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Thread: Custom Dashboard Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Custom Dashboard Advice

    Hello Everyone-

    I joined this forum a few years ago when i purchase my 1990 SC. The interior was in very poor shape due to sun and water damage from leaking door seals. My goal at that time was to turn it into a weekend track car and I began the process of removing every aspect of the interior possible including the dashboard foam. I am currently left with a dashboard shell. The project was put on hold for family reasons until just recently and I am looking for advice for where to start on installing an aftermarket dashboard in this car.

    I am looking for a very basic dashboard design and have tried searching both the forums and online and have found little help for turning this car into a track car inspired interior. Does anyone have any advice on materials for a dash, potential mounting materials, etc? The top picture is the way my car currently sits. The bottom is an example of the style of dash I am using as inspiration.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Tinton Falls, NJ
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    If you want a bare racecar dash like that, just remove your dash entirely and fabricate something from scratch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Imperial, MO (near St. Louis)
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    Exactly. Brake some sheetmetal, create a tube frame for the bottom of it (or at least flange it), and stick it in there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    651
    dont forget the CAD. cardboard aided design
    Any idiot can make a Mustang fast...
    It takes a special idiot to make a Thunderbird fast!!!
    89 SC 4.3 stroker 384rwhp 473ftlbs
    Best ET 13.085 Best MPH 106.6... got some work to do!
    2016 V6 M90 Dyno Champ 2016 Mod 1 Runner Up

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    PNW
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    6,545
    Nascar 'bird:



    Of course these days, what with GPS speedos and digital panels, something like this might make things easier:



    Check out Summit for digital dashes - they sell have kits so you can have it your way: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/i...003b/overview/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Imperial, MO (near St. Louis)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthompson View Post
    dont forget the CAD. cardboard aided design


    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post

    Of course these days, what with GPS speedos and digital panels, something like this might make things easier:


    x2. No need for a full dash. A pod to mount a Racepak and support the column would be super simple.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by racecougar View Post
    No need for a full dash.
    Or, no dash at all - HUD and iPhone start/unlock.


    ...this one, at $35, is OBDII, tho.
    https://www.ebay.com/i/222212730947?rt=nc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    PNW
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    Cool ! Like the smartwatch app for start/lock on the 2018 Fords. Don't have either but nice idea.
    Upcoming road trip so went with this one for the Freestar van. Most are shipped from China. Don't have time for that.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/182746991240

    Creighton
    Last edited by Creighton; 02-15-2018 at 02:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    41
    If you're not wanting to go quite as far as a complete racing dash you could do something like this:
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    2
    There are definitely some great looking ideas here that I like. The Nascar dash posted by KMT in particular is very clean looking and seems fairly straight forward. Do you have any links to how they did the process?

    I also have a spare dash that I pulled from a 94 T-bird that was a donor car for some random parts my car needed. I just absolutely despise the green color of it so I haven't been to serious about putting that in unless I have issues with custom dash design.

    One other question I do have is based on Racecougar and KMT's post about minimal/ no dash. I was under the impression that the dashboard in the tbird offered necessary stability in the front part of the car. Is this not the case?

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoffman610 View Post
    The Nascar dash posted by KMT in particular is very clean looking and seems fairly straight forward. Do you have any links to how they did the process?
    Fabrication 101. Sheetmetal, bender, hole saws. Mock it up in cardboard first. That dash was from one of Bill Elliott's Thunderbirds, late 88/89, I think.

    Notice the gauge panel in that photo is flat, with the ends turned up. Helps keep the panel from flexing, and provides handles for service, repair. Nice touch.

    This is another Nascar Thunderbird I spotted at a local track:
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    The ribs in the horizontal surface inside the windshield add rigidity. The angled/rolled edge facing the driver adds strength and safety.

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    Be sure to search previous threads - example: http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...highlight=dash
    Last edited by KMT; 02-16-2018 at 03:12 PM.

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