CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

If your truck is anything like ours, the dash is either faded, cracked, or has holes in it the size of softballs. Unfortunately, one of the negative trades that came along with this particular GMT 400 truck was a very fragile dashboard, thanks two years of sun and heavy coat of Armor All.

We can no longer take the pain of driving our favorite truck with a smashed-up dashboard, so when LMC Truck announced a factory replacement aftermarket dash, we knew it was go time. After a quick trip to OBS Headquarters, we swapped the old with a new LMC dash on our official 1988 regular cab short box shop truck known as the Billet Beater. Along the way, we customized this project by color matching the steering column, steering wheel, and related dash parts, which were originally gray.

This new dash assembly developed exclusively by LMC Truck uses improved heat-resistant thermoplastic compounds to resist shrinking and fading. The dash panel comes complete with the new plastic shell attached with rivets and screws to a zinc-plated metal frame as original. The all-new assembly includes the air duct sealed to the panel as original and ready to accept all your factory components.

The dash arrives gray using paint mixed with an ultraviolet inhibitor to help prevent damage from sunlight exposure. OBS Headquarters prepped and painted the dash panel to match the existing interior using ColorBond spray coating. LMC recommends painting the dash with its exclusive ColorBond, which permanently changes the color of your interior. It sprays on and dries to the touch in 45 seconds, forming a complete bond in 10 minutes. The original grain pattern is never altered or hidden, no matter how many times ColorBond is applied. It will not crack, flake, peel, or rub off from solid or flexible materials because the color becomes part of the surface. ColorBond is a semi-gloss finish that is OEM approved, UV stable, and colorfast. Each 12-ounce can will cover 7 square feet. ColorBond Prep/Cleaner should be used prior to applying ColorBond.

This project is a little more involved, even though only simple hand tools are required. One item not supplied is patience, and a lot of it is needed. It’s not a difficult procedure, but it is time consuming with a lot of small details. To make the process simpler, it’s best to completely remove the seat and steering column. Doing this makes moving around in the cab a lot easier and will save time in the long run. Care must be taken during the disassembly process as many of the parts are reused as the dash assembly is the basic structure in which the cluster surround and glovebox assembly area attached.

One option is to tape off the dash in the truck and coat it with something like ColorBond. It’s a reliable coating that will last. Original grain pattern is never altered or hidden, no matter how many times ColorBond is applied. It will not crack, flake, peel, or rub off from solid or flexible materials because the color becomes part of the surface.

We decided to order and install this this new dash assembly developed exclusively by LMC Truck using improved heat-resistant thermoplastic compounds to resist shrinking and fading.

The dash arrives gray using paint mixed with an ultraviolet inhibitor to help prevent damage from sunlight exposure.

To prepare the panel for coating we hang it, clean it, and let it dry. Smooth even coats are the key to making this look great.

Adding a little heat will help it bond better as well.

While we are waiting on the dash to dry, we figured it’s a great time to remove the seats and carpet for some heat and sound-deadening material.

Now we can turn our attention to removing the factory dash. It’s a scary task, but trust us—you can handle it with some basic tools and advanced patience.

Clips, screws, and plugs are pretty much all that is holding this dash to the truck. Use some lights and gloves until you get it out, and keep everything you remove!

With all the old stuff removed, we can now clean and coat everything that will remain. A simple wipe down makes an old truck look almost new again.

Now we can start installing the new LMC dash. The first step is to hang the dash on the mounts at the top to align everything correctly.

To reinstall, we simply follow all the steps in the reverse direction as when we removed everything. Theoretically, it should all go back together without any technical difficulties.

With the dash installed, now we can focus on the small accessory pieces. These have all been ordered from LMC, cleaned, and painted.

We also want to paint the steering column to match, so it was removed, taped off, cleaned up, and coated as well to match.

Now that everything is completely coated and 100% dry, we can start final assembly of all the small pieces without worrying about any scratches.

Starting with the glovebox and A/C vents, you can already see the major difference a few hours have made.

Next, we decided to install the sound-deadening material on the ground before we start any electrical. This will dramatically decrease the heat and the noise inside of the cab.

Moving on, we plugged the factory style gauges into the original location and secured it with all new hardware.

Now the gauge bezel and A/C controls can be finally installed as well as the ashtray and light switch.

We love this iconic Boyd steering wheel, so instead of replacing it we simply coated the ring and let it dry. Stay tuned as we finalize this project in the next issue and focus on our new project.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM