1968-70 B-body Standard Instrument Panel
1. 1968-70 B-body standard instrument panels are characterized by a rectangular speedometer. 1968-70 B-body rallye instrument panels are characterized by a round speedometer.
(Dodge Charger, Coronet, Super Bee and Plymouth GTX, Road Runner, Satellite)
2. Very early 1968 (built in the period from August through about early September of 1967) GTX and Coronet R/T cars (all with 150 mph speedometer) had zeroes after each lens white numeral. These lenses are very difficult to read, due to the crowding.
3. Only GTX and Coronet R/T got 150 speedos, which is true for each year 1968-70.
4. Some clear lenses have switch names embossed onto the lower area. This is a duplication, as the switch cluster also has the switch names.
5. 1968 B-body standard instrument panel frame is not the same as 1969 B-body standard frame.
● Lower left-center pad mount stud location and number of studs differs.
● Glove box door latch catch holes in frame differ.
● Holes differ that attach hard plastic wood/black bezels.
6. 1970 B-body standard frame is much different than 1968 B-body standard or 1969 B-body standard.
7. 1968 GTX cars all had hard-cast plastic trim. It was a thick clear, with a rear-printed woodgrain, blackout, and chrome pinstripes.
● Small upper left piece, radio bezel, above-glove box trim.
● If radio is AM or AM-FM, the wood will not have names of thumbwheels printed on.
● Glove bezel will have red-orange “GTX”, with chrome borders, cast-and-printed into the backside.
● 1968 GTX wood is tan-brown; 1969 is darker brown.
● If you are not sure which wood is which color, look at the radio bezel for the lettering.
● 1968 GTX without AC will have outer, lower dummy vent covers. They are also a thick, hard clear plastic. Black paint is applied to the rear, allowing fine detail in the clear casting to show. The outer edges of the dummy covers are chromed.
● These vent dummies never have woodgrain.
● Non-performance 1968 B-body standard Plymouths may have a name on the above glove box bezel.
8. 1968 Coronet with B-body standard, all models, will have hard plastic clear trim on the upper left of the instrument cluster, the radio bezel, and above the glove box door. (The same layout as GTX).
● 1968 Coronet never had woodgrain.
● Black paint was applied to the rear of the hard plastic clear, on all its pieces.
● There is no “R/T” lettering on the 1968 glove box bezel. Any 1968 Coronet with B-body standard may have a name on the above glove box bezel.
● Lower-priced 1968 B-body standard Coronets and 1969 models have a black/silver set of this trim.
● 1968 Coronet B-body standard radio bezel for AM or AM-FM has no lettering for thumbwheels.
● 1968 Coronet B-body standard without AC has same outer lower vent dummies as 1968 GTX.
● All 1968 Super Bee had rallye dash.
9. 1968 B-body standard, all models, having a heater only (no AC) will have a unique black plastic dummy plug set into the center of the lower pad, below the radio.
10. 1969 Sport Satellite and GTX always have a standard instrument panel, and always have woodgrain.
● 1969 wood is darker than 1968 wood.
● 1969 radio bezel for AM or AM-FM has white lettering printed on the wood, near the thumbwheels.
● The glove box bezel will have cast-in and printed “Sport Satellite” or “GTX” lettering. 1969 GTX piece is same casting as 1968 piece, but wood color differs.
● 1969 B-body standard outer, lower vent dummy covers are same casting as 1968, but inboard smooth areas are painted flat black on the front. Edges are chrome.
11. 1969 Coronet 500 and Coronet R/T with B-body standard instrument panels always have woodgrain.
● Coronet R/T for 1969 had optional rallye dash.
● 1969 Coronet B-body standard wood is darker brown, same colors as 1969 Plymouth B-body standard.
● 1969 Coronet upper left wood and radio bezel wood is identical to 1969 Plymouth.
● 1969 Coronet glove box bezel wood has “Coronet 500” or “R/T” cast into, and printed on.
