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Old 01-23-2012, 07:02 PM   #76
57truckguy
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Part 2

If u do this what do use for the speedo? Itvwould have to be some kind of electric sending unit, as most transmissions today don,t have a mechanical hook up for it.?
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:24 AM   #77
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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I remember u said you were going to have the gages work as new ones. If you do that,and get gages from a jy vehicle , do u get the sending units also, and if u do what vehicle or vehicles do/would recommend to get them,the gages, from....????

If u do this what do use for the speedo? Itvwould have to be some kind of electric sending unit, as most transmissions today don,t have a mechanical hook up for it.?
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As Ogre (I think) told me he did, the gauges can be gutted and any aftermarket gauge you can fit in the housing can work. For the Amp - to - Volt gauge conversion, I will probably use a Sunpro volt meter as its under $20, and it is a sweeping type just like the factory gauges... their other gauges are the needle on a spinning pin type, and it will be harder - not impossible, but harder- to use these in our stock housings...

I wanted to do one of two things, the main thing I wanted to do was buy a Dakota digital dash, the new dash comes with aftermarket sending units, including an electronic speedometer sensor i believe...

the second thing I was thinking about doing is modifying the original gauges (Oil, Volt/Amp, Temp) I think temp will work as-is and not worth modifying, cutting up the amp gauge and replacing it with the guts of a volt gauge has been talked about, and a similar thing can be done for oil.

as for sending units, if I did the oil, my 1978 pontiac firebird engine came with a electronic oil sending unit so I could always buy one from a auto parts store, and my transmission is from the same car, and so I wouldnt have to worry about the electronic speed sensors of the new age cars.

I would think that there are aftermarket speedometers that have electronic speed sensors, but I doubt it would be easy to find one that has the same throw that our original speedo has - if playing with electronic transmissions you can either A) update to a modern speedo or B) modify the trans speedo sensor to use a cable if its capable, and use the stock speedo...


For now, I still need to buy suspension and bumpers and other stuff so I am going to worry about modifying the gauges later and spend my time/money on the rest of the parts i need
Good Luck!
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:29 PM   #78
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Installed my real taillights, and tossed my gauge cluster in the dash, as well as the glove box door..

piece by piece...





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Old 01-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #79
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Piece by piece your getting there.
Kim
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #80
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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This shot is at the parts store parkinglot, proof it left my house! I know you all are jealous of my magnietic towing lights, i mean my taillights ...
i think you should have kept them, a sign of a real custom, something NOBODY else has.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:01 PM   #81
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

I wish I could just "toss" parts on my truck
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #82
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

And you made fun of my taillights?
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #83
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

busted...
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:11 AM   #84
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

okay okay, but I put mine on while I was waiting on a shipment, apparently my new 'tail light assembly including wiring' was somehow not clear that it didnt include wiring...

These things you got your hands on were put on PERMANENTLY!!! hah..

just TRY and defend those!!! haha...
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:08 AM   #85
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

well, uh, I, er, They were on there when I bought the bed!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #86
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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well, uh, I, er, They were on there when I bought the bed!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Hah, well I am glad, for your sake, that thats the story

just kidding... hah. On a serious note, I like the spare tire carrier. It doesn't look good on all trucks but its a cool option to have the pieces to if you decide to use it
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #87
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

I picked that long bed up for $20.00. I thought it would make a cool trailer minus those taillights.
I didn't come with a tailgate just those ugly taillights, and nasty paint, and some rust.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #88
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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I picked that long bed up for $20.00. I thought it would make a cool trailer minus those taillights.
okay okay, not a bad buy considering you can probably sell that spare tire fender and bracket to someone for like $100.

but that takes all the fun out of it
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #89
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Thanks Max.. That is what I was thinking the Sunpro gages are a dime a dozen and I've seen them at swap meets aplenty.. The speedo think is what I've been thinking about a lot, I do have an electic sender unit on mine right now as I have an autometer speedo installed along with all of there guages for water temp, Oil, Volts,and fuel. Fuell has been giveing me fits and i've purchased two differnt senders and neither works correctly. It only shows about 2/3 's when full. there guage requires a different o reading like 190 to 233 or something like that.. I haven't messed with it for a couple of years as I got flussered with it and just left it along.. LOL So anyway I've been thinking about going back to the orginal dash insert and looking up info for the swap. Thank you for the info..
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:38 PM   #90
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

I didn't get but maybe 2 hours to work on the truck today, but I did get a major breakthrough.
To all of us using a Mustang fuel tank, we obviously can't use the original chevy fuel gauge, as chevy uses a 0-90 Ohm gauge and Ford used a 75-10 (backwards!) Ohm gauge until apparently 1986...
I was originally going to adapt the original fuel sending unit from my truck in the mustang tank, and bend the float to match that of the mustang unit. This would probably work just fine, but I have like 6 gallons of fuel in the tank, so pulling the sending unit isn't an option at this time... there creates option B...

