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old dash swap (76 out, early style in)

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  • old dash swap (76 out, early style in)

    Hi All-

    Trying to get some info about this, if there is any structural complications
    or headaches in this idea. Want to take the 76 dash out, and put an early style one in. I've learned on here that there is a difference in the column area, so figure I'll need a old column and wheel too. Thanks for having that bit of info on here.

    The idea is to 'reverse' it's age, looks wise- from 76, to 67. All the 76 trim and bits will be removed.

    Is there any difference in the firewall area between a 76 Wag and a pre-new-style dash one- like heater box cutout, control cable routing, etc.? Not afraid to do this, just wonder if any major sheetmetal surgery will be upcoming.

    Also, any thoughts on what a decent old dash might cost? I haven't found one yet. It would be ok if it was an early one without a dash pad, since I hear no one makes FSJ dash pads anyway.

    The Wag is currently getting stripped down for metal and paint, I've picked up a razor grille and some old trim bits. It's in central WA state. Hopefully someone not far from there might be able to help...not sure what it would cost to ship a dash, column, and wheel.

    Any and all comments welcomed, especially anyone who's done this before.
    Thanks for your time, have a good week.

  • #2
    Not sure on your plans...but, if you are parting out your dash, I may be interested in it for my '88. I love the look of the 70's era dashes a lot more than my square "Chrysler" looking dash...
    '83 Scrambler (CJ-8) / 258 / T-5 / D-300 / DANA 30-AMC20 (3.31)
    '88 Grand Wagoneer (SJ) / 360 / TF727 / NP229 / DANA 44 (2.73)
    '05 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) / 4.0L / NSG 370 / NV231 / DANA 30-44 (3.73)
    '15 Wrangler Unlimited (JKU) / 3.6L / 42 RLE / NV 241 / DANA 30-44 (3.73)


    • #3
      Don't forget that swapping your column will also mean figuring out the wiring for:

      -Ignition switch
      -Turn signal switch
      -Cruise Control

      If I were you, I would want to modify the dash you have/combine your current dash with an early dash to keep the GM (tilt?) column. The ignition switch on your column is more robust, and capable of handling more amperage than the early, dash mounted switches. The turn signal switch is readily available (especially as compared to an early tilt column), and more reliable (double-especially as compared to an early tilt column).

      My .02, your mileage may vary. Please remember to drink responsibly. No animals were hurt during the writing of this response.
      You ever wonder what medieval cook looked at the guts of a pig and thought, "I bet if you washed out that poop tube, you could stuff it with meat and eat it."


      • #4
        Thanks for this info

        Hi Guys-

        Thanks for this info, all know-how is appreciated.

        This stuff will have to wait until I get back 'home' to accomplish...figure it's good to get all relevant info and get a plan made before taking stuff apart.
        That won't be until October most likely.

        TW- yeah, if you're not in an immediate hurry, I can keep that in mind, if you like it, you got it. Be warned, it's an odd, light green dash- the Wag is dark metallic green outside, and a seafoamy-green inside.

        442- Thanks much for sharing your knowledge. Figured there would be some differences, but didn't know which ones. Every tidbit is appreciated.

        This Wag is loaded- a/t, QT+low box, p/s, p/b, a/c, tilt, cruise....but thankfully, thankfully, manual windows. I wish it had a manual tailgate window, or that I was smart enough to perhaps, scan, then mill, a crank handle out of STEEL, with broached splines- I keep hearing how the factory crank handles are pot metal, and strip their splines out.

        It would be cool when I'm actually home, to cleanly strip all this gobble-degook off, and trade someone for the bits I'd like to get. But that never seems to happen! Oh well, maybe someday :-)

        Thanks guys for listening, for your help, and good luck with your rigs, too.


        • #5
          I am in no hurry at all. And, the color is no big deal to me. I found some vinyl spray that matches my cordovan interior... Thanks~!
          '83 Scrambler (CJ-8) / 258 / T-5 / D-300 / DANA 30-AMC20 (3.31)
          '88 Grand Wagoneer (SJ) / 360 / TF727 / NP229 / DANA 44 (2.73)
          '05 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) / 4.0L / NSG 370 / NV231 / DANA 30-44 (3.73)
          '15 Wrangler Unlimited (JKU) / 3.6L / 42 RLE / NV 241 / DANA 30-44 (3.73)


          • #6
            I don't know how willing he would be to getting rid of stuff off of it, but I know where an early wag is, I got the nose panel from it for mine (Rhino). Located just out of Roseburg, OR. Don't even know if he would be able to ship it. The basic panel should be a bolt exchange, but I won't swear to it. If he will, be sure to get as much of the wiring harness as you can, to graft stuff around.

            I'll PM some contact info for him to you.
            ASE Master Collision Tech
            "Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

            88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

            Member: FSJ Prissy Restoration Assoc.


            • #7
              Goldhammer/TW, thanks!

              Hi Guys-

              Goldhammer- thanks. I wrote him today before work started. Thanks again much for this tip. Even if it doesn't work out, thanks much for your help.

              TW- no probs, man. 2 guys that I know on here (don't know if the other visits much anymore), have always been helpful to me, so figured why not pay forward the's been tough finding what FSJ stuff I want, but I'm really stubborn :-p And since I'm going 'backwards' with this build, it's even tougher.

              Hopefully something will come thru. When it does, if you still want it, it's yours for the postage/shipping. To be up front, it's not mint, but decent. Couple of the lenses on the gauge cluster are loose. I can fill you in more when I go back home. Maybe I could get the guy helping me to take some pics for you when I get back.

              I think this Wag might have been a 2nd or 3rd car, just because of how NOT beat it is. I've never seen a similar vintage vehicle with even all the original smog junk on it! So far, no cancer has been far. No big
              dents either, just faded green paint.

              Thanks again guys for your time and help. Have a good weekend too.


              • #8
                bmax if I still have it in the fall I've got a early 63 Dash....gutted. But bear in mind what was mentioned in previous post's. Hit me up in the fall and see if I still have it...
                1992 Cherokee XJ Laredo


                • #9
                  JBH, thank you!

                  JBH, thank you for the offer. Sure, if it pans out, that'd be cool.
                  Hopefully all this stuff can work out. I realize what I like is practically extinct,
                  but I'm willing to give it a go.

                  Again, thanks for the offer!

                  Have a good weekend.


                  • #10
                    Hey Brian! There's a new guy on here (or the other Jeep list) by my place with a '65 Wagoneer he's planning to do something with.
                    Jeep gauges are for amusement only. Any correlation between them and reality is purely coincidental.


                    • #11
                      I have a 65 dash going into my 80 Jtruck. It fits fine. I had to drill an additional hole on each side to run a nut/bolt through. I don't have it in the truck right now as I am in the middle (well 8 months into it) of getting it painted so everything is taken off. As for the column I just cut the outer cover on the auto column off right at the bend where it necks down. Then we got it up into the opening just fine. However the surround does not work so having to figure out something when we get it back together. Kenall says 65 chevelle columns fit, so you could go with a flaming river or something like that if you wanted. I will check my work computer on Monday to see if I have any pictures of the temp install.
                      1980 J-10<br />Rusty\'s 4 inch lift<br />2 inch body lift,<br />35 in Xterrains on J20 axles<br />4:30 gears<br />Detroits<br />In-Cab cage thru the dash


                      • #12
                        j10jim- Thank You!


                        Thanks for the offer to help. I'll take whatever info I can get, 'cos I'm sure gonna need it!

                        Also, thanks again to all the other folks who've chimed in, too. Any and all comments, advice, help, is really appreciated.

                        Good luck to all you folks and your rigs, too.