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Dash Rebuild/Reconfigure project

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paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
I've decided to rebuild and reconfigure the dash on my 1971 Spit and will document it here.

This will be less of a "how to" than it will be a "here's what I've screwed up so far."

As with many things associated with owning one of these wonderful cars, this project is one of those things that grew out of another repair/upgrade.

I was not too familiar with British wiring before I bought my Spit, but in just two short months I have come to despise it, which prompted my decision to have the entire care rewired with a 14 circuit Kwikwire harness. Since I'm having the car rewired, now would be a good time to move the ignition, turn signals, and headlights from the steering column to the dash. And since I'm moving those switches to the dash, now would be a good time to add oil pressure and volt gauges. And since I'm doing all that, now would also be a good time to . . .

And here we are.

I've started with the drivers panel. Using the original plastic panel as a template I cut and shaped a new one out of 1/4 inch Sande (whatever that is) plywood. The attached picture shows the panel with gauges and switches dry fit.

The switches are Ron Francis Synergy Series. As you can see, the hazard switch is in the stock location between the gauges and I have located the turn signal switch to the left of the speedometer where it is conveniently accessed without taking my hand off the steering wheel.

Right now, the plan is to either cover the wood with vinyl or paint. I'm leaning towards paint, but I'm running a test piece to see how it comes out before I pull the trigger.

The pictures begin with a "before" shot, followed by the dash removed, dry fit of switches and gauges, and turn signal demo.

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grubscrew Avatar
grubscrew grub screw
The suburbs of, Winfield, Maryland, USA   USA
How will the turn signals self cancel?



Dave
1970 Spitfire Mk3
FDU 78359L
34/11 (Jasmine yellow/Black interior)

1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF 575L
Signal Red/Red interior

paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
They won't, but that won't be a big change for me because my current switch mechanism is broke and doesn't self cancel anyhow.

On the upside, the new speedo has some fairly bright and conspicuous turn signal indicators built in. So there's that. smiling smiley

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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
Nice gauges.

corillion Avatar
corillion Cherie Orillion
Covington, LA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Tin Lizzy"
Where'd u get that speedo?
Model / name / $$

paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
SteveTheBrewer Avatar
SteveTheBrewer Steve Lembree
Orlando, Florida, USA   USA
Awesome project! I have a 1970 with virtually no dash, so I am going to be following your project closely as I will be tackling the same thing. I am in Florida, so I am ditching the heat controls because the car is missing the whole system. I plan on putting Oil Pressure, Amp Meter, Fuel Level, and Engine Temp gauges in the middle. I also need a new Speedo and Tach. I have the originals but they both need to be rebuilt.

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Attachments:
IMG_1797.JPG    35.5 KB
IMG_1797.JPG

MoneyPitSpit Avatar
MoneyPitSpit Ron (Smokey) Wasmuth
Beautiful, Sparkling, Lakeland, Florida, USA   USA
1974 Triumph Spitfire "Midnight Blue"
1995 Chevrolet Camaro "Crystal Blue Persuasion"
In reply to # 1484993 by SteveTheBrewer Awesome project! I have a 1970 with virtually no dash, so I am going to be following your project closely as I will be tackling the same thing. I am in Florida, so I am ditching the heat controls because the car is missing the whole system. I plan on putting Oil Pressure, Amp Meter, Fuel Level, and Engine Temp gauges in the middle. I also need a new Speedo and Tach. I have the originals but they both need to be rebuilt.

I'm just south of you, Steve, and I got rid of the heating also. On the few cold days I have encountered I put on a light windbreaker and get enough heat from the tunnel. By noon it's usually warm anyway.

SteveTheBrewer Avatar
SteveTheBrewer Steve Lembree
Orlando, Florida, USA   USA
That's more or less what I had anticipated. Good to hear that others have done this too. When I got the car a month ago it was abut of a mess, so I am still trying to figure out which direction to take it.

