Lotus Elan

OMG what have I done?? (New dashboard)

PostPost by: JonB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:24 pm

I thought about wood glue but I'm not sure it will bond to the ferrules.

Haven't started putting the dash back in yet, but I can't see why it'd be difficult on my car. No doubt I'm wrong, then normal service will be resumed (as in, posts containing "Arrgh!" and so on). The glove box lid is down to the maker of the dashboard, not me. It just doesn't fit without lots of filing. A pity because the fuse box and radio covers are both spot on. But I have it in there now. It can be further fettled in situ.

Don't forget I still have the engine and gearbox to fix up, and the sheared off thermostat cover bolt to deal with. I think she is off the road for a while.
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PostPost by: DJW » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:08 pm

Purists will hate me, but I would look to get a Ply version of dash cut out and then covered in black leather to go with dash top. Being reversible to go back to original wooden dash would make it acceptable to me, but after weekends of hassle with sorting dash on an a Ultima build I?m not sure I would have the stomach to take on the Lotus dash.

Image

So the dash stays as it is , which is still a lovely thing. 8)
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:06 am

I think the difference between a kit car dashboard and a manufactured car dashboard is everything fits on the manufactured car. I once built a Lotus 7 clone (very loose clone at that) and the dashboard was utterly crap. Mainly because I did not have the skill or patience to do it right. So far the Plus 2 dash has been straightforward (apart from the new glove box lid, grrrrrr...).

Assuming you have rocker switches on your dash, I strongly recommend not trying to cover it in vinyl. It'll take forever.
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:45 am

I do think that part of the fun of these old cars is seeing how much you can take them apart and rebuild.My toggle switch for the interior lights had given up the ghost despite much bathing in switch cleaner and it was straightforward enough to very gently prise the casing off the back and manually clean inside rocker contacts . Unfortunately the first time i did this I tried too hard to crimp the chromed mazac body back over and the edge broke off. Fortunately i had a spare toggle switch which had lost its contacts which became the donor.
Gently does it!
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:40 am

Do the ferrules have to be bonded or just unable to move - if you see my meaning?
Perhaps only relevant if you wanted to re veneer?
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:48 am

MarkDa wrote:Do the ferrules have to be bonded or just unable to move - if you see my meaning?
Perhaps only relevant if you wanted to re veneer?


Perhaps I should say "glued in" rather than "bonded". Isn't "unable to move" the same as "stuck in there with glue"? Anyway, no, we don't want any movement at all as the dashboard assists with body rigidity. Originally they were an interference fit with grooved outsides to cut into the dash on insertion (presumably with a press or hammer). But the new dash holes are loose.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:40 pm

If you won't want to remove them use an epoxy resin if you think you might then use something less strong.
I wouldn't think that they are really much more than a bush.
The dash becomes a stressed skin with the bolts transferring load in shear.
As I say I'd use wood glue because no mixing and easier to clean off - unless the gap is enormous.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:49 pm

I've just worked out that you are putting a new dash in - a bit slow of me!
Do the holes match your fixing points?
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:30 pm

Re hole match, no idea.

Have used wood glue for the ferrules. The gap at the front is exaggerated because the ferrules are slightly tapered.

a3187eed-31eb-41f6-b21d-c5a22d28ca0c.jpeg and
From front showing taper



Hoping it?ll set firm enough...


5b5996c1-04f3-4e12-945e-cfe1158d35cf.jpeg and
Lots of wood glue but no excess on the front face.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:34 pm

Now I?m waiting for the new gasket foam to arrive for the heater box, and a new clock which I?m hoping will have the parts I need to repair the Elan clock.

I?ve had a look at the foot wells and there is a void where a loudspeaker can go if fitted carefully. It?ll probably sound very good as the void will act like an enclosure. But, it?s tricky to cut the hole. Another visit to the tool shop I expect. Sigh..
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:54 pm

Looking good.
High speed oscillating multi-tool would probably be what I'd use.
Since I bought one last year I've wondered how I coped.
They make less dust than a disc cutter or circular saw.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:41 pm

Good idea Mark, I'll get mine out.

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PostPost by: Bud English » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:53 pm

MarkDa wrote:Looking good.
High speed oscillating multi-tool would probably be what I'd use.
Since I bought one last year I've wondered how I coped.
They make less dust than a disc cutter or circular saw.


+1 on that! Absolutely the best tool I've found for cutting hard set GRP. I didn't have great luck with the bonded abrasive attachments but the hardened metal cutting blades work great. Not only do they make less dust (very small saw kerf) but it doesn't get thrown as far. The tool is also easier to control than a spinning disk or a plunging saw blade.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:30 pm

So, quick update. The wood glue appears to have done the trick and my ferrules are locked in place solidly. Hurrah!

Front speakers and reconditioned heater box are in at last.

Only pieces of the puzzle left to sort out are the gauges. I've been experimenting with LED bulbs and found them a bit too harsh white for my tastes. A set of "soft white" LEDs is on order and I expect those will look bright and acceptable. The clock is off to the clock smith to have a replacement mechanism put in. Finally, I'm trying to decide whether or not to dismantle all of them for an internal clean. I did the fuel gauge and it came up really nice and is much more legible in the dark. But the risk of damaging those bezels is high..

There's one more bit, and that is the outer dash mount tabs, both of which have broken off. I will have to bond in some new tabs I think. Thinking of laying a support on the back of the fibreglass then laying a couple of layers of chopped strand on top, overlapping the body; then when set take the support off and applying a layer or two at the back. Will this be strong enough (4 layers) or will I need more layers?
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:25 pm

Bezel might come off ok or they may be 'welded' on - I'd say it's worth trying but not worth ruining.

What condition are your instrument to dash gaskets in?
Square section rings are available on internet.

Hopefully you'll get an expert opinion on the glassfibre question but if you do slightly more than didn't work before you should be ok?
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