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Dash pads 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:51 pm
Posts: 116
Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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g'day, I rang the bloke here in Brisbane who did my Hillman dash pad - he does excellent quality work - to inquire about getting my sedan dash pad redone. He told me about a Bellett owner who cut out a dash from a rust bucket to have a new dash pad made. He did not keep the bloke's info but said he lived up north queensland area. If anyone knows who this Bellett owner is he might still have the cutout dash. Otherwise I'd be looking for another rusty one to cut the dash out. cheers, clyde


Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:11 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:05 am
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Location: 12,450 miles away from the Big Warehouse in Melbourne
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Are you saying that the dash is glued to the frame of the car? Which implies that separating the two either requires destroying the dash to save the car or destroying the car to save the dash?

There was a dash on Yahoo Japan auctions, but I think it was without the side vents.


Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:25 pm
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:51 pm
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hi, The guy here who makes new dash pads says that he requires the dash panel in order to make a new cover....which requires the dash panel to be removed from the car. This guy told me that someone did cut out a dash panel - by that I think someone used an angle grinder and cut out the metal dash panel - and loaned it to make a new cover. The process utilises a shrink type of vinyl to mould to the dash panel. This guy did my Super Minx dash pad and it curves on each - and that required the original dash cover in order to make the new cover.

So there is - or may be - a cut out dash panel out there that was originally supplied to this guy to make one previously. The only other option is to find a rusty donor for another cut out.

cheers, clyde


Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:45 pm
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that's definitly the way to get it done right. my GT has one of these dash's, that we down here got done a few years ago.
there was a newly resto'd GT from north qld. at the nats this year with a re-done dash, and he may be the one you are thinking of, as he used a cut-out dash to get it done.
he's not a user on here (yet!!), so i can't post his details, but if you would like, PM me your email address (i think i have them, but it's best to double check) and i'll contact him so he can get in touch with you.
cheers.

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Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:22 am
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:15 am
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Car(s): 1965 Wasp, 1966 Bellett sedan, 1966 RatBellett sedan, 1967 Bellett GT, 1978 Gemini van, 1994 LS400, 2004 VY SS Sandman
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The people that PR91 mentioned with the resto'ed Bellett GT are indeed the people who have a fully cut-out dashboard template which they used to re-do their dashboard.

They've been scoping out the forums and gave me a call.

The cut-out dashboard is currently at "Dashboard Restorations".

They didn't give me a number, but according to the Whitepages you should get them on:

(07) 3273 5019

Dashboard Restorations
U6/ 4 Lancashire St
Acacia Ridge QLD 4110

Another Bellett owner is currently having two dashes made up from this template. After the resto place is finished with it they were going to return it to the owners however if you give the resto place a call, they could probably do some more dashs up while the template is there.

Cheers,

Dave

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Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:55 am
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hi, I must have spoken to this bloke - I think his name is Jim - just before this happened. He is the guy who did my Hillman dash so I will call him again and sort out a dash pad for the sedan. thanks heaps. clyde


Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:39 am
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When he gets you a price can you let me know? Technically I should be interested in no less than two dashboards, but neither of my cars is about to be restoed just yet... but they will need dashs eventually so depending on price perhaps I should line mine up now too!

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Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:40 am
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hello, got the latest on dash pads. I just spoke to the dash guy - think his name is Mike - and he says $440.00 per dash inclusive of GST. He has the base panel that was dropped off by - I think - Dave Watts of Gladstone, Qld. The owner of the dash panel is okay with other club members having dash pads made from his 'donated' panel .

Anyone interested will need to supply their original dash pad in addition because of the metal bits in it and he reuses some of the padding to make the new one. His quality is excellent - he did the dash pad for my Super Minx and I was pleased with his work.

The dash resto info is located in a previous thread and you will need to send him your original pads. He did say that he is very busy so the pads might take a couple or three months to make.

Do not diddle around if you need a new dash pad because when the base panel is sent back who knows when if ever it will be available again IE: sh*t happens, people die, etc etc.

My order has been placed and you all are in the queue.

clyde 8-)


Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:20 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:05 am
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I am not understanding what I am reading in the descriptions of this service.

It sounds like the dash panel is glued to the frame of the Bellett. In order to separate the dash pad from the vehicle, the vehicle must be destroyed by cutting the metal to free the panel. In order to separate the vehicle from the pad, the pad must be destroyed to free it from the metal. Is this correct?

Someone has cut a pad out of a vehicle and provided it for a template.

