Looking rather dashing

I fitted a dashboard into my Mini today! Well, I say “I” fitted it… it was actually mainly the hard work of a friend of mine, who has done it before and knows what he’s doing. I went round to his house this afternoon and we had a go at it, though it turned out to be a lot harder than we were expecting. To start with we had to get the old two-dial clock and housing out, which was something of a nightmare! The screws were all in the wrong places, nothing was easy to get to, and it generally took a lot more effort than either of us expected just to get the thing out. Once it was out, we found that the brackets that had held the housing on were going to get in the way of the new dashboard, and to unbolt them would require a lot of fiddling around under the bonnet, so in the end we just bent the brackets out of the way! Next we had to loosen the nuts on the top rail, to make room for the dash. There again, the nuts weren’t in very helpful positions, but we managed it in the end, and the dashboard fitted in ok in the end.

The two-dial assembly was fitted onto the three-hole plate, which fitted onto the front of the dash in front of the steering wheel, but that presented some problems too. For a start, the indicator lights are in different places, so although my right indicator flashes through the green hole on the right, the left indicator flashes against the back of the dash so can’t be seen! Still, that should be remedied once I source a three-dial block that I can substitute in. The next problem was fixing the dial plate onto the dash – the nut was going round, but so was the bolt! So my friend and I drove round to another guy’s house so that he could glue the bolt back in. Once that was done, fixing it all in place was no problem, and it looks sooooooo cool! It’ll need some chrome air vent bezels to really set it off, and there is still a CD player to put in, but it’s getting there! At some point I really must put some photos up here…

Unfortunately, all this had to be done outside in the freezing cold, and I was also working on an empty stomach, having missed lunch, so by the time I got back home I was in desperate need of some hot crumpets! Next on the to-do list will be to fit the driver’s side air vent in place and give the car a jolly good clean inside and out!

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