White Face Gauges

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Reference & Articles' started by HuevosRanchero, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

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    First of all...this is not for the faint of heart...please reference 72GTVA's excellent instrument panel article for differences between different cluster packages and possible modifications which may be necessary.

    That said... my cars original package was suffering from severe dry rot but still functioning. Anyone with these cars understands how difficult night vision on these gauges is... ...terrible is being generous. Plus I wanted something a little different.

    I pretty much am of the opinion that the only proper way to upgrade instruments on our 'cheros is to make a new panel with quality instruments..as several on this site have done. That being said...i'm too poor/ not technically skilled enough/ challenged on time... so this is what i did.


    http://stores.ebay.com/White-Gauges/Ford-/_i.html?_nkw=ranchero&_fsub=2&_sid=10585820

    this company has recently begun making an overlay for our GT gauge cluster...they also have one for the standard gauge package. This applies to the 72-76 overlay specifically....they also have early models as well as 77-79

    [​IMG]

    This is the package $20...seems a good deal.. the overlays are basically a 3m decal type product... I had used one on a 81 mustang years passed and it did well.. The recommended installation package... (consisting of a squirt bottle/squeegee/razorblade for 5$ additional) is unnecessary..but i decided to get it anyway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2011
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  2. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    Note that first of all...the overlays are modelled on the 72-73 GT cluster... so differences apply...check out the aformentioned article by 72GTVA... instead of a dot...there is a brake cutout on the tach... there are no labels on the instrument overlays because on the 72-73..they are on the pod covers..on the 74-76...thery are on the instruments themselves...i figured i could do without the labels.....also the sweep differences are slightly larger on the smaller instruments...but considering the "accuracy" of these gauges..i figured it wasnt a big issue. So the razorblade...or hobby knife is ESSENTIAL in trimming around differences....

    [​IMG]

    so here is what i started with... the third cluster i have...(the cars original)..isnt shown because its condition is so poor.. . The partially disassembled one is for the speedometer with the odometer numerals intact...the one in front is going to be the final product.
     
  3. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    [​IMG]

    only one out of three where the odometer numerals havent rotted off...sad.

    after removing the decal from its paper... you spray the back lightly with a solution of water with a few drops of dish soap..mixed in the little sprayer bottle. You slide the decal over the needle and the center bobbin...and position accurately as possible..checking and rechecking... i also would put the cluster cover back over to test coverage. Wait until its dry before any necessary trimming. Also i precleaned the old face of the gauge with windex and a soft cloth.

    [​IMG]

    NOTE! do NOT clean the high beam or brake windows on the tach...you will smudge the letters...ask me how i know... :D the decal will not touch these areas anyway. Also ...the speedo/tach/ and clock are NOT flat... they are curved...so some slitting of the decal may be necessary... i used the thin portions under the odometer and the high beam window...to make a small slit to correctly align and flatten the decal on the gauge faces... this seemed to work well
     
  4. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    [​IMG]

    behind the tach face..in case you are interested... yikes!

    [​IMG]

    ahh...the worst part of the install... i considered leaving the clock black...because of the disappointing fit of the clock decal. The clock is heavily curved inward...the decal will NEVER fit as is...i ended up cutting the decal in half...then cutting the right hand half..in half again..for three pieces...this i was able to fit properly. With the gauge clear cover on ..the slits are practically invisible... even freshly polished as the cover was, there is plenty of visual distortion.

    [​IMG]

    ok...the whited clock is complete... be careful on removal and installation of the clock hands..they are very stiff..and very fragile... The other small instruments are simple...since they are flat... just position and let dry.

    and wala!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    i hope you agree the final result is very readable.... Im still waiting for the white led's to come in to replace the instrument lights...im trying to reduce the heat on the structure because i believe this worsens the dry rot of the plastic. Also I coated the white gauge housing with a film of PCV glue on the tabs for mounting...etc..in hopes of prevent this occurance in the future.. I am pleased with the result and will post a night pic as soon as the dash is back to operational. I might even decide to do another cluster as a backup.

    [​IMG]

    the decal package does come with decals to finish the "round" portion of the small gauges...but i liked the contrast of the black foreground/white instrument background... so you can finish as you like. FINIS!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2008
  6. As Is '66

    As Is '66 2 Wheeled Mod Staff Member

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    Ya done Good!!!
    You GO BOY!!!
    Thanks a million, too!!!
     
  7. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    Addendum

    [​IMG]

    gauges in place ...pic taken with flash

    [​IMG]

    gauges lit with 5 point leds (one center and 4 radially mounted) in place of incandescent bulbs. Picture doesnt show just how bright it really is.. had to turn some of the leds since they have a polarity and will only light up one way in the bulb socket. Also you should be sure to pull the wire leads from the bulb socket away from the base of the bulb so that they make good contact with the tabs inside the socket. Sorry even my daughters newer digital camera doesnt take good enough close up shots of the bulbs... may try film camera.:D
     
  8. Giska1

    Giska1 In Maximum Overdrive

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    Very nice HR you done it the professional way, very good result I have printed it so I have it when I'm doing mine. And to get it form right you can use a hot air gun,or a hair dryer. I do the letters and stuff on cars and sometimes the complete cars for a living so hopefully I will manage this to.:D:D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2008
  9. Bearpaw58

    Bearpaw58 In Third Gear

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    Nice Job!! I want to get the LED's for my dash, because I couldn't tell you the miles on it at night if you put a gun to my head!! I've seen the '65 redone with the white background and it looks great, saw it at last car show. Thanks for the info. Don't complain about the quality of the fotos, because you can see the difference the job made!! Barry
     
  10. sarah

    sarah Pic Moderator Staff Member

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    6,034
    oh man..... now you gone and dunnit.... Robert, that is so awesome, my problem is I like the black :( Now I don't know what I wanna do.....
     
  11. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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    Sarah he did a year ago......;)
     
  12. sarah

    sarah Pic Moderator Staff Member

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    I know but it was brought up again :rolleyes::eek: dang it... I had almost let it go and to see it again.... dang it....

    must be the infarction
     
  13. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
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    aww c'mon Sarah...get Klaus to build you an LED redout gauge package...I'll be happy to follow his lead :D
     
  14. john777

    john777 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    476
    I'm looking my kit over now.... i think it would be extremely difficult to place the "round" portion around the small gauges. I'm not sure why they did it that way. did you use the hair dryer method to heat it up?
     
  15. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
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    no i didnt but in retrospect that probably would have been better. There is enough wet in the spray on solution that you can squeegee most air bubbles or folds out... what I couldnt..I slit with a hobby knife.
     
  16. john777

    john777 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    476
     
  17. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
    Macon Georgia
    argh..sorry..I was going to check on what is in my panel windows this weekend and forgot... I think my brain needs to be defragged.... will try to get this info in next day or two.
     
  18. john777

    john777 In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    476
    HR, Do you have the round portion you did not use? I screwed up one of mine (i guess thats why you didn't do it) and I was wondering if you still had them around. I need one and any backups you might have. I just finished mine minus the tach and clock which are at REDLINE getting repaired.

    ps... it looks like i could use 3 of them now that i have trimmed them down to place on the front and didn't need to.....the trick is to remove the screws from the back of the small gauges and put the sticker on and return to place.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2009
  19. HuevosRanchero

    HuevosRanchero In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    5,539
    Location:
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    let me check..Im pretty sure I can lay my hands on them somewhere in the mancave portion of the house.
     
  20. 5.0 Chero

    5.0 Chero Bahumbug Staff Member

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    In other words he don't know where he put them!!!!!!:D
     

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