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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
keith460
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CJ Dash Restoration.... that classic look!

I thought I'd start a new thread on restoring the dash panel on my CJ back to its original glamor with some minor upgrades if you can call it that.

Along with the front grill of the CJ's, I think the OEM dash panel with the original gauges is one of the features that sets the Jeep CJ apart from all other Jeeps past and present. There is nothing like them anywhere or being built that way anymore and I often get asked "is that an original dash?". People are generally in awe when they see a CJ dash in its original form and function. Can't believe you must pull knobs for heat and ventilation, look all the way over to the middle of the dash to see the speedometer and has a radio with push buttons to change stations.

I started to restore my dash after it came back from the paint shop but decided today to take it back apart and start over so I could take pictures and post them as I go along. So, without further ado, here we go....

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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
ChaseB
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In! Love the original look!
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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:08 AM   #3
keith460
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To start, here's what the dash looked like before the Jeep headed to the basement work shop for complete restoration. It's original except I removed the black plastic overlay that came with it some years back. The Renegade and Laredo models had the plastic overlay as part of the option but you could have ordered it with the convenience group option.



The steering wheel is from a 1979 model Jeep only because I just like it better then the one that came with it in 1984 and will be installing the same one again.

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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
LT1CJ7
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Your horn button is from an AMC car or a Laredo with an AMC center applique.
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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
ChaseB
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Mine looks much the same, I also removed my black plastic overlay but kept the original ash tray above the volt and oil pressure gauges. I much prefer the look of the original CJ knobs instead of the billet or stainless knobs.
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Unread 01-08-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
keith460
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Tub and with dash panel attached heading to the paint shop


Painted with a base coat of 1984 Sebring Red followed by clear coat on the front and the backside is painted with single stage paint.


Here's a general gauge layout drawing of the dash plucked form the FSM.
Holes sizes should be correct for all OEM gauges.
cj-dash-layout.jpg  
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Unread 01-08-2011, 11:02 AM   #7
ChaseB
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Interesting that yours came with a factory tach and clock. I have an 84 Renegade as well that came with neither. I'm assuming it was an extra option? Like you mentioned the "convenience group option"?
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Unread 01-08-2011, 11:11 AM   #8
keith460
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So now we have are factory base panel to start, outfitted with the optional Tach and Clock cutouts.

First thing I did was chase the threads on the speedometer and speaker studs with a die in order to remove the paint because we need bare metal for electrical grounding. The thread size for the speedometer studs are 10-24 and the speaker studs are 8-32.



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Unread 01-08-2011, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB View Post
Interesting that yours came with a factory tach and clock. I have an 84 Renegade as well that came with neither. I'm assuming it was an extra option? Like you mentioned the "convenience group option"?
Something like that as they only came standard on the Laredo model. As far as the horn button goes, that's the standard one for 1984 Jeep Cherokee. I know that because I bought it from the dealer in 1986 to replace the one that came with the original sport steering wheel. It kind of commemorates Jeeps new 1984 Cherokee like Chrysler did with their Caravan minivan.
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Unread 01-08-2011, 12:19 PM   #10
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Next, we added speakers to the dash but first I cut some Stainless Steel screening, that I powder coated satin black, to protect and hide the front of the speakers.

The screens are 5-1/4" x 5-1/4" with a 3/4" cutout at the corners so they fit around the speaker studs.





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Unread 01-08-2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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Next we added factory type 5-1/4" speakers that are original TJ speakers out of the factory sound bar they have. I used them since the cones to do not protrude beyond the speaker mounting surface like most of the aftermarket ones do. There heavy and are made of good quality construction too. Only cost me $10.00 for the pair at the local junkyard and I got the wiring harness plugs also. Got a spare set so when these rot in 10-15 years and just need to take them out and replace them.





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Unread 01-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #12
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The speakers are usually held in place with Flanged Speed Nuts but I changed mine to Brass Knurled Thumb Nuts because they are easier to remove and not as awkward to get at as the factory Flanged Speed Nuts. The reason AMC/Jeep used speed nuts is so that you do not accidentally over tighten the nuts and pull the stud off the dash panel. That would suck and is another reason to use thumb nuts instead.



You can get Thumb Nuts from your local hardware store or from McMaster-Carr.com.





Here's a picture of the front with the speaker installed behind the screen. Nice that you can't see the ugly speaker cone behind it.

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Unread 01-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #13
Crazyray2929
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I'm really diggin that look of hiding the speakers...I have one that's blown so when I replace them now I'm going to have to do this...great Idea!
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Unread 01-08-2011, 02:48 PM   #14
keith460
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Just a small piece of screen that you can get from the hardware store is all you need. Can be black aluminum or plastic that you would find for replacing screening in doors and windows.
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Unread 01-08-2011, 03:05 PM   #15
eskiv
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Did you use anything other than the speakers to hold the mesh to the dash? I would be worried about them rattling against the dash cutouts while the radio was on.
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