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Anyone Know Of An Aftermarket Dash?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 86jimbo, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. 86jimbo

    86jimbo Registered Member

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    I am looking on info on changing my dash, and cluster. Does anyone make any custom replacements or kits? I have a 86 k5. thanks.
     
  2. AV8

    AV8 Registered Member

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  3. wkbrdrob

    wkbrdrob Registered Member

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  4. bamf

    bamf 1/2 ton status

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  5. AV8

    AV8 Registered Member

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    Yeah, I may have understated it a little. It's way more than I can justify spending.
     
  6. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Did they paint a piece of sheetmetal and put behind that? Something looks funny in that picture.
     
  7. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    I was going to do the Covan's Classics thing, but even though it was affordable, I've decided to do it the hard way and put together a set of VDO Vision series instruments (speedo, tach, fuel, oil psi, coolant temp, voltmeter). I like that gauge series, because they are black faced, because the markings and humerals are "through-lit", and because the needles are illuminated from within. I bought one of these gauges, briefly used jumpers to hook up the illumination wiring, and they are really easy to see at night.

    I'll be removing and storing my current bezel and factory gauges, and fitting those VDO gauges (probably with a little messy dremel work) into a repro dash instrument bezel (about $80 + shipping from LMC), and I hope to have them recessesed, rather than surface-mounted (see here for a similar installation that I hope to mimic in many respects).

    I plan to use a Painless instrument wiring harness to hook the gauges up. I have a factory cable speedo on my 85, so I'll be installing a hall-effect sensor for the electrical VDO speedo (which will also let me easily reprogram for gearing and tire changes, unlike the mechanical factory speedo). I'll put the hall-effect sensor past the VSS module to maintain the function of the cruise control.

    Not related to the dash panel, but I'll be installing at least four (and as many as eight) more gauges from this VDO series under the dash above the tranny tunnel. I love gauges, the more the better. Trans pressure, trans temp, engine vacuum, engine oil temp. Fuel/air ratio, transfer case temp, front diff temp, rear diff temp. Yes, I may not be completely sane.

    If I ever get this done (I'm still ordering and finding parts for this), I'll post a few pics of the completed installation, including a night shot or two to show the better illumination of these gauges.
     
  8. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I was originally going for his same style.. Honestly I find the angled down look to look cheesy.. Very simple to achieve tho.. His is nice and factory looking with the proper angle..

    I ended up going with my custom setup after I decided I didn't like any of the mounting solutions to his, just because of the mounting config, plastic bezel, etc...
     
  9. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    I know what you mean. The gauges he used for that recessed install were (I believe) 2-5/8 diameter and I'm going to be using slightly smaller 2-1/16 gauges, so I hope to be able to insert them from the front and spinlock them in place from the rear. I won't know for sure if that will work until I have the empty dash bezel in front of me and actually test-fit a gauge. It won't look quite as factory-clean as a true rear-mount job, but it will still be fairly recessed.

    I hope that with the smaller diameter of the 2-1/16 (vs 2-5/8) gauges, I won't have to do much (if any) trimming of the gauge nacelles to get a slide-in (from the front) recessed fit. I'm going to order the repro panel for 89-91 (even though mine is an 85), because it's a lot cheaper, and it's already cut for a DIN radio instead of the old 2-shaft stereo of the 83-88.
     
  10. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    yeah, i actually worked on the tach hole and one small hole for my 2 5/8 to see how it would work on an old beat up dash i had... ya had to cut a fair amount off the small bezel... the thing i didn't like was as you cut down the small bezel the plastic gets thicker, hiding more gauge.

    i could have gotten that part decent, but when looking at the back the mounting is daunting.. i didn't even realize he wired his... i'd bet the farm that shifts over time.. i came up with a couple possible solutions at the time... the one i was gonna go with was plasticwelding some tabs to the backside and fabbing a metal retainer for all the guages, similar to what his friend had mentioned i suppose...

    but in the end, i'm very, very pleased at the results of my custom.. love how it came out and get blown away comments from peeps on it all the time..

    the only thing i can foresee you having a prob with the thru mount is the taper of the bezel going too "deep" on the backside of the gauge to allow the twistlocks.. hopefully you can get it to work..

    one other option to consider if they don't work that way is to bead them in on the back with silicone from a caulk gun.. just a big fat bead around the back at the base.. there are many times we have done this in the boats. holds great, and is removable... not the desired method, but i'd trust it more than that guys wire thing..
     

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