Making of a 308 interior

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Clark, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    You will need to play with where everything is. The speedometer and tach are cut off by the steering wheel rim and so on. It’s like the designer created the form and gave it to the engineer and said don’t change the form but stick in the gauges. The engineer did just that...

    I know the feeling on the house front. I recently replumbed our old house and have been rewiring the kitchen and family rooms. I have several walls ripped open to facilitate both plumbing and wiring. Kitchen is soon to come. To add to that we had a fire at our new house which destroyed the cooktop and nicely coated everything with black oily soot. As a topper my wife fell on the wet tile after the fire had been controlled and broke a rib so things have come to a screeching halt around here. Ah well.

    That is some back breaking work there on the foundation, dang.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    lookforjoe likes this.
  2. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    To get back on topic, are you going to make the binnacle/IP cover removable like it is on a 308? Doing so will make creating the primary coverings much much simpler and less likely to lift over time. It could also make repairs to bulbs and so on much easier as you wouldn’t need to pull the instruments, disconnect the speedometer and so on.

    The instrument plate could be mounted to some brackets that hold it in place (accessible from below) and then the binnacle/hood could mount to some other brackets which are also accessible from the bottom.

    Personally I like the lower part of the first series X IP with the vertically oriented HVAC controls and arrayed rocker switches. I also really appreciate the early shutters for the vents, they are very period and have lovely detailing. I hate the entirety of the late model IP, aside from the switch gear which I do actually like (the push/push buttons on the late cars not the mid period rockers which I strongly dislike).

    That said, I think this is a great modification and one that is going to bring you tremendous satisfaction and look wonderful in the car when it is finished. Drive on man, don’t wait for the slacker Hussein! :D

    E6AA9531-A224-4A3D-8F62-7E8D4AA26580.jpeg
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  3. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Oh and one other thing, I love your original instruments if this is a pic of your car as it was. Are they from a European market car or? Very early 70’s show car!

    152FFC14-81C5-48DF-BB8F-297D37541E90.jpeg
     
  4. Clark

    Clark True Classic

    Location:
    Arthur, Ontario
    Hey Karl,
    I've been debating if I should make the binnacle covering removable and it more than likely will be. During the course of creating the dash I have been doing my best to pay attention to mounting points and the like so when it comes to attaching the various pieces it all goes smoothly. As for the vents with shutters we are in agreement there but being as they are square and the 308 interior is round I haven't found a place yet where they fit in. It would be nice to fit them somewhere though.

    And that Hussein guy.... yeah... he needs to get his priorities straight... Helping his mother before his X... :D What will it be next?

    P.S. Those are the original gauges in the picture. Just sitting on the garage shelf... and probably for sale when things are finished.
     
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I'll echo Karl's comments.
    Seems the instrument mounting "face-plate" could be attached to the binnacle from it's back-side (inside the binnacle), so those attachments do not show on the outside (face). Then the binnacle itself could attach through the dash top and be accessed from below, also making those attachments not visible. Not only would this make future access easier, and trimming (covering) the surfaces easier, but it would also look cleaner without any hardware showing.

    As I stated previously I'm not particularly fond of the X's dash. But I'll agree with you guys, the early style HVAC controls are cool. Even some of the instruments and switches are o.k., depending on the year. It's really more the overall shape/style of the dash in general I don't care for. In my opinion the later dash would have been better with some rounder contours, especially things like the binnacle. Straight, flat, squared-off lines can work to some extent in certain areas, but its just too much here. Makes it look like a rushed cardboard-box mock-up that was left unfinished. As if a young child made it for a school science project that they really weren't interested in doing but had to do. One example to illustrate what I mean, the radio box on the early dash...come on, even J.C. Whitney offered better styles of universal radio add-on panels.
    If I ever get around to modifying my late model dash I might try some simple changes, like using a contoured instrument binnacle (perhaps the previously suggested Alfa Spider item) on the existing dash base. With a couple of other small changes to go along with that...to "soften" the overall contours more...and better covering materials (I love the stitched edges used on Ferrari's and other Euro models) it might be enough, rather than a full redesign of the entire dash from scratch. However what you are doing is definitely better, kudos. I have to admit when I first saw the beginning of this thread I wasn't sure it would work, but you are proving otherwise.

    By the way, I did not even notice the instruments in Clark's original dash. Clark, do you have a better picture of them? I'd be interested in knowing if that is something from the factory or custom.

