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Hi All,
does anyone have a link to a howto on a dashboard removal for the G Car please?
I have all the interior out (doing carpet etc) and figured it is probably the right time to take out the dash and go and get it re-upholstered.
All the links I can find on the net are for the later model S car lotus dashboards.
I am figuring someone on here has removed the complete dash to have it recovered before and might have some photos and instructions to make it easier for newbies :)
thanks

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First off as you say you have removed the carpets, i will take it that you have removed the seats. ?  This will make life a lot easier as you will space to move as some of the bolts/screws for the rem

I had to remove the centre panel of the binnacle but the 2 side panels I managed to stuff through the binnacle hole and dash hole complete without disconnecting them. I also didnt have to remove the i

I made cardboard cut outs of the dash pieces so I could play with the fitting order before using the real parts, yes I got that desperate! C43

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Hi Steve

I replied to this earlier but after writing a how to guide i found the forum had automatically logged me out so it failed to upload. :angry: So i will post in little segments and not waste 40 mins of my time with the risk of loosing the work again. :)

Only have one picture, i have marked a few bits on this with paintshop sorry my IT skills are pants so just bare with me.! and ignore the added captions for now.

The retrim of the interior and dashboard was the something i had put off for years and should of done it a long time ago as it makes such a difference,However make sure you have plenty of space to do this job as you need plenty of space to move about. Removing the actual dashboard is the easy part, it is some of the things in the way that are the pain in the backside. 

DSC_0443.jpg

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First off as you say you have removed the carpets, i will take it that you have removed the seats. ?  This will make life a lot easier as you will space to move as some of the bolts/screws for the removal of the dash will need to be done from underneath the dash unless you have arms like an orangutan and wrists that can rotate 360 degrees. :)

Firstly before we start, ensure you have decent storage space for the bits coming of, In my case i covered the roof in a blanket to store the bits on to stop the roof getting scratched. Also some little tupperware type containers for the screws,bolts and nuts etc.

I am doing this off memory so please bare with me but hopefully other g car members will jump in with other pointers or maybe even easier ways of doing it. 

1. Remove the steering wheel, pull the horn/centre round lotus bagde out of the middle of the steering wheel this will reveal a large nut, undo the nut and pull the steering wheel off. replace the nut as it stops you from loosing it and protects the threads at the same time.

2. Remove the steering collum cowling, it is in 2 sections upper and lower. two screws each side, remove these and pull the two halfs  apart  and store out of the way. 

3. The binnacle / instrument gauage cluster.  It has three main sections, well four if you include the heater blower vent. Firstly remove all the philips/posi drive screws i think four per panel.  With these removed pull the main panel i.e the one with the speedo in forwards towards you. This has the most wires, pull it as far forwards as you can without it pulling all the electrical spade connectors pulling themselves off the gauges :P

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3. Continued..........

  Take plenty of pictures on a digital camera of the wire as this will save you head scratching on reassembly, Also use masking tape to mark all the wires and locations, i can not stress how much of a difference this makes when you come to put it back together as it could be months. ! Once the speedo cable has been unscrewed out the back of the gauage and electrical spade connectors removed etc. Remove the guage panel and store safely. 

Now pull the left panel out as far as you can and looking on the back pull the electrical block connectors of the back of the switches and mark with tape as to were they came from and the same as any other wires etc.  Also remove the heater vent panel by pulling the flexible hose of the back of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4. The last panel !  the heater control panel on the right side of the binacle, pull it out and again remove the electrical block connectors and mark up wires etc, the difference with this panel is it holds the heater control levers, I chose not to remove the cables, and opted to remove the bracket complete with cables attached. of memory it was held on by very flat 8mm or 10mm, what i do remember for definate is they are a bugger to get at. :P Once this is undone pull the heater levers through the panel and leave the cable dangling.

At this point you should now be looking at a bare bones binnacle full of a mess of wires with masking tape everywhere and a heater control cable hanging out. !  If it looks like this your on the right track :)

 

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5. So your looking at the empty binnacle, looking inside and put your hands inside the vipers nest of wires, you will see and feel a large support bracket inside the binnacle, this hold the binnacle, it is held in place by four 10mm bolts and washers, remove these and you should feel the binnacle come free. Now slowly pull the binnacle out and check that no wires or cable are snagged, if things are still connected mark up as before with tape. Of memory think some large red and white wires go to to the the reostat, just pull them off and mark them up.  You should now be Binnacle free, but still with a horrible pile of wires sitting there. :)

 

 

6. If you look at the place on the dashboard where the binnacle bracket was bolted onto, you will not two dashboard crash pads. these are held in place with philips/poi drive screws, remove these and it will open up the dashboard area around the steering collum giving you a better view also. 

