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Ye Beast Logo
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Created by David West
Featured in the inaugural edition of Spitfire & GT6 Magazine
installation of new dashboard
Dashboard Upgrade
modification of the frame
Frame Modifications
redesigned motor mounts
383cid Motor Mounts
installing the 383 cid engine
383cid Motor Installation
Installation of Tremec 5-speed
Tremec Transmission Installation
adapting of the Miata seats
Miata Seat Installation
front suspension upgrade
Front Suspension Upgrade
rear suspension upgrade
Rear Suspension Upgrade

The next planned project is the replacement of the dashboard. The original dashboard will be repaced with a full width dashboard of my own design. The new design will provide optimal instrumentation placement and aesthetics. The new dashboard design includes the electrical connections to the existing wiring using military connectors - will allow the removal of the dashboard to allow for maintenance and future improvements. The new dashboard is crafted from Hawaian Koa wood by Prestige Autowood of San Jose.

To ensure the record of the design, I drew a set of electrical schematics that include's the wiring modifications required for the project. Many past additions to the car - electric water pump, electric fans, LED headlights, indicator lights, and much more - have created a chaotic mass of added wiring under the dashboard. It looked like it was a colored web woven by a hallucinating spider. The added functionality required switched 12 volts and created as many wires added to the ignition switch. New indicator lights each had their own ground wires going to convenient grounding spots.

I designed an interface board that includes connector strips for grounding, 12 volt switched power, connection to the military connectors, the alternator, and battery power. This approach does away with the messy wiring under the dashboard. To further provide a clean wiring environment the dashboard has its own ground and power leads. The seats and transmission cover will have to be removed in order to install the Hall-Effect speed sensor in the transmission. At the finish of the new dashboard installation, a new dash pad will replace the sun-baked, cracked original and will be the same color as the Miata seats installed in the car.

The photos in the above slideshow provide a visual record of the upgrade. I have divided the photos to support several installation phases. Put the slideshow on manual by clicking on the next command and access the photos as they are introduced in the narrative.

  1. Design & Fab
    Photo one: The use of an accurate template created using the outline of an newer model Spitfire - this assures an accurate fit to the car. The functionality and layout of the new dashboard are in accord to the Spitfire's modifications.

    Photo two: Prestige Autowood, of San Jose, created the wood dash out of Hawaiian Koa Wood. I then populated the dashboard with the gauges, switches, indicators, and other items. The dashboard is wired in accordance to the new schematic and then checked for continuity of wiring and then powered up.

    Photo three: The dashboard schematic. The schematic was revised as I revisited the dashboard's functionality and integrated it with the rest of the Spitfire's requirements.

    Photo four: Shows the completed dashboard.

    Photo five: Front view of the completed dashboard.
  2. Electrial Interface - Dashboard to Chassis
    Photo one:

    Photo two:

    Photo three:

    Photo four:

    Photo five:
  3. Label or Remove Existing Wires
  4. Front Steering Column Support Modification
  5. Remove Old Dash Pad
  6. Remove Old Dashboard
  7. Modify & Redress Wiring Harness
  8. Remove Old Dashboard's Frame for Open Wiring Access
  9. Complete Interface Board Wiring
  10. Install Speed Sensor on Transmission
  11. Install New Dashboard Frame
  12. Install New Dashboard
  13. Resolve & Adjust Installtion Issues