Bits and pieces of progress this month, and one major step. I’m getting so close to being able to take Rusty for a Warrant of Fitness.

This month’s biggest win was getting the digital dash repaired. If you recall, I sent it to an electronics specialist, but I think the 80’s tech was just a bit too old for them, so they eventually returned it to me. After researching options and only finding people in the UK and Ireland who knew anything about these dashes, I got a message from Fraser (you know, the guy building a V12 Supercar in his shed). He connected me with Neill of Roissy Ltd, who is building some instruments for the supercar. Neill lives about 20 minutes from me, so I took the dash up to him. He separated the boards, and we did a bit of Googling and established which was the power supply.

He found a broken pin in one of the ribbon connectors, which was the reason the dash had gone off completely. With new wires soldered in, the dash lit up again but still flickered. A visual inspection of the board revealed a leaking capacitor.

Neill replaced it with a new one, and the dash was working!

Capacitors like these usually have a life of around ten years, so as they are about 33 years old we decided to replace all of them. I left the dash with Neill for a week, and in the meantime I replaced the disintegrating foam which stops dust getting to the glass face of the vacuum tube displays. Window seal did the job nicely!

These were the parts Neill replaced.

And here’s the dash back in and working.

That’s a major step for Rusty, and a big relief for me that I don’t have to send a hard-to-replace part overseas, or source a replacement one.

I bought some contact adhesive and re-fitted the boot carpets.

An hour’s scraping and scrubbing got most of the old adhesive off.

I was starting to run out of jobs to do without taking too much apart again, so I decided to start on the audio system. I’d told myself I’d wait until I had a WOF but most of the parts were already in my garage. First I ran speaker cables.

Then out came the Blaupunkt tape deck from my parts cupboard. Cage in place:

And power wired up. Not sure if it’s working but it lights up at least.

The next step is the Bluetooth adapter. I want to have the look and original functionality of the radio and tape deck but with Bluetooth connectivity and decent sound added on, plus the option to add an amp and sub later. The only solution I’ve found that does all this is Out of Sight Audio, from the US. So I ordered one, and it was with me in a few days.

I made a start on wiring it in.

The plan is to have the modern Audio completely hidden apart from a small Bluetooth track/volume device which can be discreetly mounted on the dash somewhere.

So that’s about it for this month. I have various cables and adapters on the way as well as a set of component front speakers to fill those ugly holes in the doors. Once everything arrives I’ll be able to get the dash back together and hopefully by next month I’ll have Rusty on the road. Let’s see how that goes!

Follow the full Project Rusty build here.


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Rob Clubley
I love everything about cars! Driving, looking at them, modifying. It's great to see what people do with cars, the different car cultures. If I was rich, my garage would be bigger than my house!


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