Congratulations on the purchase of your new dash pad from Rhino Fabrication. The pad you have purchased was made in the USA by craftsmen that honestly care about their end product, and the quality within. Each pad is formed, poured, trimmed and packaged in Oregon at our small manufacturing facility. We have attempted to provide you with a functional and cosmetically beautiful product for your automobile that you can be proud of. We hope you have years of satisfaction knowing that the pad you have purchased was made in America. Our dash pad was crafted by American Labor to fit your American Vehicle.
Since you have invested a great amount of your hard earned dollars to purchase this product we would like to provide you with some information to help you in the process you are about to attempt. We have provided you with the finest fitting product for your vehicle available on the market today. Your new dash pad has been hand trimmed to an oversize state on a check fixture that was created from a factory stamped article. This fixture requires a great amount of time and resources to complete but also ensures proper fitment of our product before it leaves our facility.
We also realize that every dash pad our customers receive will require some custom trim during installation to ensure the best end result. DO NOT ASSUME THAT THIS PAD WILL MAGICLY FIT YOUR VEHICLE WITH OUT SOME ADJUSTMENT ON YOUR BEHALF. In saying this we mean that you may be required to remove foam on the back side, you may need to thin the foam in some areas to allow even fitment of perimeter trim etc. We have benched this product at our facility but it is up to the installer to make sure adjustments in foam and or skin are completed to produce a perfect fit. You have purchased a soft trim product and soft trim requires finesse and patience to complete correctly.
The install you are about to undertake is very difficult for some individuals and that is why we strongly recommend that if you are not highly experienced in soft trim installation, DO NOT PROCEED. We suggest that you seek a professional to complete this install for you if you have any doubts of your talents regarding this install. When we suggest a professional we do not mean your buddy Larry or Tom that once owned a similar vehicle. We are referring to a skilled individual that has the experience and tested knowledge to do the job correctly. As we stated before, we are very glad you purchased our product, but we are not overly anxious to sell you a replacement because you destroyed this new pad during the install. Please consider your skill level before proceeding. Once you cut, trim, mark or otherwise alter this pad you will not be allowed credit and or return.
If you have decided to proceed we suggest the following:
Prior to attempting to install your new dash pad the following issues need to be addressed.
- Remove the right and left side A pillar moldings.
- Remove right and left lower inside windshield garnish moldings.
- Remove the speaker grille. This will allow access to the radio speaker and the defroster diffusers.
- Remove both defroster diffusers.
- Loosen the Instrument Cluster
- Remove radio speaker.
- Remove the stainless trim that encompasses the lower edge of the dash pad. Use extreme caution when removing these trim strips. They are held in place with spring clips and damage to the dash and/or the trim can result if handled improperly.
- Remove and old foam or adhesive from the steel dash frame. This surface needs to be completely free of all foreign matter to allow for the best fit of your new dash.
Caution: We highly recommend you install this dash within 30 days of purchase. The longer you wait to install the more opportunity your pad has to morph into something that may better fit a new Fiat or Honda. We are dealing with urethane foam and thermal vinyl. These are two products that are created to shape and mould. We keep our inventory fresh so please do your part and install this item as rapidly as possible. Do not wait an extended amount of time to install. Your new dash pad does need adhesive for installation. The factory trim moldings will assist in securing the pad in position. Adhesives are suggested. An ideal installation temperature is 70-80 degrees. This will allow the pad to remain flexible during the installation. Do not under any circumstances allow the pad to sit in extreme heat such as direct sunlight for any extended time. The pad will distort and be ruined if subjected to these conditions prior the installation.
- Remove the instrument cluster from its attaching points. Remove the lower trim, speaker grille and windshield garnish moldings and end caps.
