77 or older second gen Dash in an 81

Discussion in 'Interior Restoration' started by Non Stock, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Non Stock

    Non Stock New Member

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    I have an 81 sport coupe A/C car that had a complete interior. I stripped the inside down to a bare firewall and steering column for some floorpan repair. I like the shape of the older dash pads better than the 78-81 cars. Before I spend 500.00 dollars on a new dash pad, I wanted to ask if anyone has done this. Some part mods/fabrication is fine. But wanted to use as many of the old parts as possible. Vintage Air HVAC unit is also going in this car. Any thread links related to this would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. hoppin5478

    hoppin5478 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Everything that I have ever read indicates that they are a direct swap in. I was trying to find the link but I was having trouble finding it. I have never done the swap though so maybe someone who has can confirm. I know at one point not to long ago there weren't any repro dash pads for the 79-81 and believe at that time those guys were forced to use the 70-78 style if they wanted to replace it. I think the gauges are the same but the lens has to be replaced with the earlier style and I think the trim plate for the earlier style has to be used as well. I think everything else is a direct bolt in, lower plastics etc. I swapped my 78 z28 gauge cluster for a custom digital unit an have all the parts boxed up. If you decide to do the swap and need the trim plate or anything just let me know and I can get you a really good deal on it.
     
  3. Hey G

    Hey G Veteran Member

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    Yeah, the blinker light location changed. The plastic around gauge lens is different due to this change.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps.

    G
     
  4. Non Stock

    Non Stock New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I plan on using Dakota Digitals VHX gauge package for gauges. I thought the lower section was the same, but wasn't sure about the dash pad itself. Didn't want to buy an older dash and not have it fit.
     
  5. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I have a 79 with the curved instrument dash in it. The PO did it, so not sure about what is involved to make that happen. I like the curved panel better as well. The defroster and wiper switch is inherently different though. All else is as it should be.
     
  6. garyandcindy

    garyandcindy Veteran Member

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    The heat and air ducts are not the same i believe.But does the vintage air system have it's own?
     
  7. hoppin5478

    hoppin5478 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The Vintage Air set up does come with it's own ducting, the factory ducting gets replaced entirely. They send adapters for the back of your factory vents and defroster that there new ducting plugs in to.
     
  8. Non Stock

    Non Stock New Member

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    Thanks for the additional info on this. I looked at 4 late second gen cars 78-80 and an early second gen 71-72 today that a co worker had found abandoned near his home. Some of the later plastic bumper cars had the curved dash around the gauges. Someone school me a little here at tell me when they started using the square dashpad? 1980 maybe ? Made me a little sad seeing these cars sitting and rotting away. One was a T top Berlinetta with so much water in it you could see the condensation running down the inside of the windows.
     
  9. Non Stock

    Non Stock New Member

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    Also on the Vintage Air unit, it's a pretty universal component. The lower dash also looks very much the same. Just didn't know if the way the pad attaches required any different hardware or brackets that I may not be able to salvage. Might try and get my hands on one of the old cracked dashpads from the abandoned cars and see. I am having him try and get a hold of the guy that owns the land their on.
     
  10. brooksman9

    brooksman9 Veteran Member

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    Square dash started in 79.
     

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