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7/16/11 9:56pm - Original Message: 'Installing a new dash'
Babyblue 78
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Vette(s):
1978 Corvette Light Blue Pulled from the swamps of Miami! Its a driver and back on the road!

Joined: 12/3/2007
Posts: 262
When I got my driver from the Aligator saleman from the swamps of Florida the dash had a dash cover over the original dash.  I think I am ready to tackle removing the cover and seeing what is underneath the cover.  I have had the center console with gages out and the speedo/tach frame but not sure what else is involed. If anyone recently has tackled this I would like to know the pros and cons of trying to do this.  I want to put a new dash on and also the top panel surround of the speakers but I'm sure there will be some surprises in doing this and not sure what I will find under the dash cover. Any thoughts on this will be taken... Thinking of trying to get a dash at the Carlise show if I can find one.  Thanks BB78
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7/17/11 12:01am - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
You are going to have some fun.  I replaced my dash and I can tell you what not to do as well as what to do.  Basic before you get started on the actual dash:
  * Unless your pillars are new they will most likely break when you try to take them off so I would pull them off as soon as possible so that if you need to order new ones you have time.
  * Do not trash anything away until you are completely done with your dash installation even if it is broken.  
  * The new dashes may not fit as good as the old one.  
  * Whatever color your interior is get some dye (paint) to match
      - for example my car is a 82CE the clove box door was ok but it had faded slightly and the pillar posts were not exactly the same color as the dash which had a slight green tint to it.  (it was the wrong color).  Ouch
  * I purchase an air compressor shortly after I got the car so I have compressed air
  * Purchased some paint from a local auto paint and body supply house that was the correct color for my car
  * Got a small spray gun from harbor freight so I could spray paint anything I wanted.  I’m not a professional did not need to pay the big price for one that will last.
  * If you do not have compressed air, buy some spray cans with the correct color at least one more than you think you will need.  My auto paint store would put my paint into a can if I had asked them.  I purchase a pint of dye for about $48 I need 1 ¼ pints of dye I purchase a quart of dye for $59 same place. (How do you spell stupid)  Ebo be nice how.Tongue
  * Unless your pillars are new they will most likely break when you try to take them off so I would pull them off as soon as possible so that if you need to order new ones you have time.
  * Get a second person to help you
  * Replace all of the light bulbs before you put your dash back in you can get them cheap ($0.23 ea) at http://www.memotronics.com . He mails them so you can get them is a week or less.
  * By the way a new dash includes the part that goes all the way to the window the speaker panels are not included so if yours are bad order new ones.   They most likely will not fit the new dash without being modified.   If you are going to replace your radio Mid American has a RetroSound that fits and is not a bad price $229.99.  I would not have gone the route of changing over to a new type radio mount if I had seen this first.
  * Make a note of the gap between the front of the door panels and the dash when the doors are closed.  You will want to correct any issues you have if you have them or you will want to make sure you do not add an issue to that area.

OK we are ready.  You will need two people.  I suppose it can be done with one but two makes it much easier.  One guy can pull it off but having the second guy will let them see how everything came apart.
When you put it back together just do it back words of what you did when you took it apart but be careful of the following:
  * Make sure that the dash is pushed back as far as it is suppose to go.  Especially on the door areas.  One side of mine I was not careful and when I put the door panels back on there was ¾ inch gap on one side and no gap on the other.  Off came the dash and we re-drilled and refitted it correctly.  Now it looks good.  
  * The new dash is pliable so you most likely cannot crack it like the old one.  
  * Remember that ventilation ducting most likely will not fit good it did not when it was new so why should it now.  I took some duck tape and made a better fit for the center defrost but that was really hard to do.  If you have someone helping you with small hands (teenager) that is a blessing.
  * My dash came with a piece of material that held the dash together where the steering wheel goes.  I had to cut that out to get it in.  I assume it was there just for shipping.  What I did not realize was that without it the dash was out of alignment.  What I did was take a paint stick and screwed it into the bottom of the dash (inside lip) where it would not show to hold the dash in alignment while I put in all of the consoles in.  Then I just took it off.  
  * Also where the center console is the lower part of the dash did not fit great so I put a rubber band to hold them together.  By the time the rubber band broke the dash had conformed to what it should have been.   I will take pictures if you want of all of these area just let me know.
Over all everything worked great.  By the way if you change radios you have to change speakers because the speakers do not match.  Not a big deal but if you want to do that you will need to order a set of front speakers because you will not want to pull the dash later to replace them.   By the way almost any speaker can be made to fit under the dash as long as it is the correct size and I can get you that if you need it.  I have my old one as I do the old radio.

