I have a 67 corvair that I've been restoring for a while now, and although keeping a classic car stock is a fun thing in its self, I just really wanted to have my classic car with a modern feel. So one of the things I've been working on is building a custom dash for it so that I can put a double din touch screen navigation unit in it. It was way easier than i thought it would be, and its not perfect, but I think it still turned out pretty good.
Step 1: Placement and Fab Work
First you need to pull out the old unit, whatever was there, and take some measurements to see if your dash has a space big enough to fit the head unit you'd like to put in.
Single Din dimensions are 7" x 2"
Double Din dimensions are 7" x 2"
My dash didn't have a flat space big enough to put a double din head unit in it, but I still really wanted to make it happen. Since my dash rounded towards the front of the car I decided to inset the head unit rather than have the bottom stick out, I thought it makes the look more professional.
Fab up your shell for the head unit size you'd like to use, be sure to leave just a little bit of wiggle room so that the unit can slide in and out with ease. I made my first one too tight and had to try again. You don't need very heavy gauge metal, I used 1/8 and that was probably too thick but its what I had on hand.
Next you can cut out the opening in the dash. If you're going to do a recessed unit you need to place the shell and fill in your gaps with flat bar, its probably easiest to cut everything out of cardboard first and make sure it fits, then you can trace the pattern onto your metal to cut out.
Step 2: Finish Work
Next we're going to need weld the whole shell in and grind everything smooth. Get it as good as you can with welding and grinding but it doesn't need to be perfect. Cover the rest of it with bondo, sand it smooth, prime and paint it.