Point to note on these crash pads, these are just fibreboard and prone to distortion when wet, if warped it may be a good idea to use them as templates and cut new ones, as they are a poor fit when warped and will let your retrim down. :)

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7.  Sadly the indicator and wiper stalks need to be removed also. i chose to move mine, they are held in place by large flat head screws and sort of a clamping bracket, remove the screws and the stalks will fall out of the way, Make your battery is disconnected when hanging these stalks as they will otherwise short out on the metal steering collum or bare ignition barrel wires.!  

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8. Flip up the glovebox lid and look for the hindges, 2 philips/posi drive screws per hinge and 2 hindges, remove these and store out of the way.

The glovebox also houses the two fuse boxes on the esprit, these are held in place by flat blade screws, one either side of  the fuse box, unscrew these and push the fuse box backwards out of the way, the glovebox also has an internal cardboard like shell it is held in by flat blade bolts and very small nuts, push the cardboard and you will feel where these are attached, i think most are at the front where it meets the dash. then remove the cardboard shell.:)

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9.  Steve looking at where you are on your pictures i will start from there, choke/window switch panel.   Unscrew the three philps/posi drive screws from the front of that panel just under the switches,  pull the panel upwards and unclip the window electrical connectors and also pull the metal clip upwards that holds the actual switch in.  I did not have a choke on my car in that location, but remove the choke cable from the lever it should be fairly  straight forward.:)

10. Remove the gear knob by un screwing it, now pull the gear lever gator upwards and push the rim/edges at the same time thsi will release the little metal tags on the retaining ring from underneath the console, you should now have removed the gear knob, gator, and also the metal ring that holds the gator. !

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10. Continued....   Your radio will need to be removed, modern ones have clips to push in to release them, you do not have these or cant get it out dont worry,  looking at the console around the gearstick,  just where the window switch panel joined, of memory you should see two 10mm bolt heads.

Remove these bolts, pull the gearstick  back towards you as it helps to get the panel out, you can remove this panel with the radio fitted and the vents still attached.:)  Pull the panel towards you as far as you realistically can without feeling any interfierance,  Now look at the back of it i.e where it joins the dashboard, you will see a load of wires for the radio. unclip these, and pull the two heater flexi pipes off the back of the plastic vents.  Your centre console should now be free. :).

Please bare in mind my s3 n/a did not have aircon etc so extra things could be attached :)

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11.  Right so now you should be looking at a fairly empty cockpit, wires everywhere thinking what the hell am i doing, :P  Now comes the crap part, the design flaw i wish lotus had not made but you may be lucky if you live in hot climates.:)

The dashboard cant be removed with removing the interior A post panels i.e the ones that run up the inside of the windscreen, but if you are going the whole hog with the interior these would of had to of come off anyway.  Looking at the outside of the door frame where the door seal runs, pull the top of the door seal away from the rim,  You will now see if you are lucky two philips/posi drive screws, If you are unlucky like most in cold and wet climates you will see the remains of what was left of a posi screw :angry:  Undo these, hopefully they come out, but if not you will have to use force. !

If they do not come out, first of all i will offer you some advise, cover the surrounding area like the the outer Kant rail with tape and a blanket, because you will slip and scratch the paintwork. :blush:

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11.  Continued.......... You can try to chisel the screws to moves as the posi drive normally just rots away, I used mole grips, not sure what you call them over your side of the pond, i.e like a wrench that you ajdjust then clamp into place, make sure its a good pair with no play in it. also tape round this area also tp try and protect the fiberglass, But the door seal will cover any scratches to this area, its when you slip it becomes a problem on the rest of the cars paintwork lol.

Word of advise, and a good upgrade replace these screws with stainless steel it will save you a whole lot of pain in the future :)

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12. Right so you have removed the 2 screws on each side of the car, easier said than done. !  Now i cant remember the order so it may be back to front, but these trim pieces around the roof section need to come out in order, but either way it does not matter as they still need unscrewing ! 

Front sunvisor panel, you can pull this whole baby down in one go. ! held in by 4 posi drive screws, as you pull it down be aware that you need to undo the digital clock electrical connector.  So all trim panels out of the way apart from the A post pillar,  these are held in place by 3 clips, you cant touch the clips it is just a matter of pulling the trim out and letting the clips release on their own.  Once out your dashboard removal is getting very close. !  these had to go as the dashboard sits underneath these A post trims.  But more to retrim and you will have a better looking interior for it. :)

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DSC_0443.jpg

 

13.   Nearly there....

Looking at my picture the yellow circles show the four nuts and washers that need to be removed, all pretty easy with a flexible extension needed for some, the second one in from the right hand of the picture is the bugger as it is a wierd angle with plenty of stuff to stop you getting a rachet in there, i think i did it with just  a spanner,  these are all 10mm nuts, the threads are incapsulated into the lotus dashboard.

Right now you need to undo the wires of the door light switches, if you look at the red box with the arrow on the right hand side the door pin switch is just up from that, it has a chrome/silver outer edge. 

