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Discussion Starter #1
I have been working on a custom SS dash for the last three weekends - not counting the time I spent on eBay and the Summit site gathering up the stuff needed to do this project.

This is MUCH harder than I ever thought it would be and more expensive. :eek: This is coming from someone that built a 402 and swapped it in for a 350, redid the interior, & installed front end busings, ball joints and disc brakes !

It is not heavy lifting work - it is a lot of figuring out how to fabricate brackets from whatever you have in your junk drawer, bending twisting and installing then taking it all apart again to make sure it is going to be reliable. The tough part is that you are forcing the gauges FORWARD against the carrier instead of PULLING the gauges through a hole.

The nice part is that in the end I will have a dash that really is custom because no one in their right mind would do this.


Here are a couple of pix of the project as it stands so far. I have a lot more work to do to get everything ready to paint and then make the actual dash swap but this is encouraging to me after this much to see something LOOK like the finished product.

By the way - A special thanks to SS520 for the idea (mine IS different) and some photos to help me figure out how to go about this.


Tom


 

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That's a good looking fab job on the back. What size are those guages? And, did you have to use anything fill the space between the face of the guages and back of the instrutment panel?
 

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Nice job Tom!

I'm impressed with the work you have done. Very clever how you cut, bent and fit everything. How right you are about it being a hard job, but there is some satisfaction in saying you did it yourself.

You may already know this, but AutoMeter now makes a 3 5/8" fuel gauge that will fit nicely in the center hole.

Looking forward to the pics of the finished product.
 

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I just noticed something! What's up with the hose clamps?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Randy !

There is nothing between the gauge bezels and the inside of the housing. That is why this is so difficult - you are PUSHING the gauge bezels against the inside diameter of the gauge holes of the housing. If you could cut a hole and pull the gauges through you could use the U clamp and it would be a breeze.

I used the clear plastic lens to take up the space between the housing and the dash but I cut holes for the gauge faces because the light from the gauges would reflect in there and it would look like crap.

The gauges are 3 3/8 for the large ones, 2 5/8 for the fuel and 2 1/16 for the small ones. I used the Phantom ones because I like the look of looking into a hole at the gauges. The ones that Wayne did had a silver bezel on them and I wanted mine to be different.

Working with 30 year old plastic is tough. Everytime you drill into it it seems to crack. If I had it to do over again I would have just bought an aftermarket one so that it wouldn't be so brittle. I have been using a plastic epoxy that is great. It bonds like crazy and adds a lot of strength to the housing.

Thanks Wayne !

I saw the bigger fuel gauge but I like the looks of the smaller gauge between the larger ones. One of the guys at work ask if I was going to put $$ signs on the fuel gauge instead of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and $$$$full. :D

I wish they would have had a 8K tach instead of the rice burner 10K one.

I will post some more pix as I get closer to getting done. Like I sad before - this will be unique because not very many people will go through this for a custom SS dash !


Cya`

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Randy,

They are keeping the template flush against the rear of the gauge bezels to keep the gauges in place as they sit against the back of the housing. You need to have something in the front of the gauges as well as in the rear or the gauges would just splay apart.

At this point everything has to be able to be disassembled (multiple times) so I have been using them to hold the template there. I will probably epoxy the template in permanently as I assemble it for the last time before installation.

Tom
 
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