I apologize for not communicating as well as I could have, we're talking about completely different things. I believe that you have a very good setup for reading the gauges and everyday use. What I was trying to say was that the back of the dash appears to be closed and we agree that you must use aftermarket gauges (which you need access to the back side to install)...
The only way that you could install them is to have a piece of material that the gauges are attached to (I referred to them as panels) and then install the panel into a large opening in your dash (similar to the green dash posted earlier in the thread). When I said that the "gauges, switches, and controls would be much less convenient to work with", it was an attempt to highlight a problem in a diplomatic way (you never know who's going to be sensitive).
I've worked in design and development for over fifteen years. Most of that time has been spent looking over the work of others for errors and working out solutions when they get stuck. I apologize if I'm coming across in a snotty manner, it's definitely not my intention, but I tend to immediately look for flaws whenever a drawing is placed in front of me (by the way, which program are you using? Initially, I thought that it was Inventor, but something seems different).
As for the Cummins, I'd love to drop one in my Jeep. I don't know if I really want to go through the hassels involved, but I definitely envy you on yours. I'll probably end up dropping in either a 302 or a 300 straight six for the sake of ease, but I've done a ton of reading on what you've accomplished... To me, it seems like the 4BT would be a near perfect mix of torque, economy, simplicity, and longevity. Did you buy your engine by itself or go the "buy a bread truck" route? Honestly, the biggest road block for me swapping in a 4BT is the very real possibility that my wife would suffocate me in my sleep with a pillow if I parked a bread truck in our driveway.
No worries, I was just confused.
The model does not show it well, especially since this was during my lunch break with some measurements written on my hand, but the whole front piece is intended to be removable, without having the lower the windshield. I think I might do like a face plate or panel for the gauges that can be removed if you just wanted to get behind the gauges, and it would make different configurations easy to swap in and out, and maybe the same thing for the middle section, say if 1 person wanted a spot for a CB, but somebody else didn't.
I'm working with inventor at work, solidworks at home, Pro E can suck it haha.
The cummins seems to be a great combo so far. I NEED to re-gear to like 3.08 because its nearly impossible to pull out in 1st without chirping the tires, and top speed is like 70 mph since the engine redlines at 2800 rpm. Not to mention I have a 600 HP dodge ram 2500 clutch in it, so it just grabs! I am pretty confident I could spool it up, dump the clutch, and break the front and rear axle at the same time haha. It is also I little front heavy, and I just added lift shackles in the front, for now, I'm looking into the right combo of springs. I need to make a build thread for it and get some pics up.
Xpress, sounds like you and I are on the same page, I'll keep refining the design.