    Karl, I'm curious if your comments about things like the steering wheel obstructing the view of the gauges, etc is in reference to the 308 dash or the X dash or both? P.S., sorry to hear of the misfortunes at home, hope the wife and kitchen are doing better. I was wondering why we had not seen you here as much lately.
     
  6. When I bought my car in 74, the radio issue was a real sore spot for me. Not only did that add on radio cover look like crap, but there was no room to fit anything but a basic AM/FM (no tape) unit in unless you wanted to cut through the defroster vents. The dealer installed radios were monaural in the beginning because there was only one factory speaker mounting point in front of the passenger seat. Later on, the dealers started stuffing small speakers into the doors but they usually sounded pretty bad. Since I required a unit with a cassette deck (new at the time), I took a different approach to the whole thing. I used the area where the speaker panel was to put an AM/FM/Cassette unit in. This required cutting through the cowl and creating a small extension to the space out of fiberglass. I used a piece of mahogany for the dash panel (wood dashes were quite common on sports cars back then).

    1974 X19 Stereo Installation.jpg
    Since I needed to fit some decent speakers in, the doors were out of the question. I built some particle board kick panels and cut holes in the sheet metal large enough for the speaker magnets to fit through in order to house some six inch 2 way speakers.

    1974 X19 right kick panel speaker.jpg

    Of course, if I did it now, I might not even bother with a stereo in the dash. You could easily set up a wireless system controlled by a smart phone or something. Stuffing decent speakers in the car will always be a bit of a challenge but there are much better options now.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  7. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Brings back memories. I did several similar installations on other vehicles in that era.

    Actually I think the kick panels with 6.5" speakers is still the the best option on the X (that I know of). I'm not in favor of the rear shelf location, regardless of type of speaker used.
     
  8. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    100% agreed. I'm planning on doing the speakers the same way you did (and Rodger too - but his post has no photos thanks to stupid photobucket) with a mini-sub in the spare tire area (no spare as I'm doing an MWB K20 conversion, so room there).

    I had planned on doing a full headless system with a tablet wired into a USB DAC setup with an amp installed in the frunk, but then started thinking about what happens when the tablet dies, tech moves on etc. Also, I'm trying to keep this as inconspicuous as possible and don't really want the amp in the frunk and don't need a radio all that often (except on longer trips with the wife), so size matters. Also, since it's a 1976 model, there is no accommodation for any regular DIN sized head unit.

    My plan is to get a mini amp and install it where the door buzzer goes in the LHD passenger footwell area and a mini bluetooth adapter that should fit in the existing cigarette lighter hole. Then just bring your phone or whatever.
     
  9. Near the bottom of my to do list for this car is to install a pair of 6x9 tri-axials that I originally bought for another car to replace the 6" speakers. I agree about the rear shelf location. I recall seeing people stuffing small oval shaped speakers on the rear shelf but they usually sounded like crap and certainly not worth cutting the car up to install. A better approach these days for that location might be the relatively small surface mount satellite speakers. I never swapped out my spare tire for a woofer, but I've heard that being done as well.
     
  10. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Another option for the rear shelf has been to install a long box across the top of the shelf...actually one of the "speaker bars" for home TV sound systems is usually used...with either wired or Bluetooth connection. But some of these require a power conversion (12V to 110V), and even if they don't I really don't like the sound quality from any of them. Likewise for 'satellite' speakers. Plus I don't like having a box(s) sitting behind my head. Not to mention the sound dispersion is far less than optimal from there.

    I've used sub's in other vehicles but don't intend to in my X. The passenger compartment is so small it really isn't required with good quality speakers and adequate tone controls. Same for small pick-up truck cabs; just not necessary with so little air to move, a decent amp will drive 6.5" or 6X9" speakers with lots of bass without going into distortion.

    There are some really small MP3 type decoders, or Bluetooth receivers, or mini amps with USB connections that can power a pair of efficient speakers. All of which can be mounted remotely and require very little space. I've researched several of them but haven't found one that has the right combination of features/functions/connections for my personal preference. Guess I'm really not that into using my phone for my car stereo...maybe I'm just too old?

    Sorry if we've gone off topic, but it all relates to redesigning the X's interior. Especially the dash - whether or not to install a head unit.
     
