Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Real Dashboard

Mocking up the dashboard on a piece of plywood really helped get the wiring right and acted as a good trial run for the real thing. I used the fibre glass dash supplied by Pilgrim as it is the right shape and also has the proper curve at the base to pass IVA. However, I didn't us the two part centre as after messing with it I didn't see the point and preferred an even flat dash. I also skipped the glovebox!

Getting the wiring right is essential as it is an IVA failure that is hard to fix once the dash is fit, unless it is completely enclosed. So, I routed all wiring from 3- or 4 multi-plug sockets around to each dial:

I padded the front and edge of the dash with a 2mm foam (actually it was hardwood flooring underlay :-) ) You can hopefully see the backs of the BigHead screws fixed through the dash which will be used to bolt the whole dash to the body. They will be nicely invisible once the dash is finished:

I then covered the front with black leather (OK, I went for vinyl). I spend hours trying to decide between a cream or black interior, and finally went for black - safe and classic!

Cutting and wrapping the vinyl around the edges of the dash is a delicate job to ensure that the front doesn't crease, and is especially hard around the sharp exterior corners. I found that a glue gun was brilliant and sticking the vinyl (and foam) to the back of the fibreglass. The hot glue solidifies quickly and is strong and flexible.

And here's the finished dash with dials and switches attached. Neat and simple!

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