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  • Replacement Dash Pads

    What do we know about the replacement dash pads sold by the various vendors? Where has anyone purchased one that they think was high quality? It appears to me that there may be one company with the original tooling making them and then selling them to the vendors. Therefore price is a matter of mark up by the vendor. I found this one on EBAY for $359 which is about 40 dollars cheaper then the name tbird guys. Has anyone bought one of these? I am getting set to rewire my 60 and it looks like Ford put the dash pad in first and built the interior around it. Sooo as long as I have the dash apart I might as well tackle this also. Any help or experience is appreciated. Grant
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/58-59...Q5fAccessories
    Grant
    NCbird on the Coast of NC
    "Dads Bird" for my father

  • #2
    Replacement Dash Pads

    Good Morning, Grant! First of all, thank you for your support of the Forum. It is much appreciated! As for dash pads, you are probably right about there being one main supplier, as is often the case. This is one listing in the Technical Resource Library and here it is.

    http://www.dashesdirect.com/products...D=1&ModelID=27

    I do not know the names of other companies that market dash pads for our Squarebirds, other that the major Tbird parts houses. The instructions that Alexander gave us on how to replace a dash pad have been recovered by me last year, I think it was. It is on the temporary TRL website on Fortune City. You can find it by accessing the link under my signature, along with the others that I have been able to restore or have added. You might try a search on the Forum for "dash pads" and see what you come up with also. Hope this helps!

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      gotta love it

      Thanks Ray, this forum is the first think I open when I sign on and the last thing I check before shutting down. I did the searchs and found the "how to" which is what has spurred me to do it now. Once I saw how much of the dash you need to dissasemble I decided to do it now as I assemble the dash and do all the wiring. I already have everything out of the dash (it was all removed along with the interior for paint) so it seems like the logical thing to do other then it wasnt on my list till later. Of course this forum has changed my plans before. I now am the proud owner of Versaille spindles and will take the new drums and brakes off and will go to 4 wheel discs. That dang discussion on Boosters, MC's and proportioning valves caused a course correction. Grant
      Grant
      NCbird on the Coast of NC
      "Dads Bird" for my father

      Comment


      • #4
        Replacement Dash Pads

        Hi Grant!

        Yup, it sounds like a great time to do the dash replacement what with what you have going on now. You are not the only one that has had a course change because of something that came up on this Forum! That has happened to me a good number of times. Good luck with your disc brake project! I was a bit surprised that you are going to be using Versailles spindles because I was told that they are getting harder and harder to locate in the junk yards and Pick-N-Pull places these days. Howard and I are going the front disc brakes route only. Howard has already started replacing his single MC and is working out the details of mounting his new dual MC/dual power booster to the firewall. It has been an interesting project, to say the least, in figuring out how to do that. Without hitting the steering wheel column, the AC plenum box, our chromed valve covers, the inside of the hood and anything else in the way! As big as that engine well is, it was really not designed to pop in a big dual 7" or 8" booster and dual MC! But it looks like he and simplyconnected are gonna make this work!

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
        "It's Hip To Be Square"
        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          dash pad

          Has anyone seen or used one of the dashpad COVERS I see advertized?? around $100.00. they go over the old dashpad. I know it is a cheep deal, but I really need the Patriot side-pipes for my 1960 430 Bird!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the dash cover would be used to cover some cracks or wrinkles in the top of the dash if everything else was good. Mine has the droops so major surgery is the only answer. I will fit it and then dye it since I am a klutz and will probably hit it on something during the fit process.
            I got an answer from the EBAY seller and he is sourcing his from Dashboard direct and says they are the only ones with the factory tooling. I therefore suspect everyone is selling the same one.
            Ray I ended up with Versailles spindles after listening to everyone here. I wanted the factory style dust shields and all ford stuff. You are right they are hard to come by. I have been checking Craigslist twice a week for almost 8 months now. I got a steal on these because the guy who bought the Versaille did it for the disc rear end. I got the proportioning valve and since it is for a 4 wheel disc car I decided to go discs all around.
            Grant
            NCbird on the Coast of NC
            "Dads Bird" for my father

            Comment


            • #7
              Replacement Dash Pads

              Hi Grant,

              You are probably right about there only being one manufacturer of Squarebird dashpads, and everyone orders from the same company. I think that is correct.

