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Old 28-04-2015   #1
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Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

I don't know what's happened to me,

I'm usually quite a purist...but since my 500 has been in the garage

(having the bonnet repaired and repainted along with a couple of other paint spots on the body that I thought might as well see to at the same time)

I've been whiling away the time looking at accessories and modifications for the little thing. Peter look away now!!!

I've decided to install a radio for my 'long' journeys I'll be taking now that the sun is coming back out on the regular.

Toying with the idea of those FIAT mud flaps on the back wheels :/

White walls???

AND..... something a bit more radical which has had me thinking for a while is, 'what is underneath the plastic dash in the L?'

I can't understand why they did away with that lovely metal dash for the 'lusso' version.

I guess if I'm being honest I would actually love to own a Nuova, The metal dash, round speedo and the lovely metal badge on the rear.

But I own an L, so that's that. I do love the chrome on the L and I suppose there's more to life than a round speedo ......(is there???)

But whilst researching what else I could add to my little motor whilst it's away,

(Don't worry, I'm sure it'll stop as soon as I get it back, and I probably won't even manage to bring myself to drill in the cradle for the radio)

I spotted this motor!

Do you reckon the same is under my ugly plastic dash?
Is it fairly easy to remove to check?
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Old 28-04-2015   #2
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Yes yours will be the same underneath however the black section has been painted as it is usually all the same colour underneath. I too am undecided as to use the black plastic dash or leave it exposed if you know what I mean!
It has the old look but with a more modern dash.
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Old 28-04-2015   #3
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

What do you mean by the black section Franko? The bit with the air vents and ash tray in?

Does that mean all of that is metal underneath too? Would probably need to keep plastic round those air vents, but could get rid of the rest of it?
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Old 28-04-2015   #4
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

No that whole panel is metal, it is exactly the same as the N,D,F & R but with a different mount for the L dash display. That section has just been masked out and painted black.
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Old 29-04-2015   #5
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

The dash covering for the L and 'American style' dash were seen as an upgrade at the time in the 60's. Fiat obviously saw sense and in the 70's, went back to painted dash and the round speedo enclosure. It's a shame they also timed it with a logo change and plastic badges
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Old 29-04-2015   #6
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Thanks Steve!
Both things which upset me more than you'd think!
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Old 29-04-2015   #7
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

What lies beneath!
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Old 29-04-2015   #8
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Lovely jubbly!
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Old 14-05-2015   #9
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Purists look away now!

I decided to go both feet in with this removal of the L dashboard thing.

Got the plastic off and lo and behold (like you all informed me!) was that lovely metal dash, with the stepped profile too. What a lovely detail to cover up with some horrible black plastic.

Once that was removed I had planned to put the original speedo back on, I couldn't possibly stick a round one on.......could I?!?!

After much internal turmoil I came to the conclusion THAT:

I had always wanted a round speedo,
I was never going to own 2 500s so may as well own the one I want
I never bought this to sell on, so I should please myself
(AND....Should have probably bought an F

So, I spoke with the lads down at Motobambino who could do the spot welding for me and 'voilą'.

It's not finished yet, and will need to go in the paint shop.

I must admit that it posed an almost 'test tube baby' moral dilemma and I've decided to remove the L badges on the front and back.

I hope the Fiat gods will turn a blind eye and appreciate that they themselves went a bit off piste with the L dash, noticed the error in their ways and returned the metal dash with the R

Like I mentioned a while back, to own one of these cars was always a dream, but I would never have been in a position to buy one. Then by some quirk of fate I ended up being able to do just that, but there was no choice over an L or an F, or a D or R for that matter.

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Ps. Absolutely no offence to people who have and love the L dash!
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Old 14-05-2015   #10
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Now you have to go the whole hog
You need some lovely aluminium internal door handles but that would be a pain to do although I think the doors will have the appropriate location holes..
The L has some really good additions like the door pockets and the central "console" for your mobile phone, which I bet you won't remove..
Well done for making quite a dramatic and challenging decision. The car will look better for it in my opinion.
Do you have all the dashboard lights, such as indicator warning, to relocate?
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Old 14-05-2015   #11
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Thanks Peter,
I reckon I could live without the door pockets, however, I want to keep the 'ribbed' ?!? door cards, which I believe only come with the flat section where the pocket sits?

Mark at MB has the tell-tale and (is it) full beam ? light for me, then it'll just be a question of stripping the plug that is there and wiring in to the back of the speedo for the oil lights etc...

ALL this, just because I bumped the bonnet! Ha, good job that was the missus' fault, look what it's lead to!
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Old 16-05-2015   #12
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

I saw those pictures on facebook the other day.
Looks good. I was tempted to do the same but I haven't decided yet. A little bit too much faffing about.
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Old 16-05-2015   #13
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Quote Originally Posted by Franko500 View Post
I saw those pictures on facebook the other day.
Looks good. I was tempted to do the same but I haven't decided yet. A little bit too much faffing about.
I just looked at those pictures on Facebook on the Moto Bambino website and noticed how much they sell recon synchro gearboxes for £835.20 including VAT and you have to exchange your old gearbox.

How many synchro gearboxes have you got Sean? I know you have loads of engines but get lost on the gearbox front.
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Old 16-05-2015   #14
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

I currently have 1 x 500 & 4 x 126 boxes. Not including my D.
You never know when someone may need one!!!!
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Old 16-05-2015   #15
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Re: Metal dash under Fiat 500L plastic?

Quote Originally Posted by Franko500 View Post
I saw those pictures on facebook the other day.
Looks good. I was tempted to do the same but I haven't decided yet. A little bit too much faffing about.

I went in to Motobambino about a year ago to pick up some parts when I had just bought the car and asked back then if it was a do'able procedure. They mentioned it was just a bit of spot welding, but I never thought anything more of it.

I let you know what it looks like once it's out of paint!
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