Wednesday 19 March 2014

New Dashboard

What is it about upgraditus? We have a car that is running perfectly well and looks fine to most eyes yet we see something that is 'just not right'.  For me, that was the dashboard.  I wasn't overly happy with the stainless surround around the dials as that had a tendency to act as a giant mirror when the sun was behind you.  I also wanted to have a different layout for the instruments as I like my car to be a little different to the other Zeros out there.

The dashboard I had was made from GRP and I had covered it with carbon fibre effect heatshrink wrap.  Initially it looked fab but over time the the wrap had started to come away from the complex curves.

This is how the car looked like before I started.

The first thing to do was to take the dash to pieces.  This involves removing the steering wheel, the column shroud and loosening the scuttle.

It was once the old dashboard was removed, I could see the extent of the 'damage' to the current finish.

Not a pretty sight!

The process for making the new dashboard could now start.  First thing to do was to buy a blank.  I bought mine from and I bought a Westfield wide carbon fibre one, no fake wrap this time!

I started by making a template out of card from the old dash so that could be traced out on to the blank.  Lots of masking tape was applied to protect the finish underneath.

I then cut out some shapes the right sizes for the dials and Savage switches and started to play around with the layout.  I had a pretty good idea in my head what I wanted to do, I just had to translate it on to the new dashboard blank.

Once I had decided on the set up, I transcribed it to the dash.

First job was to cut the outer shape and make sure that it fitted.

 Then I needed to cut the holes.  I started off with some small pilot holes and then used a jigsaw to cut the larger holes and then used step drills to make the holes for the switches.  After cutting, 3 holes were OK and 3 needed a small mount of filing to allow the gauges to fit.

Here are the gauges from the front.

This is the mess at the back.  Not a pretty sight, but I was working with the factory loom which wasn't designed to be fitted like this.

 This is the finished job.  The sharp eyed amongst you will have also noticed the addition of a new Momo steering wheel ... mmmmm..  nice!