Living with Sally
The MGB Roadster
My intention for Sally's interior and particularly the dashboard is to create something a little different!

I plan to try covering the basic dashboard in white vinyl or leather which I think, along with the black/red/white theme of the whole interior, should look a little different.

As I have found a later set of column controls on eBay, I hope to use these to control wipers/washers/horn along with the indicators
This means that I will not need switches for wipers, washers or horn on the dashboard.
I've decided to get rid of the silly dimmer control too. I have also decided to use one of the earlier type of ignition switches, mounted in the centre of the dashboard
This is for no other reason than I like the look! :)

I have seen a few owners just use rubber bungs/plugs to blank off holes in the dashboard when switches are removed etc.

This is not for me as I am looking for a clean, professional image for the dashboard.
I have some 1mm aluminium plate that I will bond to the back of the dashboard to fill up any unused holes
(filing flush with body filler) before I set about covering it.
The advantage of this is that I can always 'punch' the plate off and cut the vinyl/leather away from the hole, should I want to re-use them later on. The good thing about using aluminium so thin is that I can easily bend it to follow the contours of the dash but it is strong enough to support the filler and vinyl/leather

The dashboard I bought from eBay has already been stripped of its black crinkle finish and appeared to have been painted in some kind of cream coloured paint.
This suits me as it provided a good base for me to work from.

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I have started marking up what I want to blank off.
I also want to move the choke cable over a bit so that the dash looks more symmetrical.

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When I drive my Jaguar (my modern daily driver) about the country for my job, I always seem to need something charging!

Whether it is one of the two mobile phones, I always carry, or my ipod, ipad or satnav, I am constantly looking for more cigarette lighter type sockets to plug everything in.
Ok... I don't need quite so many when not working, but I still might need a couple in Sally
Therefore I have decided to try and fit a couple in the bottom of the dashboard (one at each end)
The reason I want them there is to stop cables trailing from the centre console to my satnav etc.
They should also not be seen easily so maintaining the 'classic' look of the dashboard.


I've started work on the dashboard by blocking off some of the holes that I will not be using.
I've seen some people on the net weld steel sheet into the dashboard to block up unused holes etc.
This seems a bit of overkill to me as it's not structural.
As I'm covering the dashboard with vinyl I don't need to get quite the same finish as if I was painting it.
I'm using 1mm aluminium sheet, glued with epoxy resin, to block off the unwanted holes.

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I glued the aluminium on the back of the hole and this leaves me with about 1mm to fill on the front.

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Guess what?
Another small piece of sheet glued to the front will fill this up.
Once this is complete I can file or fill as necessary to make everything flush and smooth.
I'm pretty sure that this will hold as there is no real pressure on these blanking plates



Started covering with the vinyl today.
I have never done this before so it was a bit of 'trial n error'

Glovebox Lid

I started with this because it looked like the easiest bit to do :)
The first thing I realised is that as soon as this was done I would be unable to close the glovebox!
The thickness of the vinyl on both surfaces would add up to about 3-4mm which is too much for the gap.
So... first thing to do is file the lid down about 2-3mm all around the edge, so that when covered it will fit.
I also scratched the surface with some 120 grit paper to provide a 'key' for the glue


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Spray glue is applied to both surfaces then this a flat surface like this it is easy to stick the two together

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After a while the vinyl is trimmed - leaving approx 6mm all around to fold over.

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A quick bit of masking with some old paper so that glue can again be sprayed liberally along the edge and again on the vinyl.

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Pressing the vinyl into the holes for the chrome trim and the lock makes it possible to trim them out with a craft knife
Once the holes are clear I fitted the trim.

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The finished product with the lock fitted.

Spent most of the afternoon and all the evening working on the main part of the dashboard.
I followed the same process that seemed to work out ok on the glovebox lid, the only extra thing was stretching the vinyl around all the double curves! I'm pretty pleased with the results so far..
As I have already said the vinyl was a bit of a bugger to stretch into all the curves.
I think it came out ok though

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I'm really very pleased with the vinyl that I'm using, it's almost an 'olde english' white with a great leather texture
I'm so pleased that I also decided to use this as opposed to white leather - MUCH cheaper and I suspect much easier to work with.
I will leave everything overnight for the glue to really take hold before I cut out all the holes & slots for switches etc.


Cut all the holes out for the switches etc today...
I'm pleased with the result

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You can just about see the new auxillary sockets fitted to the underneath of the ends of the dashboard.
This shouldn't detract too much from the classic look but will be very useful in real life for satnav etc.