1/31/2004: Dashboard

Today I managed to remove the radio and the dashpad. The dashpad is held in by three nuts. The center one is accessible through the radio opening and (through contortion) from underneath. The one on the right is harder to get to, but you can barely get a wrench on it and move it a few degrees. Fortunately it wasn’t rusted and I was able to take it off by hand after loosening it.

The left one was really inaccessible. I was able to barely get two fingers around it- a wrench would have been almost impossible. Lucky for me, it was loose enough that i could take it off with my fingers alone (slowly).

Possible signs that this part has been taken off before- the washers on the left and center ones were flipped opposite directions, and the one on the right was a different kind of washer altogether and it had an 11mm M6 nut on it instead of 10mm. Very strange.

With the top off, I could see the radio wiring (I’d just snipped the wires to take out the radio, since there was plenty of room to reconnect them if i decided I wanted to). As you can see, it was actually spliced twice. They didn’t bother to remove the wires from the old radio last time it was replaced- it was just spliced and re-spliced.

I also solved the mystery of where the speaker was. I’d been wondering where it was hidden. There’s one speaker, and it’s hidden behind a structural member, facing into it! I imagine it must give just delightful sound ;-)

I then took off the plastic housing around the steering column. I found that there was a rubber piece around the ignition wiring that was melted, and one wire that had burned through at some point and had apparently been disconnected. I’ll need to track down what the story is there with a wiring diagram.

Other than that, the wiring harness in the car looks fairly good- i saw one or two other splices, but nothing too scary- the radio was wired straight to the ignition switch, so nothing was cut up on its account.

The plastic arms on the turn signal stalks are cracked, so i’ll need to replace those. I have to check out #40912’s and see if they’re better.

The most irritating thing about the wiring harness in this car is that there are really no junction blocks anywhere. It’s not possible to remove sections of the wiring harness as a unit easily- it appears to me that one bundle of wiring could go to different parts of the car. I will investigate better once I get the heater out of the way and can see things better. Ideally it would be nice to take the whole harness out of the car to clean it up and make the tub of the car easier to sandblast and paint, when we get to that point. This may not be practical though.

Sunday, I continued with the dashboard, removing the grab handle, cigarette lighter, and stainless trim strip. I found that one of the mounting points had come loose from the trim- i’ll probably epoxy that back on, rather than trying to weld or braze to stainless.

Then I removed the heater fan. Like the cigarette lighter, it had an in-line wire spade connection wrapped in electrical tape- this doesn’t seem very “professional” to me, but it might be original- I don’t see how else you would replace components like this. I will compare with #40912.