Are you currently stuck in the house and looking for something to do? Since we are all spending considerable time at home, many car enthusiasts are looking for projects they can do to upgrade their cars. If your interior is one place that could use some attention, how much thought have you given to updating your dash?
Classic Dash understands that some folks get a little intimidated when it comes to tackling any wiring projects in their ride. But the reality is, most anyone with basic mechanical skills, patience, and common hand tools can accomplish the task of installing a new dash cluster in an afternoon.
Classic Dash is a manufacturer of composite, bolt-in replacement instrument panels for nearly 150 different muscle cars, classic trucks, restomods, and race-car applications. The company offers a large assortment of options to mesh with one’s project caliber and budget. In addition to selling bare panels that enthusiasts can use to mount their own gauges, the company sells complete packages with a choice of 25 different-style analog gauges and digital panels from AEM, Holley, and Racepak.
Installation is easy, and the first step requires removing the factory panel. This is really straightforward, and typically, the gauge panel can be removed by loosening a few screws that hold it in place. There are a bunch of wire back there, but in many applications, removal is as easy as unplugging the gauge harness from the main loom.
Next, connect the gauge wiring to the car’s harness and install the new cluster. Most installations come complete with a harness for the gauges that have a connector to mate with the harness that is to be integrated with the factory connector. If no factory connector is used, each wire is color-coded and imprinted with its actual function. A fully illustrated instruction booklet takes you through each phase. The wires are fitted with scabbard-style female connectors that are pressed onto the blades on the gauges.
An important word of caution: the sending units that come with the gauges must replace the factory parts to ensure accuracy. On a similar note, fuel gauges come with several ohm ranges, and care must be taken to match the OEM tank sending unit.
Splicing wires is accomplished with furnished crimp-style connectors with heat-shrink sleeves to cover the joint. However, for extra “insurance” it is recommended to solder them as well.
Many Classic Dash panels come with provisions for light switches, A/C vents, etc. The panels are manufactured from a UV-resistant ABS composite material and are as strong — or even stronger — than factory panels. Most panels for analog gauges are available in matte black, brushed aluminum, or carbon fiber. Digital panels are available in matte black only.
Gauge selections range from premium Auto Meter and Classic Instruments Autocross series gauges to budget-priced units. For details visit www.ClassicDash.com or call (866) 882-3525 for personalized assistance.