The Just Dashes full coverage,...
The Just Dashes full coverage, padded-dash pad for '67-72 Chevy/GMC trucks covers the complete dash. An ideal home for three gauges.
When rebuilding your classic truck the subject of the dash always comes into play. This month we will take a look at an enhanced dash pad that provides a mounting point for three gauges and an upgraded radio speaker. The '67-72 Chevy/GMC truck offered an instrument package in the early days that were very good but now you can make it better.
In restoring the dashboard in our Super Sub, a '72 Suburban, we have installed a new full-cover, padded-dash pad as part of the project but we thought there must be more we can do. (In a later issue we will show you how we upgraded the stock instrument panel, which included the addition of a tachometer.) So, we combined a clock and two gauges plus a wiring kit from Auto Meter Products, a Custom Autosound speaker, and a full-cover, padded-dash pad from Just Dashes.That's right, combining gauges and a dash pad. You are probably looking at your truck right now and saying how do you get gauges to adapt to a stock dash pad? Well, we didn't and we don't expect you too either. Just Dashes has introduced a new full-cover dash pad. Instead of using the stock or a replacement dash pad that only covers the wrap around area of the dash we opted for the new full-cover padded-pad from Just Dashes.
As with any dash pad, the old one must be removed. This can be a painstaking project, as you must remove dash appointments such as the radio and its speaker, air conditioning controls and vents, as well as the defroster vents. We also removed the instrument panel and glovebox, both easily accomplished. All this dismantling is necessary to get to the mounting studs and accompanying nuts on the stock pad.With the dash sheetmetal and mounting points exposed it's now time to prep the Just Dashes full-cover pad. The new pad not only covers the same area as the stock pad but also covers all the sheetmetal on the dash up to the base of the windshield and the full width. The new dash pad also has mounting studs but they used different holes than a stock pad.
The new pad will accept three 2 1/16-inch diameter gauges and has provisions for the two defroster vents and the center mounted OEM speaker. To fill out our new pad we went to Auto Meter and selected a clock, an engine temperature gauge, and a transmission temperature gauge to fill out the three center mounted and angled holes for gauges in the dash pad. We went for the these gauges since our truck came from the factory with the upgraded instrument package but none of these instruments were included.
We used the Auto Meter Traditional chrome gauges: a 250-degree transmission temperature; analog clock; and a 300-degree engine oil temperature gauge as well as senders. To this we also added a selection of 18-gauge electrical wiring from Auto Meter as well.
Since we did have the dash sheetmetal exposed we added the Custom Autosound Dual Voice Coil, 120-watt speaker which fits the OEM mounting point. The speaker is technologically advanced over its OEM predecessor as it has two channels and provided more cone area, affording cone base response. (We also added a Custom Autosound radio but more on that later.)
Follow along with the photos and we will show you some tips to making this installation less of a challenge and making sure your gauges are properly wired.
Our Auto Meter Traditional...
Our Auto Meter Traditional chrome instruments measure 2 1/16-inch in diameter. They are pre-wired for lighting but you must attach ground and hot leads.
The Just Dashes pad angles...
The Just Dashes pad angles the position of the gauges for ease of viewing from the driver seat.
We used 18-gauge wire for...
We used 18-gauge wire for the individual gauges.
Solderless connectors were...
Solderless connectors were used on each of the wire ends, carefully crimped into position.
The two wires pictured with...
The two wires pictured with connectors crimped into position represent the hot and ground leads for the individual gauge lighting.
Matching color wires were...
Matching color wires were spliced together to provide the length required to reach each final destination. The solderless connectors are now crimped and ready for heat shrink tubing.
An appropriate length of heat...
An appropriate length of heat shrink tubing is used to cover the connector to provide a snug and secure connection and to prevent any potential for an electrical short.
The lighting portion of each...
The lighting portion of each gauge is now wired via proper length of color coded wire, connector, and heat shrink all in position.
We used red wire for the "hot"...
We used red wire for the "hot" lead and black for "ground" lead on the gauges. Again, we used solderless terminal lugs with heat shrink to provide a solid and safe electrical connection.
All three gauges require a...
All three gauges require a hot lead, however, remember the clock must be continuous hot while the temp gauges are wired for hot only when the ignition is in use.
Each gauge will have at least...
Each gauge will have at least four wires that will make up its wire bundle. We opted to tie-wrap every couple of inches to provide a wire bundle that will stay together and not move about.
Using a tie-wrap gun we snipped...
Using a tie-wrap gun we snipped the excess off of each tie wrap making a much neater installation.
The wire bundles pass through...
The wire bundles pass through the gauge hole in the dash pad and then through openings in the sheetmetal of the dashboard itself. Note the mounting studs on the dash pad that hold the pad in place via spin on nuts.
The Just Dashes dash pad has...
The Just Dashes dash pad has a provisions so that the OEM speaker, or in our case, a Custom Autosound Dual Voice Coil, 120-watt speaker will be able to pass sound through.
S O U R C E S
| Auto Meter |
413 W. Elm St., Dept. CT
Sycamore, IL 60178
808 W Vermont Ave., Dept. CT
Anaheim, CA 92805
5941 Lemona Ave., Dept. CT
Van Nuys, CA 91411