              You were very lucky to find the Versailles spindles! Lance of Tbirds Southwest uses those also in his disc brake conversions for his customers. He said they were getting very hard to find now. We went with our original spindles, and Mustang rotors because the rotors are common, and that set up allows us to use our existing bearings, bushings, etc., as they are the same for the Mustang. Using our original spindles should also eliminate the problems of getting and keeping the front end in alignment.

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
              "It's Hip To Be Square"
              Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                General question: if you keep the original pad and replace the cover, how do you tell if the pad is worth keeping?

                I got my TBird in 2003. All padding was original - dash, front and rear seats. It was all beginning to crumble. Someone had replaced all the seat covers. They looked great but I had to vacuum often to get the yellow crumbs on the red carpet. Eventually I bought new foam for the front seats and had it swapped in. Cost me about $400.

                The dash pad was crumbling too ("hey! You been eatin' graham crackers in here?") so I bought an entire red dash on Ebay and installed it. One of the best things I did for
                the car.

                So I have had both situations - replaced the dash cover AND pad; regretted whoever did not replace the seat padding.

                Hence if one is going to invest alot of time, and also money in such a job, should you toss the padding while at it? Why would your padding last any longer than mine did?

                From my point of view, the dash job was way too much work to want to take it apart at some point and replace the pad. The $200 saved is tempting but may fade in the long run...

                John

                PS: I just got a catalogue from Dennis Carpenter today. He carries 58-60 dashpads which carry "from Original Tooling" on the listing. $400.
                Last edited by JohnG; February 20th, 2010, 07:22 PM. Reason: extra info
                1958 Hardtop
                #8452 TBird Registry
                http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                history:
                http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 63-4drpost View Post
                  Has anyone seen or used one of the dashpad COVERS I see advertized?? around $100.00. they go over the old dashpad. I know it is a cheep deal, but I really need the Patriot side-pipes for my 1960 430 Bird!!!
                  There is a vendor on ebay that has hard plastic "caps" for about 150.00 with shipping. I've not personally seen them but a buddy of mine has and says they are a good 'fix' while trying to save a bit to put elsewhere on/in the car.
                  http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FORD-...s#ht_500wt_970

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pad vs Cap

                    [quote=JohnG;41976]General question: if you keep the original pad and replace the cover, how do you tell if the pad is worth keeping?quote]

                    You do realize that the pad and vinyl cover are a 1-piece assembly, meaning you can't replace just the vinyl over the padding. The pad was originally formed without any support structure for the cove edges -it's nothing but polyurethane foam that was sprayed into and expanded in a form/mold that was lined with the vinyl cover. What happens is over time the foam that's under the vinyl decomposes, allowing the pad edges to sag and wrinkle until there's nothing left of the foam to support the vinyl.

                    The PVC (?) dash caps that are out there are hard plastic that are molded to match the original dash's contours. If the foam of your pad has turned to dust and the vinyl's still there, I don't see any benefit of placing a "band-aid" over an item that has no structural support for the cap. One good hit with your hand or forehead and I'll wager the cap will crack, leaving you back at square one.

                    One way to do what you're describing is to build a new foam pad out of high-density material, cut/shave/grind the material to match the contours of the original pad, then cover with vinyl. That's a lot of time and effort, and still requires you to have a good pad to take measurements from. Chances are it won't look as good as the original pad without expending a ******* lot of time and effort that could be better put to use elsewhere on the car.

                    Bite the bullet and get a replacement pad - it will be pliable, absorb impact as it was originally designed to do, and look like it's supposed to.
                    Alan H. Tast AIA, LEED AP BD+C
                    Technical Director/Past President, Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
                    Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My dash looks a bit different to anyone elses that I have seen, as I have stiches in the middle of everyting. Without knowing the whole process, it might be possible to let a upholstery company to saw one up like this over a shaped piece of foam?
                      Attached Files
                      sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
                      http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

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                      • #12
                        I'll have to look tomorrow. You got me thinkin??????

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Anders, yours looks really neat!! Any idea of how it got
                          done that way??
                          1958 Hardtop
                          #8452 TBird Registry
                          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                          photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                          history:
                          http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Anders, your dash looks very nice with those stitch rows. Looks like the dash may have a bit more and thicker padding too. Say, thought your car originally came from the States. Where and how did that KPH speedo get installed? Say those pics must be older pics as I didn't see that nice new shiny steering wheel.
                            Best Birding,
                            Jed Zimmerman
                            '58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
                            Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That stitching is easy to do - one uses twin needles to create that seam.

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