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Dashboard question

I have a 1997 Thunderbird. The dashboard is having issues. The top of the dash is barely cracked but the part of the dash that goes in front of the instrument panel is badly cracked. It is being held in place with zip ties, and tape. It started with a crack near where the steering wheel was, and then multiple cracks popped up. It also cracked worse after my mechanic had to take it off to fix the rear defroster switch. I do not think I need a whole brand new dash but if I call junkyards just for the part that is cracked, I have no idea what it is called. does anyone know what it is called? I have read the term dash panel, dash, front and dash bezel, but I do not know if they are right. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Take a cell phone pic or just drive the car to the yards. there will be no new parts that old.
Your description is pretty good already just by describing where it is and what it does.

Look at the illustration below. By your description, it is the instrument panel finish panel. Double click on it to enlarge it.

thank you. that looks like it. I am going to call some auto junk yards next week to see if I can find one.

Steering Column Instrument Panel Cover.


Any dealer parts guy can look it up and tell you. Different manufacturers often use different nomenclatures.

I was unable to expand jt’s exploded view drawing; he’s probably right.
Tester may be right too. Since I retired I no longer have access to any technical drawing packages, so I’d stop by the dealer’s parts window.

I use an iPad. Using thumb and forefinger expansion works, but older PCs without that feature might be problematic.

I’ve got a one year old HP PC and when you click on it, it just goes into the corner of the page by itself, but the same size. No big deal.

Yes, there is no enlargement possible on that graphic. Except by an artificial loss of resolution, as shown here.

I enlarged it just enough to read the words. Even then, I had to squint.

You get what you pay for, guys.

You may run into some trouble sourcing that part. I expect it’s available from certain junkyards, but those might not be much better than what you got now. I have a similar problem w/my truck and that truck is so old junkyards are of no use for anything like that , but I found something that looks like it should work available at LMC Truck Parts. It’s a generic part, but should at least make it look more presentable. So if you can’t find a good exact replacement, there still may be generic aftermarket solutions available out there somewhere.

I have gone on a few junkyard websites and also called some junkyards but am having no luck yet

What is the issue?


i am going to a junkyard today or tomorrow to see if they have the part of the dash I need.

"i am going to a junkyard today or tomorrow to see if they have the part of the dash I need."

Good plan! May the force be with you! :smile:

i just got back from my trip today. I got the dashboard item that I needed. this was first time using a junkyard and I was amazed at what you might be able to get. next time I need a hard to get part, I will look to junkyards for it


I sometimes prefer parts from a take-it-off-yourself salvage yard, over brand new parts (even when available). Practicing a removal technique on somebody else’s vehicle, before you do your own, has its advantages! Then there’s a cost savings and availability advantage, too.

I have recently got a couple dashbards from junkyards that were no good because the clips in the back were broken. does anyone know a place that would sell new dashboards or fabricate one?

Google or yellow pages for a upholstry shop near you. A shoe repair shop may be able to help, if you can find one.