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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got done changing the color of my gauges in my '91 EGT. I had to lose that awful green and went blue. I clear coated the gauge faces and needles and use Testors transparent blue paint (1257) on the back after sanding. I think they turned out great and I also installed a stainless steel bezel to cap it off.
 

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Looks real good! What grit sandpaper did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I only had 1000 grit at the time. It did a smooth job, but it took forever to sand through. If I did it again, I would use like a 600-800 and then follow up with 1000 grit. Keep ever thing clean and lint free and things turn out good. If you use the Testor's blue paint, apply in light coats and allow to dry well, the thicker and darker you go the longer cure time. I recommend taking a picture of the dash prior to dismantle (gives a good idea where needles need to go). Make sure to remove needle stop pins and allow them to "relax" prior to marking position. Use a panel tool to remove needles taking care not to move them off their mark. I used a few layers of paper towels to pry on. Be prepared to try several times to get gauge reading perfect again. the coolant gauge is easy, my fan kicks on when at half. The fuel i gauge when and where the low fuel light comes on. The tach I position with engine at idle. And the speedo is trial and error, but I use RPMs when accurate to guess where to position needle. I also changed the turn signal indicators to blue. I cut copies of the org. green ones out of plastic, sanded the backside (diffusion of light bulb element)and painted front blue.
 

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i have a question i tried this on my hvac faceplate once and it actualy sanded the letters off:( what and how do i do it so i dont lose the numbering ?? i wanna re do mine too
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dude, I tried the same thing, and you are absolutely right. What I attempted, with little success, was to remove the clear light diffuser and bulb. I painted the diffuser and the bulb with the same Testor's blue paint. The parts looked great and when installed, the color was bluer, but still was green tinted and dark. The paint on the parts reduced light output. I came to be happy with it. On second thought, maybe, I'll paint another diffuser and only tint the front face of it and not all of it. It might allow of color without resisting as much light output.
 

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I did this with my gauges and it made such a big difference. My thing now is doing the same to my GT fog light switch and the Dimmer switch to compete the package. I used metallic Metal-cast blue paint and just sprayed the back of the gauge faces and it kinda made a brighter color when I put them back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you have pics? I have considered doing those too. But I figured they would turn out like the HVAC control panel.
 

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I am a little confused here did you peel the faces off of the gauges and then reglued them? I am doing this now just got the first needle unyellowed. Did you use a buffing compound to make clear again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I removed the black gauge faces off the clear backings. I removed the needle limit pins and allowed the speedo and tach to "relax" and then carefully noted and marked location of needles (small dab of white-out well out of sight). Used a panel tool and some layers of paper towels (soft backing) to carefully pry off without moving location of the needle. If needle moves while removing, the temp. and fuel will most likely be off, but the tach and speedo are spring loaded. I had performed this job twice. The first time I sanded off the back and painted the clear backing. I couldn't get one of the faces off without damaging it, so I taped over the face for protection and sprayed the backing plate. I also removed the green plate in the speedo. The speed has to removed fro backing plate to do this. After I put it back together, I realized that there were areas of the backing plate where the blue wasn't behind some of the face. I had several white numbers and it was dim because the paint on the plates was resisting illumination. I was unsatisfied and redid it with a spare cluster. This time I prepped the same, but painted the back of the gauge face itself and felt the plates clear. I also clear coated the needles and gauge faces. Added some shine; looks real good. I used the blue Testor's model paint on the gauges and love it over the stale green. Then on outer edges of the gauge plate, I used two-sided tape to adhere the faces back on. I wrapped up the cluster with brushed aluminum bezel i bought myself for father's day. I also hit up the dome lights and trunk lens with the blue paint. I hope that helps out, PM if you need specifics. By the way, you will not get the needles back perfect the first time; leave the clear cluster cover off until satisfied with positioning. Check out my pics for clarity.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=3 ... 5b4bf407ff
 

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On the white backing plate did you remove the wall barrior that sits benind the speedo? Wasn't sure if that would help with the illumanation of the guage clusters.

I am going to replace the stock bulbs with leds and i am hoping that the illumantion will be better. From what i can tell is that the bulbs sit right at the end of the plates and seem to illumant the cluster. I will let you know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't understand what you mean by "wall barrier", I didn't remove anything from the rear of the cluster or white wall behind speedo. Just having hard time visualizing area in question.
I don't recommend using LED lights in the dash. All LEDs I have seen have a narrow beam of light compared to incandescent bulb. It might make the light "splotchy" and uneven. I would spend my money on some quality regular bulbs, IMO. Let me know if you are happy with your results; heck, the bulbs are easy enough to change.
 

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i am at work so i can't go take the photo. I only got a few bulbs just to see. If not i might just get an led strip to run around the back.
 

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Having a small problem i removed the temp gauge and am working with it to see about color. I painted the back of the guage and have stuck it back on the clear plastic but got hardly any color change. I have 3 coats of color but still no change. I am using testor blue transpernt paint.
You said that you painted the back of the face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
you must sand the back of the faces to remove the green tint that was layered into the face orginally. When you sand through the green, it will go back to white, and when held up to light, the color should be white. Then you paint the back of the faces to get the results I achieved. Check out my pics in a previous post, but ignore the pics where the backings are blue, that didn't work out well.
 

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Thx figured out right before your post. Got bored and started to sand the back of the temp and it turned white. LOL didn't know the speedo was going to be the one that kills me in sanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
yeah, the first time I did it, I only had 1000 grit!!! It burned my fingertips and took FOREVER. But sand carefully, you should be able to see perfect white light coming through when back lit. I wouldn't sand off the red though and just paint over the red markings; trying to tape them off made the job difficult because the paint thins near the tape line. The red will be darker, but it's okay. I have a 120mph cluster with tach and lots of extra parts up for grabs in the for sale section. It came