Author Topic: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source  (Read 11372 times)

Edgemontvillage

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1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« on: June 30, 2015, 05:55:35 PM »
I'm looking for a shop that can do a high level restoration of my 1969 dash carrier (not the gauges or dash pad), or a source to purchase a restored original unit. I know HBC sells them however with a substantial retail mark-up. I'm not considering DIY.

-> Does anyone have direct personal experience with a good restoration shop who has done a dash carrier restoration? What was your experience, pricing etc?

-> Opinions on restoration dash carriers currently available?
                          ->Which suppliers?
                          ->How do they compare with factory original? 

-> Has anyone used the following companies for dash carrier or gauge restoration? If so what was your experience? 


    Instrument Specialities http://www.instrument-specialties.com/
    D&M Restoration http://dandmrestoration.com/services/clusters/

Reference Photo:
Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 (Brooklyn Project)

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2015, 06:22:35 PM »
Lloyd,  I'm curious what it is that you need done to your IP..  is it broken and need re-attachment of broken parts? or cleaning?   coloring? refinishing somehow?
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2015, 10:21:48 PM »
Lloyd,  I'm curious what it is that you need done to your IP..  is it broken and need re-attachment of broken parts? or cleaning?   coloring? refinishing somehow?

It needs typical repairs and an overall renewal (polishing & painting),

->Tab for steering column lower cover is broken and needs reconstruction
->Chrome trim shows wear and needs refresh
->Radio wells are broken and need reconstruction
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 10:58:10 PM by Edgemontvillage »
Lloyd
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 03:44:46 AM »
Try Mike Mancini in North Kingstown Rhode Island
http://www.amcri1.com/contact/ a few Team Camaro guys have had work done by him recently.
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2015, 04:52:13 AM »
Try Mike Mancini in North Kingstown Rhode Island
http://www.amcri1.com/contact/ a few Team Camaro guys have had work done by him recently.

Would like to see examples of their carrier restoration work and member experience with this vendor. Do you know who over at TC has used them or a link to the discussion thread?
Lloyd
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2015, 04:32:36 PM »
His shop also runs http://www.instrument-specialties.com/

Threads and users at TC http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=211693  Scottie43 http://www.camaros.net/forums/private.php?do=newpm&u=49969

Timmy (french69ssrs) had is 1969 200 KPH speedometer restored by him http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=283962 and
http://www.camaros.net/forums/private.php?do=newpm&u=52178


69pace, thanks for the links however they are mostly dead ends, the TC thread (Scottie43) is 3 years old and the poster was previously asked to respond with feedback regarding he experience with Instrument Specialties however he did not. I revived the thread with a new request for vendor experience and also sent the poster a PM, hopefully he will reply.  The Timmy (french69ssrs) post repeats references to Instrument Specialties however with no vendor experience noted. The other 2 vendors mentioned; Redline Gaugeworks and Bobs Speedometer perform gauge restorations however do not restore dash carriers.

Lloyd
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 08:00:52 PM »
Lloyd,

You probably need a 'plastics restorer' rather than an instruments service... and I have no idea who does that.  I've seen some links in the past to materials (glue?) that can be used to repair the plastics, but I haven't used them.  I just cleaned my panel thoroughly and reinstalled it.
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 09:15:22 PM »
Lloyd,

You probably need a 'plastics restorer' rather than an instruments service... and I have no idea who does that.  I've seen some links in the past to materials (glue?) that can be used to repair the plastics, but I haven't used them.  I just cleaned my panel thoroughly and reinstalled it.

