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Discussion Starter #1
First time poster, long time student of this fantastic forum.

I am in the process of restoring a 1968 Camaro coupe. There seems to be a variance between the outer dash panels Tim1968 (thanks Tim in advance for allowing me to use your pic) and I have removed from our cars and the replacement panel available from many restoration stores.

Am i missing something or did we inadvertently remove a part that is actually made of two subunits.



old dash panel removed from my 1968 camaro (Tim1968 picture)



new dash panel from Belair Bob's catalog
 

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You have learned the first lesson in restoration Grasshopper, NEVER, EVER remove a welded on part until you have the replacement, EVER!

I have not bought one of these dashes so I don't know if that is the only way they come, but it makes sense. That front part which is very hard to reproduce I might add isn't going to be damaged like the rusting that goes on where the window sets. That being said, it is easy to understand that they wouldn't spend the money to make these panels as a complete replacement when all you need is the forward section.

You are going to have to weld that section back in, then cut it and splice it under the dash pad where they planned on you splicing it.

Now, what did we learn, come on now repeat after me. "Never cut out a part until you have the replacement IN YOUR HAND".

Believe me, I have seen pros do this, at my shop there is a guy, a VERY good tech. He kicks ars in time, and does a super job. But every once in a while he is so gung ho to get the job cooking he removes a part before the new one comes and WHAM, the darn thing ends up different for some reason.

For that reason, I NEVER remove before I have it, and I am also a firm believer in NEVER throwing out a part, I don't care how rusted, bent or cut up it is, not until the new one is installed and the car is re-assembled.

Brian
 

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My new one was the same size it just didnt have all those rectangles cut out. Didn't like that they left out that detail but oh well it didnt really affect anything other than the look.
 

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Yeah the detail is missing but as long as the replacement has enough "wrap-around" to weld up to the dash you should be OK. My replacement is similar and it has plenty of overlap. Don't worry, you won't see any of it when the dash pad is on....
 

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You cut-off too much of dash! I separated mine at that rectangular seam (took a while cause I drilled and slowly hand chiseled the spotwelds) for the replacement panel to mate up there.

 

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FYI... It's even different on a '69 dash as well. I will splicing in mine as well pretty soon and noticed that they didn't include that detail in the "inner" edge where it meets the dash. Luckily I didn't cut mine out yet, and I do have the new part to compare and look at.

 

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Also, those 7 holes in replacement panel mate up with the 7 holes in dash (no those aren't the spot weld holes :))
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey thanks for all the helpful input. But after reading all your replies, reviewing all your pictures, and understanding what needed to be cut off in the front of the panel because of rust, I think i did the right thing.

The most important tip seems to be to make sure that the seven holes in the replacement panel line up properly for dash pad replacement.

This will not be a problem because i have the old dash panel saved and can use it to line up the new panel that fits similarly but without the rectangular holes cut from it.

Thanks again to all for the helpful insights
 
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