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Discussion Starter #1
After getting the heater box out and ready for restoration, I got a good look at the ash tray and realized it wasn't really held on with anything. That lower black part of the dash is some fiberglass-ish (recycled polenta?) material. There appear to be very tenuous connections at the ashtray frame that are long gone.
I need to fabricate/reinforce something I guess? Maybe I can 3d print some sort of backup for the ashtray and epoxy it to the back of that lower dash. It just seems to have zero structural integrity at all. Am I missing parts, or is that normal?
 

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Mine (73 Super) has metal on both sides of the ashtray and a steel rod that acts as a pivot. There is also a spring loaded wire that causes friction to hold the try closed.
I've don lots of work on the tray and it seems very sturdy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ill get some pictures later. I have the assembly with the steel, the rod, and the spring. My issue is how that whole assembly is attached to the lower dash. There doesn't seem to be anything sturdy for it to attach to? It seems like that whole area from the steering column over to the speaker it barely held together. There doesn't seem to be any metal at all in there
 

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The top part is attached to the plastic (?) part of the dash under the flat steel where the bumpers are on my photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The top part is attached to the plastic (?) part of the dash under the flat steel where the bumpers are on my photo.
OK, that's helpful. I have that same little steel bar (yours has the felt bumpers on it). I was not sure if that was stock or some jury-rigged thing. Now I know I have the right parts. Thanks! There is a similar piece of bar stock at the bottom too that WAS connected to the edge of the lower dash. There's not enough material there to attach to any more. This is helpful - it appears that I have all of the pieces. I just need something to attach to:)
 

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The dash piece has two machine screws and a tapped metal bar in back, traps it around the fiberglass. If you don't have the little strut support coming from the heater box that makes it all more flexible too.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Long term I think I’ll take the dash out when the heater goes back in (after rebuilding) later this year. From the column over to the glove box is really flimsy.

I measured the conditions, and found some screws to the left of the ash tray opening (they hold the lower dash pad just right of the column). Those are the mount points on the left, on the right I just used hot glue. My printer can only do 220 mm x 220 mm x 300 mm. So this will have to do for now. I think I’ll figure a way to print out multiple pieces and splice them. I’ll essentially reinforce the whole lower section from the steering column to the glove box. Maybe even find a way to tie it into the auxiliary gauge/HVAC mounting bracket and make the whole think more rigid.
For now, it works.
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Taking out the dash is not really that bad a job and it will give you the opportunity to straighten things up with the wiring (if needed) and make the glove box stronger (probably needed). Plus, when you have the back of the gages in easy reach - change all the bulbs to LED!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That’s the plan, cleaned up wiring, lights and clock all cleaned up and fixed.... later in the summer.

that fiberglass-ish material is terrible... not robust at all... 50 years on
 

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Yes, but its very light weight! :p
 

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It took me a while to find one that was not cracked at the front corner. I tried glueing the original with the new vinyl insert covering, didn’t work.
 
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