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Unread 08-27-2007, 12:32 AM   #1
coyote_94yj
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Custom Dash Build

I have received a few questions recently about my dash so I thought I would make a short write-up with pics.

So....Here's the low down. I started by removing the whole dash and windshield, keeping the dash frame and selling the rest. I then bought a sheet of Aircraft Aluminum (2024 T3) .063" thick. Boeing, Raytheon (Beechcraft), Bombardier (Learjet), and Cessna all have plants here in town so the 2024 was easy to come by. I cut the skin to fit where the original dash mounted to the dash frame and put a 90* bend at the top. I cut 2 doors and used a flat piano type aluminum hinge for the gauges. Next I cut holes in the skin and mounted the heater controls and the CB to the dash frame underneath the skin. I also cut out all the holes for the gauges. All of my cuts were made with a straight edge, a sharpie, and either the angle grinder with a cutoff wheel or the dremel with a cutoff wheel (even the round ones). Nutserts and stainless screws were used for all the fasteners. I then completely tore down the harness. Using a chiltons wiring schematic and a test light, I rewired the harness to the new set of autometer phantom gauges, and ignition switches. The 3 switches to the right of the column are ACC, Ignition, and the push button is to start. The one to the left is for the lights. Center is off, up is headlights and down is parklights. The thing next to the start button in some of the pics is for the manual throttle cable. I wired up 2 bosch type relays and an oil pressure switch so you cannot engage the starter if the engine is running. I can draw up a schematic and post it if anyone likes. I picked up a couple panel mount lights, at radio shack, for the blinker and high beam indicators and wired those in. I might later get a red one and hook it up for the 4WD indicator. Once I was happy with where everything was and had it all together and functional, I tore it all out and sanded it with 220 on a random orbit sander to give it that swirl brushed aluminum look. Last I shot it with 2 coats of clear and put it all back together. All I have left to do now is to make the piece that goes under the steering column and it is done.

Most of the tools I used are everyday tools.
Angle grinder with a cutoff wheel, dremel with cutoff wheel, 1/2" drill and drill index, random orbit palm sander, flat and round files, wire crimper, soldering iron, a sharpie, a compass to draw the circles for the gauges, and a rattle can full of clear. I did use 2 uncommon tools. A nutsert tool and a break to make the bend at the top. You have to be careful making the bend because anything more than about 80-85 degrees and the aluminum starts to crack.

That's it in a nutshell. And now for the pics.















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Unread 08-27-2007, 05:39 AM   #2
dell2028
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Very nice. Looks clean. I like the white gauges you used.
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Unread 08-27-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
ovrlnd
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very nice job! nice to see some new innovative dash ideas.
how come you used the 2024? I prefer 6061 T6 becuase of hardness and anodizing properties and most of the metal suppliers by me only stock 6061. not that it matters in this case but was just curious.
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Unread 08-27-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
jeepinMatt
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earlier OP said it was easier to get
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Unread 08-27-2007, 08:24 AM   #5
ovrlnd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinMatt
earlier OP said it was easier to get

oops didn't see that. sorry
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Unread 08-27-2007, 10:27 AM   #6
tuckinauster
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if i had to do it id use 2024 T3, in prolly a .048 thickness. i think its easier to work with, and if you give it a good alodine treatment itll be good as gold.
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Unread 08-27-2007, 11:37 AM   #7
coyote_94yj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovrlnd
very nice job! nice to see some new innovative dash ideas.
how come you used the 2024? I prefer 6061 T6 becuase of hardness and anodizing properties and most of the metal suppliers by me only stock 6061. not that it matters in this case but was just curious.

The place that I get my stuff from buys left overs and rejects from the aircraft plants They had TONS of the 2024 and I think some of 5056 but I don't remember if they had the 6061 in. The 2024 was less expensive so I just went with that.

Chris
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Unread 08-27-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
ElvisV04290
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Looks awesome, I love the easy access to the back of the gauges.
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Unread 08-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
ltdanyj
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Pretty awesome... How did you go from "shiny" to "matte" on the finish?
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Unread 08-27-2007, 01:27 PM   #10
chim
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Looks really neat. I'd be tempted to add some sort of rolled edge or something to the bottom, just in case "doo doo" should happen. The bottom edge looks like it would open up one's shins in a crash or roll.................chim
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Unread 08-27-2007, 03:47 PM   #11
coyote_94yj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltdanyj
Pretty awesome... How did you go from "shiny" to "matte" on the finish?
I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chim
Looks really neat. I'd be tempted to add some sort of rolled edge or something to the bottom, just in case "doo doo" should happen. The bottom edge looks like it would open up one's shins in a crash or roll.................chim
If your talking about the couple inches hanging down in the middle 2 pictures, that was trimmed off. I sanded and filed a nice round edge on the bottom and it sits about 1/4" higher than the bottom of the dash frame. It shouldn't be too much of an issue. I was more concerned about working under there and smacking my head or arm on that edge so I smoothed it out pretty good.
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Unread 02-04-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
dukegnarley
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what did you end up doing about the defroster?
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Unread 02-04-2008, 03:36 PM   #13
coyote_94yj
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I'm in the middle of a frame off right now but I have a sweet idea in my head and I think it will work.

Basically what I plan on doing is running some ducting from the heater box where the old defroster hooked up to the flat area where the windshield meets the tub with the rubber padding in between. I'm going to cut a oblong hole on the tub side, and in the rubber to match and then in the windshield frame so that air will fill up the entire windshield frame. The rubber in between will act as a gasket between the 2. Next I will cut some long holes in the windshield frame on the flat area where the window is. I am going to use one or 2 of these as the vents.



I'm going to cut them off to what ever length looks good and angle it just a bit towards the window. I'll weld the ends closed and screw it to the windshield frame. The cool thing about this (I think) is the entire windshield frame gets heat and you can put vents on the bottom and the top, or even on the sides.

I don't know yet how it will all play out. So far it is only in my head and I haven't laid anything out. What do you think?


Chris
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Unread 02-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #14
rustywrangler
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That is one sexy dash you got there man. DO you have a cost estimate on the end result with gauges???
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Unread 02-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #15
scooter18155
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nice dash there just 1 ? though why go with a push button start instead of normal ignition in column?
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