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Mk I, Mk II dash

To: "Mg list \(E-mail\)" <>
Subject: Mk I, Mk II dash
From: "Jim Stuart" <>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 16:35:33 -0500
If the question is regards swapping in a metal dash in a later car, then my
experience may help. First a bit of info- when MG went to a padded dash in
1969(?), they shortened the cowl to compensate for the thicker dash, and
they angled the mounting lip. As a result, the early dash will not bolt up
to a later car, & vice versa. In order to make the swap work, you need the
cowl from an early car. This can be overlaid over the original cowl &
fastened with structural adhesive, or trimmed & welded to the forward edge
or the original cowl, or the original cowl can be removed & a complete early
cowl welded in.

The early cars had different defroster ducts in slightly different locations
& using them is optional, but easier, as the early cowl has the correct
slots. These slots can be enlarged to use the later vents as an option.

As to the metal dash, there are several versions. The earliest cars were
slightly different than the 67-68 but the differences are insignificant.
There are several versions of the European metal LHD dash ( driver sits on
the left, drives on the right side of the road). The early dash, probably
through 1968 would be the same as the US dash of the same years. When the US
dash changed in 1969, the European (and UK) dash did not change
significantly, and the metal dash was retained. There were changes at some
time after 1968 in both the UK & European dash and smaller gauges were used
for tach & speedo, the radio was replaced with fresh air vents mounted
horizontally, unlike US cars that had vertical vents.

A significant change affecting the metal dash swap was the change in
transmission tunnel design. I am not positive, but think this occurred with
the 1969 model year. The change in the tunnel means that the early speaker
console will not match the early dash when installed in a later car. A
console from a later UK or European car WILL meet the dash if it was from a
later model metal dash car. A metal dash & console from a later model
European  will also swap in for a slightly different look, still requiring
the cowl modification.

As a note, the early US metal dash will accept the later model vertical
fresh air vents in place of the radio, if you want an early dash in a late
car & still want face vents. The radio can be mounted in the later European

If you use the early dash in a later car, you will have a problem with the
steering column. The column itself is too large for the opening in the metal
dash, & the plastic surround will be too long & too large. Simply cutting if
off will not solve the problem, as it will partially obscure the tach &
speedo. One solution is to use the early steering column, another is to use
a late model European dash which has a larger opening for the column, but
these have the smaller gauges. I chose to use smaller gauges, retain the
late steering column, enlarge the dash opening & shorten the plastic

All this goes to show that making the swap is not as simple as it looks, but
it can be done. Thanks to Kelvin for finding the last repro swap console in
Moss's warehouse to solve the console problem for me. Don't bother asking,
Moss has no more.

Jim Stuart

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Jim Stuart

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