Newbie with Old Problem - dash rot

X

x75

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 23, 2018
10
2
3
#1
I recently purchased a low mile 1985 Conquista in pretty nice original condition, almost too original when it comes to the sun baked interior. Seats and Carpet are OK, door panels too but the dash and instrument surround have been toasted to extremely "well done" with fading, cracks and plastic so brittle if you touch it too hard it crumbles lake a week-old biscuit. Sun visors are "toast" too, and the headliner backing turns into fine powder if you put your finger on it.

I basically need everything that is plastic inside. I'd like the color to more-or-less match, the Conquista is that two-tone brown/gold/brown paint scheme. I am not sure the paint code, it is a Mexico-built vehicle and the data "plate" was a plastic piece of tape inside the door that is as faded and brittle as the rest, so no color code info is available.

How much of the El Camino is unique around the dash? Could I get a Grand Prix dash to fit? I know the headliner is specific. My Conquista has a column shift indicator, dash tachometer, AC controls, etc.

I see reproductions are available, but pricey and for some reason color match is an issue.

Thanks, I look forward to spiffing the truck a little.
 

Attachments

airboatgreg

airboatgreg

Royal Smart Person
Oct 2, 2016
1,559
1,437
113
#2
Here is what I did and in the process of doing. I bought visors from Mikes Montes(They are a sponsor and that is why I purchased them there) I needed an A pillar cover and found one in the original color on eBay (Burgundy at that time) It took a little while to find the right color but not bad. I pulled the headliner and took to local upholstery shop and for $50.00 I had it covered. My door panels were nice but were missing the pull strap covers, door lock buttons etc. So I got those from Ebay also. Fast forward 5 or more years and I decide to do a color change. Got the info from this site and proceeded. I went to black and at this point everything from the carpet to the headliner is black. I went to bucket seats, a manual trans and a console.
Today I have the seats out and am installing an amp and fitting the rear curtain around my rear speakers and attaching with snaps instead of the supplied velcro. Will up-load pics when done. I am pulling the door panels off and will do a color change with carpet panels on the bottom, take the upper parts to said upholstery shop to recover and I got the tape for the little chrome strip as I think it is a nice accent. As for the dash.....mine is cracked also and right now I have a carpet dash cover on it. The jury is still out on getting a cover for the whole dash, buying an aftermarket new dash or trying a repair technique using the baking powder. I have to pull the dash anyways as I have an issue with a mode door. My car has been a ten year project as I have been busy and I work on it when I feel like it. It pretty much sat for 4 years. Some of the guys here know and appreciate what we all have done to our cars. Petty much, take your time, think about it and don't be in a hurry.

Welcome for SW Georgia. A wealth of info here
 
X

x75

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Sep 23, 2018
10
2
3
#3
thanks for the info. I will keep an eye on FeePay and see what pops up. Also hoping someone wants to swap out their old tan interior for something more colorful and I can pick up the left-overs. I will post an ad in the wanted section here
 
8

88AZSS

Apprentice
Mar 13, 2018
65
36
18
Mesa, AZ
#4
I've heard great things about complete dash covers made from newer plastics. The process of install seems tedious but otherwise simple. Just like airboatgreg said, its all about taking your time and not being in a rush. Mikes Montes has these but I'm not sure if the Monte version is the same for the El Camino or if there is a specific one for the Camino.
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
3,859
4,420
113
Shelocta, Pa
#5
El Camino, Malibu, Monte Carlo, & Caballero all used the same dash pad. '78-'80, '81-'88.
 
CaliWagon83

CaliWagon83

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,844
1,933
113
Orange County, CA
#6
I wish someone made a replacement soft foam bezel for the Regal.
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
9,950
5,674
113
Gainesville, Fl
#7
You can use a Pontiac dash, if you choose to. It entails using the duct work from the Pontiac and the wiring harness. However, I reused the dash wiring from the Malibu, I had to use and re-pin the gauge connectors. I was pleased at how well it worked out. I'm sure good used dashes are becoming harder to find as these cars are beginning to dry up.
 

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