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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Dash Refurb

Hi guys,


Decided to attempt a dash repaint with this wrinkle finish magic paint...............



Quite pleased for a first attempt.................



Regards Steve

SR Smith 1

And dismantled all the gauges and cleaned the glass and gave the rims a spruce up...........

SR Smith 1

When will you be doing mine...

it looks really good, nice job

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

prop

When will you be doing your head?
Dave O'Neill2

Thanks Prop,


It all went back in the car this morning, looks nice in place.



All it needs now is the engine and we're in business!
SR Smith 1

very nice

. . . but you only had to ask and I'd have let you practice on mine, for free

what are the other two gauges?
Nigel Atkins

Dave..

Im doing another ""attempt"" this weekend... hopefully an update tomarrow (sun)

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Haaaaaa!
Steven Devine

Looking good!
Nick Nakorn

Thanks Nick,



Here here is the dash back in place.............





Won't be refitting the radio console until the engine and box are back in.............so excuse all the dangly bits!

SR Smith 1

What paint is that...? Looks fantastic!

I am currently in the process of adapting my dash to fit some extra gauges in there and will need to spray it to get it back looking clean again...

What UK suppliers stock it as well...?

Thanks :)
S J Dodd

Hi and thanks,


I got it from Halfords and it's dead easy to use, trick is get the panel nice and warm and follow the instructions to the letter.


Only problem is it now shows up the tatty radio console which is going to have to be recovered!



The other gauges are matching ones from a TR6, an oil pressure and a battery condition/voltmeter. The late !500 didn't have the dual gauge, just fuel and temp as OE.


They fit in a panel that replaces the speaker grille along with the switch for the front fog lamps and the electric fan overide.


All we need now is the engine back in place and Classic Le Mans here we come.


Thanks for the compliments guys.


Regards Steve.


SR Smith 1

Nice one, thanks for that, I have made up a completely new plate and riveted it in place. Once it is finished I will have a fuel gauge, water temp, oil temp and oil pressure. Then a load of new switches that are blank so only I know what they do :)

Discrete radio with just a mini-jack connection to plug in my phone etc...

Thanks again for letting me know about the paint! :)
S J Dodd

Been doing a bit more work on the car this weekend..........



Snapped a pic of the centre console.


It does look a bit tatty against the now smart fascia tho.


Regards Steve

SR Smith 1

Well my new dashboard is almost finished... Still got a few bits to sort but it's close! :)



S J Dodd

Steve

I have always been tempted by similar. How much of an utter b*llache is it to remove and replace dash?

Cheers

Mark
Mark O

The dash isn't hugely awkward.

3 Screws along the top
Bolted bracket at each end.
I think some have brace on the lower edge in the middle (?)
Choke + Heater cable need to be disconnected from the engine. They will pull through the bulkhead when you remove the dash.
Speedo cable unscrewed from speedo
Steering column needs to be dropped down (or removed)

Biggest hassle is probably the Mechanical Water temp + Oil Pressure gauge. Plenty of opportunity there to bend and break fragile old pipes if they havent been out before.

Wiring is easy to disconnect

Then the dash should come out...and gauges/switches can be removed on the bench.
Dean Smith ('73 RWA)

That dash looks nice. Those little round switches look good, think they're made by Durite? Good job mate.



Dash removal is pretty simple really as Dean says. But do drop the steering column or take it out, it's makes life a lot simpler.


On the 1500, there is a big multiplug in the centre that seperates the dash harness from the main loom, no need to disconnect all the dials and switches, far easier on the bench.


There should be two bracing bars in the centre that stiffen the dash lower middle.



