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Hello all,

My 1982 Turbo Esprit doesn't have the vacuum-formed instrument mask. It must have died and been discarded years ago. The previous owner made a wooden fascia which I have removed, exposing the black steel plate to which the instruments actually mount. I know that the original instrument mask is long obsolete and although there have been various discussions about 3D printing fascias and perhaps other methods of manufacturing them, I've not found anything available to solve my problem.

So the plan is that I will draw up a replica panel on AutoCAD and send it off to be cut out of aluminium and powder coated black so that it looks in keeping with the original design. I'll mount the instruments directly to this instead of the steel plate (which is flexible, heavy and bent!) and that should all look quite acceptable. The instrument bezels will of course overlap the new panel and be visible whereas with the original plastic mask, I understand that they were covered. I'll just make sure that the bezels are all painted black and everything should look pretty sweet.

A couple of questions:

Is my plan okay or can someone point me to a better solution that will help the car resemble the original more closely?

Does anyone have a photo of their 1982 (or thereabouts) Turbo Esprit original instrument panel so that I can see what it should look like? Of particular interest to me are the two (I think) tell-tale warning lights centred at the base of the panel. I don't have any lights on my car that go there. In my tidying and labelling of all of the wiring I have found a coolant level warning light output but I have not found an oil warning light, which is what I'm sure one of those tell-tales should surely be.

As always, any information is greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks,
Keir

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Hi Keir

Here you go from my 82 Turbo Esprit

y4m_BdnWotALItwXsnEQh_gXRDydqZpf_cxgSdc8

 

y4mMwfbhAW8xxh8Go7l-3g3I0z009QN7NkZdOegO

 

y4mDARuVoAItOtLIgGyFA4Yhxl6E-xIAbrQCCMgD

 

y4mPYYlmPsdKlCOBAsNMv-HAMQzah5uF8xcBPZtL

 

y4mzDhiuag5flyCedYyypTNp8LTLE3b0JFLbKlQK

 

 

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8 minutes ago, markt said:

Maybe have a look here 

End result looks pretty good. I can take a photo of my dash if it'll help to show what goes where - It's an '84 though

Yeah I have read that thread before, that's some good work! Unfortunately it's not the same at the S3 layout and I don't have any knowledge of 3D printing so I can only design for flat sheet cutting.

7 minutes ago, ChrisJ said:

Hi Keir

Here you go from my 82 Turbo Esprit

y4m_BdnWotALItwXsnEQh_gXRDydqZpf_cxgSdc8

 

Thanks so much for those pics! I'm really surprised to see that there are no tell-tale lights in the lower centre like I expected. So there is not oil warning light at all, just the gauge?

I'm pretty confident that I can get an aluminium fascia designed at cut to mimic this closely.

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The warning lights are in the wings - are you having to re-do these as well. Don't think there is a warning light for the oil.

Just off to work. Unless someone else can do so I'll dig out my owners manual when I get home and post up what each light is.

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2 minutes ago, ChrisJ said:

The warning lights are in the wings - are you having to re-do these as well. Don't think there is a warning light for the oil.

Just off to work. Unless someone else can do so I'll dig out my owners manual when I get home and post up what each light is.

I have all of the warning lights in the left and right 'wings'. They're not in bad condition and the fascia in these, although a little split here and there, can be repaired. It's just the central panel that is my issue.

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If you click on my images you'll get the full sized one.

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I would have thought you could make something pretty credible from MDF covered in a sympathetic patterned vinyl, especially if you could use a router to recess the rheostats 

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35 minutes ago, 910Esprit said:

I would have thought you could make something pretty credible from MDF covered in a sympathetic patterned vinyl, especially if you could use a router to recess the rheostats 

You could even go carbon fibre or stick with original matt:thumbup:


Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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1 hour ago, 910Esprit said:

I would have thought you could make something pretty credible from MDF covered in a sympathetic patterned vinyl, especially if you could use a router to recess the rheostats 

You're right about the MDF, that would be an easy material to work with. I'm trying to take weight out of the car though; I can't help it, my other Lotus is an Elise! I'm a bit alarmed by just how much plywood I'm finding in this Esprit haha!

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I don't think the center tell tale lights started until '86 or so. My '85 TE looks just like the '82 shown.

I'm torn between redoing all my gauges in a new plate like you mention or leaving it original. Would love to relocate the rheostats and add more gauges in their place, but that would entail gutting the steel plate, and the steering wheel blocks some of that area visually anyway.

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Someone on here mentioned they were going to produce all the vacuum-formed parts on the Esprit. It didnt seem to have come to anything.

There must be some demand for these, such as the 3 instrument panels, A-pillar and B-pillar trims, door frame finishers etc etc. Someone should do it. Wonder how much vac forming machines cost....

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