Re-Dashified

My insulator finally arrived on Friday and I popped it in place Saturday afternoon. With that, I couldn’t think of anything to do except put the dash back in the car. With a little help from my wife (“Are you sure you want me helping with this?”) it was about a 30 minute job to get the unit in place.

The caged nut, uncaged.
The caged nut, uncaged.

Most of that time was spent dealing with a caged nut that had come–as is often the case–“uncaged.” There are basically six bolts holding the dash in place: two at the bottom corners, two that screw in from outside, under the cowling, and two that screw into the firewall from inside the car (accessible through the hole where the clock pod will fit).

Those last two screw into nuts that I assumed were welded into place on the firewall. In retrospect, I don’t know what holds them on. Maybe paint.

Reinstallation in process.
Reinstallation in process.

One broke free while I was trying to get the bolt started. I located it under the cowling, right up under the base of the windshield. I couldn’t see it directly, but could take a photo to see what was going on. I used a thin pair of lock pliers to hold the nut in place while I tightened from the inside. Hopefully, it will never need to be removed again.

With the dash in place, I started the process of reconnecting wires, and ductwork underneath. It seemed like a bewildering array of parts when it came apart, but familiarity and experience makes it look much simpler now.

I will tackle the rest of the Dynamat and new carpeting before I install the steering column, then the brake booster assembly. When that is complete, I can button up the valve covers and turn the key.

2 thoughts on “Re-Dashified”

  1. Hey there, I’m enjoying motoring through your archives as I recently acquired a ’65 bird, and feel somewhat overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done! But seeing you go through the process has definitely helped boost my courage and confidence, thanks!

    Couple questions about the dash if you’ve got a minute:
    To get cowel off to get at those two bolts, do you have to remove windshield trim?
    Guessing you have to take instrument cluster out to get dash out?
    Instrument cluster gauge cables have almost no play, any advice on how to remove those?

    Thanks again!
    Klaus

    1. Klaus, Glad to help. No need to remove the windshield trim to get the cowl off–just the screws and the windshield wipers.

      The instrument cluster can come out with the whole dash assembly. Disconnect the speedo cable and unplug the wiring harness first.

      Good luck!

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