Fascia Panel Project

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Fascia Panel Project

Postby Elanlover » Fri 18.01.2008, 19:27

I was holding off starting a post on this but I'm about 80% comitted now so I suppose I might as well.

This will be a big year for "Elanchia" (in honor of my significant other - Sanchia) with a lot of projects to tackle and this will be the biggest. I'm planning to rip out the fascia, have a custom one built from fibreglass and integrate some new toys in the process while moving around the existing stuff. The plan thus far is to do the following with the new fascia:

1. Lengthen fascia area on either side of steering column shround (where knee bolster rises to meet it) so additional switches can be mounted.
2. Shorten knee bolster at top to reveal extended fascia switch mounts.
3. Relocate Hazard and panel dimmer switches to new switch area on right side of shroud
4. Install "customized" V5 switcher with dial on left side of shroud
5. Install Alpine LCD panel where vents and stereo head unit are now.
6. Drop head unit to just below panel.
7. Remove ashtray.
8. Rotate heater/fan/vent control unit to lie on its side (horizontally) after removing ashtray. May require slicing unit into its 3 separate functional components. and relocating the A/C switch.
9. Install Homelink transmitter
10. Relocate fascia air vents to sit vertically on both sides of LCD panel.
11. Locate larger, LED numberical display for V5 switcher unit next to boost gauge.
12. Install Metal Monkey dial faces and LED bulbs.

Ambitious? Probably. I was nervous as s**t when I started to pull things apart. The fascia and speedo cluster are out now. Seems a lot less to worry about now that I've actually seen what's back there and all. There seems to be room back there to fit it all in which is good. I've gone through a dozen ideas about new switches, panels, vents, etc. and I think I'll be able to reuse a bunch of stuff which will simplify the project.

This area is one of the few "dated" parts I've wanted to remodel since I picked up the car. I'll post pics as we go. Wish me luck.
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Postby GeoffSmith » Fri 18.01.2008, 19:36

Good luck!

If you want to truly customise your switcher, give me a shout.
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Postby Elanlover » Fri 18.01.2008, 19:39

Shouting! :lol:
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Postby MattDon » Fri 18.01.2008, 20:37

realy thrilled to see someone trying this, ever since i got my elan i fealt like the interior needed work. i quite fancy something along the lines of a tvr style interior. also could you write up how to remove the facia as i have to do mine soon and i could do with some direction. :-D
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Postby Elanlover » Fri 18.01.2008, 20:41

MattDon wrote:realy thrilled to see someone trying this, ever since i got my Elan i fealt like the interior needed work. i quite fancy something along the lines of a tvr style interior. also could you write up how to remove the facia as i have to do mine soon and i could do with some direction. :-D


Hi Matt, I'm not sure I can help you removing the fascia only because mine's a fed car (LHD) and our fascia's are very different. I went by what was in the various technical docs and some improvisation when things got sticky! :wink:
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Postby Elanlover » Sat 19.01.2008, 02:03

While I'm sure we've all seen our own fascia's before here's mine just before removal along with a pci of some paper cut-outs placed over the removed fascia so you can get a sense of what its all supposed to look like.
Attachments
001.JPG
This is a used fascia mask I picked up (keeping the original in bubble wrap) with placement of components indicated.
(40.34 KiB) Downloaded 153 times
014.JPG
Current fascia before removal.
014.JPG (69.06 KiB) Viewed 5695 times
012.JPG
And another shot.
012.JPG (66.22 KiB) Viewed 5696 times
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Postby Elanlover » Sun 20.01.2008, 00:17

I've had the fascia "out" for a week but not "removed". In other words, its been dangling by its attached cables. So, today i removed all the wires and pulled it away from the dash to have a look. Its still attached by the stereo cables which i haven't removed (they have lots of play). One of the big things that will need to be done in order for this project to be successful is reworking the heater controls and the vents. Now that i have the heater control removed completely I'm amazed at just how simple this thing is.

Its clear that this is a "borrowed" part from someone's parts bin. There's an awful lot of extra, apparently un-needed plastic on the sides of this unit. Almost like plastic wings. They look to be for mounting but they seem to do nothing in our cars. The unit can clearly be broken up into its 3 separate "functions although only 2 bulbs supply the backlighting for the 3 controls (so I'll need to add somewhere). The large white plastic housing serves no functionl purpose other than to hold the actual controls which are cliped or screwed to it from behind.

I'm pretty sure what we will eb able to do is to eliminate the black face plate (rectangle) that sits over top of the controls. Then, we'd simply have a flush area on the dash with circles cut out and the actual controls mounted from behind. All you'll see is the dial face - no more plastic rectangle. Probably a chrome ring around them too.
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Postby tweetdriver63 » Sun 20.01.2008, 03:36

Just curious, can the controls be rotated in the rectagular thing so you could mount the whole package horizontally with the two dial controls still being correctly oriented? That would put the fan control vertically in between the two dials, and the numbers would be printed sideways, but I think that would still look good.

