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Old 05-16-2019, 05:53 AM
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Classic Dash overlay

I've done a bit of searching around here and found some older threads related to this piece. Learned a ton along the way about how the dash comes out, wiring and such so that has given me a great head start.

My experience so far is that the fitment of the piece is alright. It's not great, but it's not horrible either. I've seen some say that they used a dremel to cut their dash out to fit this in there. I started with that, and it just wasn't cutting it. Pun intended. So I changed over to an oscillating tool like this one:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/FEIN-Sta...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Cut through it like butter. Just in case anyone is experiencing the same things that I did. I did go back and clean up the rough edges with the dremel after.

I do have a question about this though. Now that I can sit the gauge panel down in there I see that it sits on the original dash just fine along the outside edges. In the middle section where there is still dash material left, the two don't exactly sandwich together well. Are they supposed to? Are people just using the provided screw holes to attach these things together? Or glue of some sort along with that? If using glue, are you clamping the two pieces together to let the glue dry so they stick together well? I'll post some pictures up here in case it helps to visualize what I'm talking about.

All I know is that once I have this thing back into the car I don't want to do this again for a while!

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Old 05-16-2019, 05:57 AM
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Pictures attached.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:18 AM
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Looks great and thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:01 AM
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I used to sell Coverlay brand dash caps at one place I worked. They all came with a tube of clear silicone for adhering them to the existing piece. Only installed one myself, on my 71 Ventura. Fit good enough to not need anything but they are not intended to look perfect or be un-detectable. Double faced attachment tape like what holds new car side moldings and such on can be used if theres enough old vinyl to stick to. Where there isn't is where the RTV silicone comes into play. I wouldn't call it a forever fix but depending on how much extreme weather the vehicle sees, it could last a long time. Sorry I'm not more help but maybe the RTV is the answer to your question. I have not messed with a dash like yours. Good luck with it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:11 AM
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Thanks! Appreciate any input. I thought about getting it held together by the screws and then using a very small amount of expanding foam but that could get ugly quick if a guy got carried away. RTV probably a far better solution.

The thing is, I'm not even 100% sure I need to do anything. Maybe once I get the screws in there it'll hold well enough that I'll never notice.

The actual top dash piece is in really good shape. I think the previous owner had replaced it at some point. So it's just the instrument cluster bezel I'm working with here.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:33 AM
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I tried it out using just screws over the weekend, seems to hold together quite well. I'm going to test fit it sometime this week to make sure it stays sturdy but that might be all it takes.

Have to run a new speedo cable as well. The one that came from the factory is the slip on type, and I need the screw on type for the AutoMeter mechanical gauge. Picked one up from NAPA on Friday that seems like it's going to work out well. If you ever are in the same boat, a cable for a 69 Camaro is close to the correct length with the correct ends on each side.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:08 AM
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I finished this project up over the long weekend. Here is a basic run down of what went into it, and the things I encountered. Good bad and ugly. Basically my rambling about the project

Getting the dash out of the vehicle was easier than I had initially thought. Sure there's lots of wires to deal with but once it's out it's not so bad. I have a console in there to rest the dash on when the bolts come out so I did not have to use the all thread trick.

I mentioned this before, but for cutting the hole in the dash, using a fein tool or other oscillating tool makes it 100x easier. Make sure to watch where you are cutting, you don't want to cut too far out or you'll run into mounts for things on the back of the dash.

Consider your wiring for the gauges and where power / ground is going to come from. I ran distribution blocks for each up under the dash and have provided manually switched power up to the power side, and a dash ground on the ground side. Yes this means I have to switch them off and on every time I want to use them, but I prefer it that way. Yes, there was also a truck load more wiring that happened once the dash was in the car, so it did not look this clean forever. But the more you can keep tidy the better I say.

Think of all the sender units and where they are going to be installed. This consumed more time than I had initially thought. Luckily my fuel supply line had a plugged hole for the fuel pressure sender unit that I used for the time being. That said, my hood is not going to fit back on with it right there, so I'll have to change that up later. Also, having the 02 bungs welded into place took some time. Had to take the exhaust off of the car and into a shop to have it done because I have no welder. The transmission cable I already mentioned, but keep it in mind if you change over to a gauge that does not have a push on cable type on the back. You'll have to either use a converter (which I could not find locally) or get a new cable.

Turn signal dash lights! I had to buy some LED lights from Grainger and drill holes for them in the dash panel. Ran to common ground, and tapped into the light blue wire and dark blue wire from the dash harness for power. These are the ones on the end of the harness, you'll recognize them because two wires go into the same slot. I do not remember the wire number from the harness.

I also had to relocate the headlight switch. This had to go pretty far to the right hand side, so I had to free up that harness from the main harness behind the dash. It was still kind of a stretch to get it plugged in but it works. Remember this get's grounded too.

Getting the dash back into the car was.......fun. Not horrible actually just very cramped in there. I did have to work around a roll cage so my experience was not great.

When you are going back in with the dash, remember that you now have a factory harness back there that is free balling (unless you removed that!). You have to protect the exposed connections on that so nothing grounds out randomly back there. I can't imagine the troubleshooting nightmare that could cause. Also in my case I had a bunch of now new wires back there that I had to tuck in along with the old harness, in some spaces this was a bit tight. Getting the dash fully back into place I just hoped and prayed I did not pinch any wires behind there since I couldn't see much. So far it all works - so I suppose I didn't.

The one thing that is still a bit odd that I have to figure out is the ignition switch. Now when I turn the key over, it requires just a bit more effort than it did before. Which isn't the end of the world, but it *does* mostly prevent the ignition switch from coming back to position with the spring in there, so you have to turn it backwards once the vehicle is started. I suppose it's dragging on something, somewhere. Maybe I have something too tight in there, who knows?

Anyway. It was more of an involved project than I had initially thought it would be. Worth it in the end.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:10 AM
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Pictures are sometimes worth 1000 words too
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