Monday, June 7, 2010

Center Dash

The center dash is somewhat of a mystery to me. Originally delivered without it installed, it was spirited to my father for rework by my brother along with the passenger piece. I have no pictures with it installed and I don't think it was on the car when my brother got it (At least from the pictures of the delivery it's not there).
The Donor Dash

Provided with the car was a donar for the center dash. I suspect that the original gauges were removed from the car and all I'm left with is this RHD center dash. I believe it's from out of country (yeah, I know it is a British car, but out of the US market) as the gauges are flipped. It's definitely seen the worse for wear but it will provide the needed bits for my car. The piece is definitely not the correct year for my car as it has more switches than mine should have. This piece provided the replacement plastic for the vent controls, as the one from the car was cracked.
Warning Lights

Disassembled Warning Lights
Included with the goodie bag o' dashboard parts was the warning light pieces. They were stripped, cleaned, and re-painted. A delight in simplicity! I don't really know what they are warning me of, but I have an request out to another '69 owner/restorer that has his labeled. I guess I'll have to be blissfully ignorant for a while.

The dash board is beginning to look like something with the plastic piece and warning lights installed. It stayed like this for quite some time while the gauges were given a little TLC.

The Fuel Gauge
This is the original condition of the donor fuel gauge. The rust was brushed off, being afraid of what the evap-o-rust might do to the workings of the gauge. The bracket was straightened and the outer ring was worked over.

First, the remains of the rubber seal was scrapped out, being completely shot. Next, the rust and paint was scrapped off until the ring was back to base metal. Finally comes priming and painting. The spray went quite well, and I decided to cheat, and leave the underside in a primed state. In retrospect, it was the right thing. Painting the underside is a bad idea.

With the fuel gauge installed, the dash is beginning to look like it should. The donor parts leave a bit to be desired but all that can be addressed later in fine tuning.

The Donor Temp Gauge

In noticeably better condition, the temperature gauge in its raw form. Treated similarly as the fuel gauge, the ring proved to be much more of a pain.

The ring bottom

Stripped down to bare metal, then primed.
The ring top
Stripped of it's paint to bare metal, then primed. I sprayed both sides this time and quickly found out that this wasn't such a good thing. I sprayed it and it all looked good, on install, the pain on the bottom was ripped up by the gauge base. Not too bad, but it took a lot more effort to get the ring and seal on than it should have. In getting it together I scratched the paint.

The paint was then removed and re-sprayed. It crinkled, I sanded and re-sprayed. Crinkle again. I stripped it back to bare metal and finally got a finish I could live with on the thing. ARGH!

Semi-finished product, is anything on a project car ever truly finished... Added is the light switch to go from low beams to high beams. It was floating around the car when I removed the carpet. In the goodie bag is the other metal pieces to make it into a working switch. The switch base is still on the wires in the dash. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the look, though I'll likely be looking to source some better gauges. It kills me to have to wait to install the dash, but several important items need to be dealt with before that will happen.

I still need to get the engine started, replace the rocker panels, prepare for paint, etc before I can re-assemble. Oh where does the time go. The wife is getting impatient, wanting it to run.

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