In reply to # 1485008 by MoneyPitSpit
In reply to # 1484993 by SteveTheBrewer Awesome project! I have a 1970 with virtually no dash, so I am going to be following your project closely as I will be tackling the same thing. I am in Florida, so I am ditching the heat controls because the car is missing the whole system. I plan on putting Oil Pressure, Amp Meter, Fuel Level, and Engine Temp gauges in the middle. I also need a new Speedo and Tach. I have the originals but they both need to be rebuilt.

I'm just south of you, Steve, and I got rid of the heating also. On the few cold days I have encountered I put on a light windbreaker and get enough heat from the tunnel. By noon it's usually warm anyway.

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paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
I'm in the Chicago area and I also deleted the heater. PO had bypassed the heater control valve, so the first thing I did was remove the heater box and the core was just shot. Thinking it over I decided to just leave it out and delete the controls altogether (I'm not going going to be driving it in severe cold anyway).

Last Sunday I set out at 7am and it was 48 degrees. I wearing shorts and there was PLENTY of heat coming from the engine compartment. I can't imagine turning on the heat even if it worked!

Steve, I'll have original speedo, tach, fuel, and water temp gauges, all working, available shortly. Better they should get some use than sit in a box on the shelf in my garage.

Although honestly, unless you're anal about keeping it totally original, newer gauges are much nicer and easier to deal with.

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
I'd redo the center to house a single touch screen radio/mp3/gps.

paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
I'm planning a single DIN radio in the center panel. Just a cheapie that looks okay and is bluetooth capable. I'll head over to Best buy tomorrow and grab one.

In the meantime, with some time to kill and since the steering wheel is off already, I gave it a shot of paint.

In the future I plan to get a Moto Lita or some such, but for now this will do. Maybe I'll wrap it in leather too . . .


Attachments:
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KIMG0066.JPG

SteveTheBrewer Avatar
SteveTheBrewer Steve Lembree
Orlando, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1485121 by paddy1998 I'm in the Chicago area and I also deleted the heater. PO had bypassed the heater control valve, so the first thing I did was remove the heater box and the core was just shot. Thinking it over I decided to just leave it out and delete the controls altogether (I'm not going going to be driving it in severe cold anyway).

Last Sunday I set out at 7am and it was 48 degrees. I wearing shorts and there was PLENTY of heat coming from the engine compartment. I can't imagine turning on the heat even if it worked!

Steve, I'll have original speedo, tach, fuel, and water temp gauges, all working, available shortly. Better they should get some use than sit in a box on the shelf in my garage.

Although honestly, unless you're anal about keeping it totally original, newer gauges are much nicer and easier to deal with.

I may take you up on that! I have been trying to find a nice gauge set online for a few hundred bucks. The one set I did find was a set of 6 gauges for around $200. But it has blue LED backlights. Not crazy about that, but the car is blue so that might work.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/6-Gauge-set-Speedo-Tacho-Oil-Temp-Fuel-Volt-black-chrome-blue-LED-043-BC/251532279947?hash=item3a907e008b%3Ag%3A2K4AAOSwcp1Zj3ZP&_trkparms=gclientid%3DCLIENT_ID(ebay)&_trksid=p2489528.m4335.l8656

paddy1998 Avatar
paddy1998 Scott Delaney
Joliet, IL, USA   USA
I'm no expert, but I'd be leery of Brand X gauges from Ebay. While not totally outrageous, I did decide to spend some money on the gauges from Speedhut. But you can still buy some name brand gauges at a very reasonable price.

Glowshift makes some nice gauges, and you can put together a set for a very reasonable price. Plus, if you're making your own dash panels you are not limited to only the 4 inch speedo & tach. You can get 3 3/4 inch speedo & tach from glowshift for about $225 In fact, I probably would have chosen that but I wanted the quad so I could free up the center panel for switches and a radio.


The beauty is that since you're building a dash from scratch you can do almost anything you want, in almost any size.

Notti Avatar
Notti Eric N
San Dimas, CA, USA   USA
Steve, two things you may want to keep around after all the refitting is the Banjo steering wheel and that original shift knob. If you swap them out you can sell them for a good price to those that want to go stock and can't find recreations. I had my car resprayed and the shift knob dissapeared at the paint shop. Still don't have a replaceme over a year later.

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