"New" gages with "old" style?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by 65ShelbyClone, Apr 25, 2005.


  1. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    My gages and cluster are pretty beat up and I was looking at getting some new ones. I saw an article on installing new gages in the old cluster and plan on going that route. The thing is, I'm trying to keep a vintage look in every way possible and most Autometers are too modern. If possible, I'd like to install all the gages in-dash without an external tach(speedo, tach, gas, ammeter, temp, oil pressure). Another idea was lighting the cluster with LEDs(not hard).

    Any ideas on either?

    EDIT: I'm thinking black face with white numbers and pointer; either Autogage or Stewart Warners come to mind.
    #1
  2. BrownPSU78

    BrownPSU78 Active Member

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    where did you see that article??
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  3. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    Now that I think about it, I wish I could remember. It was either on here or the Corral and I bookmarked it, but I'm one of the worst organizers ever so I cant find it right now.

    EDIT: Found it :D

    Gage mods
    #3
  4. 65racecoupe

    65racecoupe Founding Member

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    Like this?

    [​IMG]

    Black faced autometer guages in a 66 (or 65 GT) bezel.
    #4
  5. limey66

    limey66 Member

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    They're all neat ideas.

    Lighting the dash with LEDs would be easy if you retain the stock instruments as you have a chamber behind the gauges to fill with light (just like the stock ones do with those melty, cracky blue lamp covers). One option I considered is electroluminescent wire - it's cheap, bright, comes in plenty of colours and is very felxible. Feed the inverter (that comes with the kit) from the dash light feed, and run the wire (it's the wire that glows) just behind the openings for the gauge faces so you wash the face of the gauge with the light.

    I think that makes sense, I can draw a picture if you need more clairification. You guys have lots of sources for this EL stuff over there, so just do a search in your favourite search engine.

    I'm currently modding my dash with the stock instruments with custom bezel overlays - you'll see what I mean when I post in about two weeks time.
    #5
  6. 84convertablegt

    84convertablegt New Member

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    heres a cool site: www.egauges.com they have alot more than autometer, something will suit your taste. also, you can replace the bulbs in autometer gauges with bright LED's for a neat touch. its still a constant light, but looks a little different.
    #6
  7. MustangMatt1966

    MustangMatt1966 New Member

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    65racecoupe, that is one nice looking car and interior
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  8. cougar_68

    cougar_68 Founding Member

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    Some one on here did this...I think it was "shelly" or something like that. It worked pretty good.
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  9. Edbert

    Edbert Founding Member

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    :nice:

    One thing I need to add to that page is the cost. The JME dash I wanted to buy was $750 at the time, and that's why I tried to do my own. The dash you see in that write-up has almost $550 in parts alone. It looks and feels low budget and that is what I was looking for my its not as cheap as I thought it would be. Using a mechanical speedo would have saved a bunch, so if you are using a stock tranny/tire-size/rear-end you can probably get by with $400 or so.
    #9
  10. BobV

    BobV Member

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    But, you CAN'T be building a 65 Shelby Clone if you aren't using the Shelby gauge pod for the tach! :rolleyes: :D :shrug:
    [​IMG]

    The 65GT or 66 dash cluster works pretty well with aftermarket gauges. For a vintage look, either the autogage of "traditional chrome" line should work pretty well. With the aftermarket gauge supports it's pretty easy and cheap to do - although you still need a place for a tach!

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. 65racecoupe

    65racecoupe Founding Member

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    Yeah, either mount the tach on the dash like in my pic above, or put it in the pod.

    I vote for the pod. It looks really sweet when done correctly.
    #11
  12. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. Can you use a dimmer on the EL wire? Thats the only issue that comes to mind with LEDs. I do more dark desolate highway driving than on lighted city streets and with my luck I'd get LEDs that were too bright. For the color I was considering either orange, amber, green, or just white.

    There may be some confusion between what my screen name implies and what I actually own. I used to have a '65 GT350 notchback clone, now I have a plain '68 notch. Heres the cluster I have to work with:

    [​IMG]

    Here are some styles was thinking of:
    Autometer Z-series or Stewart Warner Standard, Worldwide, or Deluxe models.I'm leaning toward the SWs.
    #12
  13. 65racecoupe

    65racecoupe Founding Member

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    I assume that you can basically do the same thing that I did with my guages, it will just be a little more time consuming.

    It should look really nice.

    I like my lights in green in my car.
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  14. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    Thanks, I just hope the look is worth the royal pain it will be. It wont happen for a while anyway. I'm just trying to get some of the planning done before I sart heavy duty work on the car since all my work is consumed by the '89 GT spread across the garage :D.
    #14
  15. limey66

    limey66 Member

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    Yeah, I know when I was looking at it you could get an inverter that had a dimmer built in. Not sure if it's on this page or not (just gone back through my history file):

    http://www.glowire.com/automotive.htm

    There is some awful stuff available, but if you hide the wire and just use the glow from it, it'll look cool. Blue is the one for me...
    #15
  16. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    Do you know if that EL stuff emits only a single wavelength of light like an LED? Sometimes if two colors are not total opposites, the single wavelength makes them all look the same. That could be a problem on gages with a red pointer and white face.
    #16
  17. Pathfinder65

    Pathfinder65 New Member

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    The Stewart Warner "Deluxe" gauges get my vote. :nice:
    Dave
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  18. limey66

    limey66 Member

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    I'd imagine that the wavelength of the light emitted from the EL wire would be all over the place (as far as possible and still give you a colour rather than white light) as it is driven by an alternating current. So long as your gauge face or pointer aren't a similar colour to the light you use you should be fine.
    #18
  19. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    Good to know, thanks :nice:.
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