onto the nut and then used a socket driver which was not fully inserted into the socket and at an angle to remove the nut (see picture below).
32. Do the same for the left bracket nut, which is shown below.
33. When both 10mm nuts are off, raise the front of the bracket over the posts that the nuts were on and then slide the bracket backward and out from underneath the lower center console (yellow arrows in picture below). This is difficult to do due to the limited amount of space under the console. Once the bracket is out, you should be able to slide the lower center console backward (red arrow in picture below) and few inches and then up and over the shifter.
34. The lower center console has two plastic fingers approx. 1.5" long which protrude from the front edge (red arrows in picture below points to driver's side finger).
35. These fingers insert into corresponding holes in the bottom of the main center console (yellow arrows), as shown below. The fingers (above) are normally bare plastic, but I covered them with felt to prevent the fingers from rubbing in the holes - this caused a loud creaking when side pressure from my knee was applied to the lower center console while driving. This cured the problem. I recommend that you do this if you have the lower center console removed.
36. The hidden/mystery 8th screw that holds the glove box in can also be seen in the above picture (indicated by the red arrow). Remove this screw if you plan on removing the glove box.
37. Open the front passenger door, open the glove box and pull the rear edge of the side dashboard panel out and then towards the rear of the car, as shown below. It's easier if you use two hands, but I needed one to hold the camera.
38. Remove the T25 Torx screw indicated by the yellow arrow in the picture below.
39. Use a screwdriver to carefully pry out the rear of the light in the glove box(1) and then slide it towards the rear of the car to get it out (2), as shown below.
40. Disconnect the harness connector from the light by pulling the two tabs apart simultaneously, as shown below. Once disconnected, push the wire back into the hole that the light occupies.
41. Remove the three T20 Torx screws on the bottom of the glove box, as shown below.
42. Remove the three T20 Torx screws on the top of the glove box, as shown below. Pull the glove box out and disconnect the microswitch for the glove box light from near the driver's side hinge. The glove box can now be removed from the car.
NOTE: Due to length restrictions, this DIY is continued in another thread
A. When reinstalling the lower center console, make sure the front sides of the console slide into the brackets indicated by the yellow arrow in the picture below. It may take a few attempts to get both sides to catch. You'll see if/when you try it.
B. When reinstalling the rear cupholder, make sure to pry up the retaining tabs with a screwdriver, as shown below, or the cupholder may slide back out.
C. The rest of the reinstallation should be the exact opposite of the above - follow steps 1 through 40 in reverse.
Here's a pic of everything put back together, i.e., the above directions do work!
Let me know if you have any questions.
As always, do this procedure at your own risk. I am not responsible for any mistakes in the procedure or those that you make while performing it.