I’m going to quit no one will read this much.  If you have any specific questions just ask.  

Oh the most important thing I think you should do is replace your heater core when you have your dash out.  It is cheap and you cannot get it out without pulling the dash if it has not been replace it is due.



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7/17/11 9:51am - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395

Gilbert, another super reason for people to PAY to stay in this group!Clap

Free Standard Work Instructions! People ....Gilbert and I are Improvement dudes we document reality by going to where the work is being done (called the Gemba) and observing. What you just saw above from Gilbert is what we do at work or at home we document what is being done in case ourselves or any one else has to do the job again. A second person (which we call an outside set of eyes) will see things that you may miss. Now don't beat me up for this next part but if your wife or mate is willing to watch and help it's best if that person does not have a clue about what your doing. They need to know to ask questions on why your 'doing it that way" they may think it's a stupid question but it may make you look at it differently. Have them take notes for you, and lots of pictures won't hurt either, like what Rodney did with his control arm project. Also the TPM (total productive maintenance or "preventitive" in this case) about replacing the heater core now as it would be such a huge time consuming job later is another thing we look at. Common sense do not take a shower with your clothes on, many here call it "While your at it". Fact is sooner or later there is a good chance that part may go bad.

So you see some times us improvement guys are "Value Added"
And to end this......that is the stuff that makes this site, forum, club, click, whatever. what it is!
I'm sure these two guys have never met each other and may never meet each other, but they just made another great relationship. Survey Says....... U JUST CAN'T FIX STUPID.  
Have a great Sunday everyone.
Evil Smileebo
Gilbert what was the cycle time on that job?LOL......sorry I'm ebo
 
ebo2011-07-17 07:55:06

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Evil Smileebo
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7/17/11 11:49am - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
Babyblue 78
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Vette(s):
1978 Corvette Light Blue Pulled from the swamps of Miami! Its a driver and back on the road!

Joined: 12/3/2007
Posts: 262

Ok, after reading that maybe I will not replace the dash?  Sounds like a project, but what isn,t. I will take your notes and then think about it again, I just don't know what is under my dash cover and how bad it is. Whether it,s cracked or dull not sure but maybe I will find out. THanks again for the info and when/if I tackle the job I will be talking to you again. THanks BB78



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7/17/11 3:17pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Mark, dont let the job scare you off. Just schedule it for a fall or winter project so you have plenty of time. I recently removed everything from my interior on the 72 and the dash is the worst of it but its not that bad just time consuming. A great project for the off season and one that when completed you will feel good you tackled it. As you have found out if you get stuck somewhere on the project there is plenty of help here to get you through it. all you have to do is ask!
Best of luck.
Rodney


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7/17/11 8:12pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
I agree with Rod it really is not that hard I did everything wrong. I did not order the heater core until I realized that I did not want to pull the dash next year because the heater started to leak.  When I got that done I decided to replace the radio and had to order new speakers.  did not replace the radio at that time I just decided that I did not want to pull the dash to replace a broken speaker or to up date the radio.  So my job was long and done craze slow.  If you plan it is really no more than two weekend project.  I could do it in two days now.  Depending on how far you are from a local auto body paint supply house you may want to purchase a set of screws for the interior also.  Not that you will need all of them but it is not a high cost and going to and from a store to pick things up besides being time consuming can be costly in fuel.  I'm lucky in that my auto body paint supply house is .5 miles from  my home there are 3 auto parts stores within 1 mile and a C3 Corvette salvage yard 5 miles away.

So I can make a lot of mistakes and still not wast more than a day.   By the way you can bet that it is not nice whatever is under that dash skin.



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7/17/11 8:24pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
Ebo I asked you to be nice Confused and yes you can not fix stupid.

Answering your question:
Cycle time was about 12 -15 weeks but the touch time was about 45 hours even with all of the issues and unnecessary rework.  The new process is two people 12 hours including heater core. 