  11. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Sorry, my comment about the instrument view being impacted was in reference to the 308GTB/4 instrument panel that Hussien had posted. It was and is an odd arrangement, I liked his P1800 IP idea much more :D thought it is a little old looking

    Thanks for the sentiments, they are appreciated. Things are getting better. She was completely out of commission for the last three and a half weeks, made Christmas a bit less enjoyable. She is getting back to herself now as she is on much lower doses of pain meds and can actually sleep now. Before she hadn't properly slept in weeks which was making her act much like someone with Old Timers disease. All in all, things are getting back on track but I am now a month behind on my tasks and she won't be able to do the things she was planning on for quite some little while (which delays other things...).

     
  12. Clark

    Clark True Classic

    Location:
    Arthur, Ontario
    No need for sorry - good topic and relevant as you say.
     
  13. Clark

    Clark True Classic

    Location:
    Arthur, Ontario
    Hey Karl,

    These are the instruments that came with the 76 when I got it last year. It was a California car originally as evidenced by the stickers and smog control gear in the engine bay. Here is a closer shot of them now... I've never owned an X before so I just assumed they were standard issue.

    gauges.jpg
     
  14. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Almost looks like an overlay panel covering the gauges with cut-outs to reveal the vital areas of the read-outs, and with the yellow accents on the overlay...or maybe they are on the clear plastic top cover? If that is the case then I'd guess aftermarket item, but hopefully one of our X gurus can provide further input.
     
  15. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Funny, having owned/driven a Ferrari, and my best friend having two other models that I frequently drove, plus several friends in the owners club swapping cars to share the driving experiences of different models, I can say most (if not all) of them had much less than desirable ergonomics. To the point of being uncomfortable, difficult to drive well, and almost dangerous in same cases. Add to that things like having to let them idle for 20-30 minutes to fully warm up before being able to drive them "normally", frequent failures despite strict servicing/maintenance, ill tempered road characteristics, poor build quality, over priced parts, and less then enjoyable performance (on the road, and even more so on the track)...well they are not everything they are cracked up to be. The only positive attribute of them (in my opinion) is their styling. Which is why I always thought they would make great candidates for resto-mods with drive-train swaps and other such modernization. My experiences pertain to versions up through the 90's, so I'm not sure if any of that has changed with the "modern" models, as I'm over them and won't waste my money to find out. This is the redeeming quality of a Fiat; most of the same short-comings and problems but at an affordable price (basically disposable).
     
  16. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Just to revisit this - what form of urethane foam did you use? In searching, what comes up is the foam used for furniture padding - is that what you used? Hard to imagine sanding that. Trying to figure out a materials list :D
     
  17. JDExSquid

    JDExSquid Not quite a Daily Driver!

    Location:
    Stockbridge, GA
    Interesting project. I used to build RC jets out of foam. To give the structure strength while retaining lightness we would first install strips of carbon fiber on the leading edges of all flight surfaces by gluing them down. We'd then fiberglass over the carbon and foam using two part epoxy thinned down with denatured alcohol so it could be applied with a paint brush; just enough to wet the glass and saturate it. The airframe would stay light and I'd just fill any spots with lightweight spackle. The carbon fiber would allow the foam to take a lot more punishment if hit. Otherwise the foam would dent and the fiberglass would crack if struck inadvertently.
     
  18. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Clark, is this the same as the blue insulation foam panels? I don't recall being able to sand that without it breaking into small pellets...
     
  19. motoTrooper

    motoTrooper True Classic

    Hey Hussein, if you're going for urethane foam, on the previous page Karl mentioned you can get home insulation panels of it. It's a dull yellow foam clad on both sides with a plastic/foil barrier. The blue or pink (styrene) foam panels are different than the typical white styrofoam that is made up of those bead pellets, it's a solid foam easy to shape and sand. I've seen both kinds of foam panels at big box stores.
     
    lookforjoe likes this.
  20. That sounds like a good plan. I would not worry too much about the technology moving on. There will either be something to easily replace it or plenty of old, cheap, bluetooth tablets and smart phones littering the landscape.

    I did my technology upgrade in the early 90s when I replaced my original Boman Astrosonix AM/FM/Cassette (one of the first AM/FM/Cassettes on the market) with 2 knobs with a DIN mount Pioneer unit with CD changer. It only took a saw blade to convert my installation to DIN. That class D mini amp looks like an interesting solution. They are very efficient so they give off relatively little heat which means they can be tiny compared to a class B amp. The concept has been around as long as the X1/9 has, but there was little incentive to commercialize it until portable electronics got big and improved battery life became an important feature.
     

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