Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Dashboard removal

PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:31 pm

Thanks guys for all the great suggestions! I'll look at all your links later, but it sounds like plenty of great ideas to follow which will make everything work well when it all goes back together, and that's my goal.

Last night I attacked the dashboard disassembly. I opened a tasty beer, put on a two-hour recording from Mark Knopfler's most recent tour, put the dash on the kitchen table and dug in. Labeled the bejeezus out of everything got it all separated. The wiring was pretty easy to get loose, the indicator lamps in the two big gauges were stuck firmly in place and took quite a bit of careful cajoling to get loose without breaking the plastic holders but did eventually come free. Getting the crash pad off the wood took some doing, as it was stuck on with a lot of really funny brown contact-cement or something. But with a putty-knife and a lot of determination, I managed to detach it without damaging it.

I haven't given much thought yet to electrical system upgrades, but some fuses sound like a great idea as so far I've only found two fuses in the entire car! :shock:

This afternoon I'm going to go see a wood-specialist about a nice piece of veneer to glue on.

Pics coming in subsequent posts...
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:57 pm

Great Veg.

My car was the two fuse Federal variant as well, so the circuit configurations in your car should be identical. I found the Federal wiring diagram (the one that is shown more as a loom layout diagram with numbers for the wire colours, rather than the classic schematic diagrams with wire colours in letter abbreviations) followed my car exactly. It sometimes took a bit of head scratching to figure out the exact wire connections, so feel free to ask if you get lost on a detail. I also had the odd difficulty with making out the correct wire colours due to fading, but once I figured out the wire colour it matched the diagram perfectly.

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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:40 pm

A good evening on the kitchen table.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:41 pm

Lots of empty holes.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:42 pm

Not in bad shape for the most part.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:43 pm

Old veneer will get stripped soon.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:44 pm

Organisation is your friend!
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:24 pm

The Veg wrote:
This afternoon I'm going to go see a wood-specialist about a nice piece of veneer to glue on.


Try and make sure your specialist knows how about the moisture content of your veneer. If it's too dry, it will suck out any moisture immediately from your wood glue :idea: This will cause it to wrinkle up like an old prune. Some say soak it in a bath, others say steam it. I say, ask your wood-specialist :D
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:17 am

Sorry about the lack of recent updates- I had a few days suffering with a nasty bug that's going around, plus just being really busy with other things...but I've made some more progress and have a few more pictures!

Here's the old veneer after removal:
Image

The dashboard after scraping and sanding:
Image

Figuring out which way to go for visual effect:
Image

After gluing, holes being cut-out:
Image

Holes all cut:
Image

The next step is applying a finish; that should commence in a few days. I ordered some special marine-varnish that should work a treat on this. I also ordered a set of the reproduction labels for all the switches, as well as new rubber gaskets for the gauges. Once the finishing is all done, the dashboard assembly will happen. In the meantime I'll be working on cleaning-up all the electrical contacts and connectors. Have any of you attempted dis-assembling any of the dash switches to clean their insides? Worth trying, or should I just squirt cleaner into them and pray?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:03 am

They can be taken apart for cleaning,the tabs have a limited number of "bends" before failing but look out for the spring loaded projectiles firing across the room...

P.S. did a refurb recently and used the ignition switch as was....didn't last too long,was full of verdigris with the result that the starter solenoid and hence the starter was permanently operating.

John :wink:

Edit. Just noticed you have the " safety" switches....have not taken those apart,but the same should apply.
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PostPost by: Mrozik » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:27 pm

Hi All

I'm new to tis site and as I'm in the process of restoring my +2 after having garaged it for 25 years I was wondering if someone could help me out with instructions on the best way to remove the dash?

Thanks in advance for any help
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:08 pm

for an early +2, with ford style column, probably the same on later cars....
centre console has to come out to get to the lower bolts.. usually means the rear seats have to come out ( yes really).
eyeball vents twist 90degrees, pull forward and remove tape from the ducting.
many cars have dashpad stapled to the dash, this means you have to remove the demister vents. couple of screws in each, just tricky if the screen is in.
remove any trim from the sides of the heater, you can disconnect heater cables then.
you'll have to reach up behind dash and release the steering column bracket on the ford its easier to remove the binnacle.
probably have to remove the speedo from behind.
should be a bracket at each lower edge of dash that is also attached to the interior light switches that the door operate. remove the two nuts on each or unscrew the switch.
outer, upper screws may not have captive nuts so a pain to get to.
inner, upper screws go into bobbins so should come out ok.
throttle [edit - I meant Choke] and bonnet release cables need to be dealt with.
you then have the washer pump, headlamp vacuum tubes and a lot of wiring to deal with.
wiring loom connectors should be on lhs by heater.
LABEL and photo everything.
hopefully not missed too much. I'm currently putting my dash in .... so might come across other tips
Last edited by wotsisname on Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:52 am

+1 For labeling everything! MOST of the wires join to the same colour but not all do. You really seriously want to label the ever-loving snot out of everything and then label it some more.

Also the old bullet-connectors are probably corroded together. Pull hard enough and you'll pull the wires out of them. That's OK because before re-installing the dashboard you'll want to change to multi-pin plugs anyway.
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PostPost by: Mrozik » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:49 am

Many thanks for the advice and instructions, it will be a great help
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:10 am

Get a labelling machine then label every wire.

IMG_5741.jpg and


Here's my thread on dashboard replacement.

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=45118
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