Friday 17 March 2023

Dashboard Fitting

I always knew what I wanted the dash to look like. I really didn't like the black wrinkle effect that was standard and with the old English white I think it sets the gauges off really well.

When I first saw the dash painted I knew I had made the right decision.

The first job is to fit all the gauges, lights and switches. As I was getting them all together I remembered the indicator surrounds were in a right mess. The rubber had completely disintegrated and you cannot buy these new. I had to come up with a way to make them good again. 

Thankfully the cardboard cylinders were just about ok. Then, after many hours of searching and brainstorming, found these rubber blanking end caps on ebay:

Only a couple of pounds each.

With some trimming of the lip they seemed to fit well.

Next issue was the green filter. Again the old one was too far gone, or totally gone as I could only find one. I bought some heat resistant green transparent acetate sheet for another couple of pounds and rather than cut a circle and stick that to the cylinders like they did originally, i thought it was easier just to cut a rectangle to cover the whole area.

I used a hole punch to make the two holes once measured.

Slot it on and can carry on with fitting the rest of the instruments.

I'm sorry that I didn't take photo's of each gauge and switch, but I was so worried about scratching the dash's new paint that I just had to focus on getting them all in ok. For the four main gauges I bought new rubber seal that sits between the gauge bezel and the surface of the dash to ensure a snug fit and less rattling.

Now some of you eagle eyed folk might have noticed a little modification I made to the windscreen pump tubes. When I first fitted this it didn't work. Not sure if it was faulty. A little research shows they are rubbish which is why many people fit electric pumps. However I worked out that you can get them to work really well by adding a small valve on the tube from the pump to the jets.

Again found these on ebay for a few pounds and they really do work, so that even when you push the pump button once you get a very strong stream of screen wash on the windscreen. 

Another upgrade that I decided to make was after I fitted everything I noticed the lights on the gauges were really dim. I've heard this mentioned before so invested in some LED bulbs specially designed to replace the old bulbs. 

And oh do they make a massive difference as you can see below.

I also wasn't sure if the indicator lights would be too bright as I had no idea if the green sheets had the right amount of transparency. But having had the car out in the bright of a sunny day I could see the indicator lights just right. 

Once you have all the gauges and switches and lights in place and correctly wired up (Refer to this diagram for help: you can now fit the dash to the chassis.

Unfortunately you cannot do that until you have fitted the crash rail. I'll cover the restoration of the rail in another post along with all the other interior trim that had to be restored. 

The crash rail isn't that hard to fit with the dash lowered as below. You need to slide in the 10 stud plates. Move them so that they line up to the holes and push in and then tighten all the nuts. 

After the crash rail is fitted you can lift the dash into position. There are just three bolts that hold the dash in place and fairly easy to locate. 

The more fiddly job is fitting the side bracket that holds the dash right back into the position and stops it vibrating.

You have to line up the bracket so it lines up with both holes allowing you to fit the screw and bolt.

Screw goes to the dash and bolt to the a post. 

There are also two metal strips that pull the middle of the dash towards the bulkhead and hold it in place. They are held in place with two self tapping screws. You can see one of them in the photo below.

Think the dash looks really good. You may notice the black beading that goes around the instruments section of the dash below. This is just some round solid rubber cord from eBay. It is just stuck to the underside of the dash at each end and the elasticity keeps it in place. 

The reason why I came up with this was because when it came back from the paint shop you could see the gap between the two welded sections and it didn't look good. I think it would have been harder to see if I'd kept the black wrinkle paint, but the white really showed it up. I Like the way it looks though.


  1. Looking good, any more progress since March? I've been following your blog for 3 years. It'll be good to see it finished! Mine is still at the 80% bodywork completed stage.

    1. Hi Mash,
      Thank you for your comments. I've now updated the site. Sorry was a bit distracted.
      Good luck with finishing off the body work. Definitely worth it in the end!