Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

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Andrew 2.8i
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Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:05 pm

Hi,
As some of you may be aware, I've recently purchased a repro dashboard from the CCI which I will, hopefully, be fitting in my Capri.
This is the dashboard as it comes.
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By CCI's own description, it involves "major" work to fit. I'm hoping enthusiasm and optimism in equal measures will see me through..........
Work started today stripping out the existing dashboard, which will be used as the donor for the metal fixing frame. I won't go into details of removing the dashboard from the car, as I think it's covered in the Haynes manual. If it isn't it's all fairly obvious anyway. That stage took approximately two hours, but I wasn't rushing.
Once the dash is out of the car, the plastic covering the frame needs to be removed. I was hoping to peel it off in one go. The best laid plans and all that.....
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Here is the frame, still covered in foam.
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I was hoping that the existing foam would fit inside the new dash, making the job very easy. The best laid plans and all that.......a familiar theme is developing here already!
Here is the bare frame with the foam removed. Time taken for this stage was about an hour.
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Next stage was a trial fit of new dash to the frame. As you can see, some parts around the instruments have to be trimmed.
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Once the surround has been trimmed, I am hoping to fill in the gaps between the plastic and the metal frame with expanding foam to make it all nice and solid.
That's as far as I've got. I will restart the work next weekend.

Andrew.
Last edited by Andrew 2.8i on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Caprifan Rob » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:18 pm

Wow, they weren't joking when they said 'major work' . No going back now, this is a fair project all its own, thanks for sharing pictures & time taken. Good luck Andrew, keep us posted :D

Rob.

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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:26 pm

Freelanderfan wrote:Wow, they weren't joking when they said 'major work' .

Rob,
I must admit, that did worry me! If I'm honest there's more work to fitting the CCI dash than there first appears to be. If it all goes pear-shaped, at least I've got the spare dash to fall back on! However, I think it will be worth it in the end, as I'm now aware of just how fragile the original dashboard material is, and with the repro dash I won't have to worry about that anymore.
Andrew.
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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby ESSEXV6ESSEX » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:34 pm

Looks good mate but a lot of work. Re: the holes in the top that cci say are imitation holes are these suitable for drilling I.e. all the way through?

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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:46 pm

ESSEXV6ESSEX wrote:Looks good mate but a lot of work. Re: the holes in the top that cci say are imitation holes are these suitable for drilling I.e. all the way through?

Hi,
That's what I was planning to do at the weekend to make the speaker holes more authentic looking. I am then going to glue a black foam pad on the underside to complete the appearance. There is one problem in that the GRP that the dash is made from is not the same colour all the way through, so some of the white fibres may be seen on the sides of the holes if you look closely. That's nothing a bit of grey paint won't fix.
Andrew.
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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Joshy » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:39 am

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GREY-LEATHER- ... 35d2036363

I've been eyeing up one of these on eBay for a while now if its any help to getting a more even look. A bit pricey mind you but it sure would look good!

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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Big Mike » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:57 pm

Great thread Andrew and as always very informative. I'm looking forward to the updates! It's the only thing I didn't change in my interior overhaul last winter, partly because my dash is not particularly bad but mostly because of the effort involved in doing it!

Just out of interest are you planning to replace the heater motor while everything's out?

Mike.

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Re: Project CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:04 pm

Hi Mike,
Big Mike wrote: It's the only thing I didn't change in my interior overhaul last winter....mostly because of the effort involved in doing it!.

I don't blame you! I suppose I'm lucky that I had a spare dash supplied with the car. This was always intended to be my safeguard if it all goes wrong with the repro dash. Like you I'd been putting off changing the dashboards over because of all the work involved in the task. As it transpires, it's not a difficult job removing the upper section of the dashboard. The hard part is remembering how to put it all back!
Big Mike wrote:Just out of interest are you planning to replace the heater motor while everything's out?

If there was any hint of the heater motor not working perfectly on both speeds, I would definitely take the opportunity to do just that. I have not had to remove much of the lower dash panels and bits and bobs to get to the dashtop, so the motor will be staying as it is until it fails!
The next update will be posted tomorrow evening. The purpose of this thread is to illustrate the amount of work involved in fitting the repro dash. Hopefully, that will help other people considering whether to buy one decide if it is worth the effort or not.
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:25 pm

Latest update: No progress on the CCI dashboard today. However, I have been working on my damaged spare dash. The underside had been damaged by those metal spring clips on the back of the fascia.
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I bought a roll of self-adhesive velour/ flock type material. It was cheap enough at £7 for 1m x 0.5m. I cut it to shape and applied it to the damaged area. This is the repair with the fascia trial fitted.
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I think it looks good, and now I have a viable alternative if the CCI repro dash fitting does not go as planned. Would anyone like to offer an opinion?
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Big Mike » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:55 pm

Seems an inspired idea to me Andrew! Looks really discreet, great idea :)

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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:19 pm

Big Mike wrote:Seems an inspired idea to me Andrew! Looks really discreet, great idea :)

Mike, thanks for the comment and the inspiration. No prizes for anyone who correctly guessed where I shamelessly stole the idea of flock-covered trim!
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Caprifan Rob » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:16 pm

That does look surprisingly good Andrew, hope CCI dash conversion goes as planned but if it goes off the rails this would be an excellent substitute :!:

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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:36 pm

