: Dash Caps
My dash has really started to split, either that or I keep staring at it more and more and it bugs me a little more every day.
Has anyone installed a dash cap or full face cap? Are they as easy to install as all the evil bay sellers claim. How about fit and color matching?
01-23-2003, 11:20 AM
I bought one to install on ELT1, but later found a new dash cheap. The one I bought was the half cap, looked kind of cheesy and came black, with a tube of silicone to glue it to the dash. Never used it yet.
01-23-2003, 11:27 AM
The dash caps(at least the ones I have seen) are really cheesy. They are just molded plastic :? , held on with velcro or glue to your existing dash.
IMO- The carpet covers are better than the plastic caps are.
Don't know for sure, but i think the main part of the later model elky dash is still available from gm for like $600 8O or so... Might check with some of the suppliers- Elky store, Year-one, etc etc
You might also ask a local upholstery shop what they would charge to pull it out and re-cover it in vinyl. I have seen some custom-recovered dashes in late model elkys like yours and they can look pretty good.
Anyway... I know your pain... my 75 elky had a big chunk taken out of the middle of its dash. It drove me nuts looking at it everyday, I never did get it fixed either. :roll:
01-29-2003, 04:50 PM
How about some wall-to-wall?
I put a J.C. Whitney dash rug on my 79 Elky dash. It was held in place with little velcro tabs and looked really good. The dash had cracks in the center speaker and at the defroster vents. IIRC it was about $40. It kept me from thinking about replacing the dash.
I've only seen a few of the dash caps installed and they all were cheap looking. I'm not sure who made them.
How about some wall-to-wall?
Yeah, that's probably the way I'll go. 8)
01-30-2003, 07:23 PM
I would recommend just keep looking around for a dash for your elky. My elky's dash is in really bad shape. It did come from SD however around the radio and the vents and the sides by the doors are all cracked. So in really bad shape. Well I just found on ebay a dash in really good shape does have a crack but isn't real noticable. Easy fixable. I got it for $106 and that includes shipping it to me. So that just tells you that you can find a really good deal if you wait long enough. And no I have not installed the dash yet I am waiting until spring since it is kinda cold here in MN.
01-30-2003, 07:44 PM
I love my dash cap. I think it's the best thing since canned beer.
My dash looked terrible and an old lady stopped me one day while driving down the road( at first I tried to race her!). Her husband had ordered a new maroon dash cap for his elky and the company accidently sent him two. So I bought the other for $50 and that's been a major improvement. It fits perfectly and the color is just barely off. Of course I plan on painting everything some day but for now it looks alot better.
Sounds like most people don't like them but I would swear by them(@#$%)LOL.
If you want a picture, just holler. :D
02-03-2003, 02:20 PM
There are the 1/2 types and the full coverage. I used to carry the full ones but they don't move very quick but they did fit well.
I reccomend getting an un painted one and having the correct color mixed up ane either you or a interior shop paint it. The colors that they are available in are just standard colors.
I will be ordering a few more cause I have to put one on my 84.
02-03-2003, 02:30 PM
Saw somebody selling the full cap on Ebay, looked like it might be a better deal for appearence and for alignment reasons, got an 85 in the driveway and the dash is trash, was considering a full cap for it. Anyone installed one of these?
Interesting responses! About 50/50 so far...waiting for Dugmaze to send me pictures before I rush out and waste my money. Having the paint mixed is a good tip and yes, I was looking at a full face cap.
02-03-2003, 06:16 PM
I'll get a picture tomorrow.
I didn't know they made two different styles(full vs. half). I must have the half dash, it only covers the top of the dash down to the first seam.
02-04-2003, 04:28 AM
There's a guy (coppers234) listing fullface dash caps on Ebay item#2402360025 if anyone wants to take a look. Buy it now price is $85.95 Picture isn't all that great, but maybe it'll help you decide one way or another. Maybe if your interested you could E-mail him and have him send a better picture to you. I've bought a different item from him and it was a quality product. There's a couple of dashes up for bid on there also that just came on in the last couple of days. Mike
02-04-2003, 04:38 AM
Hey, if anyone does undertake the project of doing a dash replacement or even installing a dash cap, how about taking some step-by-step photos and posting them here. Cracked dashes seems to be a problem for a lot us. National Parts Depot (NPD) does list them in their catalog, the price is $689.00 and it has to be dyed to match your color interior.
02-04-2003, 05:47 AM
When I found the '84 elky to part out, it had a great, crack free dash in it. It was crack free until I got crazy with my drill w/1/4 drive extention on it removing the screws in the defroster vents. The extention wobbled and it hit the dash and put a dime sized cracked spot in it :x
But, getting back on topic, you might try looking around for a parts elky with a good dash in it and CAREFULLY :wink: remove it. It'd be cheaper, and still retain that factory original look.
02-04-2003, 06:22 AM
I do believe the same style dash is also in other GM G-body cars, so if you go to the boneyard to search for one check out Buick Regals/Oldsmobile Cutlass' some Pontiac Grand Prixs and of course Monte Carlos and Malibus. Just make sure it is the same style as they did make some different versions.
