Digital Instrument Cluster for a 69?

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by Boiler92, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    I just saw this video and thought it was too cool. I don't think the company Dakota Digital has a solution for the 68/69's though.

    Does anyone else that you know of?

     
  2. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Dakota Digital got back to me. They don't offer a replacement cluster as standard but can do a custom one if I send them a donor. Approximately $1,200 and 7 to 8 months lead time. That's too rich for me.
     
  3. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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  4. super green dog

    super green dog In Third Gear

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    Boiler - interesting & yes, expensive. I'm also getting very close to going through and redoing the entire interior of my 69 and that includes the gauge cluster. I have a clock which doesn't
    work, want to add a tach, (as I recently installed a top loader ) with also an oil pressure, temp, and volt gauge. (not idiot lights...). Did Dakota Digital indicate that they might have other 'workable' options that might do the trick (i.e. have circular displays of similar diameter w a classic look that would fit in a 68-69 dash? I've not yet priced out have a reputable shop to rework my OEM gauges - but, am thinking its not going to be cheap. Appreciate sharing whatever else you might have... Or, suggestions/input from anyone who has recently gone through this...
     
  5. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Maximum Overdrive

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    I just had my factory Cluster and clock refurbished by Instrument Specialties... was about half that. And looks like new.

     
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  6. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Here's what Dakota sent me:

    Thank you for contacting Dakota Digital about your project vehicle!

    Unfortunately we do not offer a direct-replacement instrument kit for your vehicle at this time. However, we do offer a series of universal instrument packages which you may choose to mount on your own, or have us build a one-off custom system into a gauge cluster which you’d provide.

    If you send in your original bezel/gauge housing (or one out of a donor vehicle), our Custom Shop could build a custom set of gauges directly into those original parts.
    Any reconditioning (paint, chrome, etc.) should done before sending the housing in to us. This will ensure that you do not need to disassemble the cluster once the work has been completed.

    A typical VFD3 (full digital) 6-gauge custom build starts at $1,200, while a VHX (Analog) 6-gauge variation will begin at $1,600.
    A 50% deposit is required upon receipt of the bezel(s) and project initiation, with the remaining balance due prior to shipment.
    The current Custom Shop lead time is approximately 7-8 months.

    Here is a link to the Customs page on our website, showing some examples and further specifications:
    http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm?ptype=product&product_id=214&category_id=-1&mode=prod

    Additionally, here is a link to the Universal instrument systems and individual gauges on our website, if you’d rather customize your dash to accommodate an existing product:
    http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=results/category_id=69/mode=cat/cat69.htm
    http://www.dakotadigital.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=results/category_id=70/mode=cat/cat70.htm
    This tends to be a great option, allowing you to save both time and money by using a standard production product.

    Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions!
     
  7. super green dog

    super green dog In Third Gear

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    Boiler - thanks for the additional info & links - I'll go through DD's offerings...

    Pony - good to hear from you and hope the 428 is running strong! Thanks for the video clip. Did IS refinish the actual housing as well as the cluster gauges? Was this just for the 3 pod cluster or did they do the clock as well? And, while I'm thinking about it - did you get a new PCB and clear lens covers for everything? (I know there is or, used to be... aftermarket suppliers of those items...)
    Appreciate the info!
     
  8. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Maximum Overdrive

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    Instrument Specialties cleaned, repainted, and refurbished the lights, dials, of the three pod cluster. Including calibrated the speedo and gas gauge. The Clock was converted to digital using the original face and hands. New lenses. My dash lights even have blue shielding so the lights show blue to the cluster. Those were cleaned and/or refurbished. They also redyed my dash, visors, Arm Rests, and horn pad. Horn pad included new wood grain.

    They do pretty much the same thing as DD, you send them the pieces, they tell you how much its going to cost. For me, IS was only wanted 1/3 down. But when you are talking Cleveland's, not much difference between 1/3 and 1/2.

    Interior after Instrument Specialties - YouTube
     
  9. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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  10. super green dog

    super green dog In Third Gear

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    Boiler - thanks for sending. Looks great! I'm 6-9 months away from working on the interior and gauge cluster. Did you move forward?
     
