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Old 03-03-2013, 12:12 PM   #51
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

Thank you for doing this write up, I am definitely going to use this!!!
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #52
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

Just took mine all apart today to see what all I need.

I have some bad overspray black pain on my lens. Does the replacement Lens from someone like LMC come with the speedo numbers and warning light areas already painted on the glass?
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #53
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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Just took mine all apart today to see what all I need.

I have some bad overspray black pain on my lens. Does the replacement Lens from someone like LMC come with the speedo numbers and warning light areas already painted on the glass?
The greenish numbers and stuff is printed on the back of the lens. I wet sanded the front of mine starting with 1000 grit and finished with 2500 or 3000 grit, I can't remember exactly. Anyway, to finish, I used polish that is for glass stove tops. I don't know what aftermarket lenses look like, but I bet you can save yours.





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Old 05-27-2013, 05:56 PM   #54
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

Great write up. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #55
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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The greenish numbers and stuff is printed on the back of the lens. I wet sanded the front of mine starting with 1000 grit and finished with 2500 or 3000 grit, I can't remember exactly. Anyway, to finish, I used polish that is for glass stove tops. I don't know what aftermarket lenses look like, but I bet you can save yours.
This works well, I used the same process on mine although I haven't tried that polish. I (lightly!) used a wool pad and 3M polish to polish out the sanding scratches, then switched to a foam pad and used swirl remover to remove the buffer marks. The aftermarket lenses can benefit from sanding/buffing the front to make them "clearer" since there is a slight bit of distortion in the new lenses. It's not bad, I'm just picky about that kind of stuff....
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:37 PM   #56
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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This works well, I used the same process on mine although I haven't tried that polish. I (lightly!) used a wool pad and 3M polish to polish out the sanding scratches, then switched to a foam pad and used swirl remover to remove the buffer marks. The aftermarket lenses can benefit from sanding/buffing the front to make them "clearer" since there is a slight bit of distortion in the new lenses. It's not bad, I'm just picky about that kind of stuff....
Theastronaut

What font style and size did you use for the over speed and tand'm lock?
I am looking at century gothic 7 point (size) bold it looks close.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #57
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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Theastronaut

What font style and size did you use for the over speed and tand'm lock?
I am looking at century gothic 7 point (size) bold it looks close.
That looks just like what I used. It's been 3-4 years since I printed them so I don't remember the name of the font. I printed them out on plain paper to test the size and spacing, then made any adjustments in MS Paint.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:04 AM   #58
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

great detailed write-up!
Have you had any issues with grounding of the bulbs with the clear coat? Mine has been painted with silver, and occasionally, I'll get a blinker issue, and it goes away after re-seating the bulb socket assy into the cluster... I don't know if the original clusters were painted?
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #59
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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great detailed write-up!
Have you had any issues with grounding of the bulbs with the clear coat? Mine has been painted with silver, and occasionally, I'll get a blinker issue, and it goes away after re-seating the bulb socket assy into the cluster... I don't know if the original clusters were painted?
Thanks RoyL! The original housings were bare steel with a clear coating to prevent rust. You bring up a good point that I hadn't thought of, it would be a good idea to clean off the clear/paint around the sockets and add dielectric grease for a better ground. I haven't had any problems with mine since its still on the shelf waiting for the rest of the truck to be finished...
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:51 PM   #60
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

I am in the middle of restoring mine and was following this pretty closely.

Now it seems all the pictures are gone. Is this just on my end or did you remove the photobucket pics.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:55 PM   #61
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

It's not you. Notice that some pics from other folks (mine for instance) are still there. Astronaut must have accidently moved his pics or messed up his account. Don't worry, he'll fix it.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:13 PM   #62
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

I think he's just over on bandwidth. They'll come back.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:03 PM   #63
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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It's not you. Notice that some pics from other folks (mine for instance) are still there. Astronaut must have accidently moved his pics or messed up his account. Don't worry, he'll fix it.

Just making sure it was not me.

