Made a start on the dash today. It had been lying around in the garage for weeks and I was dying to start cutting holes but I didn't want to do that until I had the gauges to double check the sizes.

One thing I wasn't overly happy with doing was thinning down the GRP to allow the toggle switches (for heater, lights and fog) to pass through as they only have short threaded sections to push through the GRP, the foam and the leather.

Whilst at Stoneleigh, Charlie Donaghy (who's amazing Cobra was on the GD stand) explained that he had taken a different approach. It was one I decided to copy.

This method was to cut out a rectangular section of dash that was big enough to house the switches and then fix in place, using M3 countersunk head set screws and nylocs, a 1.5mm thick stainless/aluminium  cover plate. The fixing holes for the switches can then be drilled through this giving a much more solid feel and without the risk of the GRP ever breaking with repeated use. 

As this plate stand proud of the dash by 1.5mm, the rest of the dash is then covered with 1.5mm rubber sheet, rather than using the usual foam as supplied by the trimmers, cutting closely around the metal plate so that no gaps will be seen/felt once the leather is applied.

The leather is then bonded to the rubber. 

The holes for the gauges cut using a Stanley knife

I used a small punch to make the holes for the warning lights (the holes had previously been drilled in the GRP). The lamps and gauges were then pushed through and fitted prior to wiring. This method gives, in my opinion, a much more professional and modern looking dash with no indentations where switches are clamped in place. I had bought a stainless steel fascia for the switches which is engraved for IVA purposes but I felt the dash looked better and more period without it so I have just used adhesive labelling which can be removed later.

With everything in place it was time to try and figure out how to connect the dash loom to the various instruments. First off, a call was made to GD to get a wiring diagram for the dash loom as I didn't receive one with the loom. I then went about labelling each section of the loom to make it easier as I started to make the connections.

A few more calls to GD to clarify where the wiring diagrams for the loom and the instruments were at odds with each other and it was eventually all wired up and ready to be fitted into the car and connected to the body loom. 

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