To enable the shot blasting, I need to remove the dash. I haven’t been looking forward to this since all the on-line commentary suggested its a right pain in the posterior (commonly referred to as a ‘PIA’). In the event it wasn’t that bad a job. At the outset I had very little mental picture of how the dash and its contents fitted together, but with reference to the manual I started to locate the steady brackets and with a lot of poking around, managed to get the outboard, nearest, nuts removed. However, the challenge now was to get access to the other bolts and work out how the steering column was fixed. Behind the dash is very congested and that is even with heating pipes having been previously removed. Although the gauges would have been more easily removed with the dash loose (i.e. from the rear), I couldn’t get the dash off without removing the gauges to get access. A catch 22 situation. Having worked out how to remove the fuel gauge by basically fiddling it out, this taught me broadly how the gauges fitted and although they all differ slightly, they were easy enough to get out with the dash still in place and as I did so, the access to the dash got easier until I was able to remove it entirely. I labelled all the wires as I disconnected them from the gauges so they can be fitted easily during the re-build phase. The gauges need new bevels and seals – not sure if they can be easily fitted or whether to send them away. Research needed. The switches and other knobs came off okay too. Some of these are tatty so I will need to decide on which to replace in the new build, although it would be good to retain some of the original patina. The dash itself is pretty ropey so I think it would be a good plan to either have it refurbished (I think some companies do an exchange service) or consider a replacement.
A couple of pictures below including one me with my hair standing on end because seconds before I was upside down in the footwell looking up. The glamour of car restoration!