Puma Dashboard Swap - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 28th, 2017, 08:41 AM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Puma Dashboard Swap

Had a few messages asking how difficult it is to get our Puma Dashboard into an older model Defender, so thought I would post a few pictures to show the process.

Taking the old dash out is very easy as it's just a number of screws and bolts. Top tip here is to mark and number EVERY single wire that you unplug to make it easier to put it all back together again!



With everything out we cleaned up the bulkhead and applied some additional soundproofing.



We wanted to use the original blower/fan so made a bulkhead flange that fits onto the fan outlet. The two outlets connect to 32mm ducting which then feeds the various vents, top and bottom.



Rough idea of how it would look behind the dashboard.



All of the old switches were converted over to new Carling switches. Even the fan control, normally run from a lever, is moved across to a Carling 2 speed switch.



With the bulkhead ready, it's time to install the Puma Dashboard using the same screws and fixings as per the dashboard you took out. Three across the top and two on each side. That's it. The genuine Puma Dashboard from Land Rover would need additional fixings plus a bulkhead bracing bar to stop it from flexing as it's very thin. Ours just bolts in solid using 7 screws.



We retain all the old gauges, just removed them from the old square binnacle and fitted them into our Puma style one. This is when the numbering of the wires comes in handy.





Putting a new steering wheel on gave it a completely different feel from the driver's position.



With the center console not yet fitted you can see the pipe ducting to the two lower vents, plus the hot/cold lever, which used to be up on top, but we transferred into the center console complete with the existing cable.



LT77 and R380 gear sticks need to be kinked so as to clear the dashboard, without altering the operation position.



Center console cover starts out as a blank section, which can be cut to suit any configuration for switches, dials and head unit. We decided to fit a Double Din head unit with Sat-Nav and reversing camera.



I know that I've simplified the process quite a lot, but it's really straightforward without having to worry about the electrics, the heater or the fittings. We can now do a conversion in a couple of days no proble. Allow a week for a DIY fit...

Jonathan
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  #2  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:22 AM
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Nice to have another option for people wanting to convert to LHD.

What are they made of?
How much do they cost?
Do they come painted or do you have to paint them?
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  #3  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:30 AM
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Do you have complete kits ready to ship?
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  #4  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:31 AM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_lucas View Post
Nice to have another option for people wanting to convert to LHD.

What are they made of?
How much do they cost?
Do they come painted or do you have to paint them?
Hi Dave,

Made out of GRP, so about twice the thickness of a genuine Tdci dash. They come painted in any colour you want, or you can paint them yourself and the RHD or LHD is no issue as it's exactly the same dashboard for both. We just swap the fittings over and cut out a hole for the steering wheel as per:





Price would be $950 + shipping. That's for the complete dashboard including all the ancillaries, cut to LHD or RHD, painted and with the center console cut to the buyers spec.

Ducting for the heater and the new switches is extra, but they can be sourced anywhere to be fair.

J

------ Follow up post added June 28th, 2017 02:35 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedpin View Post
Do you have complete kits ready to ship?
Yep, all made and ready.

We configure them for LHD or RHD, cut the center console panel and then paint it all before shipping, which can take a couple of days, but they're here and waiting.
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  #5  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:43 AM
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Kudos on being so innovative.
How low does your dash hang ? is it as low as the tdci dash ? Many stateside require a/c any way to get that worked in ?
would an underdash ac unit still fit ?
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  #6  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Is your dash modular like the tdci one ? Ie can the gauges just as easily be on the left side ?
Kudos on being so innovative.
How low does your dash hang ? is it as low as the tdci dash ? Many stateside require a/c any way to get that worked in ?

Cheers Uncle Douglas !!

Yes, it's modular. Same principle as the original dash.

Sits to the same depth as the Tdci. It's exactly the same dimension, but the Tdci comes pre-formed, so you have all of the side vent holes, speaker holes and fuse box covers to deal with whether you want them or not. Ours is just solid, so you can cut apertures wherever you like.
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  #7  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:49 AM
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Very cool!
I take it the bulkhead vents are not usable with this dashboard?
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  #8  
Old June 28th, 2017, 09:52 AM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover View Post
Very cool!
I take it the bulkhead vents are not usable with this dashboard?
We can install electric actuators on the flaps, so that they open via a dashboard switch, then scoop air to the top puma facial vents.

You can still have A/C or heater to the lower and side vents in that set-up.
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  #9  
Old June 28th, 2017, 12:13 PM
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I was planning on getting a new Raptor dash and binnacle to put in in the fall but this has really caught my eye.

  1. What would the extra cost be for the actuators for the bulk head vents?
  2. The pieces that are painted. Would they only be the pieces that are green (I think that is the color) in the first photo?
  3. Could the upper dash on the passenger side be a small glove box? I have never seen a Puma dash up close so I am not sure if even that one has one.
  4. Are there any possible issues with a current defender dash though could arise when installing this?
  5. Any group buys available? Could you guesstimate what shipping to eastern US be? Is this UPS'able?
I know I am probably crazy and maybe in the minority but even at 6' tall I still think the Puma dash looks good.


