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View Full Version : '63 Lark dash cap options



JimC
07-23-2013, 03:48 AM
With the hard cover dash caps no longer being offered (and with good reason, judging by how poorly the one on my car has held up), are there any original looking replacements (soft or hard) out there that won't cost you a fortune? I'd consider fabricating one myself, but my car has already had a cap put on it, so I don't have any idea if what's under there is good enough to serve as a template.

Open to suggestion, or if anyone has a spare dash lying around, let me know.

StudeMichael
07-23-2013, 08:18 AM
I think "Just Dashes" is the only option right now and they are very expensive. http://www.justdashes.com/index.html

Out of curiosity what happened to the hard cap? Did it get brittle? Even if you found a perfect NOS one I would not trust it. Ed Reynolds has mentioned reproducing them in the future but no news on this.

JimC
07-23-2013, 11:27 AM
Well, it's a black cap, and the car has been parked in the sun on several occasions. The thing's got more bubbles than a pot of boiling water. It's just sorta wavy everywhere. Then there's the canyon split running from the speaker grill to where the instrument panel rises up. Then there's the corner by the glove box which is curling up. It's truly the worst looking part of my car, and that says a lot, considering I've got some bubling bondo at the door corners and non-stock 30 year old seat covers.

I saw a whole dash assembly for sale a while back, and I used to be pretty good with leather and vinyl, so I considered buying the dash to use as a platform to make a new one, but then I'd have a useless dash lying around my garage. I'd rather just buy one that I could put on. I was vaguely familiar with the Just Dashes option, but too expensive for a daily driver, IMHO.

JBOYLE
07-23-2013, 11:35 AM
If the hard dash covers aren't too complex, I bet a local sign company with a vacuform could make one.

Timj
07-23-2013, 02:22 PM
I am in the process of covering the original dash with fleece, resin then filler for the fine details. Mine was badly cracked. It is a slow process but the price is right. I will be starting the glove box door next. Just and idea.


http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=23860&d=1368742493

StudeRich
07-23-2013, 02:30 PM
The picture looks pretty good, but not "Fleecy" where is the FUZZ? :confused: I was expecting a "Carpet" look! :ohmy:

Timj
07-23-2013, 02:57 PM
The fleece will stretch and conform to the curves of the dash without wrinkling. The resin soaks into the fabric and makes it almost smooth. This is a old car stereo customizing trick. Depending on how much hardener you use, you can be sanding in just a few minutes. I'm not a expert, but necessity is the mother of invention.

JimC
07-23-2013, 09:03 PM
Tim, can you take a few more close ups? I'd love to see how this is coming out for you. I may give that route a shot if I can't find anything better.

Going back to '63 Larks in general, wasn't the original dash a soft padded vinyl? How was that shaped?

RadioRoy
07-23-2013, 09:35 PM
There was an older gentleman at the Co-Operator session in Colorado Springs who had a solution for fixing the original dashes. He explained it, but no one took notes, unfortunately.

StudeMichael
07-23-2013, 10:37 PM
I imagine one could bondo or seam seal the cracks and paint the entire dash pad but how long will that hold up is what I wonder.


There was an older gentleman at the Co-Operator session in Colorado Springs who had a solution for fixing the original dashes. He explained it, but no one took notes, unfortunately.

Jackson
07-24-2013, 09:15 AM
Here is a photo of the SI dash cover that I installed on my 63 R2, I thought it looked pretty good, not so the judges at the 2011 SDCIM in Springfield, MO. The judge took off nine points for “clovebox fit”. I no longer have any of my (seven) Studebakers judged at SDC meets.

26090

JimC
07-24-2013, 10:50 AM
Looks better than mine does Jackson. Like I said, mine is a bubbly, cracked, twisting mess.

I think I'm going to do some small scale experiments with the resin/fleece, and maybe some vinyl, to see what I like best.

I'd never have my car judged. It'd be the first Studebaker to break into the negative numbers on the 400 point scale! :D

Timj
07-24-2013, 10:58 AM
JimC, please keep in mind I have never seen another Lark dash. I thought the curled up corners were normal. In retrospect , if I had done some research, I would have removed the dash and ground the curled up areas flat. I am still working on the dash but this is what I have so far. It is a hard fiberglass version of the soft padded original. I have been side tracked by engine issues. Since this is a daily driver, running has to take priority over looking better. I think for my budget and skill level this method is going to work for me. Jackson, I would love to meet you some time since we are in the same city. looks like you have some REAL beauties.

26091

26092

Timj
07-24-2013, 11:03 AM
JimC, I forgot to add, I tried the vinyl route. I could not get the compound curves to lay flat around the instrument cluster. I tried glue and a heat gun. I would have preferred to use it, but just could not get it to work.

Tim

Jackson
07-24-2013, 02:28 PM
Jackson, I would love to meet you some time since we are in the same city.
Timj check your PM's, I failied to notice that we live in the same city.

studegary
07-24-2013, 02:39 PM
Here is a photo of the SI dash cover that I installed on my 63 R2, I thought it looked pretty good, not so the judges at the 2011 SDCIM in Springfield, MO. The judge took off nine points for “clovebox fit”. I no longer have any of my (seven) Studebakers judged at SDC meets.

26090

I can not understand the taking off of any points for that dash (at most, it would be one point).
Pease do not condemn all SDC judging based on what one volunteer (and probably inexperienced) judge did.

GeneC
07-25-2013, 10:35 AM
I am working on the same problem, mine was blistered to the metal frame from the sun. I ended up cutting off the top of the padding down to the first peak or crease in the dash and am going to try retro-fitting some type of pad on it and covering it with marine vinyl. I figure the dash is shot, so no matter what happens I am no worse off.

