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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


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pittsdriver
white-lightning
EconoCarl
Rayallen
Vanish
G-Man
sasktrini
66e100pu
12 posters

    Dash Adventure

    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:43 am

    Hi all. Just thought I’d introduce myself after lurking on the board for a while! Mine is a 66 P/U with a 302/C4/ 9 in. (3.50 posi).

    I might as well take this opportunity to share my latest project while I’m at it too.

    I was never too impressed with the stock dash set-up and I was trying to keep an old-skool look, so I wanted to use a cast aluminum gauge panel. The problem is that the panel is about ½” thick and if you mount it on top of the dash, it, well, looks like you just mounted it to the top of the dash. I used ½” square stock to build a “surround” for the panel and cut 16ga. flat stock for the face so that the finished product would allow the gauge panel to sit flush with the face of the dash. Had to remove a large portion of the stock dash, fit the panel, and weld it in. Also, I mig’ed the holes closed for the dash pad at the same time. I finished the panel and holes with body lead, and a thin skim coat of filler. It looks like a fairly simple project, but the length of the dash, combined with the long expanse of flat metal makes achieving a flawless finish quite involved. I have about 80 -100 hours into it so far, and it’s almost ready for paint. Every time I think I’ve nailed it, I find another imperfection that will be magnified when the color coat goes on – but I’ve convinced myself I’m getting close!
    Jim
    So-Cal

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    sasktrini
    sasktrini


    Number of posts : 2067
    Location : Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Registration date : 2008-05-20

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    Post by sasktrini Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:05 pm

    Welcome! Very cool! Does your 302 have valve covers and breather like that?
    G-Man
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    Number of posts : 30743
    Location : Fowlerville, MI
    Age : 62
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    Post by G-Man Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:42 pm

    Very nice work!!! Welcome to the site.
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    Post by Guest Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:30 pm

    I like the A/C vents in the dash skirt. I plan on doing the same thing.
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:25 am

    One thing leads to another....dash, then paint, then redo the doghouse and battery box, then get rid of the rats nest wiring, repaint the column and headlight buckets, fatmat, and who knows what else. It really never ends!
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    Vanish
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    Post by Vanish Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:43 am

    VERY ... NICE !!!!!!

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    Post by Guest Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:17 am

    Very nice. I like the gauge panel.
    Rayallen
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    Number of posts : 648
    Location : San Antonio, TX
    Registration date : 2011-06-27

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    Post by Rayallen Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:29 am

    Looks kick ass!
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:49 am

    Thanks for the kind words, guys! Can't wait to mount the dash skirt back on, but I've got to mount the A/C evaporator and run all the hoses first. Somebody posted some time back about using a shop-vac nozzle as a defroster duct replacement - gave that idea a try and it works out far nicer than that molded cardboard nonsense Ford originally installed.
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    Post by Guest Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:55 am

    Where are you located in So. Cal?
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:16 pm

    vanishingbreed wrote:Where are you located in So. Cal?

    Ventura County
    G-Man
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    Post by G-Man Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:53 pm

    Looks great, that's a classic color for a early
    EconoCarl
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    Number of posts : 1109
    Location : Beaumont, TX
    Registration date : 2008-05-19

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    Post by EconoCarl Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:10 pm

    Lookin' good Jim. Probably the most innovative dash I've seen in an Econoline!
    white-lightning
    white-lightning


    Number of posts : 237
    Location : Salem, Va
    Registration date : 2011-02-24

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    Post by white-lightning Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:16 pm

    I like it. Very nice work.
    pittsdriver
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    Number of posts : 335
    Location : Twin Falls, Idaho
    Registration date : 2010-08-12

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    Post by pittsdriver Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:51 pm

    What wiring kit did you use? Also show lots of pics of the A/C install as I want to do the same thing on my A100. Don
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    Post by Guest Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:53 pm

    Don I have used painless and they work well but I have a Centech for my 61 that is nicer and has a very nice fuse panel.
    66e100pu
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    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:40 pm

    pittsdriver wrote:What wiring kit did you use? Also show lots of pics of the A/C install as I want to do the same thing on my A100. Don

    I had an E-Z Wire harness left over from another project that I used. Not my favorite - if I didn't have this on hand I would have gone for a harness from Kwikwire (kwikwire.com). I've used them all at one time or another and the Kwikwire package seems to be the easiest to work with. All the harness kits are a little problematic in Econolines because of the engine location. Some wires are short going into the doghouse, and too much wiring up front for the lights. The rear section and dash are the only two that work out right. Kwikwire kits run about $100 less than Painless, and $100 more than EZ-Wire. I think the Kwikwire kit is as good as Painless, but a little less costly. In any case, any kit beats 45-50 year old wiring!

    The A/C is from Vintage Air, and the evaporator is their "compact" unit. I'm going to try and mock-up the install this weekend, and I'll post some pictures. The A/C install for all the other components is fairly straight forward, but fitting the evaporator behind the dash (trying to hide it as much as possible) looks like its going to be a major PIA. The support shown in one of the photos for the fuse block was built primarily as an evaporator support, 'cause bolting stuff to the nose just ain't gonna cut it.
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:53 pm

    EconoCarl wrote:Lookin' good Jim. Probably the most innovative dash I've seen in an Econoline!

