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Author Topic: Reworking the dash.  (Read 3423 times)
green69rt
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« on: March 05, 2017, 04:27:26 PM »

While my car is away at the paint shop I got the old dash down to rebuild it.  The driver corner near the windshield was eaten by rust from the leaky wind shield.  I had bought a old dash years ago thinking that I would use it instead of the original but when I got it out it is was so corroded up I decided to cut a piece out of it, clean it up and patch the old one.  So pic one is the patch.

Then it was a case of trying to clean up the inside.  Sand scrape etc as much as I could then sprayed it with Eastwood Internal frame coating.  I hope it does the job because there's really no good way to get inside it other than a dip.  Pic #2 before inside paint. Pic #3 after paint.  Pic #4 what I used.


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green69rt
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 04:32:37 PM »

Question:  I intend to add A/C to this car for the hot Houston summers.  Looking at the dash it looks like it might be possible to cut out the two side blanks (pic #1).  The center opening appears to be there (pic #2).  So all I would have to do is cut the sides to allow the vents.  I'd like to get the A/C vents out from under the dash and have a neater look.  Possible, a waste of time?  Ideas?


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Dino
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 07:04:48 PM »

I like the stock location for the vents myself. It looks good and you can aim the vents pretty much where you want. I wouldn't want anything hanging under the dash honestly. I like to aim the vent toward my face when the car is really hot inside.   yesnod
There's a few members who used templates to cut the holes in the dash for the stock vents. I think Keepat was one of them.
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green69rt
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 10:42:45 PM »

I like the stock location for the vents myself. It looks good and you can aim the vents pretty much where you want. I wouldn't want anything hanging under the dash honestly. I like to aim the vent toward my face when the car is really hot inside.   yesnod
There's a few members who used templates to cut the holes in the dash for the stock vents. I think Keepat was one of them.

This is the kind of thing I was thinking about.  I probably need the side vents to use as a template so I know how to cut things.  If they would point me to the right thread I would be grateful.
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armor64
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 07:18:35 PM »

does anyone know where to get the vent parts to add AC? I'm going to get a vintage air kit (added to my 78gmc and its great) but also do not want the under dash vents. I cant seem to find the vent/pad for a 68 to 70.
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green69rt
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 08:02:41 PM »

Pic #1.  So after stripping the frame I shot it with black epoxy primer.

Pic #2. Filler on the repair.

Pic #3.  A little filler on the pitting on the other side.  I wonder if this pitting would even show but no harm done.

Pic #4.  I took the old dash frame I had and did a trial cut to fit the A'C outlets.  If I screwed this up then I wouldn't be out my original frame.  Cut and file, file file to get the vent to fit.


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green69rt
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 08:15:14 PM »

Pic #1. Now fit the vent to the old frame.  Looking good.

Pic #2.  Cut a template from the old dash and use it to cut my original dash and test fit the vent.  I've mounted the dash in the car just to keep it out of the way, I running out of places to store stuff!

Pic #3.  As a last effort, I've been trying out some paint.  First I used the Rustoleum "textured" black.  It really went on nice, looked good.  Problem came when I did a test cleaning with rags or paper towels.  Lint everywhere!!I would never be able to clean the top of the dash.  So I tried to top coat it with "satin".  That cured the lint problem but it was way to shiny!.  Finally some flat on top cured the shiny problem.  I've got too many coats of paint on the top now and the texture is gone but the color and shine is right.  Next step is to strip the top of the frame and re prime.  Then a coat of texture and then I think I will try a flat clear.  I'll show the result later.  Right now the dash is hung in the car for safe keeping while I move on to other things.

Pic #4.  As a final note, I did keep my test pieces and templates and even the cutouts from the dash.  They're available to anyone that wants them but I really think you could do make this retrofit without them fairly easy.


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green69rt
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2018, 05:44:21 PM »

I'm getting around to working the dash some more.  I plan to use a Dakota Digital so that takes care of all the issues around gauges and such.  One Item that I have to decide is what gas tank sender to get.  It seems obvious to me that if I use DD then I should buy their sender.   Good as any or am I off base?

