Extrem Dash Makeover

ScramFam

Registered User
City
Nowhere
State
OH
#1
Welp, it's finally time to fix my dash panel. I have a couple of questions though -- can I get some advice? I want to do it right -- BUT I'm also on a budget.

1. It has one small dent in it. What's the easiest way to remove it without having to repaint the entire dash? Rubber mallot and a piece of wood?

2. I'm repairing the radio hole so it can accept a stock radio. Because of the generosity of you guys I have my choice of a couple of filler pieces to do the job. Here's the question. I don't weld. I wish I did. Where should I take the dasy to get the new piece welded? Body shop? OR is there some kind of adhesive (JB weld-ish) I can glue it in with? Nobody will see the repair because it will be covered with a new blastic bezel.

3. The panel has a lot of orange peal. Can you wet sand all types of paint? Any tips. Or, should I just get it repainted?

4. Has anybody mounted a radio in the glovebox? That's what I want to do with my modern radio. Any advice?

Thats it. Thanks in advance.

Matt.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#2
Hi Matt!

Are you going to use one of the laredo plastic overlays? If you are going that route, JB welding in one of those metal pieces behind the dash should work just fine.

As far as the dent, a mallet should work, I use a deadblow mallet for situations like that. I rarely use wood to back it up, I just go slow and easy and bring the dent back up gently.

Wet sand factory paint? I don't think that will work, isn't that just for laquer?

So...if you're going to repaint the dash, bite the bullet and take it out, and have the body shop weld in a replacement radio panel while they're at it. That would be the best solution, although the most expensive. I still have that old dash that I could cut a filler piece out of...

Welding a patch panel into the dash is a tedious job. I just changed the dash over on my Jeepster...what a job. Welded a gauge panel in place of an old speaker grille. curved panel, too. Not to hijack your thread, but heres a before/after pic -



 
Last edited:
City
Grand Rapids
State
MI
#3
Hi Matt,

If your dash is in decent shape and you'd want to trade...

It's not a Laredo dash, but I have a CJ dash that is the most rust-free that I have found for a CJ. Even the back is very clean. The radio hole is uncut. The only flaws (besides being an ugly, home-brew camo painted thing) to mention are:

1) One dash bolt head was rounded out, and during removal, my father-in-law nicked the surrounding metal when grinding the bolt off. It' not through the sheet metal, but would require a small amount of filler to bring it flush. This bolt would also be covered by the dash pad.

2) One of the speaker studs is missing on one side (3 total studs in-tact), and possibly only 3 on the other side...I'd have to double-check. This obviously wouldn't be visible.

I'm going with a custom dash for my next project, using all XJ instruments. All I need is a solid dash that I can use for the basic structure, with a generic "overlay" that I could cut as I see fit to adapt the different gauges.

All you would have to do with mine is cut your holes for your tach/clock, sand, and paint. If you're interested in trading, I can go over the dash with a fine-tooth comb again to look for minor flaws. All-in-all, though, it's the nicest CJ dash that I have come across...nicer even than the one I used in my Scrambler.

Craig
 

ScramFam

Registered User
City
Nowhere
State
OH
#4
Craig. That'd be awesome! Do you think there is any filler under the new and stylish paint scheme? Mine is rust-free and in good condition -- should be more than adequate for what you're doing. Now, if we can only find a currier.... Hmmmm ... any ideas?

BTW -- I just scorred a new job. No more freelance for me. Oddly enough, sounds like my Scrambler helped me get it -- and the original AM radio wasn't even installed yet! :D.
 

ScramFam

Registered User
City
Nowhere
State
OH
#5
Thanks Randy.
Once again, great advice! I appreciate it. Looks like one way or another the transformation should begin soon. Any ideas on how to mount a radio in the glovebox? I was thinking about building a face panel out of high density fiber board, covering it and mounting it into an aftermarket plastic glovebox. Think that will work?

BTW, NICE Jeepster. "Where does he get all of those toys!"
 

WildTurkeycj8

Legacy Registered User
City
richmond
State
va
#6
ScramFam said:
Any ideas on how to mount a radio in the glovebox? I was thinking about building a face panel out of high density fiber board, covering it and mounting it into an aftermarket plastic glovebox. Think that will work?
Just wondering if you need to allow for any airflow around the radio for the heat to escape?.....

-Mike W
 
City
Grand Rapids
State
MI
#7
Matt,

The dash was originally red, and is still red on the back. I HIGHLY, H-I-G-H-L-Y doubt there's any filler in it. You can still see the original red through some of the camo paint on front. It was used as a plowing/hunting Jeep, and aesthetics weren't a high priority. :) They just sprayed the paint around the gauges (very little prep-work, with overspray everywhere). I added a pic below...don't let it scare you off. It's a VERY solid dash.

The only (slight) rust is a hint of surface rust a couple places on the back. It's nothing even close to being substantial, and will easily sand off by hand. It's not even rusty by the holes where the dash pad screws on, which is a common place for rot. Like I said, it's in better shape than the one that I used for my Scrambler, and I'm pretty anal-retentive about things.

I'll be seeing Matt Kievit (a.k.a. - MiJeepMan/OneLastJeep/TwoMoreJeeps from Michigan Jeepers) this Saturday. He has a place by Kalamazoo, but lives/works for Ford (Dearborn?) during the week. Would you want to meet up with him if he can bring it back with him after the weekend? I can talk with him, and get you his phone #.

I woudn't need your CJ dash for a while, so we could meet up down the line for that exchange. Also, it would allow you to look this one over well and make sure it's up to your Jeep's standards. :) I think you'll be very pleased if you can see past the ugliness and focus on the true condition.

I'm heading out of town early tomorrow morning (headed to Indy for the SEMA Offroad show), and would need to take the dash with me to drop off in K'zoo on the way back. Give me a call at work today if you want me to do that. (616)735-8506.

Later,
Craig

P.S. - Congrats on the new job, BTW.

 

ScramFam

Registered User
City
Nowhere
State
OH
#8
WildTurkeycj8 said:
Just wondering if you need to allow for any airflow around the radio for the heat to escape?.....

-Mike W
Good question. What if I cut vents into the bottom of the glove box? -- that should probably do it -- and still keep out unwanted drips.
 

ScramFam

Registered User
City
Nowhere
State
OH
#9
1x1_Speed_Craig said:
Matt,
I'll be seeing Matt Kievit (a.k.a. - MiJeepMan/OneLastJeep/TwoMoreJeeps from Michigan Jeepers) this Saturday. He has a place by Kalamazoo, but lives/works for Ford (Dearborn?) during the week. Would you want to meet up with him if he can bring it back with him after the weekend? I can talk with him, and get you his phone #.

I woudn't need your CJ dash for a while, so we could meet up down the line for that exchange. Also, it would allow you to look this one over well and make sure it's up to your Jeep's standards. :) I think you'll be very pleased if you can see past the ugliness and focus on the true condition.

Give me a call at work today if you want me to do that. (616)735-8506.

Sounds perfect Craig! I'll call you towards the end of the day to work out the details. Can't wait to start sanding! Hanging onto for a bit would help me a lot. I'll need it to make a template for the tach and clock.
 
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