What does that mean in plain English?  It took me about 12 -15 weeks from start until it was completed.  But I only actually worked on the car about 45 hours total the rest was wasted time waiting, picking up stuff, doing other things, etc.   However if done with the planning I talked about above two people could do the complete job in about 12 hours.  Which does make it a two Saturday project at the most.


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7/17/11 8:48pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395

Gilbert "fix stupid" was not for you...it was for the "Survey"

Wow 45 hours howd you remember where everything went?  12 hours sounds much better, did you remove seats to give yourself extea upside down on your back room?

Evil Smileebo



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7/17/11 8:54pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
It was a combination of 45 hours and the weeks and I did not remember where everything went.  That was one of the problems.  I had to ask people on this forum for help.


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7/19/11 10:37pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
Babyblue 78
Former Member
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Vette(s):
1978 Corvette Light Blue Pulled from the swamps of Miami! Its a driver and back on the road!

Joined: 12/3/2007
Posts: 262


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7/20/11 4:55pm - Reply: 'Installing a new dash'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
Did you say something, Mark??????????? Are you there????????????
 
Barry
 
Confused


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3/2/12 12:37am - Reply: 'Re: Installing a new dash'
tomgaz
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Vette(s):
1975 chevy corvette coupe

Joined: 2/14/2012
Posts: 9
i am about to start doing the same thing. but i am replacing everything inside the car, my first problem is no matter what i do i cannot get the upper dash out. half of the pieces are not even their like the pillar moldings the lower parts of the dash are gone also, with that said pulled the dash out on the right side and it will only move about two inches then i tried to lift from the center and that does not give me anymore room. also my wiring is all over the place, that is another big problem. also if anyone has the center dash bezel without the guages i can use one mine broke in half, by the way my car is a 75 with air any interior parts at a fair price i can use even a wiring harness. thanks for helping me out. Tom Gazzano
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3/2/12 1:49am - Reply: 'Re: Installing a new dash'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
Tom
You are in for a treat. A couple of observations.  One the 78 through 82 dash that was talked about in this post is different that your 75 dash.  Therefore I would start a different post as some who could help you may not read down this far as they will believe it is talking about a 78-82 dash issue.  Second make sure that you have the GM manual for your 75.  If you do not post that you are looking for one. Someone may have one or like in my case someone posted a link to ebay that where one was for sale.   Great group of people on this site.

The one rule I have is to post specific request with good subjects so that people with experience in that area will read them.

The basic advise I gave on replacing the dash hold and that is get some paint or dye as they call it.  A spray gun or paint in cans if you do not have a compressor.  I purchase one from harbor freight Co.  Replace everything that is hard to get at while the dash is out.  That include the lights I have a good source for those if you need it.

I would also get an assembly manual for your year.  It helps show you how thing go together.

Of course the most important thing is to join up as you will be with us a long time.

Good luck and ask away.


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3/11/12 4:30pm - Reply: 'Re: Installing a new dash'
Babyblue 78
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Vette(s):
1978 Corvette Light Blue Pulled from the swamps of Miami! Its a driver and back on the road!

Joined: 12/3/2007
Posts: 262
Confused I see someone opened up my old post on the dash.  I have not started mine yet and still have reservations about it?  I have a dash cover over the original dash and don't know why so I want to pull it off and check why?  Why I don't know sounds like work to me.... anyway so once I get the cover off I will most likely take the dash out to fix the original one so I dont have this cover dash???? I was told to replace the heater core while the dash is off. THis has me stressed, its not leaking now but I sure the original one,and then I read the other day about a heater core with air condition is a real pain, so now more timid about it. So as soon as it warms up here a little in PA I will get started if no one talks me out of it. What additional matters does the air condition provide with the heater core. I need to get some post and start researching this again.  Any comments are welcome, I think I can handle it but its running real nice now and I can enjoy it so why mess it up for the summer!!!!!!  Cool

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3/11/12 6:06pm - Reply: 'Re: Installing a new dash'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
You can replace the heater core without messing with the A/C, although if the A/C  isn't working, it's a good time to take care of it at the same time (only pull dash once!). Like any project, usually thinking about it is worse than doing it!
 
Barry
 
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