Freelanderfan wrote:hope CCI dash conversion goes as planned but if it goes off the rails

Rob,
Unfortunately the repro dash project has encountered a minor problem. :drama:
I have discovered during trial fitting that the dash eyeball vents and the rectangular windscreen vents are a rather poor fit into the holes in the repro dash. I need to get some dark grey or black sealant to ensure that they are a snug fit. I will buy some when I'm next passing Screwfix. Tomorrow I will concentrate on trimming the instrument surround to shape and mounting the frame.
Freelanderfan wrote:That does look surprisingly good

Thanks, I think the self-adhesive velour sounds a lot worse than it actually is in reality!
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby andyd » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:56 am

Good work there mate fair play to you :applaud:

I wouldn't even attempt that given my track record, I could see it snowballing into a major disaster so will put up with it the way it is

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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:22 am

andyd wrote:I could see it snowballing into a major disaster so will put up with it the way it is

Thanks for your comments.
There is definitely the potential for a major disaster here as well! I'm only attempting this because I have a spare genuine dash that is in better condition than the one already in the car.Therefore, it's a win-win!
From what I can tell so far, when the CCI description states that "major work is required to fit" it's more a case of a major amount of faffing about! The work is easily do-able, it's just fiddly and time consuming.
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:01 pm

Hi,
Slow but steady progress. Today, the dash has been trimmed to fit the frame. This photo shows it in it's almost finished state and trial fitted to the frame. There was still a little more trimming and drilling for mounting holes to be done after this photo was taken. I used a hacksaw to cut the GRP, although it cuts quite easily so a sharp knife could be used. I sanded down the rough edges to a nice smooth finish, although that's not strictly necessary. As you can see from the photo, this is extremely dusty work so I recommend wearing old clothes, a dust mask and working outside or in a well ventilated area.
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Although some of the cutting looks a bit untidy, none of it will be seen as the fascia covers it all.
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Time taken for the trimming and sanding was around 2 hours. Sounds a lot, but there was a lot of checking and trial fitting as I went. Extremely tedious work, but I didn't mind because I had "The Boss" for company! :)
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(No, it's not a blank CD!) ;)
More progress reports next weekend.
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Fordoholic Nick » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:21 pm

Hi Andrew,

I have finally been able to sit down and have a proper look through your "project repro dash"

Well I have to applaud you fella. You not only making great progress with you repro dash but you are posting one superb step by step guide :applaud:

It certainly does not seem a job for the faint hearted (this rules me out!). Mate you really are having to "make it work" but from what I seen so far in your great pics is you are definitely winning. The "needs major work" advisory from CCI seems a bit of an understatement having seen the troubles you have had to overcome.

I have to say it is really taking shape and starting to evolve into one superb dash. All credit to your hard work and determination Andrew. With the advantage that it should never crack must be a great inspiration for you to succeed with this project mate. Keep going....

And your repair on your spare dash looks fantastic too. Great idea what you did there.

Well done Andrew. Keep up the brilliant work as ever. Cant wait to see the finished repro dash at Simply Ford :)

All the best

Nick
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:50 am

Hi Nick,
I'm pleased that you have enjoyed reading this project thread. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Progress is a bit slower than I would have liked, but that's only down to the time of year and because it's so cold at the moment. I haven't had the motivation to do more than a little bit each day.
Fordoholic Nick wrote:With the advantage that it should never crack must be a great inspiration for you to succeed with this project mate. Keep going....

That is the main reason that I started this project! Having had the original dash in pieces, and having seen how fragile the original aged plastic is, I would advise everyone out there with an uncracked original dash to protect it from the sun at all times, and be very careful when working around the dash area. Once my old dash was removed, I could get the top to split just by applying a bit of pressure.
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Andrew 2.8i » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:31 pm

Hi all,
Things are coming along nicely now, as I've fixed the frame to the repro dash.
The driver's side was easy, I've just secured with countersunk screws as shown below. These will not be visible once the fascia has been refitted.
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The passenger side was a bit trickier as there is nowhere that a screw can be used without the head showing. I just clamped the frame and dash together and hope that the foam will be enough to secure it in position once it has cured fully.
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Next stage was to fill in the cavity between the frame and dash to make it more solid, like the original. Luckily there are plenty of holes in the frame to make the job easy. I masked off the parts of the dash that I didn't want to get covered in foam, just in case.
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Now, if you're like me and haven't used this stuff before, you will quickly realise that it's very messy and gets everywhere so gloves and old clothes should be worn. Another problem for an expanding foam novice like myself is knowing how much of the stuff to squirt into the holes.
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Granted, it doesn't look very neat at the moment, but this is the reverse side of the dash and won't be seen once re-assembled. The excess foam can be trimmed to shape or removed once it has cured fully after about an hour. There was a fair bit of spillage of foam onto the front side of the dash, but I cleaned it off with white spirit before it dried. If I ever repeated the job, I would mask off the dash fully, because it takes less time than cleaning off the residue.
Later on I shall be trimming the cured foam to shape and removing the clamps. Fingers crossed that it's all gone to plan.
Andrew.
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Re: Project: CCI Repro Dashboard

Postby Big Mike » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:38 pm

I just eagerly clicked on this thinking you'd updated around an hour ago.

Turns out it was LAST week.

:doh:

I'm bitterly disappointed Andrew. Where's my update? *drums fingers*

;)