Lotus Elan

Dashboard replacement and related jobs

PostPost by: adigra » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:33 pm

Hi everyone,

With the warmer weather the work on my car has resumed at quite a pace. I am replacing the dashboard (received a beautiful new one over the winter), repairing/restoring all of the instruments, replacing the radio, etc. All of the interior damage was caused by the PO storing the car in a damp garage for over ten years, so there is quite a bit of corrosion and rot and I really want to make sure I get everything covered while the dashboard is off, which it is now. All of the wiring seems sound and everything works, including the heater/fan which is quite rusty. So aside from reconditioning the heater, replacing the hoses, etc. I wanted to know what else I should make sure to do before the new dash goes on?

Another job which is in progress is a complete overhaul of the seats. Paul Matty can now supply an entire kit, and I am having the frames repaired and powdercoated. I am also fitting new carpets, seatbelts, lots of rechroming, painting and trimming of various parts, and so on.

I will be removing the pedal box to give it a good clean and repaint, but also wanted to know if anyone who's done it could tell me how big of a job this is.

Thanks!
Adi
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:37 pm

Hi Adi,
It's a fair job! Just the dash swap alone needs a lot of care. You need to do a careful check on the loom and make good any connections etc requiring work. Refurbed (?) instruments etc to fit? And if it were me, (again!) I would fit a multi-plug into the dash loom con's for easier removal if required.

Whilst the dash is out you should go all the way in and inspect/recon' the heater and wiper systems, & make sure the plenum is well sealed and fitted with a new seal where it attaches to the heater. Make sure it's drain tube is in good condition and protrudes properly thro' the body drain hole as it should and seal it carefully it around said hole with black silicone sealant. Loose Job here = a leak that is a pig to correct. Get this right or have wet foot-well carpets for evermore. Just make sure all behind the dash is right and as it should be as it is a pain to have to remove it all again for a fiddly little fault.

Solder all the con's if you can and heat shrink insulate them. Make up a good earth 'bus bar' and connect this via a nice thick cable direct to the chassis at the rear turret/cross member on your driver side. I connected the earth cable to the oppo' side direct from the battery. Double connect ALL your earths to this bus bar. I made up a brass plate and soldered 6 male terminals to it + One big one which connects the bar to a good thick cable (best way to describe it but around 30 amp) which in turn goes to the chassis (as above) Bit of belt and braces but effective.

I blast cleaned and repaired my seat frames by welding in new tubes at the bottom, then I sprayed them with etch primer & st'd satin black, then I re foamed and refitted the original (good condition) covers. This I think helped maintain the car's 'patina' and it looks as it should for an old car. (It won two prizes at shows last year!!! :wink: ) All new carpets though. Via Susan Miller who also does the seat refurb' kits..

Great fun eh?....

C U at Lotus show??


Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:04 am

Alex, as always you are a real star! This is exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for.

I have a very reliable mobile electrician who will go over all of the wiring. I really want to take care everything possible and be as methodical as I can, but due to my time constraints I have to leave a lot of the expert work to the experts.

My seats also need the tube at the front repaired as it had rusted through. Both the seat covers and the carpets are really long past their best and I feel little remorse about replacing them. I got the carpets from Susan Miller, but the seat kits from Paul Matty.

It is great fun. I really love working on it, I just wish I didn't have to work and could spend a couple of months doing nothing but working on the car.

Oh, the Lotus show... Yes, I think I better go. Are you going both days?

Adi
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:07 pm

Hi Adi,
Thanks.. I just like to help others with our 'hobby'..Every little helps eh!

I will be there with Bob Dickson CL Scottish rep. Going down Friday pm and staying in a travel lodge on one of the service area's
Going to the show Sat and possibly Sunday am..

Here's my Mbl No..,. 07899 794521...

C U there or a natter..

Alex...
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:32 pm

Hi Alex,

I've written down everything you suggested on my to do list and will start tackling it Tuesday. I have a rather poorly timed trip to Toronto next week, time I'd much rather spend on the car. A movie I worked on comes out next month so I have various related trips scheduled every week, which would be fine if I got to enjoy any of the places I go to.

I'll drive down (possibly with Tim) on Saturday for the day, and will give you a call. It will be fantastic to meet you.

Adi
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:48 pm

I know what you mean. Just back from a week in Italy and everyone oh's and ahh's etc. What they don't know is..up at 6.30 into a factory, back to the hotel for around 7 pm.. Testing a new window and door component line I sold to one of my clients up here.

5 days of hard work and stress...Great fun when one finds out one has got something a bit wrong. Oh Joy... :?

Our office is just a few clicks from top end of Laggo del Garda is always worth a visit. I go over twice a year... :roll:

C U at the show then.

Good luck.

Alex...
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PostPost by: pcarew » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:04 pm

Hello adigra,
I realize that it has bee 8 years since you redid youre S3SE FHC dashboard, but I wondered if I might pick your brain :-)

As it happens, I too have a 67 S3SE FHC RHD car and it sorely needs the dash/Facia replacing.

My biggest issue at the moment is getting the Dash out. The workshop manual says to tilt the dash fwd by 60 degrees, but that seems impossible with the steering column in place. I have removed the steering wheel, but it is the column that seems to be in the way. The dash is loose, but there is no way it is tipping fwd that I can see.

Do you remember what issues you had removing the Dash out if your car?
Paul Carew
Austin,Texas,USA

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