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Old 10-10-2017, 08:42 PM   #1
Project86
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blank gauge panel bezel?

does anyone know of any companies that make a complete gauge cluster bezel with no holes cut out for any factory gauges?

I made a block off plate last year and mounted my own gauges, and since im redoing the truck again this year, I want something that looks a little cleaner.

so far I am using thin sheets of acrylic to make my block off panels, and I will have them painted and rivet them in place for a cleaner install but before I continue to sink money into this I was curious if anyone makes any blank panels
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

You can have a shop waterjet cut (won't warp the metal) you an 18g (or your choice of thickness) piece of metal to the total length you need.

There are YouTube videos on building your own metal break for dirt cheap. Most shops can bend them for you for a very reasonable fee.

There are two bends in a stock bezel. Bend your panel to the correct angles using your old bezel as a template.

Drill your screw holes and mount the panel, or better yet, have them cut on the waterjet.

Mark your gauge location, and cut your holes. . . or have the shop cut them.

If you get a bit creative with your layout before having the panel cut, you can have tabs cut on the lower profile, which you can bend backwards to mount your steering column bracket, which could also be cut on the waterjet.

It's not as difficult as it sounds. If you know anyone with some CAD software, they might draw up your layout so the shop can use the .DXF or .DWG file to cut your parts. If not, you can draw it out and most shops can recreate it in CAD. . . or if your drawing is good enough, they can scan it and use it as is.

Here is one I drew in about 15 minutes. Not an exact scale representation, just something to show you what I was talking about.

Good luck!
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File Type: pdf Bezel Sample.pdf (12.9 KB, 49 views)
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
Project86
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

lol it's funny your username is super Dave. My buddy's nickname is that and my truck is at his shop haha!!

Thanks for the file!

Last year I had a sheet metal panel and mounted my aftermarket gauges in almost the same factory spot. But this year I want to try and do away with metal.

I made a decent template from some body shop paper and a razor blade.

Last time I worked on it I went to Home Depot and got some thin acrylic. After a couple tries I was able to make a good headlight switch and lower vent delete panel, as well as the lower radio

But the acrylic is way too hard to work with and all it takes is one mess up and you lose a lot of material

I still plan on using the lower steering column cover

What o would really like is a thin ABS plastic like material and maybe have a carbon fiber overlay on top
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Another idea. . .

If you have your original bezel, or access to one, you can do your own vacuum form.

Build a box out of plywood to mount the bezel securely.
Build a frame to hold your plastic of choice.
Heat your plastic of choice until it starts to sag.
Put your frame over the bezel and box.
Turn on your shop-vac and suck the plastic down over your mould.

Thats the simple explanation. Here is a YouTube video as reference.

(In my thread, I heavily modified what I thought was a bezel for my '74 project. Turns out, it was a few years newer and the light and wiper switch areas were wrong. I wasted a lot of time and money missing that, so I will be selling it on this forum at some point in the future. You can read about it and get some ideas if you want.)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50-sR54UBgY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d_nkRzQiDw
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:09 PM   #5
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Auto meter used to but I think they quit making the solid bezel. What kind of gauges are you installing?
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_Dave View Post
Another idea. . .

If you have your original bezel, or access to one, you can do your own vacuum form.

Build a box out of plywood to mount the bezel securely.
Build a frame to hold your plastic of choice.
Heat your plastic of choice until it starts to sag.
Put your frame over the bezel and box.
Turn on your shop-vac and suck the plastic down over your mould.

Thats the simple explanation. Here is a YouTube video as reference.

(In my thread, I heavily modified what I thought was a bezel for my '74 project. Turns out, it was a few years newer and the light and wiper switch areas were wrong. I wasted a lot of time and money missing that, so I will be selling it on this forum at some point in the future. You can read about it and get some ideas if you want.)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50-sR54UBgY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d_nkRzQiDw
That's actually not too bad of an idea!
The only problem I would see, is that when I did my metal gauge plate, all I did was use a dremel and remove part of the factor panel face and gauge holes

I don't know if it would sink down into the bezel
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:42 PM   #7
Project86
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UKNOWME View Post
Auto meter used to but I think they quit making the solid bezel. What kind of gauges are you installing?
Probably automate or close equivalent. Last year I only ran a monster tach. And then here the original four gauges were, I installed a water temp, oil pressure, fuel.

Since I'm home from offshore I can take the time to create a photobucket and upload the old panel I had made up
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:07 PM   #8
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

I hope the picture shows

It wasn't the best. But it was functional. And I made an aluminum plate painted black to block off the radio and I had my cooling fan and line lock switches attached
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:58 PM   #9
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

There are a few companies that make a direct fit gauge assembly and you can use a stock gauge bezel.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:00 AM   #10
Project86
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Well nothing about the inside is factory stock anymore. The whole reason I did this that way was because all my original gauges were shot. Nothing worked. So I set out to try and make my own haha
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:05 AM   #11
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Makes sense, nothing wrong with that!
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:08 AM   #12
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project86 View Post
That's actually not too bad of an idea!
The only problem I would see, is that when I did my metal gauge plate, all I did was use a dremel and remove part of the factor panel face and gauge holes

I don't know if it would sink down into the bezel
Any area you don't want the vacuum to pull plastic into, just block it off. There are a ton of videos on DIY Vacuum forming, so even if it doesn't exactly fit your application, there are usually some nice tid-bits of info that work in all applications.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:18 AM   #13
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

http://classicdash.com/ use to make one worse case email them and ask.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:00 AM   #14
Project86
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_Dave View Post
Any area you don't want the vacuum to pull plastic into, just block it off. There are a ton of videos on DIY Vacuum forming, so even if it doesn't exactly fit your application, there are usually some nice tid-bits of info that work in all applications.
So could it be possible to vacuum form the entire thing, but just use the very top portion, then Rivet in place on top my original?
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:01 AM   #15
Project86
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
http://classicdash.com/ use to make one worse case email them and ask.
I did actually send them an email when I saw they make custom orders. Waiting to hear back from them!
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:02 AM   #16
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Just checked my emails. I will have to call classic dash and get a quote.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:39 PM   #17
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

you mean like this? The bezel comes with no holes. Summit has them part number is CTH 1307350921.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:06 PM   #18
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by st1 View Post
you mean like this? The bezel comes with no holes. Summit has them part number is CTH 1307350921.
That's not bad. But not necessarily what I wanted
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:32 AM   #19
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Re: blank gauge panel bezel?

Well classic dash wants $329 for their cluster and I'm just not willing to throw that kind of cash
So I sourced and drove around and found a glass company that would cut some thin lexan for me.

Got it cut st 26x9". About three hours worth of work and sboutb6 beers this is what I've got so far.
Got a small bubble from too much heat but I'll try to work it out later today
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