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Old 03-03-2002, 10:32 PM   #1
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Dash Repair Questions

Howdy all,

Has anyone performed repairs or replacement of dashboard components? I need to repair or replace the heater / air / vent / fan control on my '84 345. I'm looking for information on: 1. Where to find a replacement. 2. How to get the old one out. 3. How to get the new in.

Also, the ICC Blink switch on the upper part of the dash fried. Any idea where to get a replacement and how to replace it?

I appreciate any input.

Jim
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Old 04-29-2002, 11:57 PM   #2
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Motorhome Dash Repair

I have embarked on a project to repair of the dash board and related equipment on my 345. The dash is steel with a Plexiglas overlay. The Plexiglas piece is cracked and I hope to be able to replace it. The Airstream Factory does not have the part. Is the part available elsewhere? (See photo).

Any advice / thoughts / ideas on how to go about "manufacturing" a replacement? What kind of shop might be able to do this for me?

Also need to replace a couple of switches (couple are loose in attached photo). Any info on availability?

Any advice on make and model of potential replacement gauges? What have others used? Mechanical / electrical? Any one installed mechanical gauges? How much work was it?

As for the dash itself, only thing holding it in place is the ignition and headlight switch. The bezel for the ignition has loosened, but seems to have reached a point where I think it is just spinning and not getting any looser. Any advice on how to remove it from the dash? The headlamp switch poses a problem as well. I have not figured out how to remove the knob. It looks like the knob should pull off, but it has resisted my efforts and I don't want to break it. Does anyone know of an easy way to remove it?

All comments / advice is appreciated.

Jim
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Old 04-30-2002, 08:12 AM   #3
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My brother owns an industrial engraving business and probably could duplicate the dash. I am going to have him do the control panel on my 68 Globe Trotter. I just don't think you would want to pay what it would cost. I would guess the higher half of a thousand dollar bill. A one off copy is very time consuming and requires a lot of talent.

So you might want to start looking at a industrial engraving business in your area. You will have to find one which is interested in doing the work as most of the shops like to do production work.

Jim N5TJZ
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Old 04-30-2002, 09:45 AM   #4
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New dash panels

I have made many dash panels. They are not difficult dependant on the materials selected for the body. Making a new dash is a good opportunity to make lots of changes to the factory layout and content. Very few tools are required to make koles and cutouts. After making a pattern of the dash, I make a few blank dash trials to see what gage will be located where. I've changed layouts as many a 5 times to get the correct positions for the gages. The gage choices are very subjective. My needs require a tach, speedometer,oil pressure,water temperature. voltmeter, fuel, clock and trans temp. The gage are mostly standard at 2.125 diameter for the small gages. The big gages are mostly 3.375 diameter. All new gages come with a template for hole size. One of the last dashes I made, I used a single dash temperature gage connected to a rotary switch. This switch allowed the gage to indicate the temperature of the engine water, automatic trans oil, rear axle oil, engine compartment and outside air. A couple other nice gages are a exhaust gas temp gage called a pyrometer and a turbo boost gage. Great dashes can be made from just about any sheet material. I'm partial to aluminium, and abs sheets. A look in the phone book under plastic-pvc sheet goods will yield some options. Frank
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Old 04-30-2002, 10:20 AM   #5
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Dash fabrication

The holes for the gages are very easily made using a hole saw the correct size. The hole saw should be turned very slowly about 36 feet per second. Too fast makes chattering and gaulding of the part. Some guys make a nice dash panel from aircrsft plywood with a wood grain plastic laminate for estetics. Using button head stainless machine screws makes a great looking finished product.. All the gages must be grounded. A couple ground studs makes connections a little easier. I use a 4 wire quick disconnect plug for attachment. The plugs are color coded with electrician's colored marking tape. I've also used model paints in several colors. Dash is easily removed for any additions.
Frank
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Old 05-01-2002, 06:39 PM   #6
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Jim, have you tried unscrewing the knob for the lightswitch? If it is screwed on, you may have to use a rag and a pair of pliers to hold the extended stem, since the light switch also has a dimmer for the gauges.
Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 05-01-2002, 07:14 PM   #7
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Removing lite switch from dash