Good luck if you do attempt this job.
SR Smith 1

the two middle bracing bars - how are the fitted?

nuts and bolts dash end and screws to scuttle?

which way up, folds facing up or down?

and which end is fitted to dash?

any photos anyone?
Nigel Atkins

Folds facing up, and IIRC it's self-tapping screws both ends. You need a parts book to supplement the handbook ;-)
Don't think there's a 'dash end', they fit either way round?
David Smith

cheers for that

I have the reprint of the factory Parts Catalogue but it doesn't give that sort of detail

only mentioned it as it was here

I'll have to look again but I remember the straps I bought from Ashley Hinton some time ago as having the ends bent differently (sort of start of a Z shape) and the hole in one end was bigger than at the other end - but I'd have to check with my memory

they're in with the parts I should fit when I'm too bored to go out and drive the car so they could remain there a while longer
Nigel Atkins

Well worth fitting those bracing stays, it really does stiffen the dash up, especially when using the choke or the heater control cable.
SR Smith 1

I think Nigel's right, they appear to be missing from the Parts book! Should be on page N2 but no mention of them. Most odd, and unusual as the book should contain everything down to the smallest part.
David Smith

later I'll dig them out and take a photo

having looked under the dash I can see holes in the bottom dash fold near the choke and heater cables, the one near the heater cable would make the bracing strut very close to where the heater cable goes through the scuttle panel

I assume as someone has drilled a single hole centred to middle of the dash on the lip fold of the scuttle panel that that's how the struts are fitted but I'm not sure how the hole was made as it doesn't look like it's drilled at an angle (and why in that location)

Steve I've not been bothered about fitting these struts as my dash seems stiff enough without them, I have no trouble using the heater cable (very, very rarely) or the choke cable which is used a lot as I use my midget as a daily all year round
Nigel Atkins

You can get a new pair from Ashley Hinton for 5.95 + 1.25 delivery. See eBay 251518087643 'AUSTIN HEALEY SPRITE AND MG MIDGET DASH MOUNTING STAY BRACKET 14A4706 or AHA7763'
Jonathan Severn

Jonathan
thanks, that's were I got mine from a few years back
Nigel Atkins

Hi guys, Just had a quick look at my 1500 and these bars are attached via self tappers, both coming up from underneath, the bar fits on top of the bottom lip of the fascia with the screw going into it.

The bulkhead ends have a larger hole which the screw passes thro and the screws go into the horizontal lip at the base of the pressing, again vertically.
SR Smith 1

>>The bulkhead ends have a larger hole which the screw passes thro and the screws go into the horizontal lip at the base of the pressing, again vertically.<<

cheers for that apart from the larger hole to bulkhead that's how I imagined it but drilling a straight hole through the horizontal lip now everything is fitted to the car has me, plus I forgot to check if the holes would be anywhere near the battery
Nigel Atkins

No probs Nigel.


If you want a pic, let me know.
SR Smith 1

Steve, thank you I always think a photo is a good idea especially with my lack command of the language

no rush though as it's not even on a priority list
Nigel Atkins

Hi,


Pic as promised for Nigel, sorry it's taken so long, but been.



Not the best pic in the world but you get the idea. You can just make out the screw at the bulkhead end above the black piece of wood.


Hope that helps.




SR Smith 1

And here's a pic of the newly made shelf.


The old one which BL made out of flimsy cardboard, fell apart years ago.

Knocked up a new one out of plywood and angled steel and reused the original padded front.




SR Smith 1

Steve,
thanks for photo, I must sort my camera to take that photo

just a word of caution about your shelf, I got a metal one off ebay and boy was it solid when I fitted it which made me think, if there was an accident the shelf wouldn't crush to help save damage to my passenger's legs so I drilled lines of holes hoping this would help the shelf to deform
Nigel Atkins

Hi Nigel,


Thanks for the word of caution, but I only put the angle along the sides, the front and rear are the original BL parts and should give as designed if the worst happens.


Nice to have the shelf back tho.


No probs on the photo front, anytime.


Regards Steve
SR Smith 1

fair enough, I wasn't sure where the plyboard and angled steel went as you've made a nice job and it doesn't show

I think I could possibly still hang a spare starter motor and a spare alternator from my shelf, well you never know when they might be required!!
Nigel Atkins

Hi again,

Thanks for your kind words.



Maybe I ought to put these into production, even the mrs, "you've made a good job of that"
SR Smith 1

This thread was discussed between 12/04/2014 and 06/05/2014

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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