Gary, I'm looking for some shop names and personal testimonial from members who have actually had a dash carrier restored by a shop - whatever the type of shop.  I think the gauge restoration shops are likely candidates because their customers probably request the service from time to time and if the shop doesn't do the work in-house they may outsource it.  I have reached out to Instrument Specialties for information. Unlike my former 10 10 car the current project RS Z will undergo a full, high end restoration. My choices at this point are to buy an repop carrier (not my style), buy a restored carrier from HBC (big markup therefore expensive) or send mine out for restoration. I have used the plastic repair kits (bought one from a vendor at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction a couple of years ago) however I don't have the skills to do reconstruction required for the radio wells and lower steering column tab.
Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 (Brooklyn Project)

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2015, 10:21:57 PM »
There is a before and after on Tim's speedometer, and somewhere a link to someone who had their dash plastic repaired. Here is the direct link to Mikes plastic dash restoration services.  http://www.instrument-specialties.com/services/plastic-chrome-bezels/
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 12:34:52 AM »
There is a before and after on Tim's speedometer, and somewhere a link to someone who had their dash plastic repaired. Here is the direct link to Mikes plastic dash restoration services.  http://www.instrument-specialties.com/services/plastic-chrome-bezels/

Brian in the TC link you referenced, Post #7 Tim (french69ssrs) states "My KPH Speedometer and Tach were Cleaned, recalibrated and installed in the new Carrier from Ground Up.  Although Instrument Specialties (IS) worked on Tim's gauges they didn't restore his dash carrier. I sent an email to IS today and am hoping to hear back about their services. I will post their response. 
Lloyd
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 02:41:50 AM »
No but someone responded in one of his many posts as he did not create a single build thread - he posts a new thread for every issue and they inter mingle often too, that they had work done on their carrier by him. So it's somewhere, you will have to follow the threads or just cut to the chase and send him a pm and ask him if he remembers who had the work done, or better yet just call Mike direct and ask for references if the ones on the website aren't enough for you to judge his work.  :)
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67 kemie ss

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2015, 06:34:32 PM »
Lloyd

There was a place is Mission that did great work, but they have changed their business and they are now referring work to Instrument Specialties.  IS sub-contracts it to a place in Texas, I believe.  I had my 67 dash carrier re-chromed and repaired, and they did a good job.  I would think they could do a 69 dash restore/repair just as well.  I did NOT have a great experience with IS' instrument work, however.  It took nearly 10 months to restore my tach and speedo, and I ended sending them back because the speed minder no longer worked and the tach had epilepsy.  Ultimately, I ended up throwing the tach away since it never looked or worked right after I got it back.  Further, because they had cut the tach hub and glued it to the needle I couldn't even salvage the dial face.  Rant.. rant.

I wouldn't bother with the HBC restored 69 carriers - I bought one for my 69 for $1100 and promptly sent it back.  Compared to a good repro, it looked pretty crappy, frankly.  I'm a purist too, but this is one area I would consider using a repro piece.  My repro is almost indistinguishable from either my original or the restored HBC one.   

Grant

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2015, 09:02:16 PM »
Want to clarify my comments since my intent wasn't to slag HBC. They do a good job of restoring the dash carrier - the edges are evenly chromed and broken tabs are cleanly repaired. Given the work involved, a $1000 may not be out of line.  It's just that you're still dealing with a tired 50-year old piece of plastic that still looks tired regardless of the brand of lipstick.

Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 06:58:20 PM »
Further to my earlier posts and based on feedback received I contacted Instrument Specialities (IS) as well as Heartbeat City (HBC).  IS currently (8/2015) offers a (1969) dash carrier restoration service that includes repairing or reconstructing of broken plastic, vacuum rechroming of surrounds as per original and repainting of the plastic (carrier) casting. They did send me photo examples of some of their work-in-progress however requested that I do not re-post the photos as they show proprietary processes.  I also requested photos from HBC of restored, original dash carriers they had in stock with close-ups of the plastic chroming and other key details.  In addition to this I received a PM from a TC forum Member who had IS restore a carrier for him.  From the photos I received from IS the chrome work appeared precise and accurate as did the plastic reconstruction work. Feedback from the TC forum Member stated he was satisfied with their work save for the paint gloss used on the carrier casting which was not accurate. Photos sent to me of the HBC restored carrier where not hi-res so details were difficult to assess however the chroming detail was not accurate.   
Lloyd
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william

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 07:08:15 PM »
For what you're willing to pay I'll bet you could find an NOS carrier. There are two versions, with or without tach. Neither was punched for a clock as that was done at the plants. Either will do as the standard carrier is marked where it needs to be trimmed for the tach. Some later versions will not have the chrome applique.

