Speedo and Dash mod’s

Speedometer Cable

One of the items that must be purchased locally is the speedometer cable. It isn’t detailed anywhere that depending on the transmission you use, you may also need a speedometer reverser. The speedometer registers counter-clockwise but the output from most transmissions is clockwise.

I also learned of a tip to install the speedo cable thru the cowl support tubes, to keep it hidden. I purchased a Mustang cable from a local parts store, it adapted to my TKO600 without a hitch, but was too long. A query to one of the forums I use and I learned the cable could easily be shortened.

The outer shield is plastic that is swaged into the end piece. It can easily be unscrewed, cut off and re-assembled. When I did, I used Red Loctite to assure good retention. But how to shorten the inner?  I took some brazing rod and turned about an inch of the end into a solid, then using a file, made it square to match the original end.

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The drive gear is a stock Ford part. Google will produce a number of sites to help you size the correct gear for your setup. If you have a good Ford Parts dealer near you, it is only a couple dollars. Don’t forget to purchase the retainer clip – it is a special configuration.

My cable goes thru the cowl support tube and terminates at the reverser that screws directly to the back of the speedometer. I had to move the tube slightly to get everything to line up properly.

Dash Layout
I decided to complicate my build by including a glove box – along with a heater! Yes, it can be done. I also decided to remain true to my originality theme and use original switching and layout instead of some of the switches supplied with the Hurricane kit. That required a completely revised layout and wiring for the lighting circuit. Not a big deal but some complications

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Glove Box & Liner
Once the heater was in place, I used a foam block, approx 6 x 12 x 18. I wittled away all the necessary clearances for the frame, hoses and heater pieces. When done, I had a male mold of the liner. Cover that with saran wrap/aluminum foil then fiberglassed the shell. Once it was built to the thickness I desired, I carved out the foam. The interior was then flocked with a felt liner. I used a flocking kit available from most WoodCraft stores.

Glovebox Door
This wasn’t the easy part. I established the shape and position, then routed out the opening. Using a piece of 1/2″ baltic ply, I then formed the door liner. The door was covered with the dash material and a bead around the opening to conceal the joint. This required multiple fits to get the clearance just right. I wanted the beading to lay in the joint, concealing it, but the door to open freely. Hard to figure how much the stuff compresses when installed.

Lighting & switches
I’ve found a source for most all of the pieces necessary to replicate the dash
Main Light Switch. I used the 3-position Lucas switch, available from our usual Cobra parts sources.
Dimmer and Fan Switches: Radio Shack sells a series of toggle switches that have the same slotted face as Lucas Switches and the molded lever. They just don’t have the slotted bezel used on the Lucas. I made my own.
Wiper Switch. A rotary wiper switch is available from Haywire, Inc. And the Lucas knob is available from  XXXX, I just needed to configure the knob to fit the switch. I machined a brass bushing to accept a set screw. When completed, it looks as it should.
Heater switch: The Maradyne heater came with a dual speed switch  I modified a plain round MG knob from BritishVictoria, similar to the wiper switch . Still looking for a knob with the correct  labeling.
Panel Dimmer: Ah, the real challenge. The original cars had a rheostat that was about 5 ohms, 50 watts. These don’t come cheap and generate a lot of heat. Enter digital electionics 101. Details on building an electronic dimmer are here.
Indicator lights: The original Lucas lights are available but very pricey. The ones used in most kits work but don’;t have the chrome bezel. A little research turned up these.
Vent Knobs. The vent knobs are available from VictoriaBritish but cables to fit them are very pricey. I modified a choke cable to accept the knob.
Ignition Switch: I turned the bezel supplied with the kit to appear as the other slotted bezels.

Dash Covering
An error caused me to recover my dash. (Mr. Welding Torch and Ms. Vinyl Covering don’t play nice together). I found a couple things that may help the next build generation.
1) I used 1/8″ foam on the first dash and learned the padding was just a little too much. It was fine to the touch but around the gauges and switches, it just didn’t lay right. With this recover, I used a layer of 1/16″ vinyl drawer liner (Lowe’s) as the padding, then covered it with the vinyl. Mucho better
2) When cutting the openings for the switches or other openings that don’t get wrapped around the edge of the opening – DON’T trim it to the opening size. When you install the dashlight/switch/whatever, there is a good chance the vinyl will extrude out around the edge. Cut slits in the opening then push the item thru. It will conform and much better probability of it turning out OK
3) Be very careful with vinyl. It will cut extremely easy.

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