Lower dash fitted and more…

With very little weekend time and the nights ‘pulling in’ it really has been one step forward, two steps back. I’ve had a lot of family commitments these last two weeks and now a second dose of man-flu, which seemed to originate from me getting a flu-jab. I don’t think the flu-jab itself was at fault, more congregating with hundreds of others at the doctors where every visitor, infectious or not, scrupulously clean or covered in snot, has to touch the same square inch of touch-screen in order to check in. What an absolutely daft ‘solution’ this is. Luckily for me I attend the doctors only once or twice a year, but each time I get infected.

Back to Dilly….

Following on from part four of the lower dash saga it seemed time to fit the thing in the vehicle so of I went round to the front and on the way took this photo:

Ready for fitting, so I thought
Ready for fitting, so I thought

Wiper motor cover

First I decided to fit the wiper motor cover, then realised that when reassembling the rack tubes, I had forgotten to add the rubber boot that seals the tube where it enters the wiper motor casing.

This may seem a trivial item but I guess its purpose is to prevent water running down the outside of the tube and into the wiper motor. Access to the wheel-box would be fiddly now so I undid the wiper motor, withdrew the rack then inserted a length of heat-shrink tubing over the tube. I reintroduced the rack, tightened the nut and warmed up the heat-shrink to give a really good seal, better than before I think.

I tidied the cabling and screen-wash tubes. Having fixed neoprene tape to the mating surfaces of the cover I screwed it in place and it looks really good. By now it was too dark to proceed further so the lower dash was taken back to the shed until my next free evening.

Lower dash / heater duct fitted

Second try and it all went well, the lower dash was fitted quite easily. It aligns well with the wiper motor cover and even the screw holes in my home-made fixing edges lined up! I tidied the cables that run along the rear of this using split convoluted conduit, adding a ‘tee’ to branch off to the auxiliary instrument panel. My centre panel has the warning light for the dual brake circuit and a rear fog-light switch.

Steering column / indicator stalk shroud

Nearly there, the light was fading but the job was nearly complete, simply screw the thing in place. Somehow, something didn’t look right. First off, the ignition switch didn’t align properly with the aperture in the plastic shroud and the indicator stalk doesn’t seem to align properly with the self-cancelling striker on the column.  Then to make matters worse, when indicating left, with the headlights on main beam, the stalk interfered with the panel illumination switch.  This would need further investigation.

Next evening, I realised that the instrument panel was sticking out from the upper dash way too far, so I thought it would simply be a case of adjusting the position of the Raptor Engineering binnacle mount by way of the generous fixing holes. Wrong, it was already as far back as the holes allowed. Closer inspection revealed that the speedo body was hard up against the ignition switch / steering lock assembly.

I tried repositioning the mount without success
I tried repositioning the mount without success

I wasn’t sure if there was any positional adjustment in the steering lock assembly. It turned out there wasn’t but I as I’d removed it and it was dark again I took it to the shed for a clean while listening to The Archers.

Cleaned and lubricated
Cleaned and lubricated

Next night I refitted the assembly and had a real good look around. I undid all of the fixings for the upper dash panel and remounted it at it’s uppermost, then lowermost positions with absolutely nothing gained. I double-checked that all was assembled correctly and the panel was flat. The mount was hard against the bulkhead and the instrument panel correctly seated yet it protruded and inch from the top shelf.

Next day, nothing else to be done except modify the binnacle mount. I removed quite a bit from the lower corners and elongated the mounting holes. This took a long time as only a perfect job would do having spent all this money! A test fit revealed…… absolute perfection, thank goodness. So off it came again to be primed and painted it and next day it was ready to fit, was I glad to see the back of this job! The instrument panel looks ‘right’ to me now and the speedo sits comfortably behind the steering lock assembly.

Heater / Demister distribution control lever

This fitted easily and I’m pleased to report that it operates the flaps with a smooth action and there’s a satisfying soft ‘thud’ when they close. The hot / cold lever is redundant as the 200tdi engine doesn’t have the heater control valve as fitted to the original series engine.

I threaded a length of convoluted flexible conduit over the control cable as I noticed it tends to move around slightly when operated, this will help prevent chafing of the wires behind the instrument panel.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that my photo shows the lever fitted into the trim upside-down. Unfortunately I forgot to take another after realising my mistake.

Fitted upside-down in this picture!
Fitted upside-down in this picture!

Burned wires

Whilst the instrument panel was out I noticed that at some time in the past there has been the very beginnings of an electrical fire. The wires affected seem to be connected to the indicator stalk, Careful examination shows only light damage to the insulation so I repaired it with tape.

I taped these up carefully
I taped these up carefully

Edit 21-10-2015

Just found a picture from June taken before I disturbed the wiring. I have cropped it to show the damage in more detail and it seems the heavy black wire (actually white with a black sleeve) running across the damaged wires may have been the source of heat. I will look at this at the weekend, maybe the sleeve was added as a repair in the past.

This shot was taken in June before I disturbed and then tidied the wiring
This shot was taken in June before I disturbed and then tidied the wiring

The obligatory birds nest shot – I know that I’ve sometimes found these kind of images useful so here’s mine!

Since taking this photo I have tidied up quite a bit by re-routing some wires
Since taking this photo I have tidied up quite a bit by re-routing some wires
Heater control in place
Heater control in place

There are wires hanging out all over the place and I don’t have any decent images to hand of the other end of the dash, I will add some soon.

Well, that’s enough for one post, a few more (minor) problems arose from here onwards, to be covered here shortly. If you made it this far, thanks very much for you interest and I hope to see you soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.