A Little Padding

This week things look as though they have moved on quickly at Mustang Maniac, when in fact the process took a little under a couple of hours for the main project. What am I bangin’ on about? My new dash pad of course. Adam had some of these in stock, but he has pulled the stops out to get me in a Ford tooling dash pad, I have been spoilt. I saw the box and realised that the project was going to take a big leap today. Lots of pictures this time to make up for the previous weeks where I couldn’t take to many as I had my hands full.

The new metal part dash itself has been painted and as yet there is no further hints of the colour scheme inside. Me and Adam have had some long conversations and eventually sorted the colours out and the style. Some of it has been custom-made which have already arrived, but won’t be fitted just yet until all the adjustments have been done.

The Dash itself in place by two threaded studs, two in the middle and one on each end of the dash. The washers supplied are quite small so they were replaced with a larger set to spread the tension around a little more evenly.

The dash pad is not very heavy at all but care needs to be taken when fitting to make sure that the pad bolts don’t scratch the metal work. The pad is pushed over the upper supports of the dash to take the weight.

The two centre studs locate just above the radio space. a slight pull down on the pad to open it up a little allows it to slide over the top part of the metal dash. The two end studs will need to be pulled down slightly as well to locate into the holes.

The windscreen part of the dash will need to worked into place under the rubbers to make sure it lays flat. With the studs in place it’s a case of fit the washer and bolts and tighten them up to pull the dash into the metal dash itself. Do not over tighten the nuts.

That is basically it, the next part is to fit the demister vents, these are held in place by two clips each side which are sprung loaded. align the loose material from the dash over the holes for the vent and press into place.


The large hole in the centre is for the original speaker which I will fit. I am not bothered about a noisy sound system, I will have a v8 symphony at my beck and call. On top of all this there is a metal grille, the flutes each side direct the air to the screen. I have not had this colour coded just yet, so it’s still bare metal with only a coating of Gibbs Brand to stop it rusting. The grill was lightly pressed in place not all the way in just o give an idea of the look.

The Ford tooling part fitted like a glove, the before and after comparison.


Next on the list was the cowl to hood rubber seal, this is a simple clip in place with two screws each end on a bracket to hold the rubber up. Offer the strip up and apply a screw to hold it in place. Space out the rubber to the other bracket and make sure it’s even.

The clips have a little movement once in place but could damage the paint work if you are not careful. CLip them into place and add the other screw and tighten up.


Moving to the back of the car there needs to be a sealing strip to the trunk. This has two purposes, one for the rain, two for the fumes that could be vented back into the car. With the trunk in place and the gaps spot on Adam told me to mask up the location of the brackets on the truck. This would be top and sides on each bracket. Chris gave me a hand to undo the bolts and remove the bolts and flip the trunk onto a the ready-made work table.

The special weather strip adhesive is applied like a contact adhesive. The rubber can only go on one way which is a “c” shape looking at it from the end on. This should be fitted with the opening facing inside each of the contours. Adam advised to mask up the paint work before applying the glue. This will stop the mess getting onto the paint and save many careful hours of removing it without damage to the paint. I had my doubts as I was going to be careful.

A thin-film was added to the rubber and the paint and allowed to go tacky. Chris was holding as I was squeezing the tube onto the rubber and smoothing it out with as gloved finger. No matter how careful you are this stuff goes all over the place. Adam was right the masking tape was taking a bit of a battering at this point. Make sure the adhesive does not get inside the “c” or on the outside as this should be allowed to move to make the seal correctly. At this point as we were working quickly there was no time for the photo’s here. But the rubber was applied from the front to the back following the curves of the trunk. While we were sticking the two together we taped the corners down to stop them moving around until the glue had a chance to set a little.

It was at this point that I started the cowl to hood trim fitting while the glue set. It’s all about the forward planning! When the glue had set a little the masking tape was removed from the paint and re-applied to the corners again just to hold it in place. The rubber is longer than required by around six inches or so, so I cut the rubber as a dead butt fit and glue the ends together to form the seamless join.

While waiting again for the glue to go off again I fitted the door rubbers from a replacement pack.


Last week I mentioned that I would get some pictures of the weather strip seal around the doors. So as promised here they are.

Next week I am not sure the plan of action, but the Trunk will go back on then mess around with the gaps again. The dash will need the glass to dash trim fitted. which will require some drilling! Slightly nervous about drilling so close to glass and on top of my new dash.

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17 thoughts on “A Little Padding

  1. That looks fantastic! I’m really envious of your new dash padding. I re-trimmed mine myself but as it was my first attempt it didn’t turn out too well. I love the crispness of your new one. Will have to do mine again. Car is really starting to come together now.

    1. Thanks, yeah the dash made a huge difference, all of a sudden it looks like a car inside now. This dash was from the original Ford tooling so the fit was perfect. As we had to replace the dash itself we wanted to remove as many variables as possible. Hope your dash doesn’t work out to much for you. 🙁 like you say, it’s part of the car you look at most I guess.

      1. I made the silly mistake of attempting to trim the upper dash padding (the most visible bit) first and it is not perfect. However I did the lower padding section second and that turned out as good as a factory finish! This makes me want to do the top section again because I now know how to do it. As you say, it is a very visible part and sets the tone of the inside.

        Are you buying new seats or just getting your old ones re-trimmed?

        1. That’s the trouble, you da a bit then the next bit is better so you go back over it again. 2 steps forward and 1 back.
          I have stripped the seats down to the bare frames, treated and painted them. MM guts are waiting for a slit with the trimmers who will recover them. I already have the door cards which have been a special order to match the seats. Hope it won’t be to long.

  2. Hey Mart! A couple of thoughts:
    1. What a great piece of detailed writing. As always you keep it simple and interesting all while it informs the reader. I said it before this is a wonderful documentation of how to bring new life into a Mustang.
    2. Loved seeing the key dangling from the dash. In this push button, automatic world I’m very jealous that you can turn your engine over in traditional fashion. Just think that’s soon to happen. And…
    3. You sure have come a long way from the beginning when you had to push the car in and out of your garage. The same garage with parts hanging about on the walls, and you bumping into things. Glad I’ve been here for the ride so far!

    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for your thoughts and comments. The key thing I haven’t even thought about, but I guess your right, buttons are more user friendly but they have no soul. I quite enjoy the writing and I feel quite humbled that you lovely people out there in cyber land take time out to read what I say. When I look back at the older and first posts, I can’t believe just how far this journey has taken me and the sheer number of hours so far. There is still more to be done, just waiting for the trimmers who are starting to hold things up a bit now.

  3. The dash looks great. We were talking about cars last night with some friends, and one had a ’66 Mustang her dad had bought new. She said she always just thought of it as the family car. Her dad sold it after all the kids moved out, and none of them showed any interest in the car. Now she wished she’d taken it. It’s easy to wish in hindsight, but I can understand not thinking much more than it’s just the old family car when she was moving out on her own in the late ’70’s.

    1. Thanks Timothy, it was simple sort of job but the impact is massive. Like you say hindsight is wonderful. I have traded in a couple of cars that I wish I hadn’t. Who would have thought that the millions of Mustangs that have been sold would be such a classic icon car that it is now? I have heard similar stories of people flogging early Mustangs for a couple of hundreds pounds and wished they hadn’t. I’m just a lucky guy that had a wonderful wife who treated me to the car. We were skint at the time and we gave up a lot to get it in the first place. One thing for sure though, I won’t be selling this car.

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