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04-18-2009 09:55 PM more pics of dash
still more pics


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  [Entry #3]

04-18-2009 09:55 PM more pics of dash
more pics:


(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #2]

04-18-2009 09:54 PM 60 Impala dash in a 50 chevy truck
This winter I got a little sidetracked from working on the more important things on my truck (things that will actually get it back on the road again!). But sometimes a diversion is good, and in the end I think this diversion will make my truck a little more interesting. Also, I learned some important lessons in welding.
Anyway, a while back I saw a feature in a truck magazine that inspired me. The vehicle was an AD Chevy truck like mine. The owner had replaced the stock dash with one out of a 59-60 Impala. I loved the idea, and eventually found an old Impala dash to try it out myself. I am an amateur welder, and once I started measuring I realized there was going to be some significant modifications to be made. But after some careful planning I finally decided it was possible, although there were some problems to overcome.
First, the Impala dash was about 9 inches too long (if my memory serves me). In the magazine article I saw, the guy had removed the middle of the dash (the radio area) to bring it down to size. I didn't like that for 2 reasons: 1. I really LIKE the radio, and 2. it just looked funny; the impala dash has 2 long 'scooped out' areas on top, and this brought them too close together.
So my approach was this: remove 2 inches from each end, which also properly placed the steering column. This left me about 5 inches still to get rid of. I decided to remove a section from the passenger side, directly in front of the passenger. This shortened the glovebox door, as well as the flat 'scooped out' area above it.
Before I did all this, though, I decided I needed to separate the top half of the dash from the bottom. The entire dash is heavy, and it would be hard to do test fitting. But separating the upper from the bottom was a job and a half! A lot of the spot welds are inaccesible with a drill, so I did some creative hack-sawing and grinding. Once apart, I set aside the bottom half, figuring that part would be easier. The work on the top half would either make or break the project, so that is where I started.
Now I had some other issues to think about. The Impala dash is much deeper front to back than the truck dash, so it needed to be cut back where it meets the windshield. That' OK, but once you do that you now have a dash that, starting from the driver side, sweeps upward over the gauges, then back down to the center area, then sweeps up again in front of the passenger, and back down again to meet the corner of the windshield. The original truck dash, however, is basically a gentle arc from one side to the other. I haven't 'fixed' this problem yet, but plan on doing some alterations to the windshield moulding that will accomodate these variations. I'll let you know how that works out.
Anyway, once all the cutting was done to the top half, I had to weld in a piece to fill the old speaker area on top. Then came welding the passenger side back together again where I had removed the 5 inch section. That part was a challenge for me, since my sheetmetal welding experience up t now was mostly on flat surfaces. It came out good though, you can see the freshly-done work in the photo of the dash sitting out in the snow.
Next problem: Since I hacked the ends of the dash off, I now had to finish them off some way. While considering a few options, I was looking at photos of Impala interiors. I noticed that where the dash meets the door, there is a piece of moulding that kind of mirrors the shape of the open hole I made by slicing the ends off. (See the photos with the gold-colored piece.) I found some of those on Ebay, and with a little cutting an bending, they fit quite well. Now I still have an open area below that, which will be filled with speaker grille material (with speakers!). I was able to utilize the waste material from door moulding piece also. It will serve as a end cover for the bottom half of the dash, under the speaker grilles.
Well, that's all I feel like writing just now. It probably only makes sense to me anyway. I'll post more pictures as things progress.


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  [Entry #1]



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