Lotus Elan

New Dash and Switches

PostPost by: John Sharples » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:51 am

Hello,

I have bought a new dashboard for my Sprint from Sue Miller and some new switches from Paul Matty. Some of the switches fit fine but the Panel, Interior Light and Headlight switches will require the back of the dashboard to be modified. I need to increase the width of the cut-outs to accommodate the longer pivot pin and take about 1 to 2 mm off the rear of the dashboard where the switches attach. Has anybody any advice on how best to do this? Are there specialist woodworking tools that would help?

John
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PostPost by: gordont » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:16 am

buy a cheap router with a depth controller and would be a fairly easy job
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PostPost by: andyhodg » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:01 pm

John

I had a similar problem with my +2 dash. I ended up using a dremel by hand and just copying the rebates in the old dash. The depth of cut can be judged by the number of laminates in the ply you cut through.

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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:44 am

Hi John, I would either take it to a trustworthy woodworker, along with the switches and knobs, explain what you need and pay him for his services. Or.... the dremel idea is great too... pretend you're a dentist. Be careful to not go too far, but remove enough for the implant....
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PostPost by: John Sharples » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:41 am

Having now measured what needs to be done, it looks like that I will have to take 4mm off. This leaves about 10mm of dash to screw the switches to. Anyone had to remove that much? The dash is 10mm thick with 4mm ?reinforcement? around the holes for the switches.

John
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PostPost by: andyhodg » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:21 pm

Hi

I removed in excess of 4mm by hand with a dremmel when I fitted my plus 2 dash. There were no problems whasoever. I also had to open out most of the holes as the varnish had reduced the diameter. Do not force switches or instruments into tight holes as there is good chance that you will damage the varnish.

Good luck

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PostPost by: John Sharples » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:15 pm

Thanks Andy. It is going to look great when it's in.

John
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:27 pm

John

Are these Carling switches?

If so the pivot pin rivet is all that should be wider than the opening. As the rivet head does not go fully into the opening a small removal of material at the rivet head and tail is all that should be required.

Use caution and avoid going too deeply and damaging the front veneer. Only remove the amount required.

Bob
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:53 pm

You can buy a mini router attachment for a Dremel which allows you to set the depth & it includes a couple of up spiral bits. At least you can here in Canada but I would think it is available anywhere. It is far more accurate than trying to do it by hand. Only problem as with anything Dremel is it isn't cheap.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:40 pm

A word of caution, some varnish finished on dashboards can be very brittle and it's easy to produce a crack in the varnish. A few years ago I bought a dashboard from a well known (and respected) supplier.
Two things happened...
The varnish cracked between the screw holes holding in the ashtray and the sides - I think I must have pressed a bit to hard when fitting the dash in and a few weeks later the surface of the dashboard had totally rippled as the thick varnish seemed to have 'flowed' with the dashboard being vertical. If you need to drill any holes in the front it's worth relieving any stresses by using a slightly larger drill to go through the varnish to allow for any movement in the wood as the screw goes in.
Watch out that any screws in the back don't go through the veneer into the varnish as well as that will cause star cracks (just like the ones you get on the top of wheel arches),

Carl
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PostPost by: John Sharples » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Thanks all. I'll take a look at a Dremel and watch the screw length.

John
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:01 pm

Make sure you re-seal any exposed wood to keep out any moisture that might get behind your finish.

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