March 2017

Over the winter of 2016-17, plans were hatched to get the final elements of the restoration finished. In particular, the interior needed tidying, and the dashboard needed to be reconditioned to remove the old scratches and tired paintwork.

So I dismantled and cleaned all the gauges, checked all the wiring and illumination, and cleaned the glass inside, and fitted new bezels to replace those whose chrome was showing signs of pitting. The previously troublesome gauge illumination rheostat was cleaned – and now works perfectly. My home-built central console (originalists, look away now) for additional gauges was also re-painted and refurbished.

Some re-arrangement of the dashboard was also in order: I shifted the lighting switch to the centre of the dashboard, next to the wiper switch (just like the Mk I MGB – it just looks tidier), and changed it for a toggle switch, like the two next to it. I prefer the toggle to the push-pull switch, both to use and aesthetically.

I also installed an electric washer pump to replace the rather anaemic manual pump, which struggled to get much water on the screen.

The only glitch was the mechanical water temperature gauge, which would not read correctly – the needle barely moved. I eventually discovered it to be the fault of the LED bulb which was fouling the needle inside the instrument, a problem easily fixed by gently pulling the bulbholder out a couple of millimetres.

By the middle of March it was all done: the new dashboard was installed and fitted out with switches and instruments, a glovebox lid that fits (a first!), and a courtesy light that works (another first).

Now it all works, nothing rattles, all the switches and gauges are tightly secured, and I’m happy.