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Dash re-cover on 57

This is a discussion on Dash re-cover on 57 within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; My dashboard, instruments, et al , are in pretty good shape, but the cover needs to be replaced. I have ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 63.231.75.168
Old 10-23-2015, 11:37 PM
 
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Dash re-cover on 57

My dashboard, instruments, et al , are in pretty good shape, but the cover needs to be replaced. I have the windshield out. Can I recover the dash without taking the whole dashboard out of the car?
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  #2 (permalink)   IP: 76.10.145.83
Old 10-25-2015, 12:10 AM
 
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gbhrps is on a distinguished road
valhalla74,

I would strongly recommend that you remove the dash from the car to install the dash pad. With the compound curves around the instruments and at the outside corners by the doors, and bottom edge of the dash, it would be a nightmare to get a good fit.

The pad needs to be stretched and secured at many points while forcing it to the metal dash's shape to ensure the adhesive holds. On a work bench or a purpose made stand its challenging enough. While still in the car ... I wouldn't even think about attempting it, especially if I expected a professional looking result.

I worked for three years in a small bird restoration shop, and the boss always tackled this job with the dash on a purpose made stand, and even then it was a bit** of a job.

Gene
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:11 AM
 
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Yeah, I pretty much knew that was the answer, but was hoping for the proverbial miracle short-cut.

Here's the next question. in order to get the dash out, I have to disconnect the wiring harness and all the guages. Once I get it out, is there any reason I can't reconnect the ignition switch so I can drive it 1 mile to the body shop?
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  #4 (permalink)   IP: 174.45.155.196
Old 10-25-2015, 12:05 PM
 
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HeadacheGuy is on a distinguished road
Garage
The short answer is yes, you can drive it to the body shop. Long answer has an "if" with it . Circuit protection was pretty lack luster back then and Ford liked to leave power sources exposed. Make sure EVERYTHING is wire tied to not touch a hot source. It is easily possible to have a high resistance short that will fry a harness without popping a link. Seen the end results a number of times and it's never pretty and always started with an over sight.
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  #5 (permalink)   IP: 98.109.196.180
Old 10-25-2015, 10:36 PM
 
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For piece of mind (and I know it costs) it might be better to get a flat bed take it to the body shop. No worries about an errant wire causing a fire.
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