homemade dashboard
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Author:  Jack jr [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  homemade dashboard

G'day, Just wondering if anyone has made there own dash for a sierra, I was looking at mine and you would get a lot more leg room if you had a dash similar to that of an lj,
you could also simplify stuff like the heater controls, just a thought.
Cheers Jack.

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

No. Just no.

It’s 394594736485928263748x more complicated than it looks to build a custom dash that’s functional and doesn’t look like it was made from paper mache and earwax and the speedo is where the ashtray is and you can’t demist the windscreen and the fuel gauge works backwards.

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

But it’s better because there’s 1/2” more legroom.

Author:  ZUZUKI [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

I tried to make a custom dash, once.
I was young & silly & the car was a Series lll Land-Rover which have a pathetic dash, no glove box, not enough gauges (for my liking), etc - all sorts of yuck.
Anyway, I though I would have a go at making something better.
I agree with Steve, it is way, way harder than it would first appear.
I used some Jaguar MkII gauges, mounted in 2mm rolled / folded sheet steel. At least the top radius was not sharp & I planned to cover it in a later of thin foam & vinyl, but it wasn't as 'crash worthy' as the original.
It also weighed a lot more than the bunch of plastic bits that I took out.
After 2 weeks of tinkering, I gave up. The gauges never worked & I ended up selling the car, with no RWC, with this hideous heavy metal lump in it, instead of the original hideous light plastic lump.
Oh, and because various switches & wires were just hanging about, rather than mounted & taped, something rubbed through & lots of smoke escaped. It was Lucas Electrics after all. Fixed it, but what a mess.
Someone asked a similar question a few years back & came up with a few photos where people had tried - none looked even 1/2 better than a factory dash.
Find something better to do with your time - seriously.
Or...see that as a challenge, but we want to see the results.
Rgs, Michael

Author:  barbender [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

I wouldn't bother, having already tried it 20 years ago and wasting my time, effort, money, headaches etc etc. but if you still want to go down that path you can find plenty of examples on images online.

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

In theory, it's easier than ever to make a quality dashboard - printing the parts required with a 3D printer would be quite feasible, but, other than making something that looks different, there's little advantage. Suzuki did what they could to maximise interior room. There isn't a heap of wasted space behind the dash - it's very tight behind there. Most attempts look terrible and function much worse than the standard dash. They're also, often, made of very rigid materials (like checkerplate) and reduce the crashworthiness of the car. I.e If you 're not in a race harness, helmet and gloves, you need a dash with some give in it.

The difference in space between an LJ and a Sierra is mostly down to the lack of air vents and their associated hoses. You could always swap in a 1.0 dash - this is (relatively) much easier than starting from scratch, and due to the lack of vents at the ends of the dash, it's shallower.

It also has inferior heater controls, is harder to add switches and gauges to, and is harder to pull apart to work on (much of the dash isn't removable) the binnacle doesn't have a tach or provision for a CE light or any "spare" capacity. I like the look of the 1.0 dash, but I had to graft a Vitara instrument cluster into it for my application. Adding the additional lights and gauges I needed was going to be a pain with the 1.0 binnacle.

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

IIf you're still inspired, check out the work of mcutler1 on Pirate4X4. he does amazing tinwork.
Also investigate the mojave heater. As you're in Tassie, the requirement to demist the screen and add some cabin heat is high. The stock HVAC is bulky and will complicate making a dash.


Author:  Jack jr [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

Thanks for the info, I love the look of the old 40 series and lj dash just because of its simplicity, i haven't looked at it properly but if i did it i would use some sort of plastic sheeting.
Gwagensteve that looks like a great little heater, what are the rules on heaters is there a standard of as long as it demist the windscreen AND supply's heat your ok.
Cheers Jack

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

No requirement to supply heat, just clear the screen.

I like the look of LJ dashboards too, but replicating one is a much more difficult task than it appears, especially in plastic.

Author:  Jack jr [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

If you where to do it what material would you make it out of and would you use the original cluster?
Cheers Jack

Author:  Gwagensteve [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

I wouldn't make a custom dashboard, I don't have the inclination or skills to make it look appropriate. However, if I wanted to "backdate" a later model Sierra I'd fit a 1.0 dashboard complete and live with the loss of a tach etc. It's quite a big job though as the supporting structure has to be swapped over.

I dislike late model binnacles fabbed into earlier model dashboards, including my own, but for me it wasn't feasible to do it any other way. The beauty of an old dashboard is the old gauges and retro feel.

Author:  MrRocky [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

Cut lj dash out
Weld onto firewall

Author:  Spokerider [ Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: homemade dashboard

If I ever get to designing and replacing the dashboard......I'll be redesigning the blower housing so that the heater core can be changed without having to remove the whole zuk interior to get to it.

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