Look around. They are out there.

Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 10:06:39 PM »
For what you're willing to pay I'll bet you could find an NOS carrier. There are two versions, with or without tach. Neither was punched for a clock as that was done at the plants. Either will do as the standard carrier is marked where it needs to be trimmed for the tach. Some later versions will not have the chrome applique.

Look around. They are out there.

William, I have never seen an NOS dash carrier offered for sale - never, almost everything else for our cars I have seen offered from time to time however never an NOS carrier.  If one were available I'd be a buyer!
Lloyd
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69pace

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2015, 10:07:56 PM »
I have used the HBC custom cut reproductions that were already cut for Tachometer, and Clock/Fuel on a few peoples projects in the past and the savings in time is handy.

They use the OER reproduction dash carrier which is quite good in appearance and fitment. Sometimes you have to trim a bit the chrome edges but no big issues with it in general. I've gotten good at cutting the holes for single and double toggles for power tops and defoggers since they do not offer those custom options at HBC.

Yes it costs more then the standard carrier, and yes the templates are there on the back already or available at Team Camaro and yes you can easily chop out the parts you need by yourself but to have it arrive, unbox, mount your gauges and go, or only have to make one bowtie cut for the power top switch is great IMHO so I would buy them again no question especially for color interiors.
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2015, 10:34:06 PM »
I have used the HBC custom cut reproductions that were already cut for Tachometer, and Clock/Fuel on a few peoples projects in the past and the savings in time is handy.

They use the OER reproduction dash carrier which is quite good in appearance and fitment. Sometimes you have to trim a bit the chrome edges but no big issues with it in general. I've gotten good at cutting the holes for single and double toggles for power tops and defoggers since they do not offer those custom options at HBC.

Yes it costs more then the standard carrier, and yes the templates are there on the back already or available at Team Camaro and yes you can easily chop out the parts you need by yourself but to have it arrive, unbox, mount your gauges and go, or only have to make one bowtie cut for the power top switch is great IMHO so I would buy them again no question especially for color interiors.

I am curious about how the (HBC) OER reproduction dash would be judged in Bow Tie or Legends classes?
Lloyd
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2015, 05:45:33 PM »
Lloyd vacuum metalized is the correct process, there were quite w few places doing it, vacuum metalizing is the process for making "plastic foil" potato chip bags as well.
NJsteve did some excellent plastic reconstruction projects on the Yenko board.
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2015, 10:09:39 PM »
Lloyd  -

I had mine restored by Instrument Specialties.   Very satisfied with their work.  They repaired the radio cut-outs and more.   

Before and After:

<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1061.photobucket.com/user/jwlittooy/embed/slideshow/Dash%20Instrument%20Bezel"></iframe>
 
Sorry for the late post....

http://www.littooy.com/hans/
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2015, 11:06:10 PM »
By the way, I originally bought a reproduction.   Though not terribly bad, it was wrong in a few areas, notably the fonts used in some places (the "M" in Volume was an upside down "W").    Also, I did not want to go through the process of having to cut out back faces to accommodate the gauge clusters....again, very happy with the work IS did.
http://www.littooy.com/hans/
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2015, 10:13:53 PM »
Great documentation Hans. Did you walk it in to Mike at SI in North Kingstown or ship it?
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Hans L

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2015, 10:50:05 PM »
Great documentation Hans. Did you walk it in to Mike at SI in North Kingstown or ship it?

Thanks.   I shipped it - in a big box with lots of bubble wrap!
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2015, 05:30:22 PM »
The bezel looks nice, do they rechrome the whole bezel and then paint the bezel, or only rechrome the outlines and lettering ?

Hans L

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2015, 10:48:38 PM »
The bezel looks nice, do they rechrome the whole bezel and then paint the bezel, or only rechrome the outlines and lettering ?

