Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gauge Cluster Repair/Assembly

This is the speedometer.  The only difference between the speedometer and the tachometer is that the speedometer has the odometer and trip meter.  The odometer and trip meter are housed in the gray assembly shown in the lower right of this picture.  They are powered by the worm gear, center left.

 Everything was disassembled and cleaned.  Hoppies lubricant was used during reassembly.

The pointer is pushed onto a pin while turning counter clockwise.  When it hits 0 you stop turning.  It is  press fit only.  No threads, no glue.  I chose not to zero out the odometer.

The small gauges are mounted to stamped brackets, two gauges on each.  This one holds the temperature gauge on the top and the oil pressure gauge on the bottom.  Unfortunately, this bracket had been modified and the temperature gauge won't fit.  I need to fix the large hole on the top.

I traced out the outline of the hole onto sheet metal then trimmed it to fit.

Here it is clamped into position.

I positioned a copper bar on the back side then welded the plug using a series of tack welds.  The copper bar dissipates heat so fast that it doesn't melt.  It holds the molten puddle until it solidifies.

The tack welds were ground smooth.

 Then I cut the correct hole using a Dremmel.

Here is the bracket with both gauges installed.

This is the mechanism for the oil pressure gauge.  It's mechanical only, not electric.

The gauges have been cleaned, lubricated and mounted to their bracket.

The brackets and gauges are mounted to the backside of the dash cluster.

Here's the dash cluster before we started the rebuild.  I media blasted and painted the housing, buffed and polished all the original plastic lenses, repaired the tachometer, replaced all the small gauges with 1963 gauges, welded a mounting bracket for the temperature gauge, cleaned and lubricated all the mechanical components, purchased new switches then I reassembled everything.  So, how did it turn out?

I think it turned out pretty darn good. Click on the photo for a closeup.

Earlier today I posted information about the tachometer.  If you didn't see it be sure to check it out.

Thanks for watching. 


  1. Now that is looking awesome - very, very nice work John. Can't wait to see it back in the vette.

  2. You keep on amazing me John, that looks absolutely great, Max

  3. Thanks guys. I had not been looking forward to doing the dash cluster because of all the unknowns. Now that it is done I have to say I am pretty pleased with the results too. Next is getting the car to operate on the key. That will be a milestone. Thanks for the comments. I am glad to know someones watching.

  4. Lot of hard work is paying off. Looks great!!!!!


  5. Work of art!! I would think you had paid a pro!!

  6. WOW! You should let us know what you had done by others outside your garage/shop - can't be much.

  7. Thanks guys. Ty and I have not outsourced anything. I thought the window trim would be but Ty took that one on. I was sure the dash was going to be outsourced but I got through it. Same goes for sand blasting the frame and the window installations. Today, the only thing I can think of that might be outsourced would be seat upholstery. We will have to wait and see on that one.

    Thanks for the encouraging comments. It is what keeps me going.

    Max, where are you?

    Jim Q, are you still on the road?

    Lester, are you still touring or home for awhile?

    1. Going home Friday for 4 - 5 weeks and then away for 2 and then will be home most of the summer.

    2. Still in Azerbaijan John, one more year.

  8. Wow what a job. It just happens that I'm removing my instrument panel. So great job. I'll be doing the same. Hope it comes out as nice as yours did.

  9. Wondering if you can share how you resurfaced the cluster housing, chrome rings and lettering?


  10. John,

    Everything was painted, nothing chromed. The rings were painted first then taped. The rest of the cluster was painted satin black. After drying the tape was removed and the cluster installed.