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MG TD TF 1500 - Reassembly of dashboard/instrument panel

I am now ready to install the dashboard and instrument panel into my TF. I have the wiring loom pulled and awaiting connection and I need some guidance on the sequence that works best when it is all reassembled.
Initally I thought that if I installed the dashboard first and then the instrument panel, then connected all the cabling, and finally fitted the glove boxes that would be logical. However as I have learned with this car what seems the most logical thing often turns out to be the completely wrong way to go!
If I follow the above sequence I cannot see how it will be possible to get the small nuts and washers in place to fix the instrument panel and glove boxes in place as there is simply not enough room to get your hands and a small spanner in there.
Also is it best to install everything fully assembled and then lie on your back on the floor of the car and connect all the wires or is it better to loosely fit the dash and then tilt it forward while you connect the wiring up and then slide it back into place.
I have seen photos of how this is done with a TD but with the dash on the TF sloping backwards and mounted further back under the scuttle I dont see how the same technique would work for the TF.
I am hoping that some of the knowledgeable minds on this board can share with me how they have tackled this stage of their restoration.
Regards, Bill

Bill Tutty

It's been a couple of years, but this is how I remember doing mine. [of course, battery is disconnected for all of this work]

I completely assembled the instrument panel with the gauges before I installed it in the dash. This includes the electrical connections between the gauges that could be done before the harness is attached. Rembember the tach is the nearest big gauge towards the driver, so it's different for right and left hand drive.

Then I put the panel into the dash (with gloveboxes mounted) and propped the whole assembly up in the passenger compartment close to it's mounting position, with the back exposed to get access to all of the terminals. I used some boxes to hold it up.

I was able to get enough slack to make most of the connections without actually having the dash all the way up, but I think I had to pull the harness through the firewall a bit (nothing on the other side had been connected yet).

Don't forget to connect the windshield wiper switch before mounting up the dash, since it's impossible to reach with the glovebox in place (on one of the wiper shafts). Be sure to clean the contacts on the stock switch, before you mount the dash, since it's going to be nearly impossible to reach afterwards.

Turn signal wires don't have to be installed before mounting dash, since they are easy to reach from below. That's all I can remember for now.
Mark Barrington

Bill; I have just completed aon in a 1954 TF. What I did was to remove steering wheel and lower the steering column by removing one cross bolt. Then with suitabl padding I lowered the comp[lete dash panel. Then you can attach every wire that you need. May I suggest one more thing that should be done at this time. Remove and clean windshield wiper boxes and cable. clean contact switch on wheel-box and take note of the cable boxes for correct side up. I goofed and had one up and one down. Had to lower the dash one more time.
It is not as hard as you think it will be. I used a 1/4" drive socket set with extension and a wobbly socket to re tighten up the three top bolts.
Hudson Florida
Sandy Sanders

Oh yeah, I installed the dash before I installed the steering column. Made it a lot easier. Thanks, Sandy.
Mark B.

Today I took Sandy's advice and after about 6 hours I only have the choke and starter cable to still install. It all went very well and at last after nearly 3 years the TF is beginning to take on the semblance of a car again. A dashboard and instrument panel (all cabled up) make a huge difference.
Thanks to everyone for your comments and it was a pleasant surprise to find that it wasn't as difficult as I expected!

While I was lying on my back fitting the speedo and tacho cables I got to thinking about the oil pressure guage and wondered if it is necessary to bleed the air from the copper tubing (at the gauge end) before starting the engine. Where does the air in the line go? and if it stays in the line does the air prevent a true pressure as it will compress but the oil will not?
I haven't read anything about this anywhere but just wondered.

Bill Tutty

It isn't necessary to bleed the oil line. When the air compresses, it transfers the pressure to the gauge. While it's true that compressed air takes up less volume than uncompressed air, it will still transfer the pressure to the gauge. The air in the line should be gone after a few run ins of the engine.
Mark B.

Good to see you posting on the board again Mark.


This thread was discussed between 03/03/2008 and 04/03/2008

MG TD TF 1500 index

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