I went to the local pick-n-pull junkyard in search of a fuel gauge, and came up with two. The first was about a 1964 ford f100. Looked good, but I wanted another choice so I kept looking. Then I came up with what I think was a 1974 Ford pickup. Brought both gauges home and started working. Because the later gauge looked to be in a little newer shape (obviously) I decided to work with it. Now I am sure some of you want a more stock looking end result, and if I simply order the decal kit for the 55-59 gauges I could put the sticker on the gauge to make it look more stock, and also change the needle if I wanted... but I simply dont care. I left the original ford needle and print because I know it will be most accurate to the gauge. I may paint the tops of the E and F later, but again, for now I just want a gauge that works! and I am thrilled with the outcome.

I drilled out new holes for the new gauge and used tin snips to cut excess gauge background, test fit it and found that I needed to space it up so I used a couple nuts to space it up.
After I was happy with the fit i cut some cardboard off of a piece of packaging do prevent the gauge from grounding out on the cluster.

Again, my crude methods may not be original or clean enough for some, but you all are welcome to take from my experiences what you wish! I will wire it into the dash tomorrow and see if everything works!!!!!

Now for the pics...

This is a photo of what the gauge cluster I tore apart for the gauge I used. This photo is an ebay auction item and it says 1973-79 Ford truck gauges... all I know is the truck was from the '70's


The other MAJOR breakthrough was finding the ONLY 1960's chevy truck (it was a dual headlight stepside but I was more focused on the harnesses of every truck then the years...) it had the EXACT harness setup I needed for my dash lights, turn signals and gauge power setup. It has an extra bulb socket that i will just tape off and leave on there...


Here are the gauges I bought. The one i used was the 70's gauge on the right.


holes drilled, i eventually hogged them out a little larger for adjustment in the opening


Gauge in place for test fit








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Old 01-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #91
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Pretty good fix.
Kim
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #92
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Looks pretty good and inexpensive also.. just the way I like it.. I still have the orginal senting unit for my old tank and the new one behind the rear end is about the same depth so that guage would not be much of a problem if I went that way. The volt/amp guage and the speedo are the ones that i'm most concerned about... But you have solved a problem that I'm sure several others have had. good post...
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:31 PM   #93
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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Pretty good fix.
Kim
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Looks pretty good and inexpensive also.. just the way I like it.. I still have the orginal senting unit for my old tank and the new one behind the rear end is about the same depth so that guage would not be much of a problem if I went that way. The volt/amp guage and the speedo are the ones that i'm most concerned about... But you have solved a problem that I'm sure several others have had. good post...
Thanks guys, and inexpensive is correct... I paid $8 for the gauge
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:41 AM   #94
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Here is one more photo of the fuel gauge a little further away
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:02 AM   #95
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Actually if you painted out the F and E it would look almost stock.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:03 AM   #96
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

Just curious how hard would it have been to take the works out of the Ford guage and put them in the chevy guage frame.. ??? just curious.. not being critial at all, just wondering..
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:19 AM   #97
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

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Just curious how hard would it have been to take the works out of the Ford guage and put them in the chevy guage frame.. ??? just curious.. not being critial at all, just wondering..
It would have been tricky with the 73-79 gauge, probably more feasible with the older gauge I got (1965 maybe?)
The 70's gauge looked like the guts were fragile, and I thought if i tried to transplant the guts i would ruin the gauge.

That, and time. I knew that I could bolt the gauge in much easier than trying to retrofit it into the original gauge housing.

so, to answer your question, i really don't know how hard it would be heh... but anything is possible to the one who has the time/patience to do it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:36 AM   #98
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

I hate it when the gas gauge doesn't work
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #99
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

I did it a little different on my mustang tank, I just cut a metal ring to fit chevy stock fuel sending unit and shorten the float arm and cut down pick up tube, then cut a hole in top of mustang tank welded ring and Jb weld after just for chep insurance,
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #100
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Re: My Build - 1955 2nd Series Short Bed Stepside

that's using the old noggin maximus.
a little black sharpie might work on that lettering
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