Custom Dash Bezel, Switch Panels & Radio

Discussion in 'Interior Restoration' started by jophish, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Hey everyone,

    Working on finishing out the last portions of my interior right now. Figured I'd start a thread to chronicle the development of my custom dash setup. I don't want to use one of the plastic inserts since I'm not using all the OEM switches, and I've never really been thrilled with how they look. I've also deleted the previous A/C panel, and in it's place I'll be putting some additional switches for hi beams, wipers, windshield washer, and line lock :).

    Both of these will match the panel to mount the radio head unit, so they'll all be consistent. I'll be working up the components in CAD and having a local metal shop plasma cut the pieces and blue the steel prior to installation.

    Here goes!
     
  2. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Removing the old "dash" and taking the measurements to start out.

    [​IMG]

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  3. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Sketchup modeling progress...

    [​IMG]

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    BillyDean7173 likes this.
  4. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Leftmost panel is light controls, with two jewel lights above, one for the parking brake indicator and one for the line lock indicator. Main cluster gauges are all the typical ones, fuel, temp, voltage, oil pressure, speedo and tach. Above are three jewel lights, two for directionals and one for hi-beam indicator. Right hand side is still a bit in flux right now, but I'm thinking a 2" clock with the cig. lighter below and then three switches next to it, one for rear defrost, one for a 3-position fan control (low, med, high) and one for optional heat. If I decided to add an A/C system ever, I'll swap this switch to a 3-position on-off-on and have it be alternate heat or A/C.
     
  5. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,305
    291
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    Measure your original closely....
    I believe you will find the cut-out "hump" in the bottom is NOT centered in the middle panel of the bezel.
    Hate to see you go through the work of building this only to find the steering column gets in the way when you attempt to reassemble everything.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. BillyDean7173

    BillyDean7173 Veteran Member

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    May 21, 2014
    Hutto, TX
    Real nice, jophish! Looking forward to seeing it in person.
     
  7. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Thanks! You're absolutely right, it's about 1/2" off of center towards the left. I've treated the centerline of the column as the centerline of the center bezel for the gauge layout, we'll see how everything looks in the initial mock-up, very easy to shift the alignment to the centerline of the bezel.

    Progress update: CAD for the gauge cluster is complete, I'll be working up files for the switch and radio panels tonight hopefully. Next step is to send all three to a laser-cutter shop in town and have them fabricate a test piece out of chipboard. That should give me a good idea of how close the initial measurements were. I'm anticipating two or three rounds of chipboard fabrication attempts before everything is dialed in and can go to the plasma cutter.
     
  8. Blk+Orange79Z28

    Blk+Orange79Z28 Member

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    Jun 15, 2016
    Eden Prairie, MN
    How did it go? Can we get some more pics?
     
  9. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Had to put it down for a few weeks while work picked up, got back at it yesterday and finished up the 3D modeling and CAD work. Files have been sent to a local laser cutting shop along with the chipboard for the initial rough in and test fit.

    Should have the prototype sometime next week!
     
    brooksman9 likes this.
  10. jophish

    jophish Veteran Member

    324
    4
    Sep 26, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Well...still working on this! I've gone through two refinements of the cardboard mockup, but shifted my attention to bigger drivetrain issues during the summer (read: complete TH350 rebuild :eek:). Back at it now and hoping to get the last kinks sorted out in the next two weeks and have metal in by the next month. Given the pace so far, that might be overly optimistic, but I'll keep you posted.

    Also, once I get the measurements worked out, I am happy to share the CAD files if anyone wants to have a local shop fabricate this for them.


    Joe
     

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