This company restores dash panels by repairing the damaged panel and then vacuum forming new vinyl over the top. Why do they need a template if they are going to repair the original panel and apply new vinyl over the original panel?

If the original must be provided to be repaired and rebuilt, what is the reason for the template?

And if the Bellett panel can not be removed from the vehicle without either destroying the panel or the vehicle, how does the owner provide a panel to be rebuilt.

I am missing something here and having a very difficult time understanding the situation. I am not trying to be a smart alleck or embarrass anyone, I just need to understand what is confusing me.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:56 am
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hi, I am not sure but I had to supply my original dash pad from the Hillman as well. He did tell me that there are metal bits in the original that would be needed to make a replica. Maybe a quick call to the dash guy could clarify your questions. If he has to make a fibreglass base he would need the metal dash out of a car. I am in textiles but I never have been able to work out the dash manufacturing techniques. I just know they use a heat shrinking vinyl to mould the the vinyl to the shape of the dash and it is an art.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:29 am
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Location: Cranbourne Victoria
Car(s): Isuzu DMax LSU, Isuzu MUX, 1979 117 Coupe.
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Ok I have had several dash pads rebuilt. The pad has some metal in it. That is why the restorer need the metal frame from the car. It is used as a last. The Bellett dash is held in by some 5mm nuts. These have to quite obviously be removed, along with the padding along the front of the dash. Using a wide paint scraper the pad has to be carefully removed. The restorer then uses the last to repair and recreate the original look. It is near impossible to fabricate a new dash. Most use an epoxy to fill any cracks and flaws then shrink the new vinyl on top. This only applies to the 1966 1/2 onwards. the earlier ones can be done with the dash in place and stretch the vinyl over the repaired base. If done correctly they will last a very long time. I had one sitting in one car for 10 years out in the sun etc and when I passed it on it was like new. The Australian vinyl is amongst the best in the world and takes the uv rays very well.

If I may suggest that if a last is around up there it would maybe pay to get a few of them done. Maybe some on this forum know others that may be interested as the cost should drop per unit with a small run. I know when I had mine done with a run of 4 the cost per unit came down by 20%.

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:04 am
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hi, As for 'quantity' runs and a discount....this is not the case for most dash pads. There is no incentive for any dash restorer to discount for multiple runs and I agree due to the time it takes and the fact that he can only do one at a time - ie: cannot mass produce them = no incentive. The guy up here is quite fair with pricing AND does nice work AND I think trying to get a discount will only make it harder for us due to the fact that we are borrowing a dash panel from someone who does not mind AND this guy is very busy here - I know because he has a contract with us (my work) to do Army air con covers and with all the other work he has - he is flat out. We might get our dashes back in the new year.....maybe as late as Feb/March IF we order now. You might get quotes...but where are you going to get another dash panel to supply to make the new pads? Face it the old days of getting 'club' rates and cheap parts cars are over...no one is interested. I am more interested in getting mine DONE without having to stuff around with getting quotes. Anyone with the same idea....ring him and place your order now......the waiting time will be several months. Cheers, clyde


Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:15 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:05 am
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OK, I think I understand the process. They repair the original piece, prepare the surface, then bond a new skin over it and use machinery and materials that won't sun rot or come apart. I agree this is the best approach for the highest quality result, probably better than a new original piece, since it is made with 40 year newer materials and 40 years of technological development since the originals were made.

No group discount, the quoted price, or the time estimate don't sound out of line, the end product sounds well worth the price and wait.


What I am missing is the significance of the piece that was cut out of the rust bucket and is needed for restoring a dash, and hence the urgency of ordering this while that piece is still on loan to the dash shop. If the piece is the same as the dash pad that anyone would send in for restoration, why can't they use any customers dash pad to pattern from? And if the pad is held in with 5 mm bolts, why was this sample piece cut out of a car?

Or is the piece that was cut out of the car the steel frame beneath the dash pad, that the dash pad attaches to, and this is needed to keep the pad held in the correct shape while the pad is being repaired? And that is why the older dash pads can/must be done in the car, while the newer style pads must be done after removing them from the car?

Have I just answered my own question?


Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:53 am
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JT191 wrote:
Or is the piece that was cut out of the car the steel frame beneath the dash pad, that the dash pad attaches to, and this is needed to keep the pad held in the correct shape while the pad is being repaired? And that is why the older dash pads can/must be done in the car, while the newer style pads must be done after removing them from the car?

