A labour of love

Dashboard stripdown

Dashboard stripdown

I decided to take a break from metal work today (and give my neighbours a break from the noise!), and tackled a job I’ve been putting off for a while: removing the dashboard and instruments.

I’ve never attempted to take the dashboard out before, and from everything I’ve read about it this seems to have a reputation as one of the trickiest and most infuriating jobs one can do on their MGB. As it turned out, I really rather enjoyed it, and had the whole thing stripped down and boxed up into storage in the course of one afternoon – beginner’s luck possibly.

Loosely folowing this detailed guide from the The MG Experience, and the scant details in the Haynes manual, I started off by removing the glove box and face level heater vents to gain access to the three bolts holding the main fascia panel in place.

With them removed, I proceeded to strip down the steering column, and then removed the 3 bolts holding the column to the bottom of the dash. This allows the column to be lowered a few inches, which in turn allows the fascia panel to drop down and be removed.

Before it can be taken out, the switches and guages in the dash all need to be disconnected. The choke, heater and temperature guage cables were disconnected from the engine bay side, allowing the cables to come out with the dash for now, but I found it more convenient to remove the speedo cable and oil pressure pipe from the back of the guages at this point.

I’m going to be fitting a complete new wiring loom later on, so decided to simply sever the old loom where it enters the dash area from the engine bay to save time removing all the individual wires for now. I’ll probably prune it down a bit more when I come to refurbish the dashboard and some of the components later on, but it serves as a handy reference for which wires go where for now!

With the fascia panel out there is ample space to access and remove the rest of the heater ducting, the windscreen wiper motor and wheelhouses, and the screen washer jets. All that’s then left is to take out a row of nuts securing the crash rail, and then remove it along with the vinyl covered board between the dash and windscreen.

Nice to reveal some more of that wonderful Bracken paintwork!

And that’s the job done. Undoubtedly a fiddly task, but I’m glad to have finally gotten round to it. I suspect that the eventual reassembly job will be much more difficult…