: Dash Swap
02-18-2003, 08:18 PM
Getting alot of these I see.
Anyone know what other dashes would fit in my 81 elcamino? I would like something with a better area for guages. I see monte Carlo would work ... anything with a real classy look to it?
02-19-2003, 06:03 AM
There are two styles of dashes when it comes to gauge clusters that will fit, the 78 up to the 81 I believe had the wide sweep speedometer, the type you mention, out of a Monte Carlo is also the same type in the 82 and later Elkys. Both will fit, but it's the wiring for the guage clusters that differs. If you get the dash out of a later Elky or Monte Carlo, you'll need the wiring harness to go with it, some automotive wiring knowledge would be very useful and a lot of patience and oh yea, I hope your not color blind. Having a shop manual that has the wiring diagrams will be invaluable. There is some more useful info in some of the other past forum subjects concerning dashes and gauge clusters, read through them completely before you attempt this. You don't want to start riping out your gauge cluster, and then having to start tracking down parts that may be hard to find in useable condition. There are also other dashes that will fit that vary in style, Olds Cutlass, Buick Regals and even some Grand Prixs, also a Grand National if you wanted to swap in a turbo drivetrain, but I think the Elky and Monte Carlo dashes have the best appearance. Lot of work and headaches if your unsure of what your doing.
02-19-2003, 08:04 PM
I do have all the diagrams and such for the elcamino's wiring...
I do have the automotive skills to do such [still hoping I have the patience]
I love my el camino, but I would like a more moderm interior look. Is there anything I can do to get a sleek design in there?
Also, I do currently have the sweep gauge. I am not a fan of this design at all. I would like to put some gauge clusters into it. Is this possible without upgrading the dash? That is honestly the main reason I would do this. I would love a more modern "carbon" look inside though.
Any help would be appreciated.
02-20-2003, 09:19 AM
SUMMIT RACING sells a digital gauge cluster specifically for the dash, DAKOTA DIGITAL can convert a gauge cluster (like the one out of the MONTE CARLO you are considering) to digital. You can also build one yourself if your handy enough, using AUTOMETER gauges, which is what I plan for a spring project.
02-20-2003, 08:02 PM
To be honest I really like the original look of dashboards. If I didn't paint my Elky than I wouldn't even be replacing the dash. However i think that a tan dash board in a blue and black car just doesn't go well. So I am put in a blue interior and switch the dash also so to blue a dash blue. Nice dash however I still have the same problem of no dash plaque. I now have a lead on the plastic dash bezel but no plaque. So if anyone has any info on how to get one please tell me.
02-20-2003, 08:12 PM
This what my custom cluster looks like. Took a little work but I like the way it came out.
02-21-2003, 09:52 AM
Yeah, now thats what I'm talkin about, I plan on doing something like that also, nice job Poltergeist.
02-21-2003, 10:07 PM
very nice!!! Now that is a monte carlo base right?
02-21-2003, 11:00 PM
The dash pod cover is for a Monte but the pod itself is from my El Camino, I still need to dye it black later to match (original brown color right now). I'm using the Monte dash pieces because most of the interior is going to be blacks & grays. The red pin stripe is a bonus for me as that is going to be the accent color for it. On the pod I had to cut most of the back portion of it for the gauges to go in.
03-06-2003, 08:11 PM
Last year I updated my dash guage pod with Phantom white-faced guages and had the pod recoverd at my local upholstery shop. It looked so good I knew I couldn't just redye or put a dash cover on, so, I bought a used dash on ebay and have been working on it since. So far I have filled in the outside speaker holes, cut off the wings at the ends of the dash where the dash meets the door, enlarged the control area to hold a LCD. XM radio and A/C head. It goes to the shop as soon as I get my ride back from the paint shop. The guage panel has the a/c outlet on the left and a camaro light switch on the right. I used Vintage air outlets. I don't know if I like the chrome look. Might have to have them powdercoated to get the ultra black look. www.okhuskers.com/dashsm.jpg
That's one of the better conversion jobs I've seen...I hope you kept copious notes for when we start asking questions...
03-26-2003, 09:02 AM
some advice please. i have a 71 454 that i am redoing the interior on. switching from bench to buckets, etc. i would like to do a dash conversion to ss type (round instruments). i have a non standard (hei) ignition. how hard a conversion is it, what tricks or pitfalls should i be aware of? what must i do to use the tach considering my ignition??
thanks for the help and suggestions.
04-15-2003, 10:38 PM
I did Similar work as Poltergeist but left it simple in front of my face.
check this out
http://188.8.131.52/billys_1982_el_camino/interior4.jpg :D still under construction. but so far. thats my idea
04-15-2003, 10:41 PM
just another angle. of the dash, its covered in black tweed. and nevermind that pathetic steering wheel 8O http://184.108.40.206/billys_1982_el_camino/interior2.jpg
04-23-2003, 06:37 PM
78-81 Elky Monte and malibu dashes are the exact same dash.
82-88 Elky Monte and Malibu dashes are the exact same dash.
78-88 elkys were all available with round gauges and available with a tach.
The 78-81 and 82-88 dash can be interchanged as long as associating vents etc are also swapped.
04-28-2003, 03:30 AM
What year did GM switch from the vinyl that always cracks to a harder surface that doesn't? I had an Olds Cutlass with a similiar dash that was a different surface that didn't crack.
04-28-2003, 12:48 PM
Just a suggestion but, you can buy the full face dash cap now for the 78-87 Elkys. They look good and don't crack and installed correctly it is difficult to tell it is a cap. The best ones even have the openings on the top for the speakers so that you can use the Elky's orignal speaker grilles.
07-04-2003, 01:16 PM
Bought a digital dash from Summit. They have it listed for a Monte Carlo but called Nordskog (Mfg.) and they assured me it was a bolt in fit for el camino. Doing it as part of conversion to LS1 (gluttion for punishment). Blacked out face lights up with digital display when key is turned on. You have to buy an adapter for older trannys with mechanical speedos but thats about 50 i think. Dash was 430 out the door at Summitt.
07-04-2003, 04:10 PM
The 78 El Camino I bought as my next restoration project had the dash painted silver and purple so needless to say the car is being gutted for a rotisserie restoration.
I will be installing dash, air,power windows, cruise and tilt steering I removed from an 83 Grand Lemans wagon (same as grand prix/Bonneville). It comes with the gauge package and woodgrain inserts and looks pretty classy. The Vehicle wiring harness including fuse box came out as 1 unit so installation should be a snap.