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Is it time to replace that cracked and hard dash pad on your Falcon or maybe you want to upgrade your metal dash to a padded dash. It is not a difficult task to replace your existing pad, but patience and care must be exercised so that the dash pad is installed correctly. If you want to upgrade your Falcon and install a pad where none was before, you will need to obtain the underside pad trim, end caps and the top dash pad trim that goes against the windshield lower gasket. MAC’s Auto Parts manufactures a dash pad that fits right and it is made right here in the good old USA (Part # 41-44542).

Cleaner, vinyl preparation spray and dye.

New dash pad with one coat of dye.

Dyeing the Pad

The first step in replacing a dash pad is to dye the pad to match your interior. Dyeing is a simple task, but proper preparation is a must to get the OEM finish and color match. The first step is cleaning the dash pad. MAC’s recommends that Tide powdered laundry detergent be used to clean the dash pad. It has proven to be an effective cleaner to remove any residue due to the manufacturing process and handling. Once the dash pad has dried, a coat of vinyl preparation spray is applied (41-75606), remember it is a good idea to do these steps in a well-ventilated area, wear an approved respirator and vinyl gloves. Vinyl preparation spray is a bonding agent that will lock the vinyl dye to the pad so peeling will not take place. A nice light coat is applied to the entire pad and allowed to dry for about 30 minutes. Once the vinyl preparation spray has dried follow with the color dye to match your interior (many colors available, (Click Here) Spray nice thin coats and allow drying between coats, 10 -15 minutes is enough time between coats. Spray each coat at a 90-degree angle to the previous coat. Apply enough coats to get full coverage, expect about 7-8 to be required. Obviously the final color will affect the number of coats required.

Removal of the Old Pad

The lower edge of the dash pad is retained by chrome trim strips. The trim is retained by spring clips, carefully slide either a trim removal tool or a putty knife under the trim and gently lift to “pop” the trim off. The speaker grill, defroster duct hats and radio speaker also need to be removed. If the defroster duct hats are original, they probably will need to be replaced (you might be lucky if you own an early Falcon, some of them were metal). Remove the end caps on each side of the pad. There are three base of windshield trim pieces that also need to be taken off. Once all the trim is removed, the old dash pad can be lifted to break any glue bond that may exist between the pad and the metal dash. Once the pad is removed, use a solvent cleaner to remove any old adhesive that remained on the metal dash. (Click Here)

Trimming the New Pad

The lower edge of the new dash pad and the defroster/radio speaker area will require trimming. Install the dash pad using some double side carpet tape to keep it from sliding around. Use an Exacto knife to cut the defroster ducts and the speaker holes. Re-install the speaker and defroster duct hats. Installing the speaker grill will hold the dash pad in place. Locate the spring clip trim holes along the lower edge with a scratch awl. Exercise extreme caution as a hole in the wrong location could ruin your new dash pad. Once all the under-dash pad trim holes are located, mount the lower dash trim. Using an Exacto knife CAREFULLY remove the excess dash pad below the trim line. To prevent cutting into the metal dash, I used a piece of plastic milk bottle slipped up under the trim.

The holes for the radio speaker and defroster duct hats are trimmed out

Carefully locate the holes that mount the lower dash pad trim.

The excess material at the bottom of the dash pad is trimmed with an Exacto knife, notice a piece of plastic milk bottle used to protect the metal dash from a score line.

The end caps installed, for a final touch, use stainless steel screws.

If your round body Falcon never had a dash pad installed, holes had to be drilled at each of the masking tape markers. I used a Falcon that had a dash pad and took measurements for each hole. The trim was then placed over the masking tape to confirm the whole locations were close to correct.