June 25, 2015 at 10:46 pm #235781
So here I am still with the hand/arm in a cast. This means no work on the TDr or the Harley. Its been a couple of weeks now and im getting peeved with it. But the up side is; I have all the time in the world to surf for TDr things etc, This begs the question .. will a genuine TD complete dash fit in a FF TDr? I know a lot of people have the center dash section fitted and that seems to be an easier option, or is it? I am willing to bet that a few have tried it? How did that work out for them?
John the BritJune 26, 2015 at 9:43 am #264904Paul MossbergKeymaster
Hi John,I’ve not heard of anyone trying this.Based on absolutely no objective criteria, I’d guess an original dash would fit, but not perfectly.I think most of our cars are slightly bigger than an original TD. So making an original dash fit would depend on how the cowl fiberglass is molded. There might be enough surface area to mount the original dash.I think a BCW TDr would be the closest to an original.
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)June 26, 2015 at 12:50 pm #264905John SimionParticipant
@johnsimionJohn, I went through all this recently. You have to decide how much work you want to get into. To replace the dash — at least on a Fiberfab — requires complete removal of all the gauges and more importantly, all the wiring. If I could do it over, I would just replace the instruments one at a time and refinish the Fiberfab dash, which actually is nicely made out of mahogany. But nooooo, I had to go all authentic and use an original TD dash piece with all new gauges. Big mistake in retrospect.
You can buy a beautiful new TD dash in burled walnut for a few hundred off eBay, but who wants to risk several hundred dollars and then find out that it doesn’t even fit? I thought of removing my old dash and sending it to the guy to have him make me one that would fit for sure, but then I realized that my own old dash itself wasn’t exactly a perfect fit (close, but not perfect). So, I just copied the mounting holes to a sheet of walnut plywood and bolted the square piece to the dash (you have to make a cutout for the steering column), then traced the outline of the dash on it and cut accordingly for the top. That gave perfect top fit. Then I took the old dash and lowered it a bit on the new piece and traced that as well. The result was a dash that fits perfectly but is also an inch or two taller than the old one. As far as the woodwork goes, it was enjoyable work although it was a LOT of work and the edges of the plywood got a few chips (wish I could have found a decent piece of solid walnut or mahogany). It’s also very hard to get a perfect finish unless you have a really nice wood shop that’s totally dust-free. Nevertheless, the new dash looks really good except on close inspection, and an upholsterer can hide most of my mistakes on the edge using a piece of welting.I alluded to wiring. I removed all the old gauges and wires and carefully labeled each one. In spite of that, it was a total rat’s nest. I don’t do wiring and I severely underestimated how difficult this would be for a professional. I had a VW mechanic who did most of my other work and he just sat on it for six months and did nothing, probably because he had no idea where to begin. Finally I gave up on him and found another guy through the internet, figuring an unknown had to be better than the known. I was fortunate that this guy really did know wiring and took only a couple of weeks, but he worked a LOT on my car during those two weeks, and I don’t dispute that because he kept calling me with questions and I visited his shop every couple of days to check progress. In the end, I also had underestimated how much time it would take him to make sense of it. The PO had miswired a lot of it, used the same color wires for everything (!), and a lot of the electrical stuff already wasn’t working. The wiring diagrams you get here are helpful, but in the end every wire has to be tested for power and ground. The professional fixed everything so it all works and is no longer a fire hazard and looks professional. But it was well into 4 figures to rewire! After the mess I made in removing the stuff, I was hardly in a position to complain, but the minute you start removing gauges, you are screwed.And BTW, the original TD ignition switch requires a starter button somewhere, and also my professional could not get it wired up to turn on the parking lights and headlights separately. It was also a PITA for him to wire the ignition switch so that it’s properly fused. He told me that as it came, if the headlights blew a fuse, the ignition switch wouldn’t work.I’m happy with the new dash and instruments. One of these days when everything is finished, I’ll figure out how to post photos. However, I have to say that the dash project just wasn’t worth the time, effort and $$$$$ that it cost. The one good thing out of all this is that I can now easily pull out the center TD instrument panel part and replace that ignition switch and most of the gauges without removing the whole dashboard. But that is another job and another time. First it has to get finished with the paint job and upholstery. It’s been a month at the painter already. Sigh.John the American
johnsimion2015-06-26 13:00:56June 26, 2015 at 1:49 pm #264906
My dash actually fits pretty well as the previous owner had taken weeks over getting it right. He also stated that he would “never do it again”. I was just toying with the idea of a complete original dash etc So im going to take the hint and give up on that idea. I will still go for the old style gauges and switches etc.
All this is of course after this piece of XXXX comes off my arm. We are entering what they call monsoon season here in the desert, that means 100 plus temps with rain or a similar humidity. That doesn’t do the cast or arm any favours.
Regards, John who is still the Brit for now.June 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm #264907Paul MossbergKeymaster
Don’t let a little wiring scare you. 😉There are a number of pre-made wiring harnesses out there. Dune buggy hrnesses usual have just about everything you nee in a TDr. A repro Beetle harness wouldbe overkill.
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)June 26, 2015 at 8:46 pm #264908Vicenç FeliúKeymaster
Kind of off topic but I do want to comment on something John the American said. My FF’s wires are all the same color as well. Light blue. I think FF may have made their wiring harnesses all from the same color wire.
Vicenç - (bee sense)
Pembroke Pines, FL
1986 Aston - BCW Model 52 - "Montse II"
(1983 FiberFab MiGi II - "Montse")June 26, 2015 at 9:54 pm #264909edward ericsonParticipant
That sounds like something FF might do. Or could be FF kits came with something like a wiring diagram, rather than any actual wires.Chiming in on the dash: The BCW was a tad narrower than the original TD dash–at least the one I bought, which was an original, not a repro.Another detail to note on the legit TD dash is the shallow relief for the steering column–it’s like no replica ever had and will, in most cases, give you a weird, asymmetrical glitch-looking thing in the dash. I incorporated it on mine, planned to shift the column just a little up and to the right to fit there, but haven’t got round to that yet–and might never.June 27, 2015 at 1:13 am #264910AnonymousInactive
My FF wiring was done up in all RED wiring and more than needed. Had electrical fire and am getting it back in shape. Using more than one color of wire.June 27, 2015 at 2:38 am #264911
As I have stated in the past I am going to rewire the car myself. The FF wiring on the car is all white or it was anyway. The end of a few of the wire runs has small rubber sleeves with numbers on them (some sort of wiring code) I have a great deal of experience with old French cars and they use a similar system with the same coloured wire and small number tags on the end of a wire run to identify the circuit.
John the BritJune 27, 2015 at 4:05 am #264912RoyalParticipant
Just as the too-old Christmas tree will dump all it’s needles, so too did my MiGi with all the “small number tags” on like colored wires that JTB mentions. On MiGi’s first cleanup, I wondered what all the confetti on the carpet was from.
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