Here's the process, per their website description:  http://www.instrument-specialties.com/services/plastic-chrome-bezels/
http://www.littooy.com/hans/
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 08:52:00 PM »
Hans,
Pic 48/51 shows the restored backside of your cluster, real nice work, I may add, notably there is a metal brace across the back. I have seen this on AC equipped 69s, but never in any other cluster. Surely that was added to keep the dash rigid in handling and not part of your dash?
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2015, 12:29:59 AM »
My dash carrier has one of those braces on it
Tim - 04A VN '69 z/28 69-69 715 ex-E/MP

Hans L

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2015, 02:19:08 AM »
Well, all I can say is the support bracket was there on the bezel when I disassembled the dash and had the correct code "NN".  It's an original console/gauge car and this bezel is original to the car. And being a Z, no AC.   My car is very similar to Tim's.   04B, Van Nuys, 69-69.     

Here's a pic of the bracket before restoration:





http://www.littooy.com/hans/
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Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2015, 10:27:35 PM »
Lloyd  -

I had mine restored by Instrument Specialties.   Very satisfied with their work.  They repaired the radio cut-outs and more.   

Before and After:

<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1061.photobucket.com/user/jwlittooy/embed/slideshow/Dash%20Instrument%20Bezel"></iframe>
 
Sorry for the late post....




Excellent and detailed photos Hans, thank you for posting.
Lloyd
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2015, 11:48:14 PM »
Very nice Hans. This makes me want to rip mine out and send it there for restoration!  ;D

Sauron327

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2015, 02:02:21 AM »
Years ago my friend sent his bezel out for his L-78. After plating, it was my job to mask and blackout. It is not really difficult if one has tenacity and an ability for detail work. Give it a shot. Built, not bought.

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2015, 03:00:57 AM »
I noticed on the IS site that they have a limited supply of PPG Duracryl Suede dash paint, black and mixed colors. First I've seen of that in a while -

Great job on the restored panel, too -
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2015, 12:53:48 PM »
Well, all I can say is the support bracket was there on the bezel when I disassembled the dash and had the correct code "NN".  It's an original console/gauge car and this bezel is original to the car. And being a Z, no AC.   My car is very similar to Tim's.   04B, Van Nuys, 69-69.     

Here's a pic of the bracket before restoration:



The brace is original, but you might be missing a wiring "hook" attached to the brace behind the tach. Absolutely beautiful work. I'd love to have them do mine at some point. Would you mind giving me an idea what I'll be looking at price wise? You can PM if you don't want to post it publicly. Here's my original:



Dave
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z28z11

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2015, 12:20:28 AM »
Nice butchering in the radio faceplate area. Common to have that to repair on almost every one I've ever seen, to some degree. I'm fortunate to only have one to repair out of three (X77) - and I'm considering having these guys take a shot at it.

Repros are pretty good, but you can usually tell them from originals -

Regards,
Steve
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HawkX66

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2015, 12:26:10 AM »
Nice butchering in the radio faceplate area. Common to have that to repair on almost every one I've ever seen, to some degree. I'm fortunate to only have one to repair out of three (X77) - and I'm considering having these guys take a shot at it.

Repros are pretty good, but you can usually tell them from originals -

Regards,
Steve
Yep, someone hacked in a radio back in the 70s. Shame, but it's what I have to work with... The rest of it is in good shape. I'm tossing around the idea of just going with it and cutting it out cleanly and putting in a single din modern head unit. Also thought about grafting a repro radio area on to mine. It wouldn't be hard to do if I had the piece. We'll see...
Dave
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2015, 12:36:25 AM »
Keep your eyes peeled on eBay - I bought a broken carrier that had a perfectly intact radio area on it for $20 bucks, even got a good used fuel gauge with it, plus the clock face plate. I figured it was a good donor, something that a company like IS may be able to piece mine back together with. Be patient -

