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Engineering a 1934 Pro Street Street Rod


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Click for YouTube Video Overview of Car

Building A Dash Extension


Why a Dash Extension?

The dash in a 1934 Ford leaves very little  little room for accesories..  Certainly not enough to house the Vintage Air conditioner, all of the modern gauges, controls, switches etc.  The Vintage Air evaporator mounts as high as possible under the dash but still extends well under the bottom.  The air controls look small in front ( oval controls panels were used) but take up a lot of room in the rear!  To cover all these items, the Painless wiring panel, Dakota Digital Dash control and the defroster and air-conditioning ducts, a dash extension is the only viable option.


Fiberglass was considered; using a Styrofoam mold etc.  Since it was going to be covered in padding and leather, why not use something that is easier to work.  Oak was selected.  The front panel is made from 1/4 inch oak plywood.  The supply at  Lowes was searched to find a bent piece!  That is the direct opposite  to most lumber rummaging!  No problem,   a piece was found that was almost perfect. A few weights, some water and overnight the exact contour was  achieved.  The bottom was to be rounded so a 1/2 inch oak board was cut to shape then glued and screwed to the front panel.  The same was done for the sides.  Rounding all corners with a rasp and sander finished the task.


Attaching the Panel

To attach the panel to the dash, 1/8 inch metal straps were bolted to the square tubing cross member holding the dash in place. Screw studs were welded on some thin 20 gauge steel by a friend Joe Collela (the 5 dark patches in the  photo.)  Joe would be happy to sell you a small stud welder if your interested.  These were inserted through the panel then epoxied in place, making a ridged connection.

Layout of Switches etc

With the right side panel in place, the switches could be layed out with paper.  The panel is not contoured at the bottom and sides at this stage.


Left Side Panel

This is a view of the panel that attaches to the left side of the steering wheel.  It houses the ignition switch and the left air conditioner outlet.  An oval theme was selected so the billet outlets sold by Phipps were selected.  Also used Phipps oval shaped dome lamps.  Great products.

This view shows the finished contouring.  Some heavier pieces of oak were glued and screwed into the panel then cut and smoothed to the contour desired.

Finished Construction

This view shows the panels in place before the interior was done.  It looks good but when padding and "Ultra Leather" is added it looks great.  More important, it houses the many functional switches and completely hides the Vintage Air System. 


Panel Covered in Leather

To keep a clean engine compartment even the billet aluminum dryer by Vintage Air is installed inside as high as possible on the firewall.  It still protrudes about 1 inch below the leather panel that covers the bottom of the dash extension.  With the bottom covered two vents were added and ducted for air from the Vintage Air unit.

Free Information on Welding Race Cars & Street Rods

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A home shop fabricator in Georgia with a Miller TM 175 amp welder purchased a 50 foot Gas Saver System ( GSSTM ) so he could use a larger cylinder and mount it on the wall of his shop.  He wrote:

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A Professional Street Rod Builder Had This to Say:

With their standard MIG welder gas delivery hose the peak shielding flow at weld start was measured at 150 CFH. That caused air to be sucked into the gas stream causing poor weld starts.  With the GSS replacing their existing hose, the peak flow surge at the weld start was about 50 CFH.  Total gas use was cut in half.

Kyle Bond, President, quickly saw the improvement achieved in weld start quality as a significant advantage!   Kyle, an excellent automotive painter, was well aware of the effects of gas surge caused by pressure buildup in the delivery hose when stopped.  He has to deal with the visible effects in the air hose lines on the spray gun in his paint booth!  The paint surge is visible and creates defects unless the gun is triggered off the part being painted!  We can’t do that with our MIG gun!



Modifying an 850 Holley for a ZZ 502 Chevy Big Block
Cooling a Chevy ZZ 502 Big Block in a Street Rod
 Adding 250 HP Nitrous to a ZZ 502 Big Block
MIG Gas Saver System $aves money !
3 Inch Stainless Exhaust System 
"Building the Body"  
"Construction Details Index"    
"WARNING: "Weld Safely"

"Building Stereo Wall"  
"Building Transmission Tunnel"  
"Fabricating the Interior"
"Other Fabricated Parts"
"Other Features"