I knew what i was going to be doing this week at Mustang Maniac and the week dragged by until I could get there. The task in hand was the interior dash area and see how we would get on with the rest of it. For a change I got there early as the traffic wasn’t bad at all the way i decided to get their avoiding the air show chaos that was bound to happen.
Adam decided the gauges were going to be the first in, so we tested them on the dash panel and they didn’t move. The result was that my voltage regulator for the dials that steps the voltage down to 5 volts was getting red-hot. Then it got no hotter and nothing worked. Adam and Yogi were now having a discussion on the issue. They tested the gauges and found there was an earth issue. Yogi undone the back while Adam held the dash to see what was going on. immediately they noticed that the oil gauge was touching the back case causing an earth out, which was shorting out the voltage control. Adam got one of his new and not mentioned on the WebShop electronic voltage regulators that he has custom-made. These units have a small LED built-in to show they are working to the correct voltage and a heat sync to keep them stable and an additional earth lead. Not an off the shelf part from anywhere else.
The gauges were realigned and tested with the Power Probe and they now worked with the new voltage regulator. Yogi declared that he had “saved the day” as he put it! 🙂 The next thing they noticed was the speedo was not working correctly and returning back to the “0” needle. Adam said we needed to change it and got me a new one and he left me to it after instructions on how to change it that is.
Changing the Speedo:
Undo the case screws around the outside and the whole back will lift off. This will expose all the very, very delicate dials on the inside that need a lot of respect due to age.
The back of the dial case has two screws that hold the speedo in place, remove the screws and gently lift out the speedo.
I undone the speedo and compared the parts just to see if there was any difference.
To fit is a reverse of the above and dead simple. I did have a conversation with Adam in the mean time on how to wind the clock forward to match the current original miles. He did tell me and show me how to do it, along with the possible issues it could cause by taking it all apart. I decided not to do it and fit the part as it is as these things aren’t cheap. I then placed the old on top and took a photo to prove old and new miles just in case anybody wanted to know.
Replacing the back case was careful procedure to make sure everything aligns up properly. The speedo was checked, all the lights and the gauges once again to make sure all was in order. The very observant ones will notice that the second from right gauge should be an Ammeter and not a voltage dial. I change this over as the Ammeter is very old school, they often blow, and my one wire alternator didn’t support it in the American AutoWire loom either. I have done a tutorial on how I converted this by clicking here for the quick link. All was OK and now it was time to mount the gauges back into the dash. Make sure you cover the steering column as the dash WILL scratch the column as you can’t maneuver it without doing so. Even if you can it makes it safer and peace of mind that’s all.
Fitting the retaining clips was main job and needed to be aligned correct to the main dash as the screws go in at a strange angle of about forty-five degrees. My volt meter needs an additional switched live feed and a separate earth that I attached before I fitted the quick disconnect to the main wire loom.
I changed the insulating tape from the above picture by the way as it looked horrible, but I didn’t take another a picture at the time, too much was going on and didn’t want to take my eye of the gauges or the dash. The worst part of all this is to attach the speedo cable, this is a small hand job to reach behind and insert the square centre and the retaining collar nut. I managed to do it while getting in a panic that I would scratch the paint around the dash.
The speedo cable is quite inflexible so I found that by moving the cable under the dash you can angle the dash into the correct position. I inserted the retaining screws only to grab the first turn to allow any movement that I may need.
With all the screws in place I could complete the tighten up and made sure not to over tighten the dash for fear of cracking the mounts, as my old dash had done. The completed job was amazing and Adam checked, passed it and we checked the gauges again. All was good.
The next job as I was on a real roll now was the steering wheel. Adam took me up to the stores and showed me his overwhelming collection of original and aftermarket wheels, all different colours and styles, big and small. I picked the one I liked and a horn button to go with it. We went down to the car and we undone the protective wrapping around the steering boss and the horn ring.
The centre nut was tightened in place once the wheel was mounted over the spline, then the three screws that hold the boss to the wheel and the column. Adam threaded the wires through the wheel and only nipped the bolts up as it would inevitably need to be moved to centre it all up in the geo workshop.
The horn button was fitted to the centre and we tested that it was working fine. Again a job that was a lot quicker than I was expecting it to be. All of a sudden I can now imagine what it would be like looking at equipment driving along. A true piece of eye candy! Maybe not to everrybodies taste, but it is to me.
The grin on my face was difficult to hide and Yogi now popped in to see what I was up too. I decided to push my luck and ask him how the console would be fitted. This console was part of the original equipment in my car when it was first ordered. He grinned and aligned it up where it should be, under the air con and around the selector lever. He started to drill the holes for the screws and screw them in before the console moved and we lost the holes. The dynamat had made the screws a difficult to locate in the first instance, but with a patience we managed to gently pull the console down.
We took turns to drill the holes and the first attempt I used the drill I managed to break the drill bit! So I had to confess my sins to Adam who just laughed and said “You learned how not to do it then!” We had to use slightly longer versions of the screws at a couple of points due to additional matting. The “T-handle” for the shifter was re-fitted and again tested all was OK.
The console has a set of lights at the back under the ash tray that work of the courtesy lights and looked pretty good.
You will notice that the wooden wheel had changed to black. This is because I was talking to Adam about the wheel and he said cover it. He told me he was getting some budget parts and stock in he was going to call “Enos Range”. He had a cheapy 15″ cover that would fit over the wheel just while they were moving it around and the MOT. I decided to get one and fitted it over. It was good quality and not what I was expecting, it didn’t even look out-of-place either
Last job of the day was the front kick panels. These simply clip to the side of the “A” pillar and are held in place by two simple screws. The carpet had to be cut a little to stop the overlap and allow the panel to sit flush against the chassis. You can see the holes have now gone and looks a lot neater. The carpet is now held in place but the panels area real tight fit to head light dip switch. But after a little levering around a bit, it’s all in place where it should be.
Next week who knows, right now I don’t mind. I am still grinning stupidly at the awesome corner my car has just turned, and I haven’t even got it on the road yet.
Thanks to Adam and Yogi who took time out to give me hand again.