Regards,
Steve
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HawkX66

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2015, 12:42:22 AM »
Keep your eyes peeled on eBay - I bought a broken carrier that had a perfectly intact radio area on it for $20 bucks, even got a good used fuel gauge with it, plus the clock face plate. I figured it was a good donor, something that a company like IS may be able to piece mine back together with. Be patient -

Regards,
Steve
Great idea. I haven't gotten to the point of putting too much thought into the carrier yet. Now I'll start keeping my eyes out for one so I'll be ready. Thanks.
Dave
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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2015, 01:04:57 AM »
The brace should be on any 69 dash with a center gauge (clock or fuel). It's needed for stiffness.
Kurt S
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z28z11

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2015, 01:11:10 AM »
Pic of what I bought. A little banged up around the edges, but the radio area is reasonable. If I could only figure out how to graft it -

Regards,
Steve
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ko-lek-tor

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2015, 03:12:02 AM »
The brace should be on any 69 dash with a center gauge (clock or fuel). It's needed for stiffness.

This brace thing is a puzzler ,at least to me. I found it in the AIM pg. M35 A10. Yea, that is the first place I look for instrument cluster parts is in auto trans section (sarcasm)!?

 My BB car has a clock, no tach. It did not have a brace, at least when I took the car apart. I bought a cluster eons ago because the radio hole was uncut to replace the butched OE one in the car. It was a non-clock, non-gauge,  AC piece with a brace. Recent parts car has a decent cluster, again, non-clock-gauge car. No brace there either which aligns with Kurt's assessment.
To summarize: 1)OE-w/clock-no brace,2)no-clock, w/AC-had brace,3) no clock-no brace. If I get a chance I will check out the other 2 cars...it may be awhile before I check, this old man does not stand on his head looking up at dashes too well anymore.
On a side, I was sweating bullets cutting out the clock hole and rear defrost hole on replacement dash I am using. It turned out real well. I even transferred the old dash sticker onto the new unit and replicated the insp. crayon mark.
James to strangers, Bentley to friends
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 bought in 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79
1969 307 4spd. coupe Daytona Yellow 711 bought in 85

69pace

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2015, 01:31:59 AM »
I'm still amazed on how great the radio location damage was repaired. You know how many dash carriers have hit the dumpsters that could have been saved. :)
1969 Z-11 350/300 with 4 Speed
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basecoupe#79

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2015, 02:16:41 PM »
Did you ever find a restorer that you were satisfied with Lloyd?

I saw this company talked about on SC site:

http://www.vacuumorna-metal.com/content/restoration


Edgemontvillage

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2015, 04:54:46 AM »
Did you ever find a restorer that you were satisfied with Lloyd?

I saw this company talked about on SC site:

http://www.vacuumorna-metal.com/content/restoration


I am increasingly impressed with the carrier restoration work by instrument Specialties (IS). I have discussed my specific needs with them and they have been helpful and responsive. There are other companies who are capable of doing expert carrier restoration work and those who do plastic chroming, however no others I have seen who perform the quality work IS did for Hans.

Lloyd
1969 RS Z/28 (Brooklyn Project)

69only

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2015, 09:06:46 AM »
  There is a guy on ebay (dberrytfa) 252072649966  would is selling restored dashes.
I need one for my restoration and talked to him on the phone, seemed knowledgeable and his work
looked good in the pictures. I am running a tach with center fuel gauge, he said he would set one up with the correct cut-outs.
I will be talking to him again this week, and probably using one of his units. I will post pix immediately.



starcruser

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Re: 1969 Dash Carrier Restoration Source
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2018, 04:49:21 AM »
There is a lot of good info on the dash carrier here. I just finished one on my 69. I must say being a maintenance tech in a auto plant that the process of manufacturing has come a long way. I decided to buy a carrier rather than ship out. My carrier was just to brittle from time and I guess the summer heat. Anyone doing this yourself just take your time. Take pictures before and just try and have fun with it. I had to cut out for clock, tach, and defroster switch and that made mine a little harder but now it's on the next project.
Long time Camaro man.