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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about the dash from Covans classic. Any info about how these actually look. I was putting together a few combinations of different color dashes and various setups of gauges. How do you post pics and I will get some posted for feedback.
 

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I bought the Covans 6 Gauge panel for my '69 in the black finish.
It's a great part, but, the finish is really glossy.
I'm working with Covans to exchange it for something that's a little more of a mat finish, or, I might consider the carbon fiber.
Seems like it's going to fit quite well, and work out. The issue with not having any provisions for a high beam light and turn signals kind suprised me, but, it looks like that can be overcome by drilling holes in the panel and installing led's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I went with the aluminum look with autometer sportcomp gauges. The cut outs were a little rough around a few holes and the edges were not at all smooth. The dash looks good with the gauges in because it covers up the imperfections. It looks more like a silver finish, but I will just change my steeriung wheel to the grant silver rather than chrome and it will match pretty well.
 

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SKIPS69…. You can always paint it. I used a vinyl prep kit and Blk Dye from Eastwood (part# 52042 and 52066). Alternately, and I don’t have experience with this...yet, but you “may” also be able to use regular dash paint as long as you first spray plastic prep (same drill as when you paint a grill I would think..). I had to modify mine due to a screw up and, I decided to go with a Vintage Air electronic Gen II controller. As a result, I had to patch, filler, sand, and repaint mine.

Here is how it turned out:
http://ww6.che.ilstu.edu/craigon/Interior.htm

P.S.
Yea…some of my “patch work” is too wavy, and I may re-fill/sand and paint it again. It was too dang cold in the garage when I did it and I was rushing..haha … But anyway it shows that it can be done with the paint of your choice. My Blk Dye choice is a still a bit glossy, so I may try OER dash paint after some research on what prep, if any, I may need to do.
 

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I'm looking at one of these panels for my '67. The black one looks too glossy (won't match the dash) and I'm not sure I would like the carbon fiber. Maybe a better option would be to get the aluminum one and paint it. That way you get the extra strength from a metal panel and it can be painted to match the rest of the dash. All three are the same price, so that's not an issue.

...thinking
 

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Whoops, nevermind. Just checked Covan's website and the silver version is ABS plastic also, so scratch what I said about it being stronger.
 

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craigon-
Thanks for the info! Didn't think about that. I was kinda suprised at how you were able to knock down all of the "bumpy" finish on your dash panel compared to mine. Did you sand it down before you painted it, or did you just use the plastic prep?
One other question. What are you planning on doing about high beam indicators and blinkers?
 

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About the sanding… I patched the controller due to the Vintage Air controller, and the AC-Vent due to a screw up cutting it (got mine un-cut). I had to build the opening up with scrap from the cutout and some POR-putty I had laying around. I then used regular body filler to finish off the patch areas and a few low spots. If you have high spots, you can sand them down. Then use finer and finer grit paper until the scratches are gone and it’s smooth (it will be hazy). I put 2 coats of paint on, then sanded some more areas I was not pleased with, then applied 3 or 4 more coats. The paint build up fixed a few areas. I bet you could use a high build primer to it really smooth! From what I understand, and someone can correct me if wrong, once you plastic prep and get the first coat of paint, you can forget about it being plastic, and apply any paint product compatible with the product initially applied over the plastic prep.

On the signals, still thinking about how and where I want to mount the led’s. You’ll probably come up with something before me, so let me know..
 

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One more thing… I just re-read your post :

"...The issue with not having any provisions for a high beam light and turn signals kind surprised me, but, it looks like that can be overcome by drilling holes in the panel and installing led's”"

My kit came with 3 led’s for turn signals (2 green) and high beam (1 red). They were in a little sealed bag with misc crimp connectors, wire leads, connectors, and some other stuff. Did you not get any?

My only thing is were to drill the holes to mount them and how to possibly make them look better mounted. They are currently just small led’s witch press into a hole from the front. I was thinking about adding some king of doughnut shaped Bessel to make them look a little better.
 

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No, I didn't get any LED's with my dash. Did you get the complete gauge package? I just bought the dash insert.
I'm still working on the turn signal and high beam indicators. I'll post when I come up with something that I like.
 

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Can a mechanical novice (EXTREMELY NOVICE) complete this dash panel swap?

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being very hard) what would you rate this install for a rookie?

I want to buy the full kit, but the $$ I would have to pay a shop to do this would probably sink me.
 

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I've looked at the Covan dashes, but didn't see a way to add the posts to the back to mount the power top switch. Has anyone used one of these and altered them to accept the switch for a power top on a convertible?

There are ways to make them look different. I have the console insert from Autometer that holds 4 gauges in my console. I took that panel and the shifter panel to a place called Hydrosolutions in St. Petersburg, FL and had them coat them to appear as carbon-fiber. After they coat it, the clear coat and buff it and you can wax it just like it's painted. It's a subtle change to the interior and looks great with the Autometer carbon fiber face gauges.
 

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I wouldn't rate this as a hard install at all if you buy the wiring kit. The panel fits pretty well. If you can use a screw driver and crip wire connections than you can install this kit. The directions are a little off, but you can figure it out rather easily. I hate wiring and it wasn't that bad for me. If anyone wants a picture of the flat black panel with autometer ultralight gauges I can email it to you. The only part I had a problem with was the sender for the electronic speedometer. The sender interfaces with my shifter linkages on my ST-10, so I had to buy a extension cable and hook it up in the car. Right now the sender is located under my center console.
 

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So dumb question here....

I'm about to order the Covan Dash with the Auto Meter gauges and well...

Do I need the mechanical or electronic speedometer? I'm hoping its the mechanical Sport Comp Gauges - 120 Mph Speedo and 8,000 Rpm Tach because they cost $200 less. I'm fairly confident that the guages in the car now are the originals so I am guessing what I have is already mechanical and staying with mechanical would be the easiest.

(I have a 69 with 350/4 speed.) (Is my MSD Ignition system gonna make installing a Tach a PITA?)

[ 01-02-2005, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: mjm7496 ]
 

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I ordered the dash and gauges separately on the 69 seen here. (Not a real good pic)

I already had the 2 5/8" mechanical oil pressure, water, and trans temp.

So I just bought the plastic from Covan, and the 2 1/6" Phantom gauges from Autometer.

In the cluster, a 160 mechanical speedo, tach, oil temp, vacuum, fuel level, and voltmeter.
 

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Well I just got my covan dash insert today. Thing was backordered for awhile. I was gonna start ordering up the parts to do the power steering conversion while I waited... Good thing I didn't! We all know you don't want to have too many projects going on at the same time.


This thing is really flimsy. Hope I don't break it when installing.
 
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