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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm finally getting back to working on my 68 Elky after not doing anything for over a year. I'm gonna pull the factory dash panel tomorrow and start making a template for a custom one. I haven't decided whether to go with sheetmetal, fiberglass, or wood or a combination. I'll be mounting several Auto-meter guages, aftermarket air conditioning controls and directional vents, and the necessary switches. I'm also going to completely re-wire the car from front to back while I'm at it.

Do any of you have any experience with making a custom dash? I'm looking for any tips or tricks that might make the job easier. I just ordered "Metal Fabricator's Handbook" and "Sheet Metal Handbook" so I'll have something of a clue about what I'm doing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also looking for a good source for fuse blocks, etc. Painless Wiring has nice stuff, but they're a little pricey for my taste.

Thanks,

Chad Landry
Baton Rouge, LA
(Still have the 68 Elky)
 

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For the wiring lookin in mags like Street Rodder. There is a company called EZ Wiring. They have quality parts, and their kits are cheaper than Painless. My friend used one of their kits on his 72 Chevy Truck and had no problems with it. The only real difference between the Painless and the EZ kit is that he had to use the factory plugs. Simple cut n splice. It is a universal type kit but they come with a ton of wire which is labeled like every 6" and the blocks can be ordered to handle up to like 18-20 circuits.
Casper
 

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Chad,
Have you considered carbon fiber? All you need to do is supply a shop with a template and choose the fiber. One of these days the dash strip on my 67 is going to be replaced with carbon fiber.
In one of the Rod magazines this past year was an article about a guy who fabricated an entire dash out of laminated wood. The wood was laid and cut on a bias to give an interesting pattern. The dash wasn't flat either. It had all the contours of an original dash. Now I'm going to have to go home and see if I can find the article.
Good luck on your wiring. I don't have the time or energy for that sort of thing. M&H Electrical Fabricators www.wiringharness.com wants $580 for the three harnesses I need on my Impala. I looked at EZ wiring and other options but It isn't original enough for my taste.

------------------
1967 Malibu
1967 Impala SS396 Conv.
"Let me show you how the guards used to do it."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I thought about carbon fiber, but I don't know where to find a shop or how much it will cost. I'd love to see the article with the custom wood dash you spoke of.

I've pretty much figured out what I'm gonna do. I got the panel out and I have to remove the protruding areas from the back of it so I can make a template. I'm gonna make one template of posterboard for cutting the sheetmetal, and another of fiberglass for bending purposes.

I found an article at a metalworking site http://www.datasync.com/~ronthomp/bendingbrake.htm which explains how to fabricate a home-made brake for bending sheet metal. The brake is made with 1½ angle iron and 3/8" flat bar which requires very little welding and grinding. This will be perfect for the bends that I have to make and I can put the brake together at work.

I'm taking pictures as I go so hopefully I can set up a website with step-by-step directions for anyone else who might want to do this.

Thanks for the wiring link. I sent for one of their catalogs.

Chad

[This message has been edited by cjlandry (edited 01-21-2000).]

[This message has been edited by cjlandry (edited 01-21-2000).]
 
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