Oops, just looked at DD again,  they don't make a replacement for a stock take just a top mounted one (FI).  So now the question is where do I get a correct reading sender??
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green69rt
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 03:52:35 PM »

I've been trying to figure out what to do about the AC vents.  I'm going with a Classic Auto Air system but I really don't like the vents hanging under the dash.  Just looks bad.

So, I happen to have two lower center dash pads.  One really nice and one pretty good so I decided to see if I could convert a non-AC pad to AC.  If I screw one up I can still just go the under dash route (Ugh.)

I noticed that the metal frame on the pad looks like it has a cutout so it could be used for AC or non-AC, just depends on how the vinyl is applied.  It even has the screw holes for the vent, just not used.

Pic #1  dug the padding out from the back side to see what it looks like.

Pic #2  this seems to be pretty easy so dig out a square hole.  Careful to not cut the vinyl face.  You can rip the padding out with your fingers and clean up the back of the vinyl by scraping with your finger nails.  It's a rough hole but I'll fix that later.

Pic #3  Now , I tried to make the hole look good by cutting a slit in the face of the vinyl and folding it back into the hole.  I must have worked this for about 3 weeks trying to splice vinyl into the hole so it would look good but nothing worked.  Not spliced vinyl, vinyl repair kits, paint.  It all looked like crap when I was done.   Tried forming the vinyl, worked a little but still crap!

Pic #4  When I ordered my kit from Classic Air, I talked to the guy on the phone, telling him what I was trying.  He said he would send me both vent kits.  One for the under dash vents and one for stock in dash vents, then I could try both ways.  Nice guy.  So, when I got the shipment I looked at the under dash vent and thought - "I wonder if I can mount this outside the pad?"  So I just got the pad hole cleaned out and quit trying to make the inside of the hole look good.

Pic #5   Now I trimmed down the sides of the under dash vent and stuck it in the hole.  Cut about 1/2" off the sides.  I could have taken off more, maybe 3/4".  We'll see how this looks.  Actually looks pretty good.  I know it sticks out (about 1/2") I think it still looks better than under the dash.  Has the correct stitching and grain.  Still needs a little work to smooth out the vinyl behind the vent.

Now need to figure how to attach it in the hole.  I have the in-dash vent ready in case Tony's comes thru with repro AC pads.

Pic #6   For the side vents, I'll just use the adapters that CAA sent me, now everything is in the dash.


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green69rt
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2018, 05:23:43 PM »

Before I put the dash in, I'm trying to do all those things that cause me to crawl around on my back, under the dash.  One thing is get the wipers installed and all the vent ducts.   Also try to get the AC/heater box installed.

Pic #1 The old wiper motor was probably pretty typical of stuff under the hood.
Pic #2 Cleaned up all the linkage and replaced bushings, installed grease fitting so pivots could be greased (not that I will ever do it again, but who knows?)
Pic #3 Grease I used on the pivots.
Pic #4 Sent the motor off to PassionForMopars and got the cheapy rebuild.  Not the nice metal can but not a problem for me.  Tested it after install and works fine.
Pic #5 Dash looks nice with the new Dakota Digital instruments, new bezels, and cleaned up pads.  I'm still thinking about that center vent.  Looks OK but might take a little more work to make it look as good as I want it to.  I have a really nice lower dash pad in case I decide to scrap the modified one and go with the under dash center vent.
Pic #6 The guts are still a work in progress but making headway.  I went thru all the stuff that the previous owner shipped to me.   What a mess, four sets of  tail light harness cut up in various ways.  Three dash harnesses, all hacked up, nothing labeled.  Engine bay harnesses hacked up and plugs cut off!   Looks like I'll be replacing everything.


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birdsandbees
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 06:18:41 PM »

NICE work!
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 04:45:55 PM »

 iagree
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RallyeMike
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2018, 09:11:59 PM »

That looks pretty good. Nice job! The AC center pad is the one and only part I wish someone would start reproducing. Cry
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2018, 02:07:38 AM »

does anyone know where to get the vent parts to add AC? I'm going to get a vintage air kit (added to my 78gmc and its great) but also do not want the under dash vents. I cant seem to find the vent/pad for a 68 to 70.

