McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/19/20 9:38 a.m.

Basically, I'd like opinions on "busy-ness" and functional layout, as well as aesthetics.

Component-wise, I have everything shown on the CAD model in-hand.  Chassis wiring for everything shown is complete, up to bulkhead connectors. 

The idea is to wire the dash as a bench-top project, then screw/plug it in.  This is a '78 Mid-Engineering kit car - has an SBC now; larger drivetrain coming.

So - I've overlaid my steering wheel outline as it projects from my viewpoint onto the dash.  Key-start on the column; as are turn signal/dimmer lever (VW Karmann Ghia column).  Light switch and wiper switch are '68 Mustang items.  Gauges are mostly  a nice period SW set; just gone through by Bob's Speedometer.

This was the dash, a little '70s, as I bought the car in 2008 from the guy that had built it in 1978.  A great guy; has since passed away - he encouraged my mods, but I like to keep his "intent" when I can.  Rare for most kit cars, it was completed by an actual engineer in a short timeframe, and has been licensed and insured continually since 1978.

This is an initial gauge layout with sort of my view through the wheel - I'll likely be going to a bit larger diameter flat-bottom wheel - this one is sort of ridiculous parking, even with a light front end.

Current CAD layout with steering wheel overlay-

From the rear - I've modeled everything for space-claim-ness -

Fire awy with opinions!

 

Forrest in Atlanta

demnted
demnted
3/19/20 9:52 a.m.

In reply to McDesign :

It looks good to me. A lot less cluttered without that shaft radio in that space. Carry on.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/19/20 10:02 a.m.

Logical. I might move a couple of the critical warning lights to the center - low oil pressure seems more important to me than "fuel", especially when there's a big switch cover flipped up.

About those switch covers - any chance of accidental disengagement when things get exciting behind the wheel? I'm not a big fan of their placement. I'd rather delete the AFR gauge (minimal usefulnes if you have an ECU that runs in closed loop) and put the two switches over there where they're easy to find if needed and where they're less likely to get accidentally tripped.

And why is there a switch for fans? I'm assuming they can also independently trigger based on temperature. Lots of dead engines out there due to owner-operated fan setups. You only have to forget once...

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
3/19/20 10:08 a.m.

Cool project!

I personally try to avoid extra gauges that may not add value. I'm less likely to miss something critical that I care about if I can scan the gauges more quickly and easily keep track of them. In this case, that means I would probably leave out fuel pressure and vacuum, unless you think you'll be having issues with those things. Especially since you have a fuel pressure light. Then I would put AFR where fuel level is, move fuel level to where fuel pressure is, and put the clock where vacuum is. I like symmetry, lol. And it puts the "more important" gauges up high.

Then those toggle switches can be grouped together where the AFR gauge is now so you don't have to fumble for switches behind the wheel.

I love the look of the machine-turned aluminum.

I've always enjoyed making dash stuff like that. Really makes a difference in the quality feel of the vehicle since it's always in your line of sight. I did something similar in my old Caprice:

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/19/20 12:08 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Logical. I might move a couple of the critical warning lights to the center - low oil pressure seems more important to me than "fuel", especially when there's a big switch cover flipped up.

About those switch covers - any chance of accidental disengagement when things get exciting behind the wheel? I'm not a big fan of their placement. I'd rather delete the AFR gauge (minimal usefulnes if you have an ECU that runs in closed loop) and put the two switches over there where they're easy to find if needed and where they're less likely to get accidentally tripped.

And why is there a switch for fans? I'm assuming they can also independently trigger based on temperature. Lots of dead engines out there due to owner-operated fan setups. You only have to forget once...

Thanks for the input. 

Those two switches and indicators lower center - yes, the fans are thermostatically controlled; I wanted a backup. 

Fuel pump "on" signal runs through an oil pressure switch, so the fuel pump won't come on until you have oil pressure (yes, cranking a while will do it).  If the carb bowls have evaporated, I can "prime" it with the switch (it's spring-return). 

Both indicator lights see the actual pump motor and fan motor power (downstream of the relays) as an input - so they come on whether auto or manually controlled.  In normal use, both switches are "off" and covers are closed. 