● All 1969 Super Bees had rallye dash.
● 1968-70 B-body rallye dash does not mean the car originally had a tachometer.
12. 1968-69 B-body standard instrument panel frame is much different than 1968-69 B-body rallye.
13. 1969 B-body standard cars with a heater only, no AC, will have a lower left-center pad without a provision for AC center vent. It is all just pad, no hole and no plug.
14. None of the above frames/trim have a plastic trim bezel around the rectangular instrument cluster.
15. All 1968-69 Road Runners do have the chromed-and-black instrument cluster surround plastic. This necessitates a narrowed radio bezel, and that bezel is the color of the dash frame. It has no lettering.
16. No 1968-69 Road Runners have dash wood.
17. 1968-1969-1970 B body standard and rallye instrument panel dyes, paints, and pads all have different colors year-to-year, except black.
18. The 1968-69 B-body standard Road Runner frames have no upper left corner trim, no glove box door upper right trim, and no AC dummy vent covers. All those areas are visible as painted dash frame color.
19. 1968 and 1969 B-body standard have switch cluster housings that look alike, but are not.
● It is a pot metal casting that measures 20" wide by 2" tall.
● 1968 B-body standard housing is painted flat black over a metal housing with nearly-smooth casting.
● 1969 B-body standard housing is painted satin black over a metal housing with textured casting.
● The easiest way to identify a 1968 B-body standard switch cluster is that wiper switch area is labeled only “OFF” and “.” (medium speed dot) “HIGH”.
20. Options on a 1968 B-body standard can mean changes to the switch cluster housing.
● Convertible power top rocker switch. You could not buy a 1968 B body convertible car with a B-body rallye dash! No switch existed.
● Rear speaker rotary knob
● Rear defogger rocker switch
● Station wagon rear window position rocker switch
● Rear window wash on wagon
● Giant holes were cast into, or cut into a 1968 B-body standard switch cluster that had optional switches. Unique mini bezels, with the switch name, were fitted on top of the primary bezel.
21. Options on a 1969 B-body standard meant changes to that bezel.
● Convertible power top rocker switch was in the switch cluster, which had a cast-in hole. A tiny “TOP” label was stuck on the bezel below the rocker.
● Rear speaker rotary knob in 1969 was always on the bottom of the dash frame, in the center, below the ashtray area.
● Rear defogger switch on 1969 B-body standard moved to underside of dash upper pad overhang. A giant round hole was cut into the dash frame, for a toggle switch with a black pot metal knob.
● Station wagon “R. WASH” switch rockers was labeled with a plastic mini bezel that was held on by plastic posts and clips.
● Station wagon “R. WIND” switch rocker was same location as 1969 “TOP” switch, and the same label idea.
22. Giant black screws, with Phillips heads, screw any and all of these switch clusters to the dash frame in 1968 and 1969.
23. It is extremely difficult to remove the entire switch cluster from one of these cars!
● The switch cluster housing, when properly installed, pushes to behind the edges of the lower soft pad.
● The dome light switch barely fits into its hole in the dash frame.
● The dome light switch cannot be removed from the rear.
● There are very sharp edges on the dash frame all around the switch cluster.
● To remove the switch cluster, the lower pad must be removed, working from the rear.
● You can try, with great care, to have a helper use a putty knife around the pad edges, while you push out the switch cluster from behind.
24. All 1970 Road Runner and GTX cars have a rallye instrument panel.
● 1970 Road Runner never has dash wood.
● 1970 GTX always has dash wood.
● Some 1970 GTX cars have a small plastic red and black “GTX” nameplate stuck on the wood above the glove box door.
● Recently, the newsletter had a diagram showing its location(s) (not consistent).
25. All 1968-70 Chargers and Super Bees have a rallye instrument panel.
● 1969 Super Bee never has dash wood.
