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ianmayco68

custom dash project

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Hi all , this is a sub post of my other thread Ian's 90 300tdi Rebuild and is about my custom dash , the idea is to turn this pile of 1.2mm steel which cost the massive amount of £12.14p from work ,

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and this which I had bent up for the top of the dash 

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into something like this 

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This is a rough sketch and as you can see there is a glove box .I'm fitting an auto box to the project so I'll need to make a custom center bit which will be made once everything's fitted and I can see better where everything goes , I know Ashcroft do one but I like a challenge and would rather save £250 :D . I'm also going to try and upgrade the wiper system using a disco 1/2 one .

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1st test fit for the camera

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Steve200tdi I think has done this to his racer ( and project binky inspired ) so should be possible with a bit of tweaking , as the disco fitting is wider than the Defender hole spacing and need to incorporate the longer spindles from the wheel boxes . Also I'm going to try to modify the heater system , either with a new unit but as the standard Defender unit is okay was thinking maybe upgrade the blower to a 3 speed jobbie , but either way it will be altered so that the hot air comes into the cabin through 1 pipe which will then split and go to the windscreen and side window vents . And finally I'm thinking of upgrading the electrics and using a disco TD5 fuse box if possible , don't know whether it's possible with the difference of an ecu but I only want the fuse box so I would imagine it could be made to work . Why a disco TD5 one ? because it cost me £10 off ebay ,so nothing lost and all the fuses and relays are wired together in the fuse box by a printed circuit board so cutting down on the amount of wires . Why do all this some may ask ? I like a challenge and I'm a bit mad some times but what ever you think of what I'll be trying to do pop back for a read every now and then , even if it's to see me make a complete a##e of myself and fall flat on my face trying I promise it will be fun .

cheers Ian

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Super cool. Watching with great interest. I have the auto and would like to make more of center console area and just refreshed my wipers and was wondering can the binky upgrade be done. Also looked at heater upgrades but just refreshed the standard one on mine at the moment.

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Me too!  You might get a few orders, especially for the auto version!!  😃

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Cheers all , any suggestions on the 3 speed blower possibilities ? Was thinking possibly a disco 2 or maybe a puma .

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I've done a 3 speed conversion on a spare heater box, but yet to fit it to the car and write about it. Resistor pack was the cheapest one I could find on ebay, from a transit I think, and the switch comes from a metro. 

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Just found a blower from an Astra, it’s a 4 speed and looks like it will fit in the Defender heater box with a bit of modding.

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Ebay linky

I binned the metal cage bit, took the old LR one out of the snail housing and grafted this one in with a thick plastic surround and some PU adhesive. 

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Sorry Dave thought I'd replied to you , that looks good and thanks for the link . Well got the spraying done and were I wanted it to be with the exception of the bulkhead which I thought was best to leave till I'd done the dash and other mods . So took the disco wiper mechanism apart today and tried it on the bulkhead , the spacing between the wheel arms is 75mm more on the disco set up and after a bit of putting it in place and having a good look , it's not going to work how I wanted it to , so going to have to mount the motor near to where it is originally and use longer operating rods , can't really do any more until the Defender wheel boxes that Ross kindly donated to the project arrive , and thank you to all the other offers from everyone else for them . Here's a few pics of what I've got ,

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Also stripped the heater box down , anyone that's not seen inside one took a few pics for you .

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If you notice the 2 flaps they should have foam on them to help seal them when open or closed which helps get the heat into the cabin and can be the cause of a poor heater , found quite a bit of debris in there old foam , sealing strip mud and other stuff . Do you think you could use a small motor to move the flaps ? just thought it might be easier than adjusting the fiddly cables , so project dash starts . I'm doing the heater and wiper mods 1st then the dash as the dash can fit around them , so any thoughts or ideas post them up and I will take measurements of all the dash pieces when I make them incase any one else fancies a go at it .

cheers Ian

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The modern hevac systems seem to use stepper motors now, to give full control and reliability. You could convert you manual controls to feed an arduino stepper motor driver setup. 

cheers, Steve 

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An RC servo might be even easier as it has built in position sensing. Dead simple to drive with an Arduino. 

