Duct, Duct . . .

I still figure to be about two weeks away from backing down the driveway.

The three remaining ducts, all with some problem or another
The three surviving ducts, all with some problem or another

Space in the garage is gradually clearing out as parts are being assembled, but the real change will come when the dash goes back into the car. That monster has been lurking in the garage for far too long–as has the old doppelganger, which is heading for the scrapyard when this is all done.

Moving the old dash around the garage, I managed to damage both the defroster ducts, which were made from cardboard originally, but have transformed into a brittle, crumbly substance. The new dash had one duct left on it, also damaged. Reproductions are produced, but they are about $100(!) new, about a third of that for good used, so I’m making an attempt to restore what I have. They are hidden, so don’t have to look pretty.

A little paranoid about moving the wiring from one dash to the other.
A little paranoid about moving the wiring from one dash to the other.

My initial thought was to reinforce the ducts with fiberglass and resin–which would probably work, but I was steered in the direction of epoxy instead of resin, potentially thinned down with acetone. In theory, it will penetrate the old cardboard and bond better.

The same person also directed me to TAP plastics for materials. I stopped by to get some epoxy in bulk and discovered it was a DIY candy store: full of tools and materials for projects I hadn’t even thought of yet. I left with epoxy . . . and a few “extras.”

Over the last week the new dash was painted/dyed, the instrument cluster was installed and the stainless trim was snapped back on. I also pulled the wiring harness off the old dash. I will replace the light bulbs and repair the wiring at the alternator gauge, then tap into the harness for power to a modern radio/head unit. With the restored ducts and the replaced wiring, the dash will be ready to go back in the car.

Masking, dying and painting the dash.
Masking, dying and painting the dash.

Leave a Reply