Let's face it, when you climb behind the wheel of your ride, you're immediately face-to-face with something that could best be described as a necessity. Regardless of the rest of your car, that dashpanel with its lights and gauges is probably one of the most important pieces of automotive equipment you use when you drive. Without it, how do you know what the engine is doing, what your speed limit is, or how the car is functioning?
As with all things, dashboards get worn out. So if you feel that the dash in your ride can best be described as "tired," this article will give you some insight into what it takes to return your dash to quality appearance using simple tools and a little effort. Some of the steps may look a little intimidating, but with patience and possibly a little help from a friend, you can get great results in your own garage. Today's quality reproduction parts and refinished original stuff can a go a long way toward making your dash attractive.
The dash we will show you here came out of a '68 GTX with the car already in the process of a complete restoration. Pulling the dash from the car is best performed by referencing the shop manual for your model year, and once the dash is removed, disassembly will be a lot easier since the back of the components are accessible. That said, follow along as we guide you through the process of getting some dashing results of your own.
Just Dash-ingDuring our dash rebuild, we were fortunate enough that the upper and lower pads were in excellent condition and simply needed to be re-dyed. If your dash pad(s) are beyond that simple spraying or if re-dyeing is a step you do not feel comfortable taking, Just Dashes is there to help. You can send them the dash pads from your car and they will send them back to you with a complete new foam core and color-correct cover and stitching. The high-density foam that Just Dashes uses as core material is of a higher quality than the original and resists the heat build-up that makes the factory foam expand, causing the covering to crack. Each foam core is hand-shaped, then the vinyl with the original graining and stitching is vacuum formed over the dash, resulting in a perfect reproduction of the original. Many Mopar dash forms are now created, so contact Just Dashes for availability of your dash. Just Dashes, Dept. MPRM, 5941 Lemona Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91411; 818-780-9005; www.justdashes.com.