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6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

Restoring 401 dashboard

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Old 06-02-15, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Guildford Surrey
Posts: 46
Default Restoring 401 dashboard

I am in the process of restoring the dashboard on my 401. Has anyone any tips or tricks as to how to remove the instrument panel knobs from the switches.
The knobs seem to be made of Bakelite and secured on to various switches by way of a steel pin in a blind hole.
Any advice welcome

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Old 06-02-15, 09:44 AM
Des Des is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 47

You mean the small metal pins on the side of the knobs? they're spring loaded and are pushed in to release the knobs, if they don't move easily try penetrating oil, but be careful of oiling the wooden parts if you intend to refinish.
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Old 06-02-15, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 28
Default Restoring 401 dashboard

Hi G
These can be a right pain, mine proved impossible to just press in due to corrosion (although only a small amount)

In the end I adapted a pair of pliers by grinding the teeth from the hollowed out jaws, drilling a small hole and inserting a suitably sized shank from a drill slightly smaller than the sprung loaded pin, secured by a touch of weld on the outside - Imagine a circle with a line marking the radius and I think you'll get the idea. The pin only needs to protrude into the jaws by about an 3/16" or so.
I also glued a small piece of felt to the jaw opposite the pin, in order to give the knob some protection.

I also filed down a soldering iron bit so I could apply a small amount of heat direct to the pin. The WD40 can also help of course but wasn't enough in my case.

You need to be careful not to apply too much force as you can get a lot of leverage from the pliers, and not too much heat because the knobs can be a bit delicate but having spent a long time fruitlessly trying to remove said knobs I found most of them came out easily with this mo. Two were slightly more reluctant but with patience all was well. If at first you don't succeed...
When I got them off, I could see why they didn't want to move.

Good luck

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