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Reinstall original undamaged dash pad or replace?

698 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  thr062
Hoping to start reassembling the dash soon. The dash pad that I removed is the original 69 pad. The pad looks great no cracks or fading. The car is a convertible so I’m afraid of UV damage. If I reinstall the dash pad I removed will it start cracking in 1-2 years? How long would a 69 pad be expected to last? If it cracks next year I’ll have to remove with everything else installed. Are the new replacement pads made of newer improved vinyl? Bottom line, is it best to zero time the pad while I have the chance? If so I’ll bite the bullet and get the cash but I sure wouldn’t mind saving the $$.

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I ordered an aftermarket dash for my 67 and it fit terrible. I had to send it back and bring my original cracked pad to the upholstery shop. I would gamble and put it back in or ask somebody about the quality of the aftermarket dash pads. As far as cracking again who knows. It made it this far and you probably will be garaging the car so maybe UV won't be an issue.
I'd use the original pad, products to protect it and get one of the heavy fabric covers. You can put the cover when you show the car, but have it in place when driving or parked. My 64 had relatively perfect upolstry when I got it at 82K. It had been garaged for most of its life. After a year of daily driving it started self destructing and will need replaced.

64 Malibu HT Survivor

10 year resto on my 69' SS396. Used the original dash pad it is now 33 years old and has not cracked. Don't fix it if it isn't broken. If it has survived this long must be a good pad. Who knows where the replacement one is made... China? Doubt the new one would last as long.


Fastss396, Fastss396,Fastss396,
69' SS396 Chevelle
L78 396/375hp
M-21 Close Ratio
Cortez Silver
10 year Resto
It's brand new again!
02' Harley FatBoy, Diamond Ice Pearl and lots of chrome!
ACES# 3466
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All of the repro '69 dash pads I've seen aren't made right. They are about 1/2"-3/4" short on the front edge, leaving part of the metal dash exposed that was not meant to be exposed. If anyone knows of a good one, I'd like to know.

von '69 300 Dlx SS TC #15 ACES #1575 HSCA #5
My '69 SS
Thanks for the replies. I decided to put the original on back in. I’ll take the change on cracking because I think the look of the real pad is worth the risk. The cover is an excellent idea sounds like the way to go. I’ll just keep the pad covered at most shows.
Mine is an original 66 and it is in great shape *knock on wood* so is the original head liner. Religous Armorall (even though I know it is not the greatest thing to use) treatment is the secret, along with threatening everyone who gets in the car with their life not to touch either of them. Always keep them out of the sun.

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