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joeford 01-06-2008 08:06 PM

36 Ford Dash
I want to change the size and number of gauges on a 36 Ford Coupe Dash.

Can I merely cut and weld in the existing holes and re-cut for the new ones or is there a better way than metal fill?

I'm not a seasoned welder, but it seems that cutting a couple of circles and laying a series of tack weld would not be that difficult. Do I need to be concerned about metal shrinkage?

I know there are gauge clusters available that cover the old holes, but I prefer to install direct to the old dash once filled in... :)

35WINDOW 01-07-2008 07:29 AM

hi joe,

Yes, you could put new pieces in-I have some spray Dykem that I put on the metal, put it behind the holes, scribe and cut it about an 1/8" larger, grind to fit and Weld. As you pointed out, the partial problem is the shrinkage caused by the Weld-you can planish the Weld flat with a Slapper and Dolly. I generally will put enough tacks to hold the piece, then grind the Welds down to within a 1/16" (front and back), planish and do it all again, a few Welds at a time. This will stretch the Metal back into shape without letting the shrinkage get out of hand-if you do too many at a time it can be a bear to get the Metal flat again.

I am going to fill in the Holes in my Dash also, however I have decided to smooth the entire Dash, so, I am going to cut out what I don't want and put a new, one piece patch in-the reason I am going to do it like that is that I want a clean unwelded area to bore the new holes in without dealing with the welded areas (which are harder to drill and a Hole Saw can cut cleanly)-

joeford 01-08-2008 04:35 PM

Filling Dash
Thanks for the info....but now you have me thinking that perhaps rather than cutting and filling the three existing holes, perhaps cutting them out to one larger hole....Then fill the one large hole and recut for the new gauges...

My plan is for two larger gauges (tach & speedo) in the dash with any other gauges in a console panel....

Anyway you go, it will be a challenge for me as a novice welder....Hopefully the mig will keep me out of trouble.

Too bad someone doesn't sell a smooth orginal. Thanks again for info....

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