A bit of arts and crafts helps get it done
today I finished the main components for my new instrument panel
I spent some time today mocking up with wire and subsequently fabricating [ ie … bending and drilling ] the braces that will support my new instrument cluster in the 70. It consisted of a trio of vertical braces built with 3/4 inch wide aluminum flat stock. The two outer braces go from the dash upper skeleton to the lower horizontal support bar. The third is a single drop bracket from the top that will provide support the middle of the panel. The panel will be a simple flat piece of metal stock with a speedo, a tach and a gas gauge. That’s it! The other three 2 5/8″ gauges will be mounted in the center of the dash over the hump.
The instrument panel
So now that they are now in I can create a cardboard mock up of the panel itself. I made a map of where the braces fall and where to mount the three gauges will land. And then did some finagling of the shape and size to fill the void in the dash section. After a couple of close attempts I was able to tune it to a piece I liked. And then a simple set of circles mocked in the gauges. So now it will be a simple task to transfer that to some flat stock and cut out the appropriate holes.
And while I was at it I fabricated [ cut out ] a pair of trim panels that will fill the space between the support bar and the dash. One goes above the passenger foot well. The other extends from under the dash center section all the way left to the driver kick panel. that one was a bit tricky because it straddles the steering column. Once again a couple of attempts generated a good fitting pattern, For now I will just mock them in cardboard and paint them black to see how they do at making the dash presentable. What material they actually end up being is still in question but I will have the pattern to finalize them when the time comes. They are likely to be fastened to the frame sections with trim buttons. They are not structural just cosmetic.
So for now the arts and crafts portion of this segment are done and now it is on the metalwork to turn the cardboard patters in to some finished pieces.