● 1969 Charger Special Edition only, has dash wood. It is a much different color than 1970 wood.
● 1970 Super Bee always has dash wood.
● 1970 Charger R/T always has dash wood.
● Lesser 1970 Chargers do not have dash wood.
26. 1970 Coronet R/T was standard with a standard instrument panel. The entire dash frame, wood trim, and switch cluster area, was much different than 1968-69. 1970 B-body standard instrument cluster itself was the same as 1968-69. 1970 version may or may not use the chromed-and-black surround plastic.
27. The switches themselves on a 1970 B-body standard dash differ from earlier years, and they are housed in a hard plastic molding. It is the color of the dash frame, and covers the entire left-center area of the instrument panel.
28. 1970 B-body standard glove box door is hard plastic, and is different than 1970 B-body rallye door assembly. Steering column covers are different.
29. 1970 B-body rallye lower pads aren't really pads at all; they are hard-cast plastic. 1968-69 B-body rallye lower pads are all soft pads.
30. For 1970, a B-body standard dash had a unique upper left trim piece, a unique radio bezel, and a unique upper right trim piece above the glove box.
● Some models had each of those pieces covered in rough-surface black adhesive vinyl.
● Other models, like the Coronet R/T with B-body standard, had each of those pieces covered with a reddish-brown adhesive vinyl.
● Radio bezel for these dashes had unique chrome borders, and covered the 1970-style rotary knob radio.
31. 1970 B-body standard with heater only, no AC, used the 1968-69 AC dummy covers. But they were reworked again; their smooth inboard areas were covered with either the rough black vinyl, or the adhesive woodgrain. The edges were chromed, as before.
32. The woodgrain trim from 1968-69, or the black trim 1968-69, was attached to the dash frame with a combination of screws and unique, tiny studs. Also, the top edge of all of these trim pieces was held tightly to the dash frame by a thin, full-width aluminum rail.
33. 1970 B-body standard black textured or woodgrain trim was held to the dash frame by built-in studs, which were held tightly by large PAL nuts.
34. Air controls and AC center vents for each year of 1968-69-70 B-body standard are identical to those of B-body rallye dash cars.
35. The side, lower corner AC vents in 1968-69 are black-painted pot metal assemblies. In 1970, all-plastic black assemblies were used.
36. Early 1968 B-body standard lower left-center soft pad and the glove box door pad differ from later-1968-1969. There is no cast-in stitching on the early 1968 pads, unlike later pads. B-body standard and B-body rallye glove box doors are never the same.
37. All 1968-69 B-body standard use a unique AC center vent pot metal surrounding bezel. It fits very tightly into the left-center pad outlet opening, and it is always flat black.
38. All 1968-only B-body standard and B-body rallye dash frames used an upper crash pad that had a pronounced rearward “V”. It was 5" deep at the center.
39. All 1969-70 B-body standard and B-body rallye dashes used a fatter crash pad than 1968. It was only 4" deep at the center.
40. The defroster vent plastic outlets are all the same left/right pairs for all years of 1968-70 B body dashes.
41. Most, if not all, Chrysler instrument panel frames were made in Montezuma, Iowa! All were delivered to Chrysler in bare steel.
42. Dash frames, steering columns, and windshield upper crossbars were painted at Chrysler assembly plants in the small parts paint dept. All of these parts were sprayed with matte, textured paint, over the bare metal.
43. Chrysler did not dye any vinyl or plastic for any part of instrument panels of this time period. It was much cheaper and much easier, to have all colors of those parts made as such. Also, dyeing is very fragile compared to molded-in.
44. The hard, clear plastic trim of 1968-69 and the hard-shell plastic “pads” of 1970 are fragile. They crack easily. You will find that most 1968-69 pieces are crazed (stress cracks). All of these parts are valuable, and rare, in excellent condition.
45. Never twist a dash frame with its bezels intact. Things crack badly!
© Performance Car Graphics 2009