Dashboard layout and controls

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  edsnova 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #303606

    stephenhouser
    Keymaster

    @stephenhouser

    As I’m hopeful to have my TDr back on the road this summer, I’m already starting to think about tearing out the dashboard and doing something more “interesting” with it. My tendency is to make it a bit more tech-y, but I’m putting that thought on hold for the moment. And also thought, I never post anything, I’m always just lurking in the background reading everything here! Time to post something!

    There’s a number of dashboard threads (Dash: flush or proud3-gauge main cluster and others) but not a lot of discussion about what’s on your dash and what layouts work.

    Here’s my dashboard:My Dashboard

    And here’s an original TD’s: Original Dashboard

    Here’s the must have’s:

    • speedometer
    • tachometer
    • oil pressure gauge
    • amps/charge gauge
    • fuel gauge
    • Lights & parking lights
    • Fog lights
    • wiper power (one speed?)
    • wiper fluid (push to squirt — need a source for a nice looking one)
    • heat/defroster (o.k. no real heat in the TDr)
    • turn signals (green on my car)
    • high beam indicator (red on my car)
    • map light/lighter

    What am I missing, what would you add?

    • 4-way flashers?
    • I like the “Pull to start” (Pull switch
    • I also like the look of the metal panel in the center on the originals.
    • I’m most likely going to remove the radio and figure out how to add an amplifier and “port” for a phone (all my tunes come from my phone these days) — maybe in the glove box or perhaps change the “12v” port on the original to a USB port.
    • Moving the key to the dashboard and covering up the one on the steering column?
    • Something different for the turn signals — I need to replace the lever anyhow.

    Anyway, it’s a bit of thinking out loud (in writing). What are your collective thoughts?

    Buxton, Maine
    1982 London Roadster - "Kit Kat"

    #303612

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Dash board is where you really make the car your own. And you’ll be staring at it forevermore so it’s best to design something you can live with the first time.

    I am partial to the original TD layout with the speedo/tach in front of the driver on big gauges, and the rest off to the right. If you’ve been lurking here long you have probably already examined my gauge replacement thread of 2011 and my dashboard saga of 2013.

    Other than (if feasible), moving the parking brake lever to its proper home between the seat bottoms, getting the instrumentation right is about the most satisfying thing you can do with one of these cars. And most of them need it, if it’s not already been done: they’re 35 years old by now!

    As I’ve explained, I am partial to the original Bug speedometer, since it’s cheap and reliable—and includes a viable gas gauge and all the accessory lights you could want: turn indicator, high beam (in proper blue), oil and gen lights, etc. These ports can be repurposed for whatever you like, and the dial is close to the correct TD size. It’s hard to get a tach exactly the same though, so if that’ll bother you, consider the neater look of a set of Dolphin or Speedhut gauges.

    Your thinking on the controls is just right. I have a VW 4-way flasher on mine. It’s basically the stock rig, as are the pull swith for the lights and the turn knob for the wipers. I’ve got an original key switch–which isn’t hooked up at all—which could conceivably control the lights and ignition. My repro TD horn switch includes the original TD high-beam “dipper,” which I have controling my one Lucas driving light. I also have a push-to-start button that I’ve not got around to wiring up for five years running.

    Like you, I’d like to move the start key to the dash, but I’m a little intimidated by the VW column (and it’s one of the only bits of wiring on the car that hasn’t ever fritzed-out on me). If/when you do that job, please post prolifically about it, with pictures.

     

    #303613

    eddy
    Participant

    @eddy

    I have purchased Porsche 914 speedo and tach for mine. The porsche speedo runs off the left front wheel like a VW does. Thay come with a cone type plastic “glass” in them so I carefully pryed them open and put flat plastic in them. I have not installed them yet but it looks pretty staight-forward. they have high beam and turn signal indicators in them

    #303614

    eddy
    Participant

    @eddy

    Also, they are about 5″ so a lot easier to see with these old eyes and “fill” the dash better too!

    #303615

    eddy
    Participant

    @eddy

    Correction… my speedo and tach are from a 924

    #303617

    eddy
    Participant

    @eddy

    #303618

    stephenhouser
    Keymaster

    @stephenhouser

    @edsnova Yes, I meant to link to your site and thread about your dashboard. It is a work of art. Being a long-time woodworker myself, I appreciate how tricky it is to get the pattern you made. I really liked the burl dashboards (Another Pricy…, and Dash project finished).

    I’m unlikely to move the parking brake lever anytime soon. I have a bench seat. Though it does need a recovering.

    @eddy I have to agree, needing my reading glasses to see how fast I’m going is not entirely satisfying.

    I’ll have to look at the 924 and larger bug speedo’s. There’s a few tempting thoughts in there.

    Why 3/4″ and not 1/2″ thick, I would think 1/2″ would stand less proud of the body/cowl. Was 1/2″ not stiff enough?

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  stephenhouser.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  stephenhouser.

    Buxton, Maine
    1982 London Roadster - "Kit Kat"

    #303620

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Ringo’s dash was my inspiration, and that real TD dash on the ‘bay looks very usable as-is. I’d try to grab that for $100-$200 if I were you. My un-patented “bead cheat” will finish it off for like $20 more.

    The 924 gauges are just about 4.25 in diameter, I think–a little smaller than the TD gauges, so if you went with that dash you’d have to fill the holes with like a 3/8-inch trim ring or something.

    Yes, make the wood 1/2 inch, 7/16, even thinner if you can get away with it. The BCW has 1/4 inch, but the dash was solid glass al the way across, so there was no need to worry about the strength of the wood piece. Most guys go 3/4 because that’s what CMC and FiberFab supplied with their kits. And BTW, MG Magic may have some of those dashboards left. Bill put one in his car and it looks awesome.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by  edsnova.
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