- Slide the dash pad onto the metal dash frame. Check the front edge and curved side edges of the dash pad. They should conform to the metal dash frame and the front edge where the garnish molding will later be installed. Use your hand under the dash frame to check the fitment of the speaker-recessed area of the dash pad to the metal frame underneath. Feeling along the rear edge of the speaker recess you will be able to tell if the pad is far enough on the frame. Gently press the pad forward to allow the pad to slip down into the recessed speaker area. If your pad fails to move forward enough to fit the opening it may be necessary to pull the pad away from the metal frame and observe the far ends of the dash pad where it contacts the metal frame of the car. Your dash pad may need some foam material removed from the backside of the pad where the ends of the pad fit in the metal dash. Do not use excessive force on the pad or the ends could be damaged. We have minimized material initially in our manufacturing process but since each vehicle is unique your application may require the removal of additional foam. Take time to remove foam material in slow increments and check fitment often.
- Remember you are only removing foam from the ends of the dash pad that might be contacting the rearward protruding points of the metal dash frame. Do not get carried away here. You can destroy your dash pad if too much material is removed during your fitment.
- Slight trimming of the vinyl skin may be needed on each end of your dash pad. As the pad fits forward on the metal frame, the front ends will need to be relieved slightly to avoid tearing the dash pad. Use the metal end caps and the A pillar moldings that you removed earlier to test fit how much trimming is allowed. Now is the time to make sure the pad drops into the speaker recessed area. This single step is the most important installation tip I can provide to you. Do not proceed until you have made sure that the recess of the pad has dropped into the recess on the dash frame. If you skip this step your pad will never look perfect. The speaker grill needs to be test fit once you believe the pad is positioned correctly. If engagement is not achieved the installer will need to sand or grind foam from the rear surface of the pad. We are referring to the curved surface where the pad makes contact with the rearward curved edge of the metal dash shell. Removal of additional foam will allow the pad to travel further forward onto the metal dash shell, thus allowing the speaker recess to engage the metal recessed area. Keep in mind that the pad you have is identical to our display pad that we use for trade and car shows etc. They do fit well, but it takes time and patience to make your installation first class. You would not expect to install a set of seat upholstery without patience and adjustment, so do not assume that your new dash pad is any different. Keep in mind that as the pad moves forward on the metal dash shell you may be required to trim away excess material at the forward edge to allow forward movement of the pad. If the windshield is removed you will have little or no trouble but if you have chosen to install the dash pad with the windshield in the vehicle expect some frustration and a much more difficult install. I have installed dozens upon dozens of Falcon Dash Pads and every time I install a pad in a vehicle with a windshield installed I swear I will never attempt it again. It is just a frustrating task.
- Once the pad drops into the recess for the speaker area you are ready to begin fine-tuning the outside perimeter of your dash pad. We have provided you with enough material on the dash pad to allow garnish moldings to cover the edges of the pad. Use extreme caution! Do not trim away too much material from the edges of your pad. Very little material, if any needs to be removed. Take your time! The appearance of your pad depends on it.
- Once you are satisfied with the fitment remove the pad and use your adhesives to reattach your pad to the vehicle.
- It is now time to fit and install the lower windshield garnish moldings. Do not tighten any of the screws until all screws have been started. Then gently snug all screws evenly. Do not over tighten these mounting screws as leakage of the windshield gasket could result.
- Fit and install both A pillar moldings.
- It is now time to install the lower dash pad trim molding. Apply light downward pressure to the dash pad and use a scratch awl to locate the mounting holes for the trim clips. With the clips mounted in the trim molding begin pressing the molding into place. Apply pressure only directly over the clip location or the molding will be bent. Continue until all clips are seated. Install the chrome flat end caps onto the dash pad.
- Inspect the installation and when you are satisfied with the fitment use your can razor knife to gently trim the excess material from beneath the lower trim molding. Use caution so as not to scratch the painted dash surface or cut your new dash pad.
- Install and attach any remaining components removed during the install.
You should have a beautiful dash pad now installed in your vehicle. We hope that you enjoy the view each time you get behind the wheel. Thank you again for purchasing our product.