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Chuckchuck
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Post count: 5

I’m doing two dashes at the moment.  I was able to get the driver’s side off on one by removing the panel under the steering wheel, loosening up the wiring harness and going in with an 8mm wrench attached to a long stick.  It was a real PITA for certain.  The other car I removed the instrument cluster but couldn’t really see how to get to the nuts any easier.  But I’m with you – sticky tape and some of that sticky heater box gluey stuff on the nut studs.  The crazed cracked flakey varnish came off pretty easily, but the door panel wood was another PITA.  Not as cracked as the dash, but a couple of visable ones and I was out for perfection.  I tried any manner of paint/varnish/shellac removers with not a dent in the finish.  I did one with a heat gun and scraper – that took over 3 hours.  I ended up drilling 3 holes in a length of 1/8 inch steel (the size of the door panel strips) bolted the wood to it and set it upside down on a cookie sheet in the oven at 375 for about 10 – 15 minutes.  The plastic or varnish or whatever it is bubbled up and once you get under it it peels off in strips and chunks.  Some a bit easier than others.  The routered-out part of the wood was a bit more difficult, but the heat gun and scraper did a good job on those smaller areas.  You need to wear leather gloves since the metal retains a lot of heat, of course, and the plastic coming off is pretty hot at first as well.  After it was stripped I cooled down the metal under running water since if you take the wood off the metal while it is still hot it tends to warp.  Doing it this way I stripped 8 pieces in about 3 hours including oven time.  I’ll post some photos when I figure that one out . . .