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  • Body / Glass: 48 Commander dash removal

    I'm in the process of rewiring my '48 which is in a separate post. I'm pulling the dash out so I can do the re-wiring on the bench as a couple of members have suggested but have run into a problem that I hope somebody has the answer for.

    I've removed all of the bolts and nuts holding the dash to the body flanges, unbolted the steering column and the brace from the center of the dash to the upper cowl. Radio is out and all the cables and controls are disconnected but the dash won't budge at all. I'm fairly certain it was out 25 years ago when the dash and all of the trim was repainted, probably because the wood grain had deteriorated. It absolutely feels like it's still solidly bolted somewhere and before I start encouraging it with a rubber mallet, has anybody actually pulled a '48 dash and can tell me what I might be missing? Also, if it was loose it looks as though the dash I would pull it out and up. Is that correct?

  • #2
    I cannot comment on dash removal, but will share a radio tip.

    Many people have complained that the 47-49 radio is a tight fit getting it in and out of the dash. Maybe you should start the bolts and reinstall the radio before tightening all the dash bolts down again.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      It is a tight fit but it came out fairly easily. Having changed a number of them over the years I know the exact way you have to tilt it. Thanks for the reply, though. The radio BTW doesn't work although the vibrator does work but it's very noisy. Do you repair these old Philco's?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tertiumquid View Post
        The radio BTW doesn't work although the vibrator does work but it's very noisy. Do you repair these old Philco's?
        You might see if Bud will do it for you. His forum name is... Bud.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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        • #5
          Have you removed the windshield garnish moldings? I believe there are some screws hidden behind them.
          So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?

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          • #6
            You may have the steering column wedged against the dash and binding. loosen the steering gear to frame bolts and try again. Luck Doofus

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            • #7
              There aren't any screws under the garnish moldings on the '48's as some later body models have. Also, the steering column is unbolted from the dash and there's a gap between it and them so there's no issue there. The best guess I have is that the top lip of the dash which appears to lay over a corresponding one of the cowl is the problem. There is a rubber gasketing along the entire length and it looks like its also filled with a sealer. I don't know if this was a factory thing or somebody had the dash out during a previous restoration and did it then but, regardless, it looks like I would do more damage breaking it loose than it's worth. My thinking is that I'll just have to rewire the dash while it's still in its original position.

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              • #8
                Having decided I had no alternative to the dash removal, I went out to the garage this morning to map out my strategy, find splice connectors, etc. I looked at the new harnesses and thought what a shame not to be able to use them.

                In preparation to starting work under the dash, I opened the driver’s door and arranged some cushioning on the floor and when I slammed the door shut, somewhat in disgust, the dash miraculously fell away from the windshield all across the top of it. Upon further investigation, I found the upper dash lip is just butted up against the windshield cowl structure with a little rubber gasket with some adhesive and held in place by all of the other flange bolts down lower and on the sides of the body flanges. Apparently, having taken the pressure off it, after a few days the adhesion separated and it just needed a good jolt to break its seal

                The dash is now loose and only held in by the steering column U-bolt, the wiring harness and a couple of the control cable assemblies which are easy to remove.

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