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Thread: 36 chevy coupe custom dash and sub dash build

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  1. #1
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    Default 36 chevy coupe restore

    This dash reconstruction pictorial is for you S-C, I think you will find it interseting.
    For the better part of 5 years I have been restoring and highly modifying a 36' Chevy coupe. It is now down to paint, wiring and assembly. Unfortunately I don't get to work on it every day as I have classic car buddies drop by the shop nearly every day in which we are doing repairs, restoring, etc.. I have the honor to work on and be around some of the most unique classics builds ever produced. With the exception of upholstery I do all my own work (my passion is in sheet metal work and engine building). Here are a few pics on the dash rebuild as well as the sub dash I build that holds all the modern conveniences such as; hvac vents, hvac controls, radio head that includes am, fm, cd, dvd, and gps driving. Dash was originally a 3 gauge set up in which I converted it too a 5 gauge with modern electronics for the LS1/4l60e that I installed some time back. 1a.jpg2a.jpg3a.jpg4a.jpg5.jpg

    After finishing gauge package I moved on to welding up original dash too start with a blank canvas
    Last edited by Ronf; 09-30-2021 at 04:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    After completing dash instrument panel I started welding up the dash for a blank canvass.
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  3. #3
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    Cut out rusted metal around windshield and hood vent area and replaced with new sheet metal
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    • File Type: jpg c.jpg (88.2 KB, 49 views)
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  4. #4
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    Began building new dash register vents for hvac on main dash
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  5. #5
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    Installed new hvac control panel and center vent. All gauges and vents in center of dash were frenched in .167
    xx.jpg

    After completion of main dash it received a coat of SS fiber filler and leveled before moving on to construction of new sub dash

  6. #6
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    Reconfigured main dash completed with single coat of SS fiber filler and leveled
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    This dash reconstruction pictorial is for you S-C, I think you will find it interseting.
    For the better part of 5 years I have been restoring and highly modifying a 36' Chevy coupe. It is now down to paint, wiring and assembly. Unfortunately I don't get to work on it every day as I have classic car buddies drop by the shop nearly every day in which we are doing repairs, restoring, etc.. I have the honor to work on and be around some of the most unique classics builds ever produced. With the exception of upholstery I do all my own work (my passion is in sheet metal work and engine building). Here are a few pics on the dash rebuild as well as the sub dash I build that holds all the modern conveniences such as; hvac vents, hvac controls, radio head that includes am, fm, cd, dvd, and gps driving. Dash was originally a 3 gauge set up in which I converted it too a 5 gauge with modern electronics for the LS1/4l60e that I installed some time back. 1a.jpg2a.jpg3a.jpg4a.jpg5.jpg

    After finishing gauge package I moved on to welding up original dash too start with a blank canvas
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    not positive what ron did there, but i would guess he stitch welded and blended the welds. that's what i would do there. it takes a little time, but it's not as difficult as you think. plus, there's a little curve to the metal, so a small inconsistency in the radius won't really draw your eye to it. plus, there's always a small amount of filler or filler primer to help tweak the surface.
    i would think you wouldn't have much trouble doing it based on the things you've already accomplished on your truck.
    b marler

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Question, On the last picture how did you finish the transition to go from the flat gauge panel to the original dash? I would like to do that with my truck as well. I see you started with some spot welds but not sure where to go after that to get a consistent radius.
    Marten,

    I used several steps to get the dash panel perfect. I started with what I'll call a "dirty print" of the panel using tracing paper and dry guide coat (see pic). After pattern is produced it is a simple matter of transferring it to wood for producing a buck (have a pic of buck somewhere, I'll see if I can find it) that replicates exact dimensions of panel and outer radius. Prior to starting the dash curve radius on the buck I'll do a rough in on outside curve edge of panel using a slapper spoons on a piece of 12" railroad track that I use for shaping sheet metal. Once on the buck it is a simple matter of tapping down edges to a perfect fit. I work the sheet metal on buck and check fitment often to the original dash. Once I have a good fit I'll trim the edges to allow a .063" gap between edge of new panel curve radius and lower flat dash area, this allows me just enough room to stitch weld the panel solid all the way around. Welding was then ground to dash surface.
    After the pattern was traced onto sheet metal and prior to working the sheet metal on buck I used the inside dimensions to center my 5 gauge package and bored the gauges using 2 hole saw blades to spec.
    While this covers "most" of the fab work, I went one extra step in which I frenched in all the gauges .375", this made for a really nice clean looking custom dash.
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    • File Type: jpg 4.jpg (94.3 KB, 46 views)
    • File Type: jpg 6.jpg (100.7 KB, 44 views)

  10. #10
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    lol, i guess i may have over-simplified my explanation to marten...i thought he was only referring to the final step of grafting the new panel onto the dashboard.
    great job btw with the gauge panel, i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different. (aside from the modern gauges anyway)
    b marler

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    lol, i guess i may have over-simplified my explanation to marten...i thought he was only referring to the final step of grafting the new panel onto the dashboard.
    great job btw with the gauge panel, i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different. (aside from the modern gauges anyway)
    Actually I think you are correct, but you know me..lol, I'm not going to take an easy route.

    " i like when a modification looks as though it was always that way from the factory. you know it wasn't, but can't put your finger on how it's different.(aside from the modern gauges anyway)"
    This is exactly the whole point of all this extra work.
    Last edited by Ronf; 05-03-2021 at 11:08 AM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks guys. Yes I wanted to know the final step but...I like the way you explained how you made the dash as well. I to love the look of changing something but it blends in so well that most people won't even know it. That has been the goal of my truck as well. Early Chip Foose stuff was great for that. Last couple of times I watched him, he was just buying bolt on parts and painting the car.
    Thanks
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

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