  11. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    No. I've tried to limit spending on the Ranchero this summer for a variety of reasons. Essentially I don't have quite the disposable income right now that I had when I started this refurbishment. Debating whether or not to proceed with body and paint or wait until next year. Even thought about pulling the plug on this project altogether a time or two but I know roughly what I have in it vs. what I would get out of it and those two numbers are pretty far a part, lol.
     
  12. Dyno

    Dyno In Fourth Gear

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    Boiler your in same spot as a lot of people on the disposable income. You've "invested " a lot of time into doing it so far not to mention the dollars. If you can enjoy it the way it is do it. If needs a lot take a break and keep eyes open for deals on parts. Paint and body is expensive but if you keep looking you can find someone that does a decent job at a fair price. Single stage paint is cheaper than 2 stage (clear coated) and it works as that is what would be original to car. Red paints cost more just to buy supplies.
    Don't do cars if your after the payout, usually a losing proposition. Just my 2 cents, maybe a 5 cents do to inflation.
     
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  13. super green dog

    super green dog In Third Gear

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    For me - decisions regarding getting my Ranchero up & running, while improving safety, reliability, & performance along with expectations regarding degree of completeness has always been a personal enjoyment vs. financial investment process. I know pretty much no matter what I do or spend - its never going to be more than a $10 -20k vehicle. On the other hand, I like the fact you typically don't see Rancheros at the local weekend car shows/gatherings. I enjoy working on my 69 when I can, deal with parts needs/availability (or lack there of...) and the constantly lengthening restoration timeframe... Hope things work out for you.
     
  14. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I do have a ton of hours, and a significant amount of money, into it. A lot of frustrations too. If you've kept up with my videos you'd see some of it.

    If I sold it I think I'd be lucky to get $6500, if that. I have well more than $3,000 in all the stuff I had to do and acquire for the engine swap alone. Add the new gas tank, new floor and toe board, new brakes, gauges, battery tray and a bunch of other small stuff plus the original purchase and I'm sure I'm in the neighborhood of $10k.

    I'll probably just keep chipping away at things a little at a time as suggested and think about paint next year.
     
  15. beerbelly

    beerbelly In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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  16. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    He was still around in '86 ?? In the 60s we called him POC (paint over chrome).
     
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  17. PonyExpressRider

    PonyExpressRider In Maximum Overdrive

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    Interesting story...

    Had a guy call me today about the Blackberry Show and Shine that is coming up this weekend. He plans on attending with his car and was asking some general questions about the event. As usual we began talking about our cars, and he related a story he experienced several years ago.

    He was attending a car show, in which he was asked to be a Judge of the best paint. Even though he was not a body or paint person, he accepted. It took him all day to go around to all the cars, and he found a 2nd gen Camaro in which the red paint job just popped. He could not find a flaw. He recorded the number of the car and made his finding available to the Show staff.

    After the show, he and several other people were wondering who painted the car and was waiting for the owners to arrive. They soon arrived and he explained how impressed he was with the paint job. And that whoever it was he wanted them to paint his Thunderbird he was working on. The owner chuckled and said, "You won't believe who painted it". He replied, what's not to believe. Proof is in the product. The owner then replied, 18 months ago my wife and I spent every day doing the body work and making sure it was absolutely perfect. A few months ago, we covered the car and trailered it to the paint shop to get it painted. Everyone standing around was waiting with anticipation. When the owner said, this car was painted by MAACO.
     
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  18. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    You do all the prep work and post-painting work yourself, any halfway decent painter can lay paint down on a car without mistakes.
     
  19. grebaba

    grebaba In Fourth Gear

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    Your Paint job is only as good as the prep work on it.
    You can buy paint that cost $200 a pint but if the perp work is bad it will look like it came out of a rattle can.
    The hundred's of hour's put into prep is why paint job's cost so much.
    MAACO can do good paint job's as some of the painter's are good. It just depend's how much time the owner want's to invest.
    Greg
     
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  20. Boiler92

    Boiler92 In Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    See bottom line from local body shop. Not gonna happen, lol.

    Screenshot_20220902-110329_Messenger.jpg
     

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