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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i want to make a custom dash and gauge bezel for my p/u. this project is just in the planning phase, but could one day be a reallity, any ideas would be appreciated, the more detail the better if you can.
 

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I guess it really depends on what you want to end up with. I'm just going to replace the whole plastic clutter (dash bezel, instrument cluster), with an aluminium plate, use the holes that already in the dash cap(?) to attach it and cut out the whole I need for the instruments, heater control, radio, switches and lights I need. And that's about it. :)
 

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If I ever get the time, I'm going to make a polished aluminum diamond plate bezel.
 

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can we say (spell?) Diamond Plate!
 

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or the demascened (??), engine turned, aluminum. With the swirls in it. Looks sharp.
I've thought of this also. What I would like to do is . . . .
Gut the dash, get someone with some sheet metal experience to help fab up a face plate in the same shape (or similar) as the factory plastic cover. Install a full compliment of AutoMeter gauges, including speedo and tach. Include a cubby hole as I've found the current one handy (some don't have them I've noticed). Move the stereo up above the heater controls (next to the cubby hole) and add mounts for a CB at the factory stereo location. There's plenty of options in street rod and restoration catalogs for the various indicator lights and wiper and headlight controls, and mabey heater too. I've also thought of incorporating the upper portion of a mid-80's Ford dash that has the signal, high beam, 4x4 etc indicators along the top, but probably go aftermarket LED's or something. The layout would also include nicely located switches for lights and whatnot. Ever seen the rockers used in newer Wheeled Coach ambulances, very nice.

That much dash work would be a lot of wiring, so might as well completly re-wire the, including a better and bigger fuse box. Also mabey include an aftermarket tilt steering column. Moving to a dash mounted ignition switch has been thought of too.

Oh, this is on my 85, I notice your profile lists a 77. Be a different critter there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hey thanks guys i was thinking of copying somthing out of a peterbuilt, tractor, i want to get rid of all the electric gauges, however i would not know what to do for speedometer or mileage, but i want to have everything in the dash, including light switches, radio and cb so you guys have given be a base to work on
 

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Mudshark said:
Ramtuff said:
If I ever get the time, I'm going to make a polished aluminum diamond plate bezel.
I'm sure the glare from the new bezel won't interfere with driving ::) 8) ???
Duh, that's what tinted windows are for. ::) ;D That, and the vehical's only going to see wooded trails. Trees do a good job of blocking out the sun to.
 

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I have actually started some of the work on mine-the dash is completely tore out of it. I am going to purchase the steel and stuff to incoprporate the dash into a roll bar for the rc when I am finished. For me I don't care about speedo and mileage but I have yet to cross that bridge.
 

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Here's a link to mine:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v514/Slanted_Mind/Newgauges.jpg

1/2 plywood, some angle brackets bent to shape in a vise, and polar fleece to cover the ply. Minus the gauges, I think I spent a total of $10 building this dash. Took about 4 hours (which was mostly planning, drilling, and bending the brakets to bolt to the stock locations)

-SM
 

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That looks pretty neat Slanted_Mind. What gauges did you use? Make + model series?
 

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use exsisting bezel...tools needed
channel locks, hacksaw blade w/rag, vise grips
if you break out the center rim you have an exact 2 1/4 hole speedo is standard size too, i think 5 3/4? this set-up also eliminates the "voltage gauge" problem thats what i originally tried to fix. anyway use wiring guide and start cutting and attaching wire by wire, i added about 12 inches now if i take out dash bezel everything is attached to it and it flips up ontop of the dash...it's so nice now, i used to have an infinity gold cd from jeep grand cherokee...that bolts right in and gets rid of stereo gap..bought some small led green indicators for signals and the brake light will be put back in w/a fabricated housing

 

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santak said:
That looks pretty neat Slanted_Mind. What gauges did you use? Make + model series?
All Guages are Autometer Ultra-Lite White Faces:

Speedometer - 120 mph, 3-3/8", PN 4492
Tachometer - 3-3/8", PN 4497
Mech Oil Pressure - 2-1/16", PN 4321
Mech Temp - 2-1/16", PN 4351
Elec Trans Temp - 2-1/16", PN 4357
Voltmeter - 2-1/16", PN 4391
Fuel Level - 2-1/16", PN 4315

All PN's are Autometer part numbers from their website. :)

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
that does look good, could you do a how too on this and i would like to do somthing similar althought i would like to have a place to put my cb, switch pannel for my emergency lights, and siren, and how did you get around the printed circuit board, thanks for the pics
 

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thanks SM. I was looking at the lunar series myself, but that series is running high pricewise, so I'm still undecided. But I definitely like the look of the white gauges in your dark dash {cool}

I don't know about the late 70 trucks, but why would you need the printed circuit board from the instrument cluster? That's what you're replacing right? So basically you just rewire the whole thing I guess and shut down the old wires that you don't need anymore. Might want to keep the blinkers and any warning light...
 

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santak said:
Might want to keep the blinkers and any warning light...
This is something I discovered I "overlooked" last fall when I installed the gauges. I took it out for a drive and......OOPS :-[

Fortunately, I do not have any warning lights left, because the computer is gone. ;D The turn signal indicator lights will be an easy fix, I have just been holding out to find some arrow indicators instead of just using two lights.

About the circuit board, the factory instrument cluster is gone. (well, on the parts shelf) I simply pulled the wires I needed from the factory harness and attached them to the gauges. There weren't many I needed. Fuel level sending unit wire, instrument lighting circuit, and ignition switched 12 volts. Add to that two for turn indicators and that is a total of 5 wires from the factory harness. The other gauges are either mechanical, or have a new sending unit & wire that I ran to the respective gauge.

When I tear it back apart to put the turn indicators in, I will write up a how-to on how I went about installing the gauges. It really is not very involved. Really all you need is tools found in most people's garage/tool sets, and some dexterity.

If you take a close look at the pics above, you can see I screwed up a little with my mounting plate, the main gauges all sit a little lower than 'centered' in the factory dash, and they are not angled up quite enough. I will be fixing that when I do the turn signal indicators as well.

If there are several of you that would like me to write up a how-to sooner rather than later, I can see what I can put together by this weekend. Otherwise it may be a couple weeks. Emissions nazi's will let me drive my truck starting April 1(summer registration), so I hope to have the gauges fixed by then!

-SM
 

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i have an idea for on the turn signals being with the arrows. take a peice of metal/wood/plastic/whatever and cut out the shape of an arrow. clone that. you know have two arrows. take a small peice of tubing, pvc for example. make a cap on one end, drill a hole, and put an led in it. then you put your new caps with arrow cut outs over that and cover it all with some clear plastic, like tape maybe. and then you have the same basic idea as the high beam light uses but its custom fabbed to your specs and is led operated. sound like this will work for ya?
 
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