Dashboard Replacement/Repair in Chevy Task-Force Truck Models
Often, the dashboard of a Task-Force Chevy truck has been damaged by someone enlarging the radio opening to install a more modern radio. The easiest option for repair is to cut a patch panel from another dashboard, cut out the damaged part from your dashboard and weld in the patch panel.
Complete replacement of the dashboard is very difficult, due to the many spot welds holding the dash in place. However, it can be done.
Below is a description of how a Task-Force owner performed the job, followed by a description of a patch panel repair method.
Bert: I removed a dash from the cab I will be using. The other dash I removed earlier. The 1st dash was easier, because the spot welds were accessible from the outside. I removed the dash using a “spot weld remover bit” I purchased. The 2nd dash was harder, because the angle of the metal, (the dash is in the way). The way I saw it, I had two options.
1) Drill through the entire cab and dash metal from the outside.
2) Cut the dash off inside, so I could reach the spot welded area with my bit.
I chose option 2, (whether better or not is debatable). It took longer this way I’m sure. And if you choose this route, be sure to cut it past the metal lip that hangs underneath. (I put a few cuts into mine – boo-boo). The only advantage to this is, you will not be drilling holes through the cabs sheet metal. (I saw this as allowing it all retain its strength). Doing it this way, you will have tits of metal that you will have to grind off after you drill it (on both the keeper dash, and the keeper cab). I haven’t re-installed the dash yet, so I’m not sure what I will run into there. Let me know which way you go. (Maybe there is even a better alternative – Like installing a patch panel where your damage is). [See below for a patch panel method.]
Other notes to ponder:
The book called for 34 spot welds across the top, and the 1st dash had 34.
The 2nd dash had 59. I’m not sure why, maybe a new employee on the assembly line wanted to make sure it didn’t fall off. 🙂
I cut the brace on the underside off of the dash on the cab I was keeping, and cut the cab away from the brace on the dash I was keeping. This way, I had lots more room to keep the desired pieces intact, and less damage.
Rich Jones: The dashboard of my 57 had been hacked up for a square radio. I got a patch panel from Brothers Truck Parts and had it put in by a body shop who used a product which works like glue, but permanently bonds metal together. Thus, there was no welding with sparks flying around inside the cab. It worked great. It looks great. And it’s a relatively easy procedure.
For a picture of the patch panel, click here.
For more information on the adhesive used on the patch panel, click here.