Lotus Elan

New Dashboard S130/5

PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:09 am

Hi

I've ordered a new dashboard for my S130/5 and the guy making it is asking about the hole for the bonnet pull (to the right of the speedo). Is it supposed to be a key switch sized hole, or can I just ask for a hole that matches the choke cable hole and lose the big washer?

Thanks
JonB
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:56 pm

That hole happens to be missing on my new dashboard, but checking with the old dash it’s the same size as all the other switch holes, 1/2”.
I’ve still got to pluck up courage and drill it without cracking the lacquer around it!
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Sorry, I’m on an early dash with toggle switches, you’ll be on the later switches
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:13 am

Super! So I will ask him to drill a hole the same as the choke cable and it should be fine.

By the way - regarding drilling the lacquer; I'd suggest using a stone grinding tip in your drill to get through the varnish, then a normal drill bit.

Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcingmap%C2 ... B00REIJ8AE

Cheers
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1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:25 am

Thanks Jon
That’s the sort of thing I had in mind, I’ve bought a bumper family selection bag of them for my dremel and plan to make a simple alloy template to put over the area so I don’t get any skid marks if I slip while doing it. It’s just I keep finding other less stressful jobs and putting it off! I’ve now finished reinstating all the dash wiring with the various mods for voltmeter, electric oil pressure, motorised headlamp pods, electric screen wash pump etc.
Today’s work is to sit the dash in the passenger footwell and temporarily connect the dash to the rest of the wiring and check everything works (or more likely find what doesn’t work and fix it!)
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:00 am

I don't envy you that job - and I have to do mine soon (gulp!)...
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:20 pm

Jon
I’ve just measured my new bonnet pull cable assembly and it only needs a 3/8” diameter hole. Not sure why the two big washers are included, presumably some dashboards do have a 1/2” hole hence they need the washers. For info the choke hole is 29/64” in the old dash and slightly smaller at 10.5mm in my new one. Sorry for the mix in size but I’m trying them using drill shanks and there are a few gaps in my drill box sets!
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:50 pm

A few additional points that may be worth considering.

Check the oil pressure pipe whilst you have the chance. Mine had a minute hole that leaked oil, that ran down the pipe making it virtually impossible to find the source.

Change the bullet connector blocks to modern that can be disconnected easily but can only go back one way.
Especially connectors to column switches / ignition lock.

Collect the wires to the individual instruments together with cable ties(?)l

Clean it up - it does not have to be a total rats nest!

Change the instrument light bulbs to brighter LED (ensure the insides of the instuments are nice and white).
The standard instruments look a bit dim and feeble.

Consider changing the silly mid dash fuse panel to a proper one somewhere accessible.

That should keep you busy.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:41 pm

I must admit I didn’t like the pipe bringing oil inside the car to the gauge so have gone electric. I’ve bought just about every combination of wire colours so I can use the correct colour when adding or replacing wires so they match the existing and the drawing in the manual. I’ve kept the bullet connectors but have replaced many of them with new brass ones - I treated myself to an expensive crimp tool that does the proper hex shape crimp, also got different size bullet connectors for different size cables.
I haven’t replaced the instrument lamps with leds yet but it’s a good idea, which ones have you used?
Mine was an early car that only had one fuse box in the engine compartment, now there are three.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:27 am

Bigbaldybloke wrote:
I haven’t replaced the instrument lamps with leds yet but it’s a good idea, which ones have you used?


I didn't, it was a bit dim of me! Hence my suggestion of doing it now.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:10 pm

Regarding the hole drilling.. I recently drilled the hole in the glovebox lid for the early +2 lock.... It gave me many days of sweaty panic before I eventually went for it.
I put a couple of layers of masking tape on both side (glovebox lid has lacquer both sides on my new dash - was unvarnished on the inside on the OE dash). I then clamped a piece of wood (ply IIRC) both sides and drilled from the side that was going to be seen most / less easy to hide any problem. In my case I had to drill a pilot, then use a hole cutter. I finished off the edges with fine sandpaper
This gave non or minimal chipping of the lacquer and the bezel for the lock overlaps plenty.

I had a later issue where I damaged the lacquer... after several more days of sweaty panic I bit the bullet and repaired it. I scraped some of the lacquer away with a scalpel and then painted (artists brush) several layers of a high gloss wood varnish, leaving a day or so between coats. I left this to dry/harden for about 10 days. I surrounded the area with masking tape and then careful flatted back, ending with very fine grit to get a level and matted finish. I tried chrome polish but the area didn't blend in properly... I ended up with car polish (Meguiars Ultimate IIRC) and am hard pressed to see the repair.
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:59 pm

I chickened out on that hole and went for the later type cabin latch that you just push to open and push shut again
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:25 pm

Drilling holes in finished wood shouldn't be scary. For holes that size, a cheap spade bit (point in the middle to pilot and points on the edges to cut) will do just fine. Drill from the pretty side, half way. Then flip it over to see if the center pilot is poking through. If not, drill some more. If yes, start drilling from the backside using the pilot hole as your guide until you're through any finish, about 1/16". Flip it over and it will finish clean from that point.

Drilling all of the way through from one side will, of course, make a mess on the exit side with just about any bit.

Make a boo-boo? No problem with lacquer, the stuff dries in seconds for recoat. Poly will take hours. Avoid water base if using steel wool to finish (embedded particles rust).

Build it up to fill the hole and use either 600 grit sandpaper or x-fine steel wool to flatten it. Go back and forth, not in circles. Either will give you a flat, mirror finish without too much effort if you are patient and don't try to sand wet finish.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:44 pm

Bigbaldybloke wrote:I chickened out on that hole and went for the later type cabin latch that you just push to open and push shut again


I have one of those and I think they look better. So good choice IMHO, BBB. :D
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:08 pm

I would still split the loom behind the dash and joint with modern multi connectors. Then you can build the dash safe and easily on the flat and simply pop the whole thing in place.

It's not as if you have much else to do Jon.
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