Archive for the ‘Interior’ Category

More Dash Mods

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The Yearone dash insert comes with the engine turned dash insert as well as a black plastic backing.  I would assume Yearone planned on fastening the plastic piece to the dash and then using the gauges to sandwich the two pieces together.  I however, cut the plastic backing a little larger than the width of the 3-3/8″ diameter gauges.  You’ll need at least this portion of the panel since the cutout in the aluminum piece is actually closer to 3-7/8″ which means the large gauges will slide completely through the panel.  The larger gauges fasten to the plastic piece rather than the aluminum.  Since this means the large gauges are recessed a bit, it makes all of the gauges bezels sit nearly the same height above the aluminum insert.


Dash Installation

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

The dash was mostly reassembled and then installed again.  A minor epoxy repair to the back of the dash ensures the grab handle will fasten tightly.  The heater control face was removed to paint the switch arms.  The aluminum backing plate was painted black and the clear lens was polished to eliminate a few minor scratches.  All but a few a/c duct pieces will be left out to save on space behind the dash.  These parts will be replaced round flexible duct from Vintage Air.  Lastly, carpet was laid into place to cap off the day.


Dash Pad Restoration

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The dash pad was scrubbed with some powder type laundry detergent to remove any contaminants.  You want to scrub as best as you can especially if Armor-All has ever been used.  Next, the dash was wiped down a few times with wax and grease remover and lastly with some lacquer thinner.  The before picture doesn’t show much fading but it was definitely there.   Some Dupont vinyl dye make the dash look brand new again.


Dash Insert Work

Sunday, January 15th, 2012


YearOne’s custom dash insert is replacing the old stamped aluminum piece.  YearOne’s panel is machined from 1/8″ aluminum plate and engine turned to give the look of the original.  The panel will oxidize over time so you may want to clear anodize or clear coat if you decide to go this route.

A fair amount of modification is required to the dash in order to use this panel.  If you don’t like the idea of cutting on your original dash, I would suggest you steer clear.  The clean look of aftermarket gauges and modern a/c vents was enough justification for me.  Note that this mod will also require relocation of the headlight, wiper, and defrost switches.

So let’s get right into the installation.  The original stamped piece is comprised of two panels riveted together.  The route I chose was to drill out the rivets of the top panel.  This is the piece which holds the original panel to the underside of the dash with 3 screws.  With the upper piece free, it was fastened back to the dash.  The new dash insert was temporarily set in place.  Some aluminum angle brackets were cut about a 1/2″ wide with a 5/32″ slot milled for adjustment.

With the panel still in place, the brackets were bonded in place using Fusor 109B metal bond.  The two pieces have to be roughed up a little to get a good mechanical bond.  A rotary tool with a medium/heavy grit sanding drum should do the trick.  After the bonding adhesive was dry, the dash insert was removed.  It can now be fastened to the upper panel with some #6-32 screws and nuts with plenty of adjustment.

New Gauges

Monday, January 9th, 2012

I figured the gauge panel needed an update that matches the rest of the car.  I decided on Auto Meter’s Sport Comp II gauges.  I felt the they held the closest resemblance to the original gauges with a modern look.  The gauges look great against the updated YearOne engine turned dash insert.  The only problem is the the Sport Comp II’s only come with a silver trim ring which gets washed out against the silver dash.  Fortunately, Auto Meter agreed to swap the trim rings from silver to black on all 6 gauges for the Trans Am project.  Thanks Auto Meter.