I was able to complete my project for this. I did not do a full out restoration but rather just touched mine up a bunch. When I get my new motor complete I will start my miles back to zero and actually put the new sticker numbers and letters on.

For this go around I did the following;

Took apart and cleaned.
Wiped down the speedo and gas gauge.
Daughter took the model paint and repainted the speedo and gas needle.
Painted the bezel
Painted the interior and exterior of the encasement
Painted the black/green door/window piece. (not sure what its called....the piece that the glass sits on top of).
Redone all of the red/green light parts
Cleaned up the lens the best I could. It was pretty rough with overspray and scratches. I think it done okay for now. Again, when I get my new motor ready I will replace the lens, bezel, and actual speedo and gas gauge faces.

Thank you very much for this thread to help a newbie like myself have the confidence to tackle this.

Here are a few pictures.

When I first took it apart













Some of the process











Put back together










Again, thank you for your how to thread. It was a big help.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #64
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

Hey, WOW! That looks great! You did a nice job. There are many great contributors on this website. TheAstronaut is one of them! Did you line the carboard tubes with foil tape?
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:15 PM   #65
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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Hey, WOW! That looks great! You did a nice job. There are many great contributors on this website. TheAstronaut is one of them! Did you line the carboard tubes with foil tape?

I didn't do that. I used two 3 layers of the colored transparent stuff and was afraid of it was any brighter when lit up that it would shine through too much. When I hook it up I will know for sure. If its dim I may do that. This transparent stuff is much more thin than the original.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:45 AM   #66
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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I didn't do that. I used two 3 layers of the colored transparent stuff and was afraid of it was any brighter when lit up that it would shine through too much. When I hook it up I will know for sure. If its dim I may do that. This transparent stuff is much more thin than the original.
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I also used the transparent plastic film. I used 3 or 4 layers to try and match the original color. How many layers did you use?
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:33 AM   #67
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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I am in the middle of restoring mine and was following this pretty closely.

Now it seems all the pictures are gone. Is this just on my end or did you remove the photobucket pics.
I'm over the bandwidth allowance for the month... they'll come back once it resets for the month. Your cluster looks great!!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:41 AM   #68
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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I also used the transparent plastic film. I used 3 or 4 layers to try and match the original color. How many layers did you use?
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I ended up using three for the red and think I put in an extra one giving me 4 for the green cold water temp.

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I'm over the bandwidth allowance for the month... they'll come back once it resets for the month. Your cluster looks great!!

Thanks. There is more that could have been done for this one but I am happy with the way it turned out.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #69
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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. . . was afraid if it was any brighter when lit up that it would shine through too much.
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I thought about using LED but then you can't dim them. They stay the same brightness. Then again, I have the dimmer all the way up on all my vehicles, so I doubt that I would dim them anyway.

I did bench test my gauge lights (all stock bulbs) after my resto and I think the 3 or 4 layers will look just right.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:26 AM   #70
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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I thought about using LED but then you can't dim them. They stay the same brightness. Then again, I have the dimmer all the way up on all my vehicles, so I doubt that I would dim them anyway.

I did bench test my gauge lights (all stock bulbs) after my resto and I think the 3 or 4 layers will look just right.

I put a flashlight with about the same brightness in the back and checked them out. I think it will shine nicely when in the truck.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #71
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

Thank you for your (How to) I have now completed my cluster too.....
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:09 PM   #72
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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Thank you for your (How to) I have now completed my cluster too.....


Looks great. I really want a cluster with the real gauges so I can have a tac also.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:14 PM   #73
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

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Thank you for your (How to) I have now completed my cluster too.....
You're welcome, glad to be a help! And great job on the cluster!
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:44 PM   #75
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Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

This is a great guide. I have been following it step by step. There was only a couple of places I changed things.

On the intermediate plate I was able to soda blast and came out without any warping or pitting. Did a nice job.

Also on the back of the intermediate plate I used Krylon Glowz to see if that will help with a brighter cluster. Here is the Glowz http://www.krylon.com/products/glowz/

Still waiting on a few parts to finish, but will post some pics once I'm done.
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