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Old 10-17-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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Dumb dashboard idea

I have to confess that I just don't particularly like the dashboard in my '89 345. Especially not the bad fake plastic walnut, but also not the shape of it, nor the arrangement of instruments and controls. I really do like the early 1980's look, like the 1982 280 dash, and also late 70's Argosy dashboards look really neat. If I were to be stupid enough to think of swapping for this other style, would either one fit? Has anyone ever done this? I presume a person would have to take the whole fiberglass shell from the front and transplant it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
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Also understand that the Air Conditioning system on the early ones was very different from those on the later ones, and did not work as well. It would be another substantial change to work out.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:40 PM   #3
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Also understand that the Air Conditioning system on the early ones was very different from those on the later ones, and did not work as well. It would be another substantial change to work out.
I was thinking it would only be a little ducting and vents I'd be changing, because everything else is buried way down below. My understanding was that the dash is carried on a thin fiberglass shell. I certainly would not want to start messing with changing the dash AC!
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
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The controls on the old ones are different, the heater is very different, the AC unit on the old ones is very much like the old "hang under the dash" units which were retrofitted to cars in the 60's, only hidden behind the dash and is not integrated with the heater.

The newer units like the one you have now have an integrated heating/cooling unit, vacuum controls and a lot of other little differences in where they are located and how they work. You may be able to retrofit your newer unit's ducts to the old unit's outlets but it will not be at all easy.

BTW, I had one of each, a '78 Argosy with the old system, and an '83 310 with the new system.

And have you ever looked at the wiring mess behind your dash now? It is pretty amazing!

Anything can be done of course, I only wanted to give you some heads up on the challenges you will face.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
The controls on the old ones are different, the heater is very different, the AC unit on the old ones is very much like the old "hang under the dash" units which were retrofitted to cars in the 60's, only hidden behind the dash and is not integrated with the heater.

The newer units like the one you have now have an integrated heating/cooling unit, vacuum controls and a lot of other little differences in where they are located and how they work. You may be able to retrofit your newer unit's ducts to the old unit's outlets but it will not be at all easy.

BTW, I had one of each, a '78 Argosy with the old system, and an '83 310 with the new system.

And have you ever looked at the wiring mess behind your dash now? It is pretty amazing!

Anything can be done of course, I only wanted to give you some heads up on the challenges you will face.
You might have convinced me........ But the plastic walnut HAS to go. When I step into the 345. it`s like entering a nice old wooden boat, like a Chris Craft, except for the cockpit area. I shall have to change the dashboard to something more Chris Craft-like, either brushed aluminum or genuine wood with a deep smooth varnish, maybe teak and mahogany combined, and get the speedo and tacho up where they are the focus of view, with other instruments and lights around them, or maybe on a hinged side panel that swings around and into view.

On the general theme of design, I think the high point of AS motorhome design was the Argosy..... the interiors always look very integrated and practical, with no wasted space. The later Classics sometimes show a sloppiness and wastefulness in their design. The exception being the 250, which seems to be much leaner and very practical, but then is probably just an Argosy floorplan updated.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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Your dashboard ideas wanted

I now realise that I`m far from being the first to want to change the late 80`s dashboard. I`ve found a couple of really neat ideas from previous threads, but if you have pictures of your dashboard/cockpit makeover, I`d love to see them.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Hi Punch,

I thought that '82 dash looked familiar! Here is a pic after I finished painting the dash and finished the cab. I had once thought about upgrading the dash until I really thought through the effort and at that point the '82 dash started to really grow on me. I think I had posted some pics on "Dadstoy" of the cab with the dash removed.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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Hi Punch,

I thought that '82 dash looked familiar! Here is a pic after I finished painting the dash and finished the cab. I had once thought about upgrading the dash until I really thought through the effort and at that point the '82 dash started to really grow on me. I think I had posted some pics on "Dadstoy" of the cab with the dash removed.
Aha! That's who I stole it from! I am always copying pictures I like, and usually don't make a note of where I got them. I shall check out your album then for the pictures wuith the dash removed. That is a really nice looking dash, especially the way you have done it, and would still be my first choice for modifying or replacing the exisitng one. I like the nice fresh looking colours surrounding it, and on door paneling etc.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punch View Post
I now realise that I`m far from being the first to want to change the late 80`s dashboard. I`ve found a couple of really neat ideas from previous threads, but if you have pictures of your dashboard/cockpit makeover, I`d love to see them.
I started this a couple of years ago, and haven't wrapped it up yet. In hindsight, I would cut the dash down to the lowest level possible in front of the passenger. This would allow room to put his/her feet up on top and really enjoy a nice reclined position. The limited leg room makes the right seat a cramped place to spend a lot of time.

The vacant space toward the right side of the dash will be feature a fold down shelf that might reveal an iPad behind it.

The former glove box is now a fold down panel with various switches and indicator lights.

The radio, Nav, glove box, back-up camera screen, etc will all be located in a redesigned overhead console.

I hope I live to see it all completed.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by streamquest View Post
I started this a couple of years ago, and haven't wrapped it up yet. In hindsight, I would cut the dash down to the lowest level possible in front of the passenger. This would allow room to put his/her feet up on top and really enjoy a nice reclined position. The limited leg room makes the right seat a cramped place to spend a lot of time.

The vacant space toward the right side of the dash will be feature a fold down shelf that might reveal an iPad behind it.

The former glove box is now a fold down panel with various switches and indicator lights.

The radio, Nav, glove box, back-up camera screen, etc will all be located in a redesigned overhead console.

I hope I live to see it all completed.
That is nice! I am definitely torn between the marine wood look and the clean metal look.. Yours is speedboast for sure, and I really like it. Where did you get the A/C outlets and the gauges? Did you find all the gauges that were in the original set, I'm thinking specifically of vacuum and air suspension pressure gauges, which I thought might be hard to find?
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #11
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Some more boat ideas:
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
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Vents and Gauges

Hi Punch,

The gauges are from a company called Marshall. They were great to deal with, and had pretty much everything that I was looking for with the white face retro look. They custom labeled "front air" and "rear air" pressure gauges for me. They also hooked me up with a guy that made the clock to match.

The A/C vents are from Vintage Air. Those guys are big in the custom hot rod air conditioning business. They also produce an assortment of switches, latches, etc. Some cool stuff.

I went with engine turned aluminum to be consistent with that early airplane esthetic, which is where these Mohos really come from. My design inspiration is some combination of the Spirit of St Louis, Jules Verne's Nautilus, and the Starship Enterprise.
Wood has the obvious advantages of being easier to work with, but unless its done REALLY well, you can easily succumb to that homemade look. I also think that you can be heading into a potential conflict with the woods and finishes that already exist within your coaches interior. The standard of Teak and Mahogany brightwork that you find in a vintage Chris Craft would make any Airstream's Oak interior pale by comparison. Just my humble opinion.

In any case, have fun!
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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Hi Punch,

The gauges are from a company called Marshall. They were great to deal with, and had pretty much everything that I was looking for with the white face retro look. They custom labeled "front air" and "rear air" pressure gauges for me. They also hooked me up with a guy that made the clock to match.

The A/C vents are from Vintage Air. Those guys are big in the custom hot rod air conditioning business. They also produce an assortment of switches, latches, etc. Some cool stuff.

I went with engine turned aluminum to be consistent with that early airplane esthetic, which is where these Mohos really come from. My design inspiration is some combination of the Spirit of St Louis, Jules Verne's Nautilus, and the Starship Enterprise.
Wood has the obvious advantages of being easier to work with, but unless its done REALLY well, you can easily succumb to that homemade look. I also think that you can be heading into a potential conflict with the woods and finishes that already exist within your coaches interior. The standard of Teak and Mahogany brightwork that you find in a vintage Chris Craft would make any Airstream's Oak interior pale by comparison. Just my humble opinion.

In any case, have fun!
Thanks for all of that. I see the aviation theme now, rather than the speedboat theme. You could well be right on the wood, and yes it is difficult to avoid the homemade look without buying some expensive tools I'm unlikely to use again, or finding a professional willing to help. I must say though that I think the oak interior on my MH bears up pretty well in comparison to boat oak interiors I've seen, and getting hold of some quality brass hardware would help that, but the clean metal look does appeal, and would be easier to do myself. I have seen one other neat mod of the Classic cockpit, attached below, where the metal has obviously been done by a real professional, beyond a standard I could hope to do myself, and it looks nice.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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.... I think I had posted some pics on "Dadstoy" of the cab with the dash removed.
Dadstoy..... I haven't been able to find your pictures... looked for a gallery and looked at your dashboard threads, but still not found them.
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