Since you see the dash of your car every time you drive it, you might as well make it look
We've all seen, and probably even owned, Mopar cars with instrument panels that don't look good or function properly. Rather than pulling the instruments from our cars and repairing them, most of us simply bolt a set of aftermarket gauges under the dash and tolerate the nonfunctioning instruments in the ugly original panel. The fact is, the dashpanel and instruments in our cars get overlooked for several reasons. First, the dash can be a pain to remove as all the switches, gauges, and electrical junctions must be disconnected. Second, the dash is primarily electric, and most of us despise electrical work. Third, it takes special equipment to calibrate the instruments, and most of us don't have the tools to perform the work. While we can't really do anything to make the dash easier to remove, we can show you how to make it look and function better without sending out for repair and without any specialized tools.
You might remember this project from our rare finds department several months ago.
Aesthetically, the dashpanels found in most Mopars have suffered years of abuse from the elements, making them unsightly to look at. Spilled drinks, windows left open, and, especially, the sun all take their toll on the dashpanel of your car, eroding the paint and hazing the clear plastic that covers the gauges. Additionally, the engine instruments in the dashpanel of most Mopars are notorious for simply not working. Electrical circuitry in the '60s and '70s wasn't what it is today, and these cars were just not designed to still be operating some 30 or 40 years after they were built. While there are companies like Autoinstruments.com that will completely refurbish your dash to better-than-new standards, the cost of professional dash restoration sometimes doesn't make sense for a driver quality car. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can do at home that will not only make the dashpanel in your vehicle easier on the eyes, but more functional as well.
While our '67 Barracuda has relatively low miles, being a convertible has subjected the in
While restoring the dashpanel yourself will save you time and money, remember that it's nearly impossible to make your dash look like it did when it left the factory unless you have the ability to rechrome plastic in your garage. Also, gauge faces that are extremely weathered or faded can really only be properly repaired by stripping them and reprinting the face (again, hard to do at home) or replacing the gauge face with a better quality used one. So if you're restoring that numbers-matching, one-of-one, rare Mopar, we certainly recommend sending the dashpanel to a professional to be refurbished. If you're like us and simply want gauges that work and a dashpanel that is less unsightly, follow along and we'll show you how you can accomplish the task on your home workbench with simple hand tools, a soldering iron, and a few cans of spray paint.
Removing the dashpanel is time consuming, but not difficult. We generally begin by removin
Before we can remove the switches and heater controls, the knobs must be removed. Heater c
It's always easier to work on a component like the dashpanel on a workbench. We also dug u
Ever struggle to remove the headlight knob from the switch? It's actually easy if you do i
We're sure there's a special tool to remove the round nuts that hold the emergency flasher
Turn-signal, brake, and high-beam indicator lenses are all held in place by both adhesive