Have you looked at using a double-din all-in-one unit instead of a separate display and head unit, so you wouldn't necessarily have to relocate the vents?
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Postby RayD » Sun 20.01.2008, 12:22

Just a thought –

Is it worth considering dispensing with one or both of the centre air vents to give more room?

They could also be fitted under the dash, facing down.

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Postby Elanlover » Sun 20.01.2008, 17:50

Tweet, the controls cannot be rotated within the whit plastic housing. But, they can be cut apart and mounted individually with what i think would be just a little creativity and customized mounting work. I wouldn't want the numbers to be facing the wrong way after all this work and expense either. might as well do it right. The heat control really needs to stay in the same place with the same orientaiton. The control rod might not function properly if its moved or rotated in any way. But, the other two controls don't appear to require any special orientation.

I'm not fond of all in one units. I don't like the flip out style and, while the double din unit where the entire screen is visible but rotates out to expose the cd player is nice, I've spent a lot of money on my Alpine 9965 head unit and I don't want to sacrifice on sound quality now. And, this will be the cheapest way to add an LCD monitor. There seems to be plenty of room for both the screen and existing head unit once we move the hearter controls and dump the ash tray.

Ray, this is a good question and it will likely be where the problems start if any. I really want to keep the vents. And, the OEM ones too to ensure a matched look. The options are no vents at all, one vent (which i don't like) or try to fit them both in. I'm willing to sacrifice the vents if I need to but I think there may be room for them. There's definitely room for one mounted vertically where the digital clock goes. The one to the right on the LCD panel (from the layout pic I posted) may be a problem. I'm going to let them worry about it and tell me if it can be done. I suppose if I could find very similar looking vents that were a bit smaller I could use those. But I haven't seen anything yet.

I was worried about rerouting the hoses to the vents but I think that will be easy. I'll cut the hosing off further back in the run and then simply splice in some ribbed, flexible hosing. I'll cut off the square ending to the hoses where they meet the vents and splice them on the ends.

I'm going down under at the beginning of February for 3 weeks so I won't get them to start on the fascia panel until I return. Right now, they are starting work on integrating a third brake light into the body of the spolier to get rid of the black box hanging off the bottom which will keep them busy for a bit.
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Postby dermotbell » Sun 20.01.2008, 20:02

Gotta say that if I could move one thing it would be the clock, on the UK spec you can't see it without indicating L or R :!:
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Postby Candles » Mon 21.01.2008, 18:36

I've been toying with this idea for ages; perhaps fitting a brushed metal panel instead with massively simplified switches so it looks very clear and clean. Very interested to hear how you get on!

I was going to go for new, separate instruments as well, but this was the area I was most concerned with owing to calibration etc.

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Postby Enright » Fri 25.01.2008, 01:37

It's the first time I've noticed that they moved the boost gauge on LHD models as far out of the way as possible too - I thought they'd only compromised the view for the RHD stuff, but that is a "feature" that I really don't like. :evil:
I mean HOW annoying? It's one of the most used gauges when driving hard, so surely you want it as close to eye-line as possible. :?
Striking fear into the hearts of duplicate posts everywhere...! :P

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Postby Galsia » Wed 30.01.2008, 22:45

.
Last edited by Galsia on Fri 07.05.2010, 09:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Monty » Thu 31.01.2008, 00:23

Galsia wrote:Yeah its annoying. I'm considering swapping my boost gauge with the one closest to the steering wheel.


:-D

Image

http://lotuselancentral.com/forum/viewt ... &start=220
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Postby Galsia » Thu 31.01.2008, 21:13

Monty wrote:
Galsia wrote:Yeah its annoying. I'm considering swapping my boost gauge with the one closest to the steering wheel.


:-D

Image

http://lotuselancentral.com/forum/viewt ... &start=220


Wow, I love it! :D

also like your rollbar too. Who made that for you?
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Postby Doug » Thu 31.01.2008, 21:55

Blair,

I don't remember your car with red carpets before?

looks good.
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Postby Elanlover » Thu 31.01.2008, 22:11

Doug wrote:Blair,

I don't remember your car with red carpets before?

looks good.


Hey Doug - all courtesy of last year's Lotus aftersales extravaganza with plenty of help from Geoff. I'm having Mel Broome do some custom leather retrim pieces for me too. Shuld look great when its all put together.
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Postby RayD » Thu 31.01.2008, 22:18

The comments about the importance of the boost gauge has me wondering again…

See Here

Your gauge seems to work differently to mine…as though it's like a rev counter and calls for some action to be taken depending on what its showing.

Ray
Last edited by RayD on Fri 01.02.2008, 10:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gazza » Fri 01.02.2008, 08:31

also like your rollbar too. Who made that for you?

Galsia

It was made by LGM

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