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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315

    Another dashboard build

    Thought I would post some stuff on how my dash build is going. Firstly, I wanted to have a 427R type dash which incorporates a glovebox for practicality, there are also some changes to the switch functions to suit the way the car is engineered. I also wanted the glovebox to lock as per the 289, the 427 di not lock.

    I had a look at an original 289 as my starting point and although I know that the bottom edge profile is different, I doubt that there is any other difference between that and a 427.

    The "Flat dash" is however not in the least bit flat! The glove box edge is rolled inwards and the back edge of that roll forms the catch for the glovebox lid. The ends of the dash curve away significantly and then finish with a tab parallel to the main surface of the dash which forms the end fixing flange. The lower edge of the original is also not just a 90degree bend but has a small radius to it. All in all a way more complicated shape than it first appears.





    You can also see that to the right of the glovebox aperture (this is a LHD car) there is a definite line or crease from the top of the dash down to the start of the curve in the lower edge, this fades away as it reaches the lower edge.

    The dash is also not vertical, it is a few degrees off that.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315
    So the first thing I did was to attack the existing flange for the dashboard on the RAM. Like most replica's the dash on the RAM slightly wraps around the car and comes off the lower edge of the body cowl at totally the wrong angle and runs into the door shut area. I think that some of this is to ease release of body sections from the mould, but the long and the short of it is that the dash shape is all wrong and it sits too close to the driver which can cause significant knee room issues.





    After cutting I ended up with this:



    The lower edge is still not correct as it is a flat surface instead of completing the roll over from the top, so after a bit more shaping of the fibreglass and adding some more behind I made a shape profile and added some fibre reinforced filler to get the profile right.



    At this point I made up a hardboard dash template and the first thing I found was that I could not get it to sit far enough forward in the car because of the position of the plenums for the demister vents. These then had to be cut out and new ones made that used the main body support tube as half of the plenum or there would never be enough room.

    I made these and glassed them in place, I have since cut them out again and made ones where the supply tube comes in from each side of the car to gain more room as these tubes fouled the location for dash warning lights and the glovebox.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315
    With the dash now able to sit where it should in relation to the front edge of the scuttle roll I copied the shape of the 289 glove box. I got a sheet of 1.5mm ally sheet and started with the glovebox aperture as I figured it was the most difficult part, if I could get that right then I should be able to do the rest! As said, the glovebox aperture has a rolled edge and the glovebox lid it tapered so that once everything is covered it will fit snuggly into the aperture there is a bead around the edge of the lid and this is to help it sit snug in the hole. By the time the lid is covered and the dash, there is about 5mm of material between the rolled edge of the dash and the tapered edge of the lid, this has to be allowed for and be as exact as possible. So I made a master pattern for it that all other cuts would be based on to ensure that the profile stayed exactly the same then I mad a jig out of 22mm marine ply, I shaped the ply edges to give me a curved profile in the aluminium sheet here is the result:





    I then cut a version of the profile into the sheet leaving extra material where the glovebox catch would need to latch and where the hinge would need to attach. I annealed the aluminium around that hole which left the thing looking very warped but the rest of the process would deal with that.

    After making some clamps and a roughly cut top piece to clamp to, I covered the parts of the press in oil and drew the buck through the tool about a turn a time on all the bolts.

    Here is the sheet in the tool before pulling the buck section through:



    Process complete:



    Result:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315
    Now that the most difficult bit was done, I cut the material to size and then bent the lower edge return with about a 6mm radius. I roughly shaped the top of the dash allowing it to be longer than the width of the car to allow for me to ad the curves on the ends. I had already worked out that the fixing flanges on the original would not be part of the dash at this point because they will not clear the door hinge support structure on the RAM so it would be impossible to get the dashboard into the car, I have a plan for these anyway:



    After cutting this out I then set to with the shrinker on the curves at the ends. I had already taken the profile of these off of the 289.





    I then tidied up the ends properly and used the completed dash blank to work out the positions of the brackets required to hold the dash in place, I made these and glassed them in under the scuttle, the dash could now fit into the car.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    8,972
    Great metal working skills - well done!
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
    Posts
    1,351
    Good man James!! Glad you took the plunge it will be worth it, I'm chuffed with mine. Give John at S&J motors a ring I'm sure he has an original glove box knob.
    Really admire your work already!
    Lee
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315
    Thanks Lee, actually I was going to give you the credit for me taking this on after seeing what you had done. I actually have the glovebox catch and all the other switches and parts that I need. Its going well but it is is a LOT of work. What I have shown so far took a long time to complete but the difference is amazing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    York
    Posts
    515
    Looking good James, thanks for posting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    42
    Posts
    4,241
    That is fantastic work!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maldon Essex
    Posts
    315
    Thanks guys, its not turning out too bad. I have actually made more progress than you have seen so far but need to sort out which pictures to use to show the next steps. I think its worth the effeort as its the bit of the car you see while you are driving it so I want it to look period correct even if its not a spot on copy of a 427R or SC.

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