I just like the AFR gauge - a great tuning aid for carbs and no electronic controls - plus fun to watch.

I have some .030" brushed stainless sheet instead of aluminum; I'm experimenting with an X and Y indexing jig to make the engine-turned pattern, in a drill press with valve-grinding compound.

Forrest

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/20/20 3:45 p.m.

Been hammering out the schematic for the whole car.  As of this, The dash wiring is laid out; the branch to the left will go to a block that carries relays and fuseblock and flashers.

I wanted to use the HAZARD switch from my old Capri - so of course I had to CAD model it as well as figure out the schematic -

And it's a beautiful Spring for the end of the world - "My side" of the yard - kiln house, garage, carport, shop, pole barn . . .

Forrest in Atlanta

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
3/20/20 4:02 p.m.

Do you really need A/F Ratio, Fuel Pressure, and Vacuum all on gauges that are permanently mounted?  They seem like good things to have when initially shaking down a vehicle, like if you moved from carb to EFI or were playing with the tune, but after that they seem of pretty low value. 

I had something like this on my last motorcycle and it was great, and 99% of the time it wasn't doing anything, like most voltage gauges;

http://www.sparkbright.co.uk/sparkright-eclipse-battery-voltage-monitor.php

That with a bezel that tells the driver what the purpose the LED serves would be much lighter and compact.  Seems like you could that as you've already made a copy of the Capri hazard switch (good choice, that).

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/20/20 4:23 p.m.

Certainly true - I've got some motivation to use all the gauges the original builder had - not reasonable, certainly.

I do tend to go overboard with dashboards - sort of entertainment to design and build.

I did this two years ago for my '59 MB rally car - just for freakin' fun.

Was this when I got it, post La Carrera PanAmericana.

Forrest in Atlanta

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
3/20/20 4:44 p.m.

Are those some kind off circuit breakers on the left hand side, with a green LED at each position?

Each added indication is a slight increase in pilot workload, or so I believe this is described in aircraft human factors circles, and I imagine it's about the same here.  Too many places to look, too much area to scan, and you're lost in a possible emergency situation.  You do your thing as you want, of course, this is just  my thinking.  One thing I really liked about the LED voltage "meter" was that it was green unless the charging circuit was not in a good state.  Quick scan and it was easy to know things were fine.  A needle gauge isn't like that so much (and a digital display is worse without changing colors to help draw attention).  I wouldn't want a bunch of them for different displays but here it worked well in my experience.

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/20/20 5:17 p.m.

Again, I totally agree.  The MB has 58 horsepower, so there are never things happening very fast - and I'll never race it.  I used to get free grease from the old concessionaire from the canteens at work so I could commute for free - no more.

My son drove it to HS some his senior year; but he's at GA Tech now.  I'd hoped to groom him into a car enthusiast, but no - he likes CHEMICAL engineering - the shame (I'm Mechanical from Tech).  He was a cool senior in the parking lot, though - I had to add a heater and a muffler per his girlfriend at the time!

He did develop shop skills, though - he made this the last couple of days.  Starting with sketch and a bar of 1084 and some Ipe decking offcuts; experimenting with "burning" the steel prior to heat-treat to give a Damascus look. 

Then hardened and tempered - it's about eleven inches overall.

This is about the seventh knife he's made over the last year or so - all from sketches and "feel".  Georgia's lenient about knife carry - Christmas, he made me a Bowie that's kind of startling to suddenly see, when everyone's whipping out their folders around the coffee machine.  I'm working on improving on a "Crocodile Dundee" lower-back crosswise sheath.

Anyway - we won't be bored with quarantine - our town just announced it this afternoon.

Those cylinders are cartridge fuses (free salvage); I made above each a little circuit with a bi-color LED - turns red if the fuse blows -

Forrest in Atlanta

 

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
3/26/20 3:28 p.m.

OK - this is what I arrived at, and sent a blank to the laser-cutters today.

Basically, I swapped the clock and hazard switch for more aesthetic symmetry.