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3 hours ago, lo-fi said:

An RC servo might be even easier as it has built in position sensing. Dead simple to drive with an Arduino. 

Probably not torquey enough.

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You can get some quite beefy servos! I have to admit, I'd go with the cable, though... 

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A modern RC servo like the kind you'd use in one of the big scale jets would do it no problem. 

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Cheers all , you’ll have to be gentle with me when it comes to electronics I don’t have a clue , but I’m always willing to learn . Found these two on eBay, one of each 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5V-4-Phase-Geared-Stepper-Motor-with-ULN2003A-Driver-Board-28BYJ-48-Arduino/121433812858?epid=1851855138&hash=item1c4604ef7a:g:HNUAAOSwf2pbmlUA

and this one

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Servos-Digital-MG996-Servo-Metal-Gear-for-Futaba-JR-Car-RC-For-Arduino-UNO-diy/273467991565?hash=item3fabf6660d:m:ml1B9N1eON9tXcNh_y4EfgA

Do you just buy a Arduino board like the one for the stepper motor wire it up and away you go ?

I was thinking of using a motor off a modern cars heater box, like on the Range Rover , blend motors are they called ? Would like to update the heater matrix if possible.

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The self awareness of a servo makes them much easier to work with than a straight stepper, for which you're going to have to add limit switches or suchlike. Wiring is fairly straightforward, but you will have to write a little code for the arduino whichever way you go. I can help with this if you want to play around with it. With the oem motors, if you can find a wiring diagram, there will be a way to wire and drive it, but it may take a bit of work. 

Edited by lo-fi

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Have you seen Miketomcat's custom dash - he used glass fibre as he's some sort of wizard with his sticky goop:

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Yes  I saw it some time ago , someone was asking about it in another thread looks really neat . 

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Haven't done anything on the dash or project for a few weeks thought I'd have a rest , been on puppy sitting but have been doing a bit of thinking and looking . So been having a good tidy up today and been burning quite a bit of rubbish , but have been doing a bit in between . This is what I've come up with so far , I'm going to use the disco wiper motor and operating rods from the disco wiper set up and the wiper operating arms (as pictured above ) will need to lengthen the rods and cut the disco wiper spindles off the arms then weld them to the defender ones . This is what the defender wheel boxes look like when taken apart ,

the spindle

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wheel which won't be needed

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outer box

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and the inner 

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that looks like a brass bush in the end and some sort of bearing behind it I would imagine to help it move freely , the 1st problem I've noticed with using the older wheel boxes is that they secure to the bulkhead by a nut on the outside as we all know but the pipe that hoses the motor worm cable secures it on the inside , so I don't think the nut on the outside will hold it securely with the torque that will come through the operating rods so I'm thinking of fitting the later td5 wheel boxes . I could weld something on to stop the movement but the outer spindle housing isn't steel but the backing plate is and I'm worried that the heat generated from mig welding something on might knacker up what's inside the spindle housings or distort them . I know I could practice on these old ones but I wasn't planning on taking the new one's this far apart and I think there's grease packed in there when it's assembled , anyone got any other ideas ? I've done a bit of researching on the heater mod but will post that up when I've got things clearer in my head ( don't know when that will be :wacko:) , also I've decided to paint the bulkhead when I get chance as I realised it will be easier to see if the mods fit when it's back together and the areas were I may need to do some cutting will be covered in carpet or the dash so shouldn't really be noticeable , any modding were it is seen will be done before paint .

 

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Can you weld a simple locating pin onto the bulkhead while it's off the vehicle?that way the nut outside is securing it on but the pin stops it rotating? Or even just a bracket along the bottom for it to sit against. 

If I've understood the problem correctly that is... 

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A bit of steel bar between the two wheelboxes picking up on one each of the unused clamp studs would, in conjunction with the outer nuts, hold them still would it not?

Less of an issue on the later wheelboxes as they are not round in section so cannot fully rotate in the bulkhead.

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Like that idea Ed  hadn’t thought of that idea , that would hold it very still . Had thought about that one James but didn’t know whether it would cause problems after a while with the movement in it , all be it slight.

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