Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method

Paint, body preparation and modification, interior work and electrical
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Insitu_az
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Joined: 26 Mar 2021 21:49
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method

Post by Insitu_az »

I have been working on fitting my Gilson SSS dash, and thought I would pass along a couple ideas on how to get it done pretty easily.

As with any after market part, there are going to be some basic fitment issues. So has been my experience with the SSS dash. Starting with the new center console, there is a bit of difference in the width of the panel. I am using the 3 gauge panel with 1 din radio (so may not apply to the 2 din panel). My new panel measured about 3/16 inch (about 4.75 mm) wider than the stock panel. If you are installing just the center panel, it will fit without any issues. The gaps between the dash and glove box will be 3/32 inch narrower, nothing more.

The SSS dash panel has some other issues. The panel is almost 1/4" wider and the attachment holes at the bottom right are displaced to the right a little over 1/8". These differences place most of the screw mounting holes out of line with the plastic mounting tabs in the dash frame. The mounting holes on the left side of the panel are a bit lower than the stock pael, and those two screws also will also not line up. Because of the location of the headlight and wiper switches, the SSS dash panel mut be pushed to the right to make up for that 1/4" difference in width.

Anyways here is how mine is coming out, next post I will cover how I made the panel attachment adjustable so that it will all fit.

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View from the passenger seat on my project car.... ignore the construction debris. lol

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View from the driver's seat. Wideband and a clock will fill those two empty holes.

To be continued.....
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Insitu_az
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Location: Mesa, Arizona

Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method - part 2

Post by Insitu_az »

The modifications I did can probably be done with the dash in the car. My car is still a "project", so I am showing pictures with the dash removed from the car.

First remove the stock dash, center panel and glove box. On the metal dash frame you will find small plastic anchors for the dash mounting screws. The objective of this stage is to make the dash panels adjustable from side to side.

The SSS dash panel must be mounted first. It must line up with the headlight and wiper switches.

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Here are a couple of the plastic mounting tabs. These are the ones located at the bottom of the center panel.

From the rear of the metal dash frame, you can squeeze the "arms" of the little plastic mounting tabs together, give them a push, and they will pop out of the hole. The hole is about 8mm square as you can see on the hole in the center of the above picture. Take care pushing these out, as they are old and you will likely break a couple of them. There are five extra ones on the panel that were originally used to hold the instrument cluster and ash tray, but only five. Take care....

Next step is to make the holes wider so that the mounting tabs can be moved left or right for adjustment. I used a small hand nibbler for this job. Search amazon for "nibbling tool", they cost less than $15.

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Here is a mounting hole that I have made wider. As you fit the panels you will find that most of the holes only need to be extended on the right side, as the instrument panel has a fixed location on the left side of the car due to the location of the headlight switch and wiper switch.

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I have widened this hole by about 3/16 inch with the nibbler.

After you have made the holes wider, clean them up with a small file and re-insert the little plastic mounting tabs. They now can be slid into position so that they line up with the dash mounting holes.

To be continued in part 3 of this saga. :D
Last edited by Insitu_az on 07 Jun 2021 14:03, edited 4 times in total.
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Insitu_az
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Joined: 26 Mar 2021 21:49
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method part 3

Post by Insitu_az »

Attaching the SSS dash panel.

Before the panel is attached you need to move two more plastic tabs located on the left side of the dash frame facing the door. The mounting holes in the SSS dash are a bit further back than the tabs.

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Ignore the condition of this dash frame. Its an old one from my shed. Circled tabs are the ones to move.

Next issue is the recessed area on the lower right of the panel. The original panel has a slight raised tab on the back side which is missing on the SSS panel. If you tighten the screw without this tab it puts some stress on the corner which could possibly lead to a fracture. I made a small spacer that mounts behind this tab to raise it to the stock height and also space the screw away from the side of the recess.

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Mounting screw recess with spacer installed.

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This is the spacer. The two raised pegs snap into the panel holes and relocate the screw to the right a bit.

The final thing to fix are the tabs that hold the panel on the top. The screw holes are located in the tach and speedometer recesses. The tabs need to be bent to line up with these holes.

With those items taken care of, go ahead and install your headlight and wiper switches and mount the dash panel to the frame. Slide the plastic tabs around to line the panel up and install the screws. Center panel is next...
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Insitu_az
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Location: Mesa, Arizona

Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method part 4

Post by Insitu_az »

Mounting the center panel.

The center panel goes on pretty easily. The holes at the top of the panel can be utilized without modification. The plastic tabs at the bottom need to be moved to the right to fit the center panel snug against the dash. You will want to fit the air vent and fan control panel at this time also if you previously removed it. Note that the air vent/fan control panel must remain centered to match up to the recess in the dash pad.

The gap on the right side of the air vent/fan control panel will be larger than the gap on left side since it remains centered.

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Gaps circled.

Just about done. Glove box is next...
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Insitu_az
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Location: Mesa, Arizona

Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method part 5

Post by Insitu_az »

Fitting the glove box.

The glove box will need to be shifted to the right, but keep it as snug against the center console as possible. You must fully open the door before the glove box can be removed or installed. There are six screws inside the glove box as well as the two at the bottom. I installed a 1/8" thick spacer between the right side of the dash frame and the glove box panel to keep it all lined up.

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Spacer for glove box.

If you want to try this and need a copy of the printer files for the two spacers, just shoot me a PM.
-Guy
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abisel
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Re: Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method

Post by abisel »

I too are working on a Gilson SSS dash for the '71.

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loungin112
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Re: Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method

Post by loungin112 »

abisel wrote: 22 May 2021 05:09
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Twins?!?
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ostaylor
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Re: Gilson SSS Dash Fitting method

Post by ostaylor »

Thanks so much for posting the details of your fitment of the SSS dash and 3 gauge single DIN center piece. I have purchased the same pieces from Gilson and will definitely refer to this post when it comes time to do my installation. I will PM you for the 3D printer files for the additional pieces.
Regards,
Owen
72 Datsun 510 2 door - 2.3 LZ with 280zx 5 speed
70 Datsun 510 2 door - SR20DET - PROJECT
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