Functionally, and per some good opinion here, I added that old Stewart-Warner big red flashing light and irritating buzzer on a little binnacle box that actually sits on top of the steering column, right in the center of my view.  It's a separate module from the dash, so I can make sure it's perfectly visible.

.

I need to design the circuit, but the idea is that any of the six warning lights on the right will set it off and latch it - flashing and buzzing, until the little enable/disable pushbutton is cycled.  Circuit isn't quite so simple, because about half the warning lights activate form a GROUND signal; the other half from a voltage signal.  Hmmmm

Crazy price here, but the original builder bought it with the SW gauge suite in 1977 -
http://www.partdeal.com/safety/alarms/stewart-warner-buzz-light-12v-825104-d.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=&scid=scplp77160671&sc_intid=77160671&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-Jumqfy46AIVTdyGCh2LOw4gEAQYASABEgJHOvD_BwE

Forrest in Atlanta

 

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/7/20 7:48 a.m.

Finalized the curve and got the dash back from the laser cutter - sweet!  I've experimented "bumping" some strips of the stainless into the correct curve with my homemade brake.  I found that adding a strip of 1/4" thick UHMW to the top plate kept any bend lines from telegraphing through.

Now - the idea is that I would pre-wire this entire dash on the bench, with a simple, bundled trunk of precisely-terminated wires protruding, that would then attach to ganged terminal strips mounted on the left of the driver's side footwell. 

Accordingly, I mocked-up a stand that would allow me to terminate and bundle the wires to the exact length.

Last night I built it up from scrap wood, using the old dash for the initial setup (the mounting screws around the perimeter are the same, of course).  After I bend the new dash, I'll mount all the components into it, then mount it in this frame so that the back is completely accessible for wiring. 

There does need to be a little daughter board with the fuse block and a few relays and the flasher mounted -the stuff on the left, below -

For eye candy, here's a Maserati Bora dash -

And here's a Ferrari Dino dash (my Kelmark kit car is copied from a Dino) -

Forrest

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/8/20 7:04 a.m.

Lettered the dash with dry transfer lettering, and clear-coated to cut the shine down a bit and protect the lettering - assembly is next - woo-hoo!

Forrest

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) UltraDork
4/8/20 11:41 a.m.

I can honestly say I have zero criticism of your dash designs. Wonderful work and design. Carry on.

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/8/20 7:55 p.m.

Thanks!  Always fun to share pix - I certainly get ideas watching everyone's build threads -

Tonight got gauges and lights mounted - have converted all gauge lamps to LEDs -

Forrest

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/9/20 5:10 p.m.

Started wiring - all the new LED gauge lights work, and even dim with the headlight switch -

Forrest

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/14/20 8:41 p.m.

More wiring - the bundle on the left goes to a fuseblock / relay board -

This trunk attaches to six terminal strips on the left driver's side footwell, where all the chassis wires terminate -

Forrest

 

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/22/20 8:33 p.m.

More working - dash wiring complete and bundled and covered; now working on the "daughterboard" for relays and flasher and fuse block -

Pulling the first wires through the daughterboard tonight - they'll go directly to fuses -

Forrest in Atlanta

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle SuperDork
4/22/20 9:05 p.m.

Awesome work. I love the mechanicalness of this project. Cool to contrast this with other builds like the Jalpa which has electronic gauges. 

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/23/20 6:35 a.m.

Thanks - I'm trying to stay '70s-style - carburetors, relay logic, no turbos, Karmann Ghia front suspension, yadda-yadda.  I did swap to LEDs for instrument and taillights.

 

Forrest

wawazat
wawazat Dork
4/23/20 9:57 a.m.

That is GORGEOUS work!   Thanks for sharing it!

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/25/20 8:13 a.m.

Continuing - need to get this wrapped up today -

My "office" setup in the shop - i am still gainfully employed as an engineer!

Forrest in Atlanta

McDesign
McDesign New Reader
4/25/20 2:20 p.m.

Wiring complete - happy with it; now need to test out all circuits before installing it -

Forrest

Our Preferred Partners
jjCCoXnxTyJZruLcNAODGaEyqUCQwSBUokS5VBa0JbYcTUnCfbBJN2Y16fQqYywB