With the pin switches removed, you need to look at red boxes on the photo  these are an angle bracket that is pop riveted to the dashboard and the cars body on the inside of the A post. 

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DSC_0443.jpg

13. CONTINUED..............

You can drill or cut these pop rivets outs, dont worry about the ones stuck to the dashboard, just get the one out of the cars body, only one bracket per side, Now one last bolt is by the gear lever marked yellow on the photo, you cant miss it, 10mm bolt, take it out and have a wiggle of the dashboard.....  it will feel very tight due to it been stuck down for so many years plush the threads in the dash try to hold on for dear life.! 

Pull upwards and wiggle, be force full and it should pop out,  You really want to just get it so the threads are out the holes and it will just sit there. :)

Now all you will have to do is pass all that electrical wiring through the dash !  and you should now have your dashboard out the car. !

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14. Point to note on the above picture the area marked with the green crosses on the photograph i left this panel in my car and recovered in situ, 

hopefully other members can let you know how they did this but i was happy to retrim it in situ. :)

While the dash is out i would also look into using the time for upgrades,  Maybe modern blade fuse boxes ?  and fitting electrical quick release block connectors so the binnacle removal in future will be an easier task. :) 

I hope this helped, and pretty sure others members will chip in with addtional information and answer any questions you have. :):)

Good luck Steve and its  very rewarding to see a new interior when finished B-)

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wonderful - thanks Dan.  Getting late here on Wednesday night - will print this out and hook into it over the next few days.  I had to rip out all the old carpet - although it looked ok, there had been (previous owner) a leak from the oil gauge in the dash and all the underlay on the drivers side was soaked in oil !   Anyhow, once it was all out and I cleaned it up (petrol, kero, thinners - what ever I could find) - I decided to use some bitumen based sound proofing as a base to work from.  I did this in my  old porsche 964 and it made a big difference.

Thanks again - will keep all updated.

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24 minutes ago, hepkat63 said:

wonderful - thanks Dan.  Getting late here on Wednesday night - will print this out and hook into it over the next few days.  I had to rip out all the old carpet - although it looked ok, there had been (previous owner) a leak from the oil gauge in the dash and all the underlay on the drivers side was soaked in oil !   Anyhow, once it was all out and I cleaned it up (petrol, kero, thinners - what ever I could find) - I decided to use some bitumen based sound proofing as a base to work from.  I did this in my  old porsche 964 and it made a big difference.

Thanks again - will keep all updated.

Hi Steve 

No problem at all happy to help :)  May also be well worth fitting an electrical oil pressure guage while you are at it, very simple while everything is out.:)

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I did my brothers Esprit S2 a few months back. Taking the dash out was not too bad, putting it back together was pretty epic. Take lots of photos of everything as you take it out and when putting it back together the three dash panels will only go in on one order. From memory fit the middle main part loose, then the lhs parts can be screwed in place, then move the middle part left as far as it will go (without all the wires coming out) then fit the rhs and bolt into place then re align the centre section and screw in place. I also used selastic to hold all the warning lights in place before fitting the centre plastic section. Not sure if this was a good idea of not as it limited access but it did keep then in the right order. Oh and the pervious owner had fitted two warning lights in the wrong slot so I had to fit them twice, my suggestion would be to double check all the warning light positions.

I have some photos but probably easier to ask if you have any specific questions.

good luck

C43

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I had to remove the centre panel of the binnacle but the 2 side panels I managed to stuff through the binnacle hole and dash hole complete without disconnecting them. I also didnt have to remove the interior trim panels other than the A-post trims.

I am pretty sure the part with the green crosses is part of the bodyshell and that would not be removeable without drastic irreversible action!

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7 hours ago, Andyww said:

I had to remove the centre panel of the binnacle but the 2 side panels I managed to stuff through the binnacle hole and dash hole complete without disconnecting them. I also didnt have to remove the interior trim panels other than the A-post trims.

I am pretty sure the part with the green crosses is part of the bodyshell and that would not be removeable without drastic irreversible action!

Fair play Andy :) I will consider that for the future and maybe Steve can leave them in situ, i was more concerned about reinstalling the binnacle as those side panels have sharp edges, but i fitted on my jack jones so maybe if more hands on deck to move stuff through would be safer or maybe even bubble wrap them. ?

The green marked panel had me confused, it was easy to recover as its nice and flat and the ends are covered by the A post trims so you do not have to worry about the finish, but i am sure on my turbo the last owner removed this ?  as the interior is bare bones in that car and just has the massive metal brace on show across the bulkhead with a bit of fiberglass attached. :blush: When i get chance i will get some picks to show you what i mean .:)

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I made cardboard cut outs of the dash pieces so I could play with the fitting order before using the real parts, yes I got that desperate!

C43

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