Has anyone found a repro instrument cluster for '69?? NPD advertises one, but says its still in development (going on 2 yrs now). I know Dakota dashes has a digital for $700 - so someone has to make the new bezel. Assuming they still aren't available, has anyone had any luck painting the chrome edge trim on these? Silver spray paint just doesn't cut it for me. Any ideas??
I believe Classic Industries is the maker of the repro 69 instrument cluster. Whether they are still available or not I don't know. If you have patience buy chrome spray paint and spray it into a cap. Then take a toothpick and use it as a brush to redo the trim. Go slow and don't spread it out to thin. The results are pretty good, but tedious.
Mark Stielow did a nice job of a rebuild of the '69 dash in his Thrasher Camaro (Chevy High Performance magazine). The guages are available in kits from Summit but the dash panel insert was a custom piece. In general it doesn't look like it would be too tough to fabricate the dash panel and take it out for welding. Then it's a bit of hole-drilling and connecting into the wiring harness. I'd guess the hardest part is actually cutting the stock housing out without destroying it. I have this one tucked away for a project one day when I run out of other things to do.
'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed
'99 HD Road King Classic
I have no first hand experence but I chose not to replace mine with an aftermarket unit. I was warned by a Camaro parts retailer that none of the repro's fit properly and getting the gauages installed requires cutting and filing... Proceed with caution! Post how it went if you do use a repro...
I will be using 2 items found at hobby shops to repair mine.. A putty, kinda like bondo for models and this chrome foil stuff. You rub it on to the area you want chrome on. I don't know the full details; how well it sticks etc. but I do know it looks good!!!
The chrome foil seems like a good idea I haven't thought of before. It's used on models and it's very thin, so it sticks to any crevice or irregularity very well. It would be relatively fragile, however.
Another method would be to chrome the entire instrument panel and paint the required areas except the trim. There are companies that still do this I believe.
I just remembered reading about a couple in Colorado that rebuilt a 69. They used the dash and bezel from a 72 Nova which they state "neatly slots into the Camaro Dash".
It looks pretty good. If you can find the Nov. 98 issue of Hot Rod Magazine you can find the article. Good Luck.
There is a shop in San Bruno CA. (Steve's Camaro) They may still have a repro. At least they did several months ago. They are real honest and I didn't get it for my '69 as they warned me about the poor fit you get with repro dash pods. Give them a call @ 650-873-1890
Last year I changed my dash . I had to bye a used one from D&R classic in ILL. It was in rough shape and i had to clean and paint it , but the one in my car was broken so i had to make it work. I used parts from the one in the car and the used one . I used a paint pen to do the trim it took awile but came out pretty good. The bad thing about all of this is about 3 months later at a Super Chevy Show in PA. I found a dash in perfect shape for sale , and like a dummy i didnt bye it and it was real cheap
Thanks for all the responses. I guess I'll clean up the one I have. I started on it last night and it is in real good shape except for a couple of cracks. I came up with a good way to repair the cracks and it turned out great. I pickep up a 30cc syringe with a small needle from the drugstore and filled it with superglue. Then I gently applied enough pressure to slightly open the crack and injected the glue. Held it tight for a minute, wiped off the excess b-4 it dried and the crack is gone. Didn't mess up the texture either. After I paint it, I don't think you will be able to tell. Just thought I'd pass this along. Next will be to repair a couple of small cracks in my console.