Upper dash pt 4 (fitted)

The last of September’s weekends has been glorious, perfect weather for tinkering.

Friday evening – remove windscreen wiper mechanism

I had been trying to paint around the windscreen wiper gear, but in the end decided it would be silly not to remove it. I wasn’t happy with the partial paint coverage and secondly it seemed daft not to service it, having the luxury of such easy access. So, Friday evening I went outside for ‘half an hour’ to remove the wipers, wheel-boxes, rack tube and motor. An hour later I had got the first wiper off!

The wiper arms fit to each spindle via a splined collet adaptor fixed with a grub-screw or bolt. This had sheared off on the passenger side and had to be drilled out. It isn’t easy accessing this with the windscreen gutter in the way and the fading light so I wasn’t happy with the state of it once I’d got it out.

The rest of the assembly came out very easily but it’s a very messy, greasy job. I took the parts up to the shed and worked until quite late washing the old grease out to reveal shiny parts. The rack and wheel-boxes are in great condition. I used a piece of petrol-soaked rag attached to a wire to clean out the tubes. I now need to sort out my tee-shirts as this job used up the last of my clean rags!

Saturday – more painting

I got up early and straight up the shed to etch prime the wiper parts, then housework and a bath before attending a Macmillan coffee morning at the local church hall organised in memory of my uncle. I enjoyed chatting with cousins, consumed too much cake and won a raffle prize. I took home some ‘spare’ cheese scones to take up to the shed and last me the day…. On my return I sprayed the exterior of the wheel-boxes and tubes:

Also, the auxiliary dash panel and the plastic divider panel that helps keep air from the vent aimed at the person who opened it...

Also, the auxiliary dash panel and the plastic divider panel that helps keep air from the vent aimed at the person who opened it…

I lightly rubbed down the parts of the upper bulkhead that were previously inaccessible, washed it down and gave the entire area another coat of marine blue with the mini-roller. Although far from perfect, this time I was much happier with the finish and I’m so glad that I took a little more time out to remove the wipers.

Once the paint had dried I was able to refit the passenger-side fly-screen

Once the paint had dried I was able to refit the passenger-side fly-screen

There seemed to be many interruptions today, I had to break off in the afternoon to attend to some work stuff but in spite of the day’s lack of progress it was a very enjoyable one.

Wiper arm adaptor STC987 / 605904

I ordered a couple of the former, then immediately afterwards, realised a should have ordered the latter. Mine have a round hole, where STC987 appears to have a squarish hole. I’ll see what they’re like when I get them, maybe I can adapt them.

The old plastic binnacle mount

I removed this and took a photo to help justify my outrageous spending on my lovely new mount from Raptor Engineering. I think these all end up the same. The plastic is quite brittle and corners snap off exactly where you wouldn’t want them to. The threaded insert was bodged by me with araldite and a cable tie but I have yet to find an adhesive that works well on this plastic.

And into the bin it went...

And into the bin it went…

Sunday – fitting it all together

Sunday was even nicer, it got really warm around dinner time especially. I bolted the wheel-boxes through the bulkhead and applied fresh grease to the spindles, they spin nicely now, well-worth doing. I tried squirting grease into the tubes with the gun but ended up covered in the stuff and hardly any in the tubes. So I fitted them into the wheel-boxes and did the nuts up loosely. I squirted a huge dollop of grease onto a plastic carrier bag that I held at the left hand tube with my right hand. With the motor in the crook of my left elbow I slowly fed the rack through the grease and into the tube. Thankfully it entered and exited the wheel-boxes easily and I was soon tightening the connector to the motor.

Painted wiper components and fresh grease, airflow divider in place

Painted wiper components and fresh grease, airflow divider in place

EDIT: You may notice that I forgot to add the all-important rubber boot that seals the wiper motor to tube connection, this was remedied later!

Fitting the motor-fixing bolts to the captive nut strip the other side of the bulkhead was an altogether trickier operation. There was much bad language. In the end it took two real cigarettes, a can of Lidl’s fake Red Bull and some masking tape. On getting them both to bite at last I was elated and broke off for cheese rolls and tomatoes from the garden, eaten outside, sitting on the front bumper. Perfect! I even opened some Kettle crisps as a special treat.

Fitting the upper dash panel

I achieved nowhere near what I set out to and looking back I think this next job consisted mainly of finding the right screws and replacing any broken plastic nut inserts, but it’s now fitted. The supporting panel went in relatively easy, this led to the quite fiddly job of fitting the vent levers. After the first one took so long I realised it was much easier having removed the vent pins, so the second one took only five minutes. I’m really pleased that the vents now open all the way and close very well. I do need some new seals though.

At last it was time to fit my recovered shelf. This went in much easier than it came out thanks to my Ebay purchase of an offset screwdriver for £3.60 delivered. These aren’t very well made and the bits need binning immediately but they are perfect for this job, tightening the large self-tappers so close to the windscreen.

I fitted the end panel to the passenger side but not the driver side as I have to fix up the cable for the heater control in the lower dash section. I fitted the Raptor Engineering binnacle mount to the underside of the dash.

I'm very happy overall. Compared to the original vinyl this material has more relief and won't be as hard-wearing but it's a major improvement visually.

I’m very happy overall. Compared to the original vinyl this material has more relief and won’t be as hard-wearing but it’s a major improvement visually.

Vent levers fitted, still lots of tidying to do

Vent levers fitted, still lots of tidying to do

I painted the left-hand side marine blue

I painted the left-hand side marine blue

This tool is perfect for accessing the screws on the upper dash

This tool is perfect for accessing the screws on the upper dash

Instrument panel fixing screws

I thought I’d loose-fit the binnacle, mainly so as not to lose the distinctive fixing screws, but the threads are wrong for the new mount. By this time it was getting dark so I’ll have to investigate and source some quickly.

All in all, a lovely weekend, but disappointed not to have got the lower dash fitted too. The evenings are getting extremely short now, but I hope to get a couple of midweek sessions in before tea as the weather is expected to be lovely all week.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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