    Thanks, Carl. Not sure about innovative, but I was trying to get a simple, clean, peroid correct look. The truck is not a bone stock retoration, but I didn't want it to have a 2011 "street rod" interior either. I think I got pretty close to what I was after...now it's time to try and figure out the rest of the interior. I think I'm leaning toward tuck & roll.
    pittsdriver
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    Number of posts : 335
    Location : Twin Falls, Idaho
    Registration date : 2010-08-12

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    Post by pittsdriver Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:51 am

    Thanks for the Kwikwire link, great looking products. Are you going to mount your condenser on the radiator or horizontally with its own fan? One thing nice about the A100 it has that fresh air plenum on the inside of the nose that can be used to mount stuff. I do like your dash, it really came out nice. Don
    66e100pu
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    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:39 pm

    Sorry guys, but the A/C evaporator mock-up will have to wait until next weekend. Got tied up with the final install of the harness which took priority since the truck is a non runner without it.

    For those considering a harness install, I can tell you that an E-Z Wire kit is NOT the way to go. Their wire lengths are almost all too short, and the rear section only makes it to about 6” in front of the rear tire. Lots of unnecessary splicing! Use a Kwik Wire kit if you can – it will save you a ton of grief.

    I had about 6 hours of time sorting the harness, making the sub-harnesses, and installing the gauge harness, ignition switch, and headlight switch before it was draped in the truck. Routing it inside the truck took another 2 hours, and the final install took 8 hours. Your times may vary. If you are a technician, or have installed a harness before you should be able to get it done in about 16 hours total. If you are a DYI’er, I would plan the better part of 2 to 3 weekends.

    You will need about 1,000 zip ties, a ton of connectors, and physical therapy for whichever hand you squeeze the crimping pliers with! It’s a lot of work, but it is a worthwhile upgrade.
    pittsdriver
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    Number of posts : 335
    Location : Twin Falls, Idaho
    Registration date : 2010-08-12

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    Post by pittsdriver Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:06 pm

    You didn't get a ratcheting crimper? Worth the cost if you are doing a lot of wiring. A tie wrap puller/cutter is also a must unless you hand tie the harness like the last airplane I built. Don
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    Post by dix Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:11 pm

    Very nice job on the gauge pod. I'm thinking can you use the same material on the glove box door and the steering wheel support bracket.??? just a idea...
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:42 am

    Still hacking away…
    The original plan was to mount the evaporator as high as possible, but in the end the best spot was almost dead center and lower down. When you get in there, there is a serviceability issue with wiper components and other stuff behind the dash. It would be tough to disassemble the A/C later on to repair something else. Also, the routing of the defroster hoses and outlet hoses to the vents in the dash skirt have a much smoother path. Finally, the pressure hose routing dictates a more central mounting position because those barrier hoses are not the best making any tight bends. With the dash skirt installed, only the lower portion of the evaporator case is visible so the initial positioning worked our very well. I’ll keep posting the progress if and when I make any!

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    sasktrini
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    Number of posts : 2067
    Location : Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Registration date : 2008-05-20

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    Post by sasktrini Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:28 am

    Keep pluggin away at it... great comments on factors affecting your install decisions. I'm certain it will be helpful.

    I wonder if custom wiper linkage would allow to relocate the wiper motor, say to move it behind the glove box...
    66e100pu
    66e100pu


    Number of posts : 199
    Location : So-Cal
    Registration date : 2011-04-02

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    Post by 66e100pu Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:33 am

    Another quick update…progress has been a little slow, it seems time & $$$ are always an issue. I finally got the dash skirt fitted around the evaporator. It required trimming of about ¾” the entire length of the unit for proper clearance. I mounted the two relays on the fabricated panel that supports the evaporator case, as well as the fuse block. What starts out as a cavernous space behind the dash quickly gets filled with defroster and A/C ducting, so on the final install its best to build everything like you life depends on it because taking it all apart to reach a bad wiper motor, or some switch will not be any fun.

    The standard Vintage Air control panel just fits the flat section of the skirt with very little room left over. The great thing about fiberglass is that it easy to make an initially smaller cut and file the opening for an exact fit. The bulkhead connector is positioned about as far right on the floor as possible. The two connectors closest to the evaporator are for the heater. Those hoses are far more flexible than the A/C barrier hose, and can make the “close-in” bend much easier. Another issue is insulation and carpet. I am setting it up so that both can be removed without having to disconnect any hoses – I would hate to have to evacuate and recharge the A/C just to get the carpet out!

    Since I rarely keep a project for very long after it’s done, I am taking photos of the final install, and using a label maker to identify the various relays, etc. Nothing more frustrating than looking at somebody’s project a few years down the road and trying to figure out how in the heck is this thing wired-up, and even if I keep it long-term, I won’t remember what the heck I did either!

    The compressor, evaporator, control, and dryer are done, so the condenser and hose fabrication are still left to do. I will most likely go with a remote condenser (or maybe 2 in tandem). Since I’m running a SB V-8, I don’t need the additional heat load in the doghouse. The remote condensers can’t be mounted flat because the oil will not stay in suspension, so to mount it at 15 degrees or more will require some bracket fabrication. I’ll post up some pictures of what I finally come up with.

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