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Topic: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges? (Read 397 times) previous topic - next topic

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #15
So made some progress the last couple of days. Traced the black trim panel onto a scrap of 18 ga metal and got that cut out.

Metal cut to fit:


Metal Mocked up on the white instrument panel:


With the black trim over the metal:


Panel screwed to plywood with the gauge holes cut out via bimetal hole saws and the drill press:


Back together and you can see where I am going to have to relieve the trim piece at the top:


I’m thinking a short piece of 3” PVC pipe split length wise in half with some sandpaper glued to it. Have the pipe and sand paper but no spray glue so about to head to Lowes.

Here are the gauges popped in the holes:


Will post up some pics after I get the reliefs done and the panel painted.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #16
Got the holes drilled for the turn signals, battery and high beam indicators.



Panel is painted so its out in the 101 deg heat curing or melting...time will tell.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #17
So I am not showing the metal plate painted all by itself as it looked like puppies.  Had debris in it the first time and it alligator skinned on me (not dry enough or at least that is what I chalked it up to) which would be due to me not being patient and wanting to see it all together.  I took my time yesterday and wet sanded the plate down and hung it outside in the high heat, wiped it down with some brake cleaner, and then hung it in the shop as it was a lot lower in humidity due to the dehumidifier and window unit running full tilt.  Shot it and it laid down so I left it there to hang for the week.  The black trim piece came out pretty good and the paint laid down good so its hanging this week as well.

So this is the picture I took of the cluster with the metal plate on its first paint job, gauges installed and the trim piece worked so you can see all of the gauge trim ring.  Rough but you get the idea.



Spent some additional time shaping the reliefs on the black trim piece which was a bit of a pain as I am limited on body working tools so had to improvise.  I used a 2" PVC coupler, 3" PVC, and 4" PVC with sand paper spray glued to them to remove material from the trim piece.



This is the metal plate hanging after the brake cleaner wipe down:


And this is the trim piece handing after being shot:


Should get back on it this coming weekend and get it all put together and wired up at a minimum.  If things go well dash will come out of the car and it will go in.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #18
Looks great!

I plan to eventually 3D print a base for a custom cluster in my '87.

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #19
I inquired as we have a lot of shops here in the Tulsa area that cater to the airline industry.  They were guessing around $700 so I figured doing it by hand and understanding it would not be perfect was worth a shot.  What I was thinking initially was the two pieces (white instrument housing, and the black trim ring) would have to be scanned into a model, the model changed to fit the gauges, and then the two pieces printed is what I was thinking.  Now after doing what I have done I would probably just have the black trim ring scanned, model modified to fit the gauges, and then printed.  Maybe someday down the road as I still have my factory instrument cluster and can use the black trim ring out of that to scan.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #20
Got the panel assembled. Will get it prewired later today.



Mocked up with my spare dash trim


83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #21
Wired up and left long leads to tap the factory dash wires. Left the VSS signal wire off the speedo 12’ long so it will reach the transmission. No more speedo cable for this car. Will take the speedo cable apart, clean and lube to hold it back as a spare for the Coupe being Ford no longer makes them.


83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #22
Sooo getting the original cluster out took waaay longer than I thought it would. Mostly me not remembering what all had to be removed to get it out which was basically everything.





Gonna have to trim a little in the car and on the new cluster. The Autometer gauges have studs on the back to attach the mounting bracket and they are way long. They include thumb wheel nuts to affix the mounting bracket to the gauge that are long as well so those are coming off and going to machine nuts and lock washers and the studs will be trimmed.  Hoping that will be all that is necessary as the driver side left dash vent air duct is right behind the cluster.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #23
Had to throw it in and get an idea of how it’s going to look and I’m pretty stoked.




83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #24
So I unwired the gauges so I could cut the gauge mounting studs down with the dremel and cutting wheel, removed the tabs off the center two gauges (where the ground, ignition, and sending unit wires land), and flattened the two tabs for the LED lighting.

You can see all of it here:


Close up of the tabs that I removed off the back of the volt and fuel level gauges:


Close up of the LED tabs on the volt and fuel level gauges that I flattened as well as that threaded studs that I will use the ring connectors on:


Bought some 90 degree insulated spade connectors and will use those on the speedo and tach wiring to flatten that out.  Will use ring connectors on the fuel and volt gauges where I removed the tabs as there are studs there.  Should have it rewired this evening.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #25
Gained about an inch so hopefully that does the trick.




83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #26
That's a lot better! Great wiring solution also.

Just FYI, I had to cut out the back of the dash area on the '86 to get my Autometers to fit. I commend you for trying to not do that here...but if it comes down to it, you may need to. Just saying.

 

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #27
Yeah, I’m prepared to do it but just trying to mitigate how far back these go. The far left  AC vent duct runs right behind the dash where the cluster installs. Cutting the back of the dash will get me another 1/4” to maybe 1/2”. Just trying to avoid having to modify that AC duct.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #28
Whabam puppies’s!!! It fits and no trimming of the back of the dash!





Now back to wiring it up and putting all the pieces back together.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp

Re: 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?

Reply #29
Everything works. Pic with the shop lights off and the park lights on.


83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp