Remove, Restore And Replace the Dash Pad
Forty-six years ago automotive excess was in demand. All steel, finned behemoths draped in exotic colors and carrying a literal ton of chromium were the rage! There was no such thing as too much back in the day, just consider the name of the paint color on this Chrysler – Dubonnet! This survivor ’61 Newport has lived in Southern California since birth, and it’s a well-preserved, rust free cruiser. The only noticeable interior damage was created by a mischievous Mother Nature, a cracked and peeling dash pad. This pad is vinyl over a foam cushion without any firm substructure. It simply was fitted over the steel dash and held in place by pins, studs with speed nuts and trim pieces.
The car was brought to Just Dashes, in Van Nuys, CA to have the damaged pad removed and a new recreation installed. The owner was not experienced with this type of work, so he decided to let the experts tackle the R&R, and that was a good decision as it is slightly complicated process. For those of you with vehicles of this vintage who would like to attack the removal procedure, we documented most of the high points that might give you trouble. No special tools are required, just a few hours and a trunk full of patience. Just Dashes craftsmen produce an exact recreation of the original pad and can color it in any original factory hue, or any custom color you might choose. When ordering a replacement pad, it’s a good idea to leave the original in place until you receive the new one so you can compare the mounting points, etc. We will start the removal at the right side and work across to the left. The photos and captions will describe the rest of the journey to achieve a beautiful classic Mopar dash.