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  • Bodymen? Sealing up dash plate holes and cutting new ones for guages???

    Any good bodymen out there? How difficult do you think it'd be to take some 16 gauge steel and weld up the radio, speedo, and smaller guage holes in a dash plate and then cut some new ones to specks?

    Welding steel that thin is pretty touchy, no? What do you guys know about welding and re-cutting those holes?

    I'm talking about taking the dash plate OFF the vehicle to do this of course!!
    Last edited by BigSkyGuy; 03-11-2013, 08:28 PM.

  • #2
    It's possible. The easier thing to do, though, is to take a piece of metal & cover the dash with it, then cut what holes you need. On my old CJ5, I had a stop sign (old one the city replaced). It was cut the height of the dash, then bolted into place with the painted side hidden. Then just used a hole saw & cut out holes for the guages. We used a 1 1/2 inch high piece of the angled lower piece & mounted it below the dash. It made a nice place to mount the heater controls & toggle switched for the fog lights.
    Last edited by EvilTwin v2; 03-22-2006, 07:58 AM.

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    • #3
      it's probably not hard, but since you can buy a new dash for about $150, why pay a body man/welder the same?

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      • #4
        The same? I don't know any body guys that would touch it for less than $300. So, yea, buy a dash panel minus all the factory stuff and cut your holes where you want them. You will save urself alot of cash.

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        • #5
          I bought a piece of Diamond plate for 15 bucks and borrowed a hole saw.

          Now it'll be prettttty.

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          • #6
            I bought a dash panel minus the guage, radio, and speaker cutouts, then cut the rest of the holes where I wanted them. As Fubar says, that is the best way to go.
            Last edited by Scott82CJ7; 03-13-2007, 10:40 AM.

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            • #7
              That's exactly what I was looking to do!!

              Thanks guys!

              Hey Scott82, thanks for the picture! That's EXACTLY what I was looking to do w/ mine. Are your speedo and tach 5" or 3-3/8"?

              I was going to do EXACTLY what you did but w/ 3-3/8" identical speedo and tach up top like yours w/ the smaller guages across the bottom. I might go 5" speedo and tach though. It depends! Bigger might be better! Your's looks good whatever it is! 3-3/8"??? 5"??? WHAT??? Must be 5"

              While we're on the subject too, Just how difficult is it to calibrate one of those speedos? Is it a push button on the front or is there another little gadget or what. Do you have a device that asks you to input certain data orrrrrrrrrr??? How does it work?

              Scott, one more thing! You said you bought the dash face plate w/out the radio or guage holes. I was looking at those yesterday in the 4wd catalog. Do they have the steering wheel hole? Do they have ANY HOLES AT ALL???
              Last edited by BigSkyGuy; 03-23-2006, 01:02 AM.

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              • #8
                The guys here are right that it will probably be cheaper and easier for you to just buy the new dash.

                However... it is possible to weld in metal and clean up the old dash. When fixing up my jeep my friend and I welded up the speaker holes. We just put some metal behind the speaker grills and then used some bondo to make it smooth on the front. Still looks good. Really wasn't that hard. For the factory radio cutout I cut it out larger and put in an aftermarket stereo... then I had some problems with water getting to stereo so now I fabbed up a new plate and mounted some aftermarket guages in it and moved stereo to Tuffy box (center consol).

                http://www.martinfamilync.com/jeepwe.../images/15.jpg

                http://www.martinfamilync.com/jeepwe.../images/16.jpg

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                • #9
                  in these days of thinner body metal , most body panels are glued instead of welded , i did exactly what you want to do , i removed the panel, used panel adhesive on the back side with new metal and with a smear of body filler closed all the holes ( radio , speakers and gauge ) and i have a great looking dash ! i agree that a new panel would have been easier , but i had more time than money , LOL ...good luck.. also while you have it apart , check out john stenks and fuzz,s pics on how to offset your gauges for a functional cool look ! ( after seeing them i was sick with envy )

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                  • #10
                    Looks Good!!

                    Hey Jeff! That's a cool color for your jeep! Looks good! It's an eye catcher!!

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                    • #11
                      I had the local sheet metal shop cut a piece to size and put a fold along the bottom and it only cost me about $15, then I used my old dash as a template for heater controls and steering cutouts. Then I laid out where I wanted my gauges.

                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...0/000_0899.jpg

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                      • #12
                        Big Sky,

                        The steering wheel cutout was already there on the dash plate I bought. Mine are the 5" AutoMeter guages. The electronic speedometer is very simple to calibrate. Just go out to the interstate and pull off the side at one of the mile markers, push and hold the calibrate button, let off, drive 1 mile and stop at the next mile marker, then push the calibrate button again. Done.

                        If you set up the guages like mine are laid out, you will encounter clearance problems with the defrost duct. The AutoMeter guages are to deep and will hit the duct. I had to fabricate a new air plenum, plastic duct, and double the length of flexible hose out of the heater box. I can send you some pictures if you give me your email address.
                        Last edited by Scott82CJ7; 03-23-2006, 05:17 PM.

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