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Old 11-20-2004, 04:09 PM
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fully custom dash

I have a 1994 S-10 (round body) and i hate the dash. i was thinking about trying to replicate a 55 Bel Air dash and incorporating some custom wood paneling for it. but i am new at fiberglass and not sure of what to really do. plus i dont know if the gauges would be compatible with my trucks gauges... or i was thinking about putting 67 chevy full-size gauges in and just making a crazy dash. but again, the quiestion of how to fiberglass. if anyone has any ideas please let me know. i am always willing to talk mini-trucks.

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Old 11-29-2004, 06:59 PM
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An idea...

The easiest way to fiberglass is to have an original to mold from - and then cut it down and add to it to shape it for your needs. I happen to have one that could be used for a mold - its in the car, but being torn apart now and could easily be molded.

Second, the gauges from a 55 will not easily work with your truck - if you want to do a bit of work you can make most of them work - the volt meter will work - for the others you would probably have to change out the temp sensor and possibly the fuel sender unit - but then again, maybe not. The temp sender is cheap - about $5. For speed, if you have a cable setup you can change your gearing or get a custom box that changes your readings to what the speedo needs. As an alternative, there are many after market clusters for the 55/56 that can be used and many of them have universal components that can be set to read from old or new senders - since most of us update anyway! Even the speedo uses an electronic sender and you just program it with several parameters to meet your needs.

I think it would look great to have a bel air dash in your S10 - it would be very appropriate.

If you don't have a dash that you can use as an original, you can always build a mock-up and go from there.
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Old 11-30-2004, 11:45 AM
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i was planning on having to make the mock up but customize it so it would fit perfectly in the cab. i have been studying up on how to make custom fiberglass interiors and i was helping my friend make his center console for his truck last night. i think that we've got the basics down pretty well, but there are a few things i am worried about.

1. i wanted to keep the heat in the cab and just re-route the heating ducts to get rid of the panel vents but keep the floor and the defrost. but i also wanted to replace the stock heat controls with a more vintage looking one, like one that slides back and forth (classic GM), but dont know if they would be compatible (wiring).
2. im not sure about the framing of it, like structural durability wise. i thought about using threaded rod through the firewall the support some of it, and have the frame place most of the weight on those areas.

thanks for the help. much appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2004, 12:03 PM
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I didn't do a very good job of taking progress pics. of the dash but I used the original dash from the Panel truck and made the modifications on it. Then using that as a plug I laid up this mold.
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Old 11-30-2004, 12:08 PM
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Then I used that mold to lay up the finished part. Since I used the original dash as a plug, It bolted back in the same as the original. It was plenty solid and didn't need any extra supports. I suppose that would depend on the shape of the dash however. My design had enough curves and lines to stiffen it up pretty good on it's own. Added an oak panel to accommodate the gages/switches/etc.
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:17 PM
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Air ducts, etc.

If you build enough structure into your dash it should hang just fine - probably a metal bracket in a V to hold the steering column as in the old cars.

For the ducting, you can buy vents that look like they are old - or ones for hot rods. Phipps makes some hot rod billet vents - companies like vintage air, hot rod air and airtique all have ducts and controls that you can purchase.

For the control, if your current unit has cables to control it, you should be able to find a vintage controller. The one on the bel-air was all cable run except for the fan switch. That could be adapted to any fan -- the cables control the dampers and mixture (hot vs. cold).

The beauty of building yours out of fiberglass (and the reason I'm pulling my original out to mold it) is to be able to build in a radio mount that actually will fit modern units. The original radios were about the size of a volkswagen, but the new units just dont fit well - or look nice. So, instead of a vintage look, I am disguising it behind a blank dash panel.

If you use a 55/56 as your model there are a ton of parts out there to make your truck trick.
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