Have I just answered my own question?


yep, you just did!!
that's exactly why they need the steel dash "frame", as the pad that goes over it isn't strong enough to support it's own shape during the resto process.
and as a bellett's dash frame is welded to the car, a "donor" car must be cut up to get a frame for the job.
hope this helps.

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:45 am
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Plus the earlier cars (stainless grille/tear drop tail lights RP20s, PR90s and Aussie-market KR20 Wasps) all have a completely different shaped dash which it appears negates the need to remove the dash panel.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Obi-PR91!

(I know they're different, but am just confirming they're different in terms of resto process as well)

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:06 pm
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Car(s): Isuzu DMax LSU, Isuzu MUX, 1979 117 Coupe.
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Your right on nearly all the counts. Stainless grille I wish. Maybe on PR90 but PR20 had a dreadfully thin chrome one. Maybe that is why I am putting a late alloy and mesh one back in.


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Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:26 am
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dave wrote:
Plus the earlier cars (stainless grille/tear drop tail lights PR20s, PR90s and Aussie-market KR20 Wasps) all have a completely different shaped dash which it appears negates the need to remove the dash panel.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Obi-PR91!

(I know they're different, but am just confirming they're different in terms of resto process as well)


:lol:
true, young i-suz-walker.
you have learnt a great deal, but you still have much to learn...

what bellett65 wrote earlier about re-skining early dash's is exactly right...
bellett65 wrote:
the earlier ones can be done with the dash in place and stretch the vinyl over the repaired base. If done correctly they will last a very long time. I had one sitting in one car for 10 years out in the sun etc and when I passed it on it was like new.

this is how i did the dash in my Wasp when i resto'd it.
it's been in there now for 14 years, and it's still fine.

god, i built my Wasp 14 years ago... feels like 14 minutes sometimes!!

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Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:20 am
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dave wrote:
(07) 3273 5019

Dashboard Restorations
U6/ 4 Lancashire St
Acacia Ridge QLD 4110


The website is:
http://www.dashboardrestorations.com.au/
sales@dashboardrestorations.com.au

However, I seem to have received the polite brush off with a response that went like:
We are not accepting international order, please contact this other company in your country.

I replied and explained that the sample frame was in Australia, no sample frame existed elsewhere, and while it is worth the cost to me to ship a dash pad back and forth, it would be cost prohibitive for them to ship the frame between their offices in different countries, and probably not permitted by the person who owns the frame.
No answer yet, it was 9PM on an Australian Friday night when the brush off was emailed out.

I contacted the other company in my country, and the explanation was that the company more local to me had purchased the rights to use the restoration technique in this market. The original company that they purchased that technology from was cut up and sold off several years ago, and now everyone has sales areas. He said that he doesn't have a Bellett dash frame (not a surprise) but was less grim on the prospect of his ability to do the same job. But he pointed out that the exchange rate made the Australian price a real bargain even with the shipping costs.

I will wait for another polite brush off from the Australian company and see what happens. My motivation was the get the pad done while the frame was available.


Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:53 pm
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Location: Brisbane, Qld
Car(s): '69 sedan w/GT eng, '68 Sunbeam Stiletto, '66 Hillman Super Minx Wagon.
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Hi, not sure what was going on there....did you speak to someone overseas? US? If you deal with the gentleman in Acacia Ridge - forget anyone else - you will get a dash made. I spoke to him just this week and he is very nice to deal with. He does contract work for my company on Army Land Rovers for the past two years. I think something is wrong here. I shall call him again on Monday. cheers.


Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:09 pm
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Car(s): 1965 Wasp, 1966 Bellett sedan, 1966 RatBellett sedan, 1967 Bellett GT, 1978 Gemini van, 1994 LS400, 2004 VY SS Sandman
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bellett65 wrote:
Your right on nearly all the counts. Stainless grille I wish. Maybe on PR90 but PR20 had a dreadfully thin chrome one. Maybe that is why I am putting a late alloy and mesh one back in.


Don't do it Peter! The early chrome grilles are pretty tuff and those headlight surrounds are not going to die any time soon; as you know they weigh a tonne!

No disrespect to the alloy-grille/hex tail light brigade (I have one of these myself) or the mesh-grille/flat light brigade but the early sedan stuff looks pretty cool on the old teardrop light model and is much, much shinier!!!

All the more against your dark green car. I've got (and probably you've got as well) an early sedan brochure with the black Bellett sedan with the chrome grille? IT IS AWESOME. Why did I paint my car white??! Oh yeah, coz it was already white...

Ah it's up to you of course... but I just want MORE CHROME!!!!!


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Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:01 am
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