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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2005, 09:11 PM
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Mounting fiberglass dash

So I know absolutely nothing about fiberglass and am now at the stage where I need to mount my dash so that I can make up brackets and hang my steering column.

Basically I have a fiberglass dash and body and would like to mount it so that I can take it out if I need to. Being a 37 I also need to mount it so that there is some adjustment because the doors are contoured into the dash. I could be wrong but that was my thoughts. Probably more important because they are suicide doors, if they are adjusted even slightly for gaps that would change the point where the doors meet the dash. So early in the build I am not confident that the doors are gapped correctly and that they wont change when the body is taken off an put back on. Scared to do anything permanent now!

How should I mount the dash to the return on the firewall. Has anyone done this before in fiberglass? I was thinking of making some 2" disks with a hole saw. Maybe 12 or 14 gauge sheetmetal, countersinking the center hole and welding in a countersunk fastner. Leaving the top surface flush. Then I could glue these to the dash and I would have three or four threaded mounts. Does this sound right? How would i glue them? is there a steel to fiberglass epoxy that would be strong enough?

Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated. This seems to be holding up my build and I'm new so I dont want to make a mistake even if it is fiberglass.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-20-2005, 12:56 PM
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have you thought of elevator bolts?

Magoo, I just finished mounting my fiberglass dash in my 36 Ford. JB Donaldson (streetrodder tour car) recommends bonding elevator bolts to the back of the dash with JB Weld, adding a piece of glass cloth. If the term is new to you, they are bolts with a large, flat, thin head. The 1/4" bolts have about a 1 inch head. You can find them at home depot and similar. Bill
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Old 08-21-2005, 01:04 PM
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Great

Thanks Bill,

I was thinking along those lines but wasnt sure about the adhesive

Got any picks of your work?
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Old 08-21-2005, 05:03 PM
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re:mounting fiberglass dash

Magoo, I haven't tried taking pictures, could give it a try. What would you like to see? I copied Dean's hotrods on the dash mounting, stopped in to his shop when I was in Phoenix picking up my 36. Wife has been gone, been doing the only manly thing- using her dining room table as a shop bench while I covered the subpanel in leather. The subpanel is Dean's idea as well- will leave the dash uncluttered. Talk later, Bill
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:54 AM
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Hey Bill

I was thinking a picture of the actual mounts would help me greatly if possible. I am trying to decide where and how many. I am also going to have to leave some adjustment in the dash for final assembly as my doors flow into my dash. Is that that same on a 36? If so how did you tackle that, or did you set the doors and assume that they were bang on?

Thanks,
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:18 AM
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This is how I did the dash in my 34. The rear of the dash had a lip of about 1". I fashioned some clips to bolt to the body where the rear edge of the dash meets the body. This allows me to slide the rear edge of the dash over the clips. I then pull the dash to the bottom brace that runs from side to side at the bottom of the dash. I drilled and tapped one 1/4" fine thread bolt hole in each side under the bottom of the dash. Countersunk the bolt hole in the dash and bolted it up.

The elevator bolt is a good idea also if you have enough room for access. With the A/C unit it's pretty tight under my dash.

Vince
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:42 PM
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re:mounting fiberglass dash

Hi Magoo, late night for me. My daughter took the digital camera in to school for her photography class- can get pics off Friday if not too late. I ran a piece if 1" thick walled tubing from kick panel to kick panel at the lower edge of the AC unit. I then welded two dog legs 2" inside of those. I mounted an elevator bolt just inside of the legs onto the dash and then used an angle bracket with a 1/4" hole for the elevator bolt to pass thru. I may need some adjustment as well, but I know which direction it will be, so I moved the angle bracket all the way back giving me over an inch of adjustment in the fore-aft direction, then welded it to the dog leg. I also have lower support mid dash- Dean used a 4" piece of angle, I used another piece of square tube. Access on the driver's side is easy, passenger side has drier so I had to cut the glove box opening for easy access to the elevator bolt on the passenger side. I also ran extra leads off the binary switch in the drier to make for easy jump when filling. Bill
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:27 AM
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Thanks guys

That helps me greatly,

no rush on pics Bill I just thought it would be good to see, I wont be doing anything for about a week now so if you get a chance great. I was also interested in seeing your car.

I'll post some pic's of my progress!

Talk to you later,
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:23 AM
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re:mounting fiberglass dash

Magoo, I haven't forgotten about you,trying to get my daughter to cough up the camera. I hoping to get the pics online tomorrow. Bill
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:42 AM
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them girls beating you up again bill ?
when working with glass i mix up some resin for glue. it will bond far better than anything else. the flat head bolts are the ticket.
i also glass a strip of wood on the inside firewall to attach clamps and such.

Last edited by shine; 08-26-2005 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:55 AM
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re:fiberglass dash

Hi Shine! Missed hearing from you! According to JB Donaldson, if you use resin for glue, you may get little cracks opposite the glued areas over time. Since I'm not painting the gelcoat on the dash either, that could prove problematic. I know that you have alredy done more than I will ever manage in my remaining years, so I would never disagree with experience. The JB weld does work great however- I tried a sample first and couldn't break the bolt off with vice-grips. Thanks for your steady and knowledgeable contributions! Bill
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:05 PM
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jb's been at the glass thing way longer than i . if anyone had the answer he would. i've had some failures with jb weld over the years. same with 5 min epoxy. of course the stuffs usually a couple years old i'm about to start the inderweed. cruz by one weekend and check it out.
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Old 08-27-2005, 01:17 PM
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re:fiberglass dash/pics

Magoo, my first attempt at sending pics. Hope they help. Bill
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:19 AM
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Pics worked great

Bill,

Thanks, That does help me.

Looks like it will be awesome when its done!

Mike
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Old 08-31-2005, 08:23 PM
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Steel 36

Notice you guys are working in the same decade as I, except glass rather than steel. Well here's a steel question in case you had experience. I'm also new to the game of building and am patiently waiting for my chassis to arrive from TCI. Question: I have a fender bracket that is made for holding the rumble seat step pad. Problem is that it is badly pitted. I'm wondering if a liquid metal would fill the pits sufficient enough for getting a good smooth finish. What's your thoughts?

By the way what engine and chassis setup are you guys using just in case I am planning anything along the same lines. I'm thinking in terms of a 350-400hp w/700R ODTranny, 3.70 rear. Currently looking for a good crate supplier...Got ideas?
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