02-04-2003, 10:56 AM
Since my last post just this morning on these full face dash caps, two more people have listed them on Ebay, they have better pictures of them and I took a better look at them. Be careful what you buy, they are different, one has no provision for affixing the dash bezel and you would not be able to replace the dash speakers with out taking off the whole cover (if you glued it on guess what your @#$%). The other one has an opening for the dash bezel but I can't tell if you can replace the speakers if it would become necessary.
02-04-2003, 03:08 PM
I don't know about the dash caps but swapping to an uncracked dash isn't to hard if you can find one(good luck!). I found a perfect one in a country salvage yard for $30 and pulled it. That part was easy. I haven't installed it yet, first thing this spring!
02-04-2003, 04:46 PM
Here's some pictures of mine:
02-04-2003, 04:55 PM
...swapping to an uncracked dash isn't to hard if you can find one!
Here in the Northeast the dashes in the junkyards are usually in pretty good shape. I guess the Southwest is pretty brutal on plastic parts. I've pulled several out of Monte Carlos and Malibus. The key is patience and determination. Pull the steering column out, remove the gauge cluster and glove box, unplug the harness as you go and they come out easily. A second set of hands helps too.
02-09-2003, 09:00 PM
I was wondering about getting a dash from a more current model year that would still fit the El Camino. Something that wouldn't crack again. Anybody tried that?
02-10-2003, 01:35 AM
I think the Elkys 78-87 all have pretty much the same style, some do have a different style dash bezel which can be replaced. There was one produced earlier that had no dash bezel, and some have different vent openings. But they are all susceptable to cracking from sun exposure(ultra violet light). I was lucky, previous (first) owner put a dash carpet on the day he bought the car and its been there ever since. Recommend that if you install a nice used or new one, cover with a carpet, you can always pull it off when you want to show it off. Also, keep in mind that if you do replace the dash pad, and you want to change the dash, radio, and gauge bezels, make sure that you look closely, because they differ in style. There are two completely different types of radio bezels, one uses the old style two knobs(one on each side) GM Delco radio, the other uses the larger face GM Delco radio (both knobs on same side). If you have the older type, you can upgrade to the newer type if you have the right kits (ie brackets and electrical plugins). I have a radio out of a 95 Trans AM with a built in graphic equalizer and a 12volt cooling fan out of an old computer. Thats one of the great things about these cars, they are so vesatile and it's so easy to personalize them. It's almost as if Chevy planned it that way. The bezels come in various color combinations, the SS black and maroon being the most popular and still available new. KEEP in mind the circuitry behind the gauges is NOT all the same, so if your trying to install full instrumentation gauges in your Elky, and you originally had the idiot lights, the dash swap will now become tricky. It can be done, you just need to get all the gauge wiring with the dash you are swapping in, and have some knowledge of what you are doing. I would not recommend this for a novice, you might end up with parts laying all over the seat and a migraine headache. Take your time removing and installing the dashes, there is a lot of flimsy plastic behind them that can crack very easily, also the dash may crack if your being too ruff. Good Luck! PS, if your planning on changing the color of your interior, now would be a good time to dye (spray) the dash pad, when its out of the car.
Welp...for time being I went with wall to wall. Ordered a DashMat brand cover made by Saddleman from: http://www.godashmat.com/Dashmats.asp
At $23.95 it's actually cheaper than buying direct from Saddleman, go figure! Looks and fits great. 8)
02-21-2003, 07:12 PM
Don't mean to be negative here but even if you DO find a good crack free used dash, I think you're kidding yourself if you think it will last a lot longer without developing cracks. I mean, afterall these dashes are anywhere from 15 to 25 years old now and usually SO brittle that the slightest tap on them will break or crack them.
As for paying $600-$700 for a new one, unless you are building a show car that seems like a LOT to spend on a dash to me.
I personally think the dash caps are the ONLY way to go for a decent, although not perfect looking dash.
I just installed one on my friends 78 Elky and you can't even hardly tell it has a cap on it, it fits so well. It sure as heck looks better than the cracks that were in the original dash.
As for the carpet dash covers, talk about looking cheap! Reminds me of a bad toupee on a bald man. :lol: :lol:
Just my opinions and worth every cent you paid for them!!
We're not talkin shag carpet here (this ain't no pimp moblie)...it really looks ok. :lol:
02-22-2003, 07:50 PM
Shag carpet :lol:, yea I know, I don't mean to offend you or anyone else. I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents in favor of dash caps since others were saying how "cheesy" they look. I've just always thought carpet looks better on the floor and paint looks better on the dash, even if its plastic!
02-23-2003, 12:12 PM
As for the carpet dash covers, talk about looking cheap! Reminds me of a bad toupee on a bald man.
I've got a Dashmat rug on my 87 El Camino and it fits very well. The color match is quite good and it doesn't look like a bad toupee. My dash isn't cracked or damaged and the rug isn't covering up anything ugly. I'm trying to be pro-active. I'm using the rug is to prevent that type of damage from happening in the first place. The rug isn't held down with any type of adhesive or velcro and if I go to a car show it can be removed and stored behind the seat in two seconds.
Maybe if the bald man wore a hat when he was younger he'd have more hair today and wouldn't need the toupee.
03-09-2003, 10:16 PM
Take a look at www.justdashes.com