Sunday 5 April 2015

Dashboard Strip

How To:

Remove The Dash

Well it has to be done, for numerous of reasons. In this particular instance for myself, the speedometer had decided it would only work when it wanted to and had an annoying habit of just dying on me at the most inconvenient of opportunities! However to fit a gear gaiter, replace the radio or anything dash orientated the method remains the same.

Tools required: A cross head screw driver.

Step One

Remove the gear stick surround (Note this is a manual model).
First open and remove the ash tray (use this opportunity to remove all sweet wrappers). 

Remove 1x screw in ashtray cavity.

Unscrew gear knob (this is a M10 thread should you want a new gear knob). Lift the gear stick panel at the rear, next to where the drivers leg would be. This pulls down and away from the upper dashboard area.

 Once the gear stick surround is removed, two screws are revealed in the main upper part of the dashboard surround. Remove both of these. Also note the securing screws are located here for the centre console and cubby box.

Step Two

Remove the steering column shroud, this clips into place and is held together by four screws (note one of the screws hides under the steering wheel height adjusting lever. Leave the steering column in its lowest position.

Step Three

Now the front of the dash will pull away towards you. Use a plastic pry tool if it is stiff (resist the urge to pry with a screwdriver. (I often use a bicycle tyre lever!). It should come away quite easy though. The main difficulty (and lack of pictures) comes when disconnecting the switches. Start at the far right with the wing mirror adjusters, then it will allow a little flexibility to 'get at' the other switches. All of the switches can be removed by pressing in their release latches. However they can be super stiff to pull out. Patience! 
Top Tip! Beware that if you disconnect the hazard light, whilst it is disconnected you will have no indicators! Good to know if your having a 'test run'.

Step Four

Clock removal

The instrument cluster is held in by seven screws, four in the outer surround, two bottom ones shown here...

...And two upper screws shown here. The shroud simply lifts up and out. The instrument panel then has an additional two screws at the bottom and one at the top. Again and rather awkwardly you will have to remove the three connectors on the back of the cluster. First remove the two connectors on the oil pressure side and then the far connector on the fuel side. Note, Automatics will have a further connector on the right side. 

This concludes the whole business of getting the dashboard apart. All in all it is reasonably straight forward with minimal swearing (apart from disconnecting the plugs). If you don't want to disconnect the plugs you can simply unscrew them. There is no need for excessive force and everything should come apart easily. remember to tighten but not over tighten screws as this can lead to rattles!

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Reproduction Tax Disc

Product review

Tax Discs

Here in the UK we have or at least, had, tax discs small round bits of paper that we stick in our windscreens, a circular document, displayed on all road vehicles, to prove payment of the tax for the use a public highway in the United Kingdom. This all started back in 1921, with the implementation of the Roads and Finance Act 1920. In fact technically it goes back to even before then with tolls or turnpikes created for payment on the use of a specific length of road.
But enough of the History, Tax discs have now been abolished in this technical age (The discs, not the actual tax) and all the UK's 35 million cars (I counted) are now stored away by the Driver and Licencing Agency on computer. 



I actually quite like my tax disc on my car, it has a brilliant holder and was more of a feature rather than a bug! What shall I do, just leave the old one in there or perhaps put in a picture of me, or something else that is sexy (Ooerr). 

Bolton News ran an article Police come up with imaginative new use for tax disc holder (Bolton News Website) "This is a really useful replacement for your tax disc. if a driver is involved in a collision or has a medical emergency whilst at the wheel, a first responder will have easy access to vital medical information and we can quickly contact next of kin."

"The way the disc folds in on itself means all the information is kept private until needed by emergency services personnel."
A PDF is available here

Sure it's practical, not really what I'm after and on another note, I want to follow Malvern Cops about as much as I want them following me!

This headline caught my eye on 'this is money' 
Car tax disc frenzy on eBay where some are selling for nearly £50 – is it time to list yours for easy cash?
Some motorists are listing their tax discs for huge sums
More realistic to expect £50 for one in perfect condition dated next year
Velologists have been on the rise in recent years 
You can read Lee Boyce's full article here

Who knows maybe yours is worth a few quid!

Admittedly I was not aware that there was such a thing as a 'Velologist', someone who collects tax discs. Now I know you are all thinking 'loony tunes' but men, real men, like to collect shit.

So back to my problem.

What can I stick in my holder (no need for comments).

Armed with the information that people sell old tax discs I immediately let loose on eBay. Low and behold there were a plethera of available discs for all years. Although the car make would be wrong and what year did I want? I did find a disc for an 'agricultural vehicle' which appealed to my sense of humor and started to watch it in anticipation of auctions end.


Idol fingers and all that. I thought that there must be drivers of the 'older' classic out there, all spokes, chrome, bull shit and strange facial hair. They would surely want something original? YES! Of course why didn't I think of that. There is an army of people out there recreating car tax discs.
 So I contacted a chap called Terry here and he had exactly what I was looking for. 
As Supplied by 'Terry'
I sent over a few details mostly nonsense, like the cars manufacture date (it would not have been in the UK at this point) and chose a 6 month period (so it would expire in May, my birthday month) and chose the area of Hammersmith as saw some deafening bands there when younger (the Skyline makes my ears ring too). So a fuzzy logic and a worrying insight into the workings of my mind there.
One inaccuracy is that I used the word 'Skyline' and of course it should have been 'Nissan'. Looking at it, Nissan Skyline would probably have fitted.

In pride of place

So I have an old fashioned tax disc still in my engraved 'SKYLINE' tax disc holder. It has all the right details and is correct for the period that the car was made. It did cost me £6 to do and the maker sent me four discs printed on high grade stock. 

So this is all a bit convoluted as a blog goes however we had a nice journey didn't we? That's what counts these days.