Restoring A 1965 Ford Mustang Metal Dash, And Installing a Ford Dash Pad – San Diego, California

Did I ever tell you that my favorite part of a Classic Mustang restoration are the interiors. There’s nothing like the smell of a new interior in your old Mustang. I enjoy gutting them down to nothing, and the long and detailed process of putting them back together.  I also like to take plain interiors, and convert them to 2-tone. This particular interior was already nice, but the customer wanted to improve a couple of areas. The dash had chips and scratches. Also the dash was the wrong color white. You may think that white is white, but there are many shades and tone variations. I like to use Scott Drake’s Accumatch metal etching primer and paints. Their paint lays down even with minimal orange peel . Also, they have fan nozzles which helps a lot during the painting process. Unfortunately the customer was unable to get it, so we went with another brand. Since, I color sand between coats, I take care of most of the orange peel and any dust that gets in the paint. Once everything is painted, I like to wait at least a week before re-assembly. That gives it plenty of time to cure and harden up. If you start putting parts on too early, you can leave wrinkles around the attaching parts. All the parts were in good shape, and only needed light cleaning before going back on. The dash pad and trim were replaced though.
     The customer purchased a dash pad made from the original Ford tooling. You can save a few dollars, and purchase the cheaper reproduction dash pads. The Ford one has a better finish, and they give you plenty of extra material around the edges. To get the dashes to fit perfect, you have to pre-fits and trim them a couple of times. Since his lower 1965 dash moldings were dull and dented, new ones were installed. This was the first time I installed reproductions, so I compared them side by side. They were pretty close except for the small ends. They are thin enough to lightly bend them to the correct shape. They installed like the originals. After that, the customer finished up the underside of the dash just in time for the Coronado Motorcars on Main Street show the following weekend.

If your interior needs to be freshened up, please call 619-929-8506, or email me at

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in 65-66 Mustang and have No Comments