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Triumph TR6 - dash removal

want/need to pull my dash board, either replace it or refinish it while rest of car getting body work and new paint. suggestions to make it as easy as possible?

thanks Dave
David Beach


Can R/R the dash in a day...

1. get a digital camera and document what you do when you take it apart. Label things as you remove them.

2. Remove the speedo and tach before anything else.

3. Dash screws come out and dash pulls forward to remove the rest.

Simple really. If you're looking to replace the crash pads, it can be a real pain. If your afer renewing the wood only, it's not too bad. I went with a teak dash from Moss. The original plywood has its benifits as plywood doesn't warp. Teak should hold up as well. I'd wonder about the oaks and maples out there unless they're veneer and not solid.

Don from Jersey
D Hasara


Removed my dash this week. As Don says, not too big a job. As I removed gauges I taped the individual wire bundles together and I marked each wire with post-it tabs, yellow for the right-side wires and orange for left. Could have just marked right or left but whatever..... I recorded the position of the wires for the wipers, headlights and dash rheostat on a diagram I made up. I unscrewed the voltage stabilizer from the back of the speedo and left the wires attached to it. The dash comes out easy and you don't have to remove the fresh air vents as they stay in place in the metal fascia. I sanded the dash very carefully with # 220 sandpaper and applied two coats of Teak stain. My dash was sun-bleached to a blonde color and had very little gloss left so it was easy getting what was left of the old finish off. After the Teak stain I applied one coat of Spar Varnish. I'm waiting 24 hours and will reapply Spar Varnish again; probably 2 or 3 more coats. This makes for a high gloss, which is not "original" for TR6's but I like it. If you screw up the sanding or don't like the result of your refinishing you can buy a veneer and attach that to your dash but the process is tedious and if you're not used to working with wood and an X-acto knife you could be looking for trouble. Mine turned out great and I can't wait to apply the next two coats of Spar Varnish. Maybe in a couple of years when I get all the critical stuff sorted out I'll treat myself to a Moss custom hi-gloss Walnut dash but for now I'm happy with the results. Take Don's advice if you have a digital camera and take some pics when you first let the dash go. It may save you some grief. Good luck. Oh yeah, you need to join up. Where the hell is da Goose, guys??

Bob Evans


I will triple stress what has been said. LABEL LABEL LABEL.
Bob is dead on with attaching a label of sorts to each and every wire...make notes as you go. I used masking tape and wrote a number down on the tape with black marker. The tape will not come off and is permanently identified...meaning leave the tape on the wire when you reinstall the dash.
The little thumb screws on the 2 big gauges are the worst to get off and on. Pulling the driver seat makes life easier as you will be on your back looking up at the dash. These thumb screws hold the wood dash to the metal dash back plate so must come off before dash can be removed. The rest of the gauges are attached to the back of the wood dash so come out with the dash. When I say come out the wood dash will only pull away about 4". Also, I suggest pulling the steering wheeel...make life easier for yourself. Place steering in straight ahead position take digital photo of steering wheel position and pull it. You can do a clean up of horn contacts while out and add a little dielectric grease.
Refinishing the dash has been covered. be carefull not to get too much varnish in holes where gauges sit. Now is also a good time to do a little clean of the gauges and if you are black trim can be painted (remove first).

Putting dash back in: Put all the small gauges in first....attach those wires. Attach wood dash with the screws. Attach wires to switches with hand through the 2 main gauges holes. Do one gauge at a time (spedo first)so you have one hole open to at least attach that gauge through the open hole. Now the fun part. Put the other gauge in place, attach wires and cable then reach up under the dash to attach the 2 thumb screws. Believe me, this is easier to type than do!!! Unfortunately your hand probably will knock off some gauge illumination bulb holders or connectors as you try to put the thumb screws back on. It can be done with a little cursing however:) Obviously make sure the 2 main gauges sit straight and are not turned slightly. Before the steering wheel goes back on, check all things are functioning as before.
While the varnish is drying, clean all electrical connections and apply dielectric grease.

Dave, I have an official drawing of the dash with every single connection numbered and identified as to purpose. Contact me via e-mail (remove the AT and the .DOT from my e-mail address) and I will fax a copy to you. This will cut you identifying time to nothing. Have fun and personally I like high gloss for the dash finish.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

As you know I told you at the Chris Trace get together I plan to replace the wood dash face. I hear that it is very easy, and then I hear itís a very difficult. I get black and white extremes on this project. This has installed a fear in me that now results in procrastinating the project. Ok you have done this, how about you coming over for an "all you can eat and drink" Italian style, as you play coach?

Sorry I make it sound so daunting. Really is not that bad, just time consuming. Down time is the worst part for this time of year:).
Check your e-mail.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

I took out my dash a few weeks ago. Following the instructions regarding the instruments is the way to go.

My dash was in a sorry state, the plywood was delaminating in one corner, varnish was cracked and yellow, a dark stain (water damage) was in the area of the delamination. So nothing would be lost in attempting the refurbishment.

I acutally used a heat gun and small scrapper to remove the old hard varnish (you have to be very careful as not to burn the veneer). Then I relaminated the plywood (Clamps and exterior glue), Lightlty sandpapered the surface, then I applied 3 coats of walnut stain (this to blend in some very dark water stains), and lastly appilied 6 coats of high gloss finish external varnish (sanding in between coats). I personally chose not to use marine spar varnish as this will turn yellow over time. The whole process took about 20 manhours.

Did I mention that my seats were out of the car, this does help.

One other tip, if I could not repair the dash to a happy outcome, I was prepared to re-veneer. If you have to do this, then go to your local building/home store like Kent or Home Depot, they sell sheets of veneer that cover the dash in one go (no seams to join). Cheaper than sourcing other suppliers.

Good luck and enjoy
Les Gilholme

Thanks for the adviice. I already own a new replacement. Funny thing is the previous car owner put a solid leather dash in (like the MGs). I want to bring it back to wood. So no finish work needed. If you are thinking whats under the leather its not the original wood. So Ancaster (last year) was nice to me I picked up a replacement. Now I might take up Ricks offer for help...

This thread was discussed between 10/04/2005 and 15/04/2005

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