Nissan Hardbody Dashboard Swap - Dash Removal - El Switcheroo, Part I
Old Hardbody = New Dash
When we think of smooth and sexy mini-truck interiors, the first makes that come to mind are Chevrolet, Toyota, and Ford. The '86-'96 Nissan Hardbody's interior hasn't a snowball's chance in making it onto our list of best-looking mini-truck interiors. With its flat, plastic door panels and square-shaped dashboard, the older model Hardbody leaves much to be desired on the inside of the cab. Thank goodness Nissan got its collective ass together come 1997 when it completely redesigned the dash and center consoles in its line of pickups. The '97-and-newer dash features more rounded, flowing lines that make it a nice, modern alternative to the old-style dash. The new style dash also has a provision in the center bezel to fit a double-din-sized head unit or monitor, unlike the older dash that only had room for a single-din head unit. This greatly improves your options for stuffing audio equipment in front of your face.
We'll be covering the swap from old to new dash in two stages. While it's nearly a bolt-on swap, there are a few speed bumps we'll have to overcome. Part I will show where we found our donor truck and the removal of the old dash from the project truck. Part II will cover the installation of the new dash into our project truck as well as the installation of a new gauge package. For more information on this swap, give the folks at California Minitruck Dismantlers a call using the information listed in the source box.