Do you see it? You're not looking at a factory dash! This isn't your typical mp3car.com project but I wanted to share it with everyone because of the products and techniques I used.
In September 2005 my ex-business partner and I bought this truck. We closed the company last December. He drove it and I gave him 1 year to get it out of my name. He didn't so I took possession of it last week.
I put a Car PC w/ 15" LCD in our previous Dodge Ram. Through the process I instructed him on doing some of the work. He attempted to do the same to this truck but failed miserably!
After taking possession of the truck I had to either pay several hundred dollars for factory parts or fix the ones I had.
Here is what he left me with:
He cut around where the heater goes so he could use the plastic ring to create a bezel to mount the heater controls in the overhead console like I had done on my other Ram project.
He cut the top of the overhead console off and cut the headliner. He extended the HVAC wires and had been driving around with it just hanging from the roof or half-*** lodged up in the headliner.
My first challenge was extending the length of the overhead console. Luckily he kept the part he cut off the end of it. I used popsicle sticks and some hot glue to temporarily extend it.
Then I covered the front with packing tape and applied Great Stuff foam from the rear. After it had expanded I removed the tape on the front to allow it to continue expansion.
I then used a razor to cut down the foam and removed the popsicle sticks. The foam held the two pieces together well enough. Here is a test fit in the vehicle.
In order to make sure the console had the right contour with the headliner I had to use the Maxim Urethane inside the vehicle. I got the Maxim Urethane from an Automotive Paint Supply store. Not your basic auto parts store. It is a 2-part epoxy that dispenses from a caulk gun. It hardens and appears almost identical to ABS plastic.
I cut a few abs strips and glues them to the foam to provide the urethane something to grip to between the two pieces.
It was a bit runny and impossible to apply to the console while it was upside down. I got the idea to use some clear packing tape. I put one piece across the middle then stuck the nozzle above it and squirted out the urethane. I then added another tape strip and continued doing that until I had the whole area covered.
This urethane takes around 8 minutes to dry! It is sandable in about 20-40 depending on temps.
After removing the tape and sanding the urethane I used some more tape to create some guidlines for filling the edges with urethane.
From there I added more urethan to the front and rear for strength and sanded as necessary. I then used some bondo and spot putty to help even it out.
For the dash I lined it vertically with packing tape and stuck the plastic he had cut out onto it. I measured it and made sure it was positioned evenly.
I used the rest of my urethane filling the cracks but ran out before finished. I had to resort to using some plastic fusion gel to finish it (the white areas)
And here are the pictures of the finished product:
He had never mounted the heated seat switches so I took care of that. I also rewired them since he stupidly wired them to constant which drained the battery every time you left them on!
I had bought a $12 can of SEM Texture Spray but it clogged on me so I had to resort to something else.
Since it was late I went to Walmart and found aerosol drywall texture! It's found in the paint department. After spraying the texture and letting it dry I hit it with 600grit sand paper to knock it down like I wanted it.