Try Tony Parts  http://www.tonysparts.com/
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green69rt
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2018, 11:02:54 AM »

does anyone know where to get the vent parts to add AC? I'm going to get a vintage air kit (added to my 78gmc and its great) but also do not want the under dash vents. I cant seem to find the vent/pad for a 68 to 70.

Try Tony Parts  http://www.tonysparts.com/

I'm keeping in touch with him.  About two weeks ago he said he is having trouble getting the manufacturer to deliver a good sample.  That's for the non-AC pad.  The AC pad could be years away.
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AKcharger
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2018, 08:24:57 AM »

GREAT post green RT! hopefully soon I'll try your tricks on the A/C!

- Did those long hoses come with the kit or did you get them after market?
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green69rt
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2018, 09:21:59 AM »

GREAT post green RT! hopefully soon I'll try your tricks on the A/C!

- Did those long hoses come with the kit or did you get them after market?


Hoses came with the kit.  They are attached with tie wraps, easy.

When I ordered the kit I talked to a person at Classic air.  He is the one that sent me both sets of dash vents (in-dash and under-dash).  I'll have to look at the invoice but I think he didn't charge me for the extra set.  He also wanted to know my pulley and water pump setup, probably to include the correct brackets.  All I could give him was a guess since I have no engine!
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green69rt
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2018, 04:50:09 PM »

Tomorrow might be the day.  Got a neighbor coming over.  Between him, my wife and me I plan on mounting the dash back in the car.  Lots of tubing and wires hanging down so need more hands to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

I've tried to think of everything that can be done before it goes in.

Insulated the firewall with Hush Mat.  There are some holes in the firewall that won't be used so I plugged them with Butyl Caulk before sticking the Hush mat on.  Since the new cluster has a volt meter, I removed the firewall connection to the old amp meter and modified the engine bay wiring,  a real simple mod.

Installed the HVAC box and its ECU and wired up as much as I could.  (PIC #1)

On the driver side I cleaned up the vent box and mounted it up.  (PIC #2)

There are a lot of grounds to be made with the Dakota Digital cluster and the HVAC so I made up a little ground bus terminal block and mounted to the vent box.  Now I won't be hunting for clean bolts, etc to make ground connections.  It's thoroughly grounded to the body.  (PIC #3)


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green69rt
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 01:35:19 PM »

Got it in this morning, now I'll probably spend a month getting everything hooked up and tested.  I didn't install the cowl screws so I can tilt the dash down to get behind it easier.


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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2018, 11:55:14 PM »

 2thumbs coolgleamA
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green69rt
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2019, 12:09:18 AM »

Doesn't it look like a rats nest hanging out the bottom!!
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Dino
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2019, 09:14:17 AM »

Ha yep, your car has been invaded!

How are you gonna get the radio in?
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green69rt
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2019, 10:50:18 AM »

Ha yep, your car has been invaded!

How are you gonna get the radio in?

 scratchchin scratchchin  shruggy
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green69rt
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2019, 08:19:07 AM »

Got almost all the wiring routed and hooked up yesterday.  Even with all the prework that I did it still took longer than I hoped.  Got my self a sore neck crawling around on the floor of the car.  A few things left. floor dimmer switch, door switches for the dome light and one wire for the compressor clutch on the AC and all the wiring to the new instrument cluster including its ECU.  Mostly for the new water temp, oil press transmitters.  Looks a lot cleaner now.  My ground bus idea turned out really well, easy to route and terminate all those grounds.

And to Dino, looks like the access to the radio is pretty good so shouldn't be a problem putting in whatever will fit.  I have reserved power wiring for it so biggest problem will be locating and wiring the speakers. 


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Nacho-RT74
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2019, 08:48:33 AM »

maybe can be late now but somebody posted somewhere ( I can't find it anymore ) about vintage classic auto air selling the dash pad section to the conversion?...

will keep searching and post.
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