First Dash Fittings

This week at Mustang Maniac I had a mail to say it was cold and snowing randomly. I took the hint and packed some thermal clothes and drove to the yard. I emptied my boot and took more of the cleaned up parts to the car to see what I needed to do. Adam and Yogi had a conversation to see what was the best way forward and the general verdict was the under dash fittings. That was going to be the wiper actuator arms, wiper motor, hand brake lever and the drivers fresh air vent. I was also given a few grommets to seal some holes such as the fuel line and the gas pedal to the fire wall. The idea was to fit these parts before the main wire loom gets in place and in the way.

The first job was the wiper actuator arms, these are stamped left and right for good reason as they have limitations to how far they will move.


The ends of the arms have three bolt holes that will attach to the underside of the dash. The fittings also have a gasket to seal the water from the inside of the car. I reinforced this with some gasket sealer before I bolted it to the car.

As this was a newly painted cowl I inserted the bolts into each fitting and made sure that the paint would not stop the bolts going into the holes. A small bead of gasket maker was applied to the rubber gasket and moved under the dash. The original gaskets were made out of leather believe it or not! The next trick here was to put the windscreen wiper arm lug through the hole without damaging the paint work. I started on the left side as that was the easiest access and out-of-the-way as a dry run for the more tricky drivers side. With the fitting in a rough position I inserted the bolts and took them up to finger tight. I tightened up the bolts in sequence until they were tight.


The driver’s side was awkward to get to due to the brackets for the dash gauges, variations of wobble bars and spanners were needed to tighten up the bolts which is a lot easier without the wire loom in the way. Again a dry run with a bolt to clean the fittings. the same procedure of gasket maker was applied and gently located through the hole.

As you may recall from a previous post last year my old two-speed wiper motor was involved in some sort of under dash fire resulting in all the wires burnt away before I got the car. A two speed replacement is pretty rare and I wasn’t able to track one down. The resolution was a new upgrade replacement from New Port Engineering.

I created a post for the replacement of the wiper motor, click here for the quick link and I posted a YouTube video of it all working, click here for the video quick link. Anyway, same process to fit the wiper as before. The motor was already mounted on the bracket that has two bolts at the bottom and two at the top which are slot ins for the bracket. The most difficult part of the process is to fit the actuator rams onto the link pin from the new motor. this requires a lot of patience and little persuasion with a something small to tap the arms in place. I coated a generous layer of copper slip grease inside the arm holes and the pin. The final step is to clip the “e-clip” to the top of the pin to stop the arms lifting of. That will test the patience of a saint.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself I moved to the fresh air vent on the drivers side. this is a case of three bolts attached to the underside of the cowl. A gasket sits on top of the vent to stop draughts.

The control wire for the vent runs under the dash and to a bracket. This bracket sits on the visible side of the dash, and the bolt holes are on the end of the hand brake lever. After I fitted the air vent the hand brake or emergency brake needs to be fitted. The two bolts at the bottom go through the fire wall and the wire through the hole next to it filled with a rubber pipe to seal the hole. The top of the hand brake is on the inside of the dash and the air vent bracket bolts will attach to hand brake lever to form the sandwich and hold it all in place. I refurbished the hand brake lever previously and for the quick link click here. With the rubber for the hand brake in place I applied a small bead around the hole to make sure water proof and draught proof.

All in place and took a while, yet nobody will see it. The final part was to fit the gas pedal grommet, this is simply slid up the inside section of the pedal and the domed part of the grommet faces into the engine bay.

gas pedal grommet on the right






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Flaming Nice Surprise(s)

In the UK we moan about bad weather then we moan about hot weather. Me I love the hot weather and it makes a change to have a few days of nice weather. The only bit I’m not to keen on is when the multitude of bugs decide that my flesh is A la Carte on the menu, prime nose bag material. Everything that can bite has tried to take lumps out of me all weekend. Still at least it’s warm and not chucking it down with rain. Friday I had my bags packed and ready for the start to Mustang Maniac. Earlier in the week I had a cryptic message sent to me by Adam to say they had a surprise for me. Saturday and I was out the door in record time and everything was goin’ great guns until I was about six miles from Mustang Maniac. A country lane had a tree that had come down from the storm early in the mornings and partially blocked the road, note the word partially. The point is I pulled up to get by and the police car that was there had parked across the road so nobody could get past. Now, anybody with a little sense would have moved some of the branches out the way with a borrowed saw from one of the houses opposite, cut a few away, then traffic moves again, nope, not this clown. He just stood at the back of his car swirling his finger in the air like he was stirring a cup upside down with his finger. I think this was his Neanderthal attempt to signal me to turn around, I wouldn’t want him to walk or verbally communicate or anything. I sat there for a while and so this lunatic just stood there, the neighbours were now out in force and all looking at said tree and fine figure of authority who had all the gear, but no idea! When I say tree, I have seen bigger indoor Christmas trees if you get me? The plus point is was sitting comfortably in my airconditioned car and this herbert was standing in the heat with his hat on and high vis jacket. So, it was inevitable that I had to do a seventeen point turn in the road which included collecting some hedgerow in the rear bumper while I was at it. I had to go all the way back where I had just come from and go the long way round, it took me what seemed like an age to get to my final destination. I parked up at Mustang Maniac and was greeted by Adam who took me straight to my car, the surprise was obviously to do with my car. Adam showed me the work Al or Yogi as he is known, had done to my car. A lot of the holes had been welded up, the old rotten floor support brackets were taken off and the new ones put back on. The rear chassis leg was repaired and the hand brake bracket put back in place and the holes around it repaired. Yogi had done some brilliant spot welds that I liked so much I left them on there as a feature to be seen. The attention to detail is amazing, as I knew it would be. Yogi had taken some pics for me so thanks to him and Mustang Maniac for letting me use them.

The bodywork on the inside of the supports was in good condition and needed no additional work. The area was carefully marked up and a single support was changed at a time. The guys were happy nothing moved and continued to fix the supports in place. Check out Yogi’s spot welds that were just to good to grind down or cover up, they were different and I wanted them to stay.

With the parts welded in place Yogi gave the floor and welds a generous helping of filler. which was soon to be rubbed down by me.

By the time the filler had been rubbed down I looked a little white should we say. The Dewalt sander had gone through my supply of 80grit discs and made light work of getting it down to almost smooth. I didn’t worry about the very fine grade as the slightly roughed up surface gave the red oxide a good key point. I used my angle grinder to then go over the pans one last time to remove any hint of surface rust. Here was where my second surprise got me, after about ten minutes the angle grinder suddenly got warm, ground to a halt and flames were licking out he front of it like a dragon with a bad cough. I was wearing welding gloves and goggles so I put it on the floor rather quickly and unplugged it, it was left to fizzle, crackle and smoke having its own little melt down, literally. What do you expect from a cheap angle grinder? I am surprised it lasted this long. Adam did say to me it wouldn’t last long, he was right.

With everything wiped down, dusted and cleaned up with thinners I then started work with the red oxide to the point where I had got to with the angle grinder. I think you will agree it has made a huge difference. Once it has come back from paint the underside will be coated with some stone chip in black to protect it even more.

After the angle grinder had cooled down I tried to move it, all moving parts had welded themselves together by the feel of it. Guess what is going in Adams scrap pile?

Sunday was a day I usually do a bit in the man cave. Today I was asked to hang a garden gate, fix a fence panel and couple of other little jobs. So I didn’t manage to get stuff done that I wanted. The only thing I managed to do was clean up my sander and put it away. Oh, I did order a new angle grinder so hopefully it will be here by the time I go back next weekend.

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