Jackson
07-25-2013, 03:03 PM
To fabricate a homemade vinyl dash cover you are going to have to pull the entire dash out of the car. I believe 64-65-66 Lark vinyl dash covers are still around, y'all might consider converting your 63 to a later (hybrid) model. This would require obtaining a complete used 64-65-66 dash and then redying a new vinyl. I believe a complete dash exchange is a bolt-in, you can still use the 63 instrument panel. I considered this when I was doing my 63 but I decided to remain as stock as possible since it is a factory R2.

GeneC
07-25-2013, 03:23 PM
The mounting on the 63 looks different than 64-66. I am not sure if it can be made to work. I have been told they will not interchange, but I am not sure if that was a for sure or not. I have mine out and the car gutted and I have access to a 65 parts car that is complete. I will have to get that one out and see if it fits.

GThawkwind
07-25-2013, 03:32 PM
There are two 63 wagons at a pull yard in sioux falls. Wonder if either have good dashes.

Dick Steinkamp
07-25-2013, 06:03 PM
The mounting on the 63 looks different than 64-66. I am not sure if it can be made to work. I have been told they will not interchange, but I am not sure if that was a for sure or not. I have mine out and the car gutted and I have access to a 65 parts car that is complete. I will have to get that one out and see if it fits.

63-66 Lark type dashes mount the same and are interchangeable. Also, the instrument clusters are interchangeable so you could use a 63 cluster in a later dash if you wish.

Here's a 65 dash in my 63 Daytona...

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/dstnkmp/63%20Daytona%20done/PP036.jpg

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/dstnkmp/63%20daytona%20done%20II/done013.jpg

JimC
07-25-2013, 06:13 PM
There are two 63 wagons at a pull yard in sioux falls. Wonder if either have good dashes.
If you happen by that place again, and either have good dashes (especially if they're black!!) let me know. I could either go up there or pay you something for your troubles if you wanted to pull one for me.

As it is, I know a place where I can get a gutted out '63 dash for about $80. It needs a new dash pad, but with it being off the car, I might be able to stretch and shape the vinyl better than trying to do it in-car.

JimC
07-25-2013, 06:14 PM
Dick, what year and trim do those door panels go to? I would love to have something exactly like that!

Dick Steinkamp
07-25-2013, 10:29 PM
Dick, what year and trim do those door panels go to? I would love to have something exactly like that!

They are either 63 or 64 Daytona 2 door hardtop.

Check with Bob Peterson (candbstudebakers). He generally has some nice panels.

StudeRich
07-26-2013, 01:44 AM
The Door Panels in Dick's former '63 Daytona Hardtop are from a '64 Daytona Hardtop.
To get that design, you would have to buy some for a '64 Daytona 4 Door Sedan to fit a '63 Lark 4 door.

jimmijim8
07-26-2013, 06:54 AM
Possibly fill the cracks after leveling the vinyl area that is affected. Flex auto body filler as used to repair the rubber-plastic bumper covers as in new cars. Prepare the whole dash for some spray on truck bed liner. Might offer a bit of textured finish. I have seen rattle cans of truck bed liner. Maybe consider using rubberized undercoat. Paint over either with the color of your choice. cheers jimmijim

Starlight
07-26-2013, 07:05 AM
The dash in Dicks car is out of a 66, not a 65, there are quite a lot of differences between the two years.....They will, how ever, bolt into either of the 4 later years of ' Lark' type of cars.....Keep on Studebakering

Starlight
07-26-2013, 07:16 AM
[QUOTE=Jackson;762293]Here is a photo of the SI dash cover that I installed on my 63 R2, I thought it looked pretty good

Hey Jackson, I think it looks pretty damn good, myself......I too had a bad experience with the judges at the Springfield meet.....Don't let em get your goat......Keep on Studebakering

Dick Steinkamp
07-26-2013, 08:49 AM
The dash in Dicks car is out of a 66, not a 65, there are quite a lot of differences between the two years.....They will, how ever, bolt into either of the 4 later years of ' Lark' type of cars.....Keep on Studebakering

Yep...'66. My bad. Thanks for the correction.

Here's the dash in the 63 Wagonaire I'm doing now...

http://i706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/dstnkmp/1963%20Wagonaire/SAM_4668.jpg

It had been recovered in black vinyl by an upholstery shop. You can see the stitching where the vinyl was pieced together. I painted it to match (the proper custom mixed vinyl dye was $125/pint :eek:).

Good '63 dashes in ANY color are almost impossible to come by. Having it recovered is another option, but not cheap and it will not be concours perfect.

Starlight
07-26-2013, 01:02 PM
Here's the dash in the 63 Wagonaire I'm doing now.
It had been recovered in black vinyl by an upholstery shop. You can see the stitching where the vinyl was pieced together. I painted it to match (the proper custom mixed vinyl dye was $125/pint :eek:).


Dick....That dash in your Wagonaire looks real good.....I always thought someone with good upholstering abilities could make a cover just like the one that is on your dash, that takes talent believe me......125.00 for a pint OUCH that hurts.....Do you know who stitched up that dash cover?.....Keep on Studebakering

Timj
07-26-2013, 03:55 PM
Dick, VERY nice dash! I can only hope that mine turns out half that good.

Dick Steinkamp
07-26-2013, 05:17 PM
Dick....Do you know who stitched up that dash cover?....

I don't. I bought this wagon from pdrnec here on the forum. I assume Pat had it covered but I don't know that for sure. You might shoot him a PM.