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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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16,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread is a detour towards an alternate concept for fixing our deteriorated GT defrost vents and dash openings, as started in this thread:


Recap: Most of us have deteriorated openings at the flare out of our oem defrost vents. The vents have shrunken and warped and, in some cases, this has caused the openings to start to close up in places. Additionally, many of us have cracked dash vinyl in the periphery of the vents. Plus, the oem vents never worked very well and had uneven dispertion of the air over the windshield. Usually, the air would mostly come out of just the center of the 14.5" vent openings. Read the other thread for more details.

After 5+ years of discussion and attempts to 3D print them or have new molds made, it is becoming apparent to me that we will never be able to get new vents made affordably. One solution, that I and many cars I see at car shows have done, is to buy aftermarket vents. One such vendor is Vintage Air. But, very few cars have vents as enormously long as our GT's and the vents they make don't fit our dash openings very well. I make custom dashes and design them to fit the Vintage Air vents, but everyone else is stuck with the design of the oem dashes.

But, generally, our defroster vent assemblies are in good condition, it's just that the sun has destroyed the flared out openings. If we could fix just the deteriorated flared out openings, we could continue to use our oem vent assemblies. One thing that I have noticed on older cars is that many, many, have redone/redesigned dashes and I have noticed that many have nice neat little metal grills or cover plates at their vent openings. Vintage Air sells those! I installed them on my latest dash:

Grille Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Laptop


In the pic of my dash above, the cover plate simultaneously holds the vent to the dash and covers up the cut in the upholstery to make the vent opening. In these pics of my previous custom dash, I did not use the cover plates:

Tire Grille Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle


Automotive tire Wood Tread Textile Font


All car guys are in the same boat when it comes to this plastic vent deterioration problem. Unless they have a very popular car that a lot of people fix up or a very expensive car owned by wealthier people, they can't get oem reproductions of vents made. The guys with fewer, cheaper, cars can't get new oem vents. That's who companies like Vintage Air serve.

But we don't actually need entirely new vent assemblies, we just need to fix the openings. In my opinion, GT defrost vents are poorly designed internally and the openings are too large. There's no back pressure to force the air to come out more evenly over the whole 14.5" length of the vents. Notice the slender slots in the vent covers on the white dash above. I have seen this on most cars that have had custom dash and vent work done to them. The thin slots create back pressure, which induces the air to come out more equally along the length of the vents. I like this idea.

Not everyone can afford to have their dashes "reclaimed" or recovered. Just Dashes is the primary company that does redo's to our dashes. But a lot of guys can't pay that kind of money and will opt for various dash covers that we can get. Or they don't get covers at all for their old cracked dashes. Many of these old cracked dashes have substantial cracking and peeling up of the vinyl in the vicinity of the vent openings.

Blah, blah, blah.........SO, I propose that we make cover plates specifically shaped for Opel GT's and, while we're at it, fix the poor air flow problem and cover up some of the cracked or peeling up surrounding dash top vinyl. Just a shaped piece of metal that will last forever and bolts to the dash over the existing vent assemblies. It should be possible to have them affordably made.

I have no real stake in this, I solved my dash vent issue. I'm just doing this as an exercise in engineering and as a proof of concept. I'm just going to make a rough prototype and then hand off the idea and prototype to whomever wants to pursue this idea further. Maybe no one will like the idea. That's okay by me. It's just a project to kill retirement time.

Okay, here's a bunch of pics of measurements and my preliminary templates. In the coming days I will cut them out and fasten them to my spare dash and then I'm done with this project.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Grey Wood Automotive tire


Automotive tire Wood Bumper Motor vehicle Boat


Automotive tire Hood Tread Tire Automotive lighting


Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Tread Bumper


Plant Sleeve Tool Gesture Wood


Automotive tire Sleeve Bumper Tire Tread


Automotive tire Tire Tread Bumper Synthetic rubber
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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16,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I fastened the plates to the dash. It was a PIA to drill through hardened sheet metal inside the dash. A 3rd screw was needed in the center. I spray painted the whole cracked dash to try to make it all look better. It's ugly.

The verdict? This mod sucks.

Better to get yourself some Vintage Air ducts and mod them into your dash, then have Just Dashes recover your dash and blend in the vinyl at the VA ducts. Or make your own dash.

Mission accomplished.

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Tread Bumper
 

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Solo II is fun in a GT!
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604 Posts
Okay, I fastened the plates to the dash. It was a PIA to drill through hardened sheet metal inside the dash. A 3rd screw was needed in the center. I spray painted the whole cracked dash to try to make it all look better. It's ugly.

The verdict? This mod sucks.

Better to get yourself some Vintage Air ducts and mod them into your dash, then have Just Dashes recover your dash and blend in the vinyl at the VA ducts. Or make your own dash.

Mission accomplished.
You proved it, in only 5 post.
 
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