A Dashing Interior

by Marshall Spiegel
Reprinted with permission from Dealer's Sport Trucks

To order your carbon fiber dash kit contact: Dealer's Sport Truck, Dept. ST, 3938 Cerritos Blvd., Los Alamitos, California, 90720. (562)936-1230.

Follow along as we present the step-by-step installation of carbon-fiber dash kit.

Installing a peel-and-stick dash kit is essentially a matter of cleaning the surfaces to which the dash components will be mounted, peeling off the protective cover from the adhesive, and very carefully mounting the trim pieces. It sounds easy, but it requires a good eye to do the job right.

If you're involved in the professional restyling trade, however, you probably already have the patience and skills necessary to install aftermarket dash kits. They make a great addition to any customizer's product line.

To show you what's involved in a typical installation, we visited Dealer's Sport Truck & Automotive, Los Alamitos, Calif., a do-every-thing kind of stylizing/customizing shop. We watched as Simon Purvis, an absolute master at the task, dressed the gray dash of a black '96 GMC pickup with a carbon fiber dash kit from Trim Master, Inc., Ontario, Calif.

Two things impressed us: how well the components of the 12 piece kit fit the GMC and how much patience Purvis displayed during the install. The whole job was completed in an hour or so. Here's how it went.

1. Our installer, Simon Purvis, begins by checking the kit components to make sure they are all there and that they shipped without damage.
2. The dash of the '96 GMC pickup is thoroughly cleaned with solvent.
3. Here are the dash kit pieces to be mounted.
4. Purvis removes the housing on the main instrument panel of the dash.
5. Next he removes the gauge cluster.
6. Making certain that he didn't leave any fingerprints on the surface, Purvis removes the glass cover from the instrument panel.
7. The protective cover is carefully peeled off the dash kit section designed to surround the gauges.
8. Purvis displays incredible patience and steady hand as he lines up the gauge cluster and carbon-fiber kit section.
9. A section of carbon fiber is applied to the surround that fits over the instrument cluster
10. Purvis uses a heat gun to bond the kit component to the dash.
11. Next he positions a very narrow section on the cluster surround.
12. The backing is carefully removed and the carbon-fiber strips are pressed into place.
13. The gauge cluster and surround are reinstalled into the dash.
14. The cup holder pieces and accent strip are applied.
15. Here's the finished installation, which gives the whole interior a real dash of class.