The lite switches knobs are usually removed by pressing a raised spring loaded button inside dash at top of switch..... Ford uses a set screw into shaft thru knob, as Chrysler uses set screw and threaded knob. The dash ignition switches are attached by removing the center of the lock and then unscrewing the trim bezel from the switch. Jim, please send a picture of your dash ignition switch. The wiring should be removed from switch before switch removal to prevent any damage to connector or switch. The GM type switches have a small hole next to the key hole to allow key portion to be removed....Frank
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:17 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for your replies. I have not had any time to work on the coach with the exception of a couple hours today. I was able to remove the dash. Using a wire and the key, I some how popped the ignition key switch out. Silly me, once I got it out, I put it back in and could not duplicate the previous gyrations that led to its removal. Something to (re) figure out later.

I could not remove the headlight knob, but removed the wire block so I could get the dash home. Frank, there is a spring-loaded button on top of the switch that I will try for removing the knob.

I have not found a source for the "dust cover", which is what I understand the Plexiglas piece is called. No luck yet on the switches either. In one small victory, my wife was successful in finding a replacement for the broken heater / air-conditioner control. Turns out it is not a GM part, but rather Dodge. The part is still available new from any dodge dealership.

I am undecided as to how extensive this project will become. If I can get replacement switches and a suitable replacement for the dust cover, I will put the dash back together close to original. If I can not find suitable replacements, I may look for new components and attempt something like Frank displays in his photos.

Jim
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Old 05-05-2002, 11:04 PM   #9
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Lite switch and ignition switch removal

Hey Jim, you are getting close..Yahoo
If you push down on the spring button on top of lite switch........the stem and knob can be removed.
And the ignition switch is really easy.. Place key into lock.Insert opened paper clip into small hole. Turn key counterclockwise. Lock assembly will fall out in hand. To reinstall, remove paper clip, with key in lockset place into hole and turn clockwise to right. Ya did it.

Frank
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Old 05-06-2002, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Frank. You make is sound so easy, the voice of experience!

A brief update: I have not yet found a replacement for the dust cover. We are investigation replicating the piece. Ann got prices from Henderson Glass to cut a piece of Plexiglas for $250. Graphics would have to be applied elsewhere. She also got an estimate from a sign shop to completely replicate the dust cover, cut Plexiglas and graphics complete for $410! I have to believe we can improve on that. I'm beginning to think about other materials I could use while retaining most of the original dash. the

Jim
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Old 05-06-2002, 11:18 PM   #11
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Dash restoration or all new

If ya wanna factory resto vehicle, ya gotta pay. But if ya want a dash better than the original..... Build all new. I'll help. All that is required is a pattern or profile of where dash is to fit. The factory gages are designed and made with cost the biggest factor. Modern gages do not need any cover. Look into any airplane and check their plan and layout. Just for grins make a pattern....Send it to me and I'll do a layout for ya.... Frank

You decide the gages....For NO cost to ya...
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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Im repairing my 1985 345 dash as well
I just need a new Heater/ac fan controll unit
anyone seen those anywhere?
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul J Mauro View Post
Im repairing my 1985 345 dash as well
I just need a new Heater/ac fan controll unit
anyone seen those anywhere?
Paul, there is another thread in one of the AS motorhome forums talking about this same thing.

The Heater/AC fan control unit is a Chrysler product from the early to mid 80s. I went to a junk yard last year and salvaged several to have as spares four our 84 310. Typical cost was about $25. I have also seen them on eBay from time to time.

There are slight variations of these units but for the most part they are the same.

So head to your local salvage yard and check out some mid 80s Chrysler vans, pickups and mini-vans.

Brad
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:44 AM   #14
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I replaced the dash in my 89 but still have the old unit if someone could use it. I will post pics of it.

Oliver
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