Thanks
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  #10  
Old June 28th, 2017, 02:39 PM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
I was planning on getting a new Raptor dash and binnacle to put in in the fall but this has really caught my eye.
Thanks for the interest, I'll do my best to answer each point individually:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
What would the extra cost be for the actuators for the bulk head vents?
We're testing different ones, but I'm expecting the final cost of the electric vent kit to be in the region of $300-350. That's including the pipes and air scoops, plus the switch gear to make it work. It will be available as a retro fit as there's plenty of room to install them even after the Puma Dashboard has been fitted. No need to take the dash out again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
The pieces that are painted. Would they only be the pieces that are green (I think that is the color) in the first photo?
We paint everything including the main dashboard. The green sections were just to demonstrate how a contrasting colour would work. Most people just go for a standard black finish all over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
Could the upper dash on the passenger side be a small glove box? I have never seen a Puma dash up close so I am not sure if even that one has one.
Yes it can. There is a 'glove box kit' for the Puma which is basically a hinge for the existing top panel plus a bit of plastic to make a box. Our dash is exactly the same measurements as the original Tdci. We can easily make a glove box, but don't expect to fit much in there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
Are there any possible issues with a current defender dash though could arise when installing this?
Not that we've encountered thus far. As long as you can take out the old dash back to the bulkhead there's nothing to cause an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
Any group buys available? Could you guesstimate what shipping to eastern US be? Is this UPS'able?
Group buying might work. I suppose in an ideal world we would have a North American agent to distribute and fit these dashboards. Any takers? In the meantime, we could combine shipping if there was more than one. Shipping would be $250-300.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersFan76 View Post
I know I am probably crazy and maybe in the minority but even at 6' tall I still think the Puma dash looks good.
Well I'm 6 foot 3 inch and I love them, that's why I set out on the quest to make them viable for easy fitting.

Jonathan
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  #11  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:40 PM
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This is really interesting, but I'd like to here how you would integrate A/C into this. Can you explain?
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  #12  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 04:29 PM
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Very cool...I went to their website to follow the step by steps ...BUT NO LINK TO THE INSTALL PAGE 3...
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  #13  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 07:18 PM
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Yeah I I did the same the other day. Pretty annoying


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  #14  
Old September 4th, 2017, 01:53 PM
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Jonathan Bowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icnsltmfg View Post
Very cool...I went to their website to follow the step by steps ...BUT NO LINK TO THE INSTALL PAGE 3...
Sorry guys, just really busy with the business so the installation Step 3 hasn't been updated on the site yet.

I will get round to it, plus I want to add some more pictures of the final look as we have improved the finish and detailing on the dashboards since the first one was published.

Work in progress

------ Follow up post added September 4th, 2017 06:55 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
This is really interesting, but I'd like to here how you would integrate A/C into this. Can you explain?
As most of the AC components are under the bonnet. we would integrate the ducting and pipework to fit the Puma Dashboard. We don't envisage any issues, but as yet no-one has brought an AC model in for a fit....

If there's someone in the UK who wants one of our Puma Dashboards with AC integration then let me know and we'll do free fitting. We can then have a definitive answer.
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  #15  
Old September 4th, 2017, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Upgrades View Post
Sorry guys, just really busy with the business so the installation Step 3 hasn't been updated on the site yet.



I will get round to it, plus I want to add some more pictures of the final look as we have improved the finish and detailing on the dashboards since the first one was published.



Work in progress

------ Follow up post added September 4th, 2017 06:55 PM ------





As most of the AC components are under the bonnet. we would integrate the ducting and pipework to fit the Puma Dashboard. We don't envisage any issues, but as yet no-one has brought an AC model in for a fit....



If there's someone in the UK who wants one of our Puma Dashboards with AC integration then let me know and we'll do free fitting. We can then have a definitive answer.


A Vintage Air Gen II Mini will fit.


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  #16  
Old September 4th, 2017, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Upgrades View Post
Sorry guys, just really busy with the business so the installation Step 3 hasn't been updated on the site yet.

I will get round to it, plus I want to add some more pictures of the final look as we have improved the finish and detailing on the dashboards since the first one was published.

Work in progress

------ Follow up post added September 4th, 2017 06:55 PM ------



As most of the AC components are under the bonnet. we would integrate the ducting and pipework to fit the Puma Dashboard. We don't envisage any issues, but as yet no-one has brought an AC model in for a fit....

If there's someone in the UK who wants one of our Puma Dashboards with AC integration then let me know and we'll do free fitting. We can then have a definitive answer.
thank you for your response, but I still don't get your AC fitment possibility. It doesn't look like the standard underdash unit would fit with this dash. That underdash unit has the evaporate and fan integrated with the ducting fascia shell. Adding ducting and pipework to the underdash unit doesnt' make sense.

I would seriously consider this dash option as an alternative to buying a complete take out puma bulkhead with dash from a breaker if it would offer the heat and AC capability of the puma dash.

as an option, would this setup work if a correct TDCi/Puma evac unit was installed in a pre-2007 bulkhead? is that even feasible?
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  #17  
Old September 14th, 2017, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Upgrades View Post
We can install electric actuators on the flaps, so that they open via a dashboard switch, then scoop air to the top puma facial vents.
I would be interested to see info on the actuators...
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  #18  
Old October 16th, 2017, 06:27 AM
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Do you have or can you offer BLANK versions of the binnacle insert? Some of us would like to use a Dakota Digital gauge cluster. 112mm x 290mm







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  #19  
Old October 16th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Or this one
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  #20  
Old October 16th, 2017, 04:10 PM
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I can't see why not.

Fitting the dials shouldn't be an issue.

How do they operate? Bearing in mind that the early Defender Speedos were cable driven and they had no Rev counter.

Ground speed radar for the speed and then alternator feed for the revs I presume?

Does it come as a full kit with all of that, plus the actuators for the fuel and temp, etc?
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