Gauge cluster reconditioning

The gauge cluster seems to be all original. Along with the 53 years of dust and dirt.  Paint overspray from a previous owner plagues the display while faded needles reside underneath and dirty and corroded metal trim surrounds them.

Original gauge cluster before reconditioning. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

 

Headlight and wiper switch in original condition. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

I removed the headlight, wiper, choke and ignition to clean, repair or replace them.  The choke cable is not needed any longer, but I may reinstall it just so there will not be an empty hole where it was.  The headlight and wiper switches cleaned up nicely with a little effort and seem to work well.

The ignition switch is an aftermarket universal switch.  it is in good condition and I likely will not replace it.

 

 

The bezel was painted silver at one time.  I cannot tell if it is original paint or not, but it got stripped and repainted either way.  I used existing silver wheel paint from my 79 Wagon project.

Stripping the original bezel, preparing for paint. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

 

Housing reassembled with cleaned wiring and gauge terminals. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

I didn’t see a reason to strip all the surface rust from the rear of the housing because this is a recondition, not restoration.  It won’t be seen and a little surface rust won’t hurt the operation of it.  I did clean and repaint the inside of the housing using Krylon Satin Jade Mist, which is a very close match to the original color.  For some reason I took no photos of the inside. The wiring harness is in good condition so it was also cleaned and reinstalled after cleaning each gauge terminal with a wire wheel brush.

Gauge terminals were cleaned and polished with wire wheel brush. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

 

Faded gauge needles were painted using Testors Model Masters #1175TT Fluorescent Red paint.  A near exact match to the original.  Also available are reproduction gauge face stickers.  They look very nice and make everything crisp and clear.  I opted to keep the original painted surfaces on the gauges because they were in very good condition.  Again, this is not a restoration.

Gauge needles painted using Model Masters Fluorescent Red. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.
Gauge needles painted using Model Masters Fluorescent Red. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

The paint overspray on the clear plastic face had me concerned, but brake fluid made for quick removal without harming the plastic.  This is a handy tip I’ve used several times over different projects.

paint overspray on original plastic face. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.
Cleaned and polished gauge face plate. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

 

The completed and reassembled gauge cluster turned out pretty nice.  I will reinstall switches and reinstall assembled unit back into dash once wiring under dash is completed… That’s another post for another time…

Completed and reassembled gauge cluster. Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return.

 

This mission successfully accomplished.

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