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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - new to this forum - just picked up a 2007.5 Topkick to convert to a 4x4 RV - was extremely happy to discover this forum area and the depth of experience here..

Curious if anyone has attempted a dash swap from a GM full sized van since "in theory" the sheet metal is identical.

Reason being is I hated the soft edged plastic dash/controls style GM used in the 90's and would prefer to update the interior to a more modern feel as we're looking at this build as a long term family member.

Ironically for my feelings on the Topkick interior feeling dated is the Van interiors are largely unchanged from 2004ish to present but I'm sure a lot has changed out of sight.

Idea is to swap in a 2007ish van door cards, dash top and facia, keep the Topkick gauge cluster and steering column.

Major issue would be relocating the gauges (pillar?), center information panel and all the switches.

I'm aware my Topkick doesn't have a body control module/CANBUS, I'm assuming this would have to be from a donor van before they moved the vans to CANBUS and BCM's if anyone knows what year that happened.

The idea of somehow adding a passenger side airbag is appealing as well but that is indeed a whole kettle of fish just by itself.

I'm ok with complex wiring and modifying harnesses is well within my skill set & can design and 3d print gauge / rocker switch bezels / panels inserts etc. if needed so it looks "stock" & not a kludge. .

Vehicle Motor vehicle Car Automotive design Steering wheel


So am I nuts or with the right year parts choices could this be pulled off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not familiar with either the van or the Topkick, but have you considered differences in the heater/air conditioner and related ducting? There may be differences in the firewall, and location of various penetrations.
FYI the 2000's Kodiak/TopKick platform uses the same cab as the full sized GM vans. They rightfully so used a driver focused dash to be a "mini big rig" & never updated it. Think 90's GM curvy plastic marshmallow switchs etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As I have been searching for parts lately, door panels, steering wheel with radio DIC controls, dash vents and misc interior parts, I have been wondering what the interchange is for the G vans myself. I haven't had a look at the 2000 up van interiors myself but I think you are on to something here. Smart idea! I like the idea of upgrading the dash to the new style. I think this will open up a whole can of worms when it comes to athletically pleasing dash upgrades, upgrades that are available for converted vans that are no longer or were never available for the Kodiak/top kick models.

I was going to start a thread asking what the actual differences are between the Kodiak and van cabs as I am having difficulty finding much of anything available.

I wonder also about the CAN and body control issue, I think, my opinion and hope add I do not actually know, is that if you bought the proper van dash wire harness you could incorporate EVERYTHING into it that the van had. I have seen only one van with a duramax conversion but I have no idea what would be involved.

Get it done and take lots of notes, when its working 100% I will bring my truck over so you can get it done also🤓
To my eye the key is a better understanding of when the vans went to a body control module which to the best of my understanding, my 2007 does not use and as such has all the old analog hvac controls and switches etc. If all the the vans with the refreshed dash have a BCM its a dead issue
 
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