Dash Replacement

The dash on my 1973 CJ-5 was in really bad shape.  The previous owners hacked it to pieces trying different combinations of gauges, buttons, and switches.  My goal was to make it as clean as possible and be a little different.  The idea came from a friend who replaced his with stainless steal.  I went with the intention of using stainless but when I got to the sheet metal fabrication shop I saw the diamond plate and decided to go with that instead.  I think I made the right decision.

I took the old dash out and sent it to a local sheet metal fabricator.  He was able to use the old dash and cut a piece of diamond plate just the right size.  He used a plasma cutter to cut out the steering column.  All of this only cost $45.

Note:  Before discarding the old dash you must use it as a template for all the mounting holes.  Also ensure the data plate under the hood has the correct VIN for the vehicle.  The original dash has a data plate on it as well.

When I got the diamond plate dash back I used the old dash as a template and cut all the mounting holes.  After all the holes were cut I put it in the jeep for a test fit it.   It worked out really well.  They guy even bent the bottom just like the old dash.  The was a huge improvement over the old dash.


After ensuring a good fit I took it out and cut all the holes for the gauges.  My mother in law bought my gauges for me.  They are hot rod series from Auto Meter.  I'm really happy with the project.  I'm still working the bugs out of the gauges though.  The speedometer is about 7 MPH off and the gas gauge always reads 3/4 full.  Other than that I think it turned out really nice.  I purchased billet aluminum knobs from 4 Wheel Drive Hardware for all the switches.  I also had to purchase all new switches and hardware to mount them to the dash.  I used 4 Wheel Drive Hardware for just about everything.  They are a life saver.