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Dash (pics)

Discussion in 'Interior - Stock & Custom' started by seschev3, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    Finished remolding my dash for the guages. Also remolded to fit my steering column instead of the large rectangle opening around the stock 98 column. Once finished with the fiberglass and body fill, I retextured and painted the panel. More pics coming of the dash back in completed.

    sean pics 637.jpg

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    sean pics 657.jpg
     
  2. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    Thats dang nice lookin, is that just a retro fit of a new dash in a old truck?
    How hard was that?
    looks real good :D
     
  3. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Nice job. Same question - is that a new dash in your '75?
     
  4. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I originally put the dash in the 75 about 2 years ago and modified it a couple of times for the guages. This time is the most practical. It is a lot of work, but not to bad if you have experience in custom fabrication with fiberglass. I use to build show trucks where guys would spend 3-7 thousand on a speaker enclosure. The hardest part is not turning back. You first have to cut out the metal original dash. If any one ends up doing this I can give you alot of helpful hints to make it easy. Another thing I did was modify the heat/AC system to actuated/electronic from the factory vacuum so I could use the 98 heater control module. Alot went in to it, but I have been customizing cars and trucks for 15 years and enjoy it. Patience and time is a big part of it. And don't forget to ask questions from many of the experienced people in forums like this. I know I have.
     
  5. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    AWESOME. I think upgrades like that really make the older trucks feel a lot better. One thing I hate about my burb is the interior. Its all boxy and hard. My 97 feels so much more comfortable and its just stuff like the dash that make it that way.
     
  6. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    It defintely changes the feel. I also put 95 60/40 front seat and a 2002 3rd seat in for the rear. It is amazing how an interior change can make the truck feel different and more clean.
     
  7. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    Here are some more pics of it back together showing the difference of the hole around the column, heater controls (stock), and the rig it is in. Still need to mold the lower for the column and I need the push button for the glove box.

    sean pics 661.jpg

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    sean pics 665.jpg
     
  8. BigRed89

    BigRed89 1/2 ton status

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    Very nice work!
     
  9. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    That is seriously awesome. You really oughta do a write-up on that.
     
  10. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    It is a very long process if you include the dash bezel mods. But if I get some time between the kids, finishing my roll bar,and enough people interested in a write up, I might be able to do a write up if time allows.
     
  11. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I'd love to do this swap in my truck sometime as well, as my interior needs an upgrade pretty bad...

    However, I've been told that this dash is significantly taller than the stock one. How well are you able to see over it, and how much more / less room does it take?
     
  12. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    It does not sit much higher than the stock and I can see perfect over it with no sight restrictions at all. That may be because I am 6'2". It is however 1-2" shorter on each side as far as the width in some places. The fun part is finding the dash to start with.
     
  13. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Other than the obvious wiring nightmare, how did you go about figuring out the heater controls? My truck has a cable driven heater box at the moment. Or, does a guy put the heaterbox from the donor truck in? How about mounting it. I know that when you cut the old dash out there is a small tab that is left over, but how easy is it to physically bolt the dash in otherwise?
     
  14. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    The wiring of the headlight switch isn't to bad, but the heater was a challenge. I modified parts out of the donor trucks heater box to attach to my assembly. It takes a lot of time to adjust the throw of the actuators from the 98' to open and close the doors correctly. I also used parts under the hood in my a/c box. It is a very painstaking process, but I can assist in it if you do it. I have a background in auto electronics and fabrication that helps when reading the 98 schematics and making it work. the mounting is fairly simple with a couple of brackets and some screws in the right spots. You can't tell from the pics ,but I cut about 6" of the front off of the dash at the winsheild using a plastic overlay from my old dash as a templete for the shape and defrost holes.I also left 3-5" of the metal from the old dash at the winsheild to hold the stock defrost in place and to create a shelf for the new dash to sit on.
     
  15. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Wiring is of no concern to me. Probally be the easiest part of the swap as far as I am concerned.... My only real concerns lie in the heater box stuff. If you did not cut as much off the dash, would it really cramp you in a regular cab truck?
     
  16. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    You need to cut it or the dash would have to be mounted higher because of the angle of the steering column. Since I remolded the dash to fit snug now, I have to drop my column to put the dash bezel on and then bolt the column back up. There are other mods as well like reconstructing a new duct system to match all the vents. If you end up doing it I might be able to take pics of the duct system as well. I used the 98 actuators to control the to old cable functions and 1 actuator to control a door in the pass. kick panel, which I also fabbed . 2 electronic controled vacuum swithches for the defrost door and the fresh air cowl door outside.
     
  17. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    That looks great. I bet that was one long process to complete. Looks like it's paying off now though. :thumb:
     
  18. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    man all say it again that looks sweet, i wish i had the time and a place to do that to mine, but i think mine is destined to truggy, wouldent want to put that much work into it
     
  19. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

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    If i was to go and find a dash out of a newer truck what year would you suggest. Are there any that fit better then others? I will not be using the factory heat cuircit so that will make my swap a little easyer. I will be using the autometer guages and the stock HL switch,wiper, Other then that stuff thats all i will be using. How much did you have to cut off the new dash to fit at the windshield? Could you also go into a little detail on the fiberglass molding of the new dash. Or maybe a suggestion on a good tech book.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  20. seschev3

    seschev3 1/2 ton status

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    95'-98' dashes are the same except the 95' is different on the passenger side because it did not have an air bag that year. I like the 96'-98' because of the air bag area. I am going to flush a monitor in that area later for video. I have not measured the 99' and newer dashes yet, but from experience in removing them, I feel that the conversion would be a lot tougher. I cut of approx. 6" of the new dash. The cut removes the flattened area where the 98' defrost vents are. I can take measurements if and when you need them. As far as the fiberglass goes, I cut the factory mold piece around the column on the pass. side and moved it over about 4-5" and then reconsructed the fill piece. Where the guauges are, I used 1/4" mdf and cut it roughly to fit in thedash bezel with the holes for the guages hole sawed out first. Then I tacked it in place with some zap gap (which is a 2 stage model super glue). Filled in most of the gaps with a coat of fiberglass resin and then did the finish work with metal glaze body filler. After that it is sanding and then texture and then paint. The filler piece at the column is a little more difficult. I used abs to frame the area and then stretched lycra cloth for the form and then glassed it. You can also use 2 stage urethane to fill the mold (body shops use it to fix bumpers and stuff), but the gun is about $135 and the filler is $60 a shot. I used the urethane all the time when I would build custom dashes with 15" monitors in them. It works great and quick, but costs a lot. I use to work for Ames Audio. You can see alot of the vehichles I worked on on their web site at www.amesaudio.com. Hope this helps.
     

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