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Switch plate


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The amount of work required to this is way beyond anything reasonable, but I wanted it and enjoyed building it. I got one of the new BMW Minis in 2005. I really enjoy the car, it isn't very fast, but just fun to drive. I have had a number of Minis. I found and still own a 2006 JCW. One of the unusual things about the car is the instrument panel. Like the original Mini the instrument panel is in the center and the switches have little loops to separate the switches. There is a Caterham model that used a similar switch panel. When I first got my Caterham I got a switch panel that used the loops, but they were contained in a panel I did not really like. Additionally, I had to cut them apart and glue them together to get the number of switches I needed. Let's just say I was not pleased with my workmanship. In general, I was not happy with the dashboard layout I had configured with the old first switch panel. I wanted a carbon dash and the loops mounted flush to the dash similar to the way Caterham did it. To get started I attempted to bend tubing to the same radius as the loops I had in the old configuration. After several attempts I gave up and decided to use the loops from the original switch plates. I designed and had the plate burned out. This really starts the design process because now you have to consider tolerances. The loops I had were not bent to a close enough tolerance for the plate I wanted. I determined the average for the loops after discarding the high and low and had the holes in the switch plate made to that dimension. When I got the switch plate back, I wasn't happy. The loops were too tall. To recess the loops I made some parts on a lathe to recess the loops. That was easier than trying to cut and re-tap the loops. To fasten the parts made to recess the loops to the switch plate I swedged them. Not all the switches I used were the same dimension and the area between the recessed loops was now thinner. A little hand work got that taken care of. The stacked-up clearances required some hand work to get everything fitted, but I am happy with the result. 3D printing this would have been easier, but I do not know how to do it. I look forward to more post here. I suspect the 3D printing would have required a lot of hand sanding on a lot of small parts. I tried to upload my drawing but I couldn't get i to open. If anyone wants to see it let me know. 





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The car is primarily used on track. I have owned the car 5 years and haven’t gotten tags yet. I didn’t want a key. It is just something else to keep up with. The switches aren’t labeled because someone would not know how to start the car. It take a combination of switches.

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