The dash is standard with the exception of the fact that I am de-seaming it, in keeping with the exterior of the cab. 

As the Dash is effectively an  integral part of the cab and is painted the same as the cab exterior I decided to de-seam and blend it all in smoothly. I welded the dash sections together by using very short tack welds moving around frequently to minimise distortion.  Then it is just a matter of blending everything in using some plastic padding.

Here you can see the the ends have been welded together and there is a first pass with the plastic padding.  It still looks a bit rough in this picture but you get the idea.




This picture shows the holes all blanked off (Except for the gauge mountings), ready for finishing.



It was so cold that the only way I could get the filler to cure properly was to add some heat.  Here you can see my small space heater I bought last year sitting on top of the propane bottle aimed into the cab interior.



First wipe of filler goes on over the areas being worked.



After some initial sanding work, you can see the way it is shaping up here.




Some pics showing the dash now finished with a couple of coats of high build filler primer, ready for a guide coat and final finishing. 


I have been thinking about what to do regarding the heater vents, looking at what is available I am not keen on the additional extension added to the bottom of the dash to mount the vents in.  I really want to keep the dash its original size if at all possible.  I think that this should be possible if I can find some suitably small narrow vents.  My idea is to try and mount them on the protruding ridge of the dash, only problem is it looks like unless I can find some super slim ones I will only be able to mount 3 vents neatly.

I made a mock up of some readily available vents by making some paper copies to actual size and placing them on the dash to see what it looks like.

This is what I am thinking of, but I am still not sure.  The vents are Billet aluminium vents available from Autoloc.




After laying out the dash components to see how I could get everything that I am using in the standard dash but still have it looking like it was supposed to be there I found that my original plan was no longer an option.  When I originally repaired all of the old holes etc. I decided to leave one hole that looked like it would be ideal for a starter button (I originally wanted to use a push to start button) as you will see from the pics above.  But when I started to lay out the AC/heat controls, it was clear that they were a lot larger than I had imagined.  The implications are that I will need to fill the hole that I was going to use as it will be too close to the AC control.  This is a real pain as I had pretty much finished the dash with the exception of cutting the holes out.  It means that I will need to rework the entire front to make sure it is all flat and level again after repairing the whole. 

Here you can see the now redundant hole filled and the large cut-out required to mount the AC/Heater controls.  This is a lot larger than I was expecting.




I had a bit of a problem with the etch priming of the Glove box door.  I used my Primer gun that has a 1.7mm needle which left a very poor finish (Apparently, the special etch primer only needs a 1.2-1.4.  So I stripped it back down and painted it again using a small touch up gun I borrowed.

This is the Glove box door after a couple of coats of the Etch primer.  I etch primed it first, rather than simply use standard primer as it was Chrome plated.  The etch primer is possibly an overkill as I had keyed the surface well but I wanted to make sure that there would be no chance of the paint coming off again.


I also stripped down the Dash gauge cluster to get it ready for priming.  It was simply a matter of bending up the tabs that hold everything together, removing the rear panel and all of the old analogue gauges so that it was ready for priming.

Once all of the old parts are removed this is what you are left with. (Note that the chrome surround is also still attached here.)




I primed the Dash gauge surround, glove box door and the dash repair today.

Both items primed and ready for the final paint.



The surround with a couple of coats of satin black.  I just used some Aerosol black that I had laying around.



Here is the dash primed again after the slight modifications with the Glove box door in place. Note that I need to sort the spring return out, it did seem to work ok before I painted the door.  Now it seems to fall open by approx 1 inch.  I guess I just need a new spring or maybe need to relocate the original one.



I got hold of the heater vents and had a bit of a shock when I opened them.  They are bigger than I was told over the phone, so all of my mocking up to see how it would look was a waste of time.  I was told that they were 3 3/16" long by 1 3/8" high, however they are actually 3 13/16" by 1 13/16".  It looks like the chap gave me the actual cut-out size required, rather than the size of the vent itself.  I have yet to get over to the truck and try the layout with the actual size, but I am hoping that it will still work.  I am concerned that there will not be very much space around the ashtray.  Worst case scenario, I may need to sacrifice the ashtray altogether and position the heater vents more centrally.


Well I made some new templates up the size of the actual vents to see if they still would look ok in the locations that I was planning to locate them.  They are closer than I would have liked, but still ok.  So I set about cutting the holes out.  I cut the holes out with a mixture of drilling, jig sawing, Dremel tool grinding and simple filing by hand.

Here you can see the holes being cut out.....Too Late now.



Here are the Vents in the holes.



I am now trying to work out how to keep the dash as clean as possible (i.e. not cluttered with switches etc).  I am thinking of maybe mounting any switches required in the door or maybe in a special panel or overhead console.  But I need to have a good think about it and investigate to make sure it is practical and legal.