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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Dash options

I want to change my 70 dash to the straight across, no frills earlier dash. What's involved?
Geoff B.

Pick the easy ones, eh?

It can be done, but the cowl is different on the steel dash (62-67) models. You'll need to fabricate a cowl extension that has a lip on it to extend the cowl and pick up the factory dash mounting brackets.

An alternative would be to add the extension to the dash itself.

Gauges will need to change (assuming you want top replicate the stock look) and a different panel wiringing scheme will be required- either modify the existing harness or purchase an early dash harness. Switches will need to change

I'm guessing you'll also need to change heater control cables, but that's just a guess.

I'm sure i'm forgetting something....
greg fast

One big stumbling point on this conversion is that the combination of the early steel dash with the later (larger) transmission tunnel requires a special console that was only used on cars sold in England. Nothing available here in the U.S. fits the space between the dash and the tunnel. You either have to locate a console from someone in England and have them ship it to you or you have to fabricate something that will fit. Tony Barnhill has a good writup of this conversion on his website

Ryan Reis
Ryan Reis

Geoff, have you considered building one out of 1/4 inch thick plexiglass and either painting it or covering it with vinyl. Drill holes for the gages and switches...kinda like the old Cobra dashes...plain and simple and easily worked on/behind !!!

I did this 3 years ago, converting a 1978 roadster to a 1966. I started with the cowl section from an early car, 1965 I think. I removed the windscreen & overlayed the old piece, stopping at the ridge under the windscreen. I used structural adheasive & sheet metal screws, which were later ground flush.

You will need the defrost vents from the early car as well.

The biggest problem is the steering column, unless you are going to change that as well. The later column is larger & will not fit the dash cutout. The later column has a much larger plastic binnacle containing the ignition switch & wiper & turn signal levers. I moved the ignition to the dash, but left the levers in place. I shortened the plastic binnacle with a saw & rolled the cut edge in using a heat gun to soften the plastic & a putty knife to form the plastic.

A new support for the steering column will have to be made & some lower dash support pieces will need to be made as well.

All in all, I think I have close to 90-100 hours in the dash, gauges, defrost vents, switching to 2 wipers, steering column, wiring, etc. Worth the effort?
It was for me.
Jim Stuart

I have just done his conversion from a 74 roadster to the earlier dash.
As mentioned you will need an "extension" to the dash top between the steel dash and the car.
I used the 74 column and gauges. I cut the steel dash back around the column to allow the new one to fit. This way you don't need new mountings for the column.
I purchased a UK spec MGB V8 gauge panel and fitted the 74 gauges (80mm) and UK spec center console. Total cost of the british parts was $50 including shipping from the UK
Tony Bates


I am also converting a '78 to '66. Purchased a pillow dash over eBay, stripped it to the metal, and had it media blasted. It is in primer right now awaiting the wrinkle black finish. I've also had most of the smaller holes filled and welded to get back to a simple earlier look. Any other necessary gauges and switches will be added to the blank area over the console. My HVAC controls will be in the console.

Michael Willis

I have also made this conversion 74 to 67.
I changed the cowl under the dash, then the steering column which meant I had to change the fitting where it goes thru the firewall. I had a 67 doner car to cut from.
I welded in a plate where the radio was and used the spot for extra guages.
It looks great but you can imagine the hours. I wish I would have followed one of the plans mentioned earlier. My way looks authentic{except the guages} but took way to much work.

Rip all the padding of your 70 dashboard Geoff, you'll find that the backing plate underneath is actually quite a nicely shaped piece of metal. I'm planning to use just the backing plate painted body colour on my car.
Anthony Morgan

I modified the '71 pillow dash by stripping it to steel then welded in the oil gage hole and cut out the speedo and tach holes for the earlier large gages. I then welded in an early glovebox opening, added holes for extra gages and an equalizer, and covered the whole works in black leather. It turned out quite nice. Oh, I also retained the brow by gutting down the pillow to match the contour on the driver's side.

I then made a new center console using pasteboard templates and heavy gage sheet metal and also leather covered. Much less work than converting to the early dash and looks just as good, maybe better. Certainly more functional at the least.

Jim Blackwood

This thread was discussed between 04/01/2005 and 09/01/2005

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