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October 24, 2017

Dash Install

[Click the pics for a larger view]

In preparation to begin wiring the car, I needed to install the dashboard and dash support, which contained all the controls for the electrical devices.  Before this, I had to install the top crash pad.  Since I had recovered the original crash pad, I was pretty sure the fit would be OK.  I had left plenty of excess vinyl on the aft part of the pad to wrap under the cowl edge.  Some people report problems installing replacement pads that don't include the excess vinyl flaps.  Even though the metal dash captures the flap, I glued it to the underside of the cowl edge.  I also glued the pad along its leading edge.  The de-mister bezels and the ash tray hold down the middle part of the pad.

Speaking of the ash tray, no one will be smoking in this car, but I didn't see a good way of eliminating it.  I know some have repurposed the ash tray to hoId auxilliary power outlets, which I think is brilliant, but I already had placed the outlets elsewhere.  In the end, I just cleaned it up and modified it a little.  The central metal tab that apparently was used to extinguish cigarrettes also served as the detent spring for the lid, so it can't be removed completely.  I cut the tab off so the spring function still worked, but it wasn't really visible any more.  The cleaning and painting required removing the lid rivets, but I replaced them with tiny screws with lock nuts.  I guess I'll just call it a coin tray now.

In a flash of forethought, I saw that a few things would be much easier to install now before the dash was in place.  Here are the demister hoses.

In the spirit of doing as much pre-wiring as I could, I wired up the switches on the dash support to a circular connector.  The circuit board is the controller for the seat heaters.  The heaters came with a harness that included a relay, fuse, and switch.  That seemed kind of kludgy to me, and besides, my switch worked a little different than theirs, so I would have had to rewire the harness anyway.  The relay isn't there for the usual reasons--it is part of the logic that can put a seat's lower and upper heat pads either in parallel or in series.  This is how the two levels of heat are achieved.

To stage everything, I mounted the dash, plinth, and dash support together on a base.  This allowed me to get the wire lengths right without crawling under the dash in the car.

In mounting the controls on the dash, I ran into the usual hassle of tightening some of the bezel nuts.  I think you can buy special gizmos to fit them, but out of frustration, I took a time out to make a couple.

Another little sidetrack.  The air vents are captured in the metal dash, and are cushioned with thin O rings.  Well on my dash, the vents would rattle in their holes, even with two of those little O ring gaskets.  My solution was to get thicker square section O rings (size -229).  These worked great, though they had to be shaved a bit to fit through the hole in the wood dash.

Then the metal dash/wood dash assembly was installed in the car.  It was much easier to get the nuts on the cowl studs with the tach and speedo removed.

Tach and speedo back in place.

Then the dash support.  I'm not sure if I will have trouble installing the steering column with the wood dash in place.  If so, it may have to come apart again.

This was a very satisfying step.  I live it when I can actually see a difference in the car.

Commnets to Ed at

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