BOB'S GARAGE

Gauge Update

Gauge retrofit

The factory gauge panel is fairly simple and has all the necessary info in front of you. When it came time to clean up the unit for re-installation a cursory look revealed that the factory 6 volt element mount holes were damn close to a standard 2 inch gauge size.

Disassembly

The gauge panel is simple and compact with a pair of indicator [idiot] lights for GEN and OIL flanked by the FUEL gauge on the right and the WATER TEMP gauge on the left. A glass insert covers the face of the inserts.The panel came apart easily and after a quick cleanup of the panel and window I was able to take a closer look at the frame unit. A quick check of the holes that the original gauge units came out of revealed that they were almost dead on the 2" after-market gauge size. I said almost. With some simple and quick dremel work the after-market 2" units fit in each location snuggly. And a quick mock up of the faceplate confirmed this that the gauge sweeps appeared to be in the windows and readable. Awesome!

Reassembly

Now that the gauge fit the frame I had one other issue to deal with. The after-market gauge are complete units and come with chrome bezels and glass faces like all gauge do. The dash panel also has a glass face and bezel. To make it all fit in nicely I had to eliminate the bezel and glass face plates on the two gauge No biggie really. A quick careful buzz with the Dremel around the outer collar of the chrome bezel, where it is crimped over, and it literally fell away. This left the main mech and the outer casing. With that done I simply set the defaced units back into the fitted frame and after some quick depth adjusting I reassembled the panel. And everything was where it belonged in the windows and readable. My only decision now is how to hold the gauge units in place. I am leaning toward some dabs of epoxy. Just enough to hold them snug.

Upgrading to 12 volt lamps

In all the work I forgot that the car started as a 6 volt. After doing some fitting of the dash harness I realized that I needed to update the lamps. I needed the little guys that go in the dash unit. The ones in there were little GE55 and I needed to change them to GE 57. No big thing right? When I went to get some replacements boy did I get a surprise! the local part store had them 2 for $5.88! $2.50 a piece!? Don't think so. Crap! A bit of rummaging around the area and I ended up at a local lighting supply by my house and found out that the best they could do was $1.60 each. I just grit my teeth and got a box of 10. So now I have the right lamps and can finish the pig-tailing for the instrument panel and Sky-dome.

Some small follow up work was to snag the pigtails from the original harness and use them for the "idiot" lights GEN and OIL. They actually just snap into the back of the housing. I won't need the panel back-light because the two gauge are lit individually. Some quick cleanup and pig-tailing and this panel is done and ready to go. It was a quick and easy upgrade to modern 12 volt gauge in the old 54 gauge panel. We be done Daddy-O!! The gauge I used were a Sunpro CP7950 Fuel Level Gauge and a Sunpro CP7952 Water Temperature Gauge. Easily acquired from any parts house.

I may just mount additional Volt and Oil gauges in the glovebox. Don't really need them unless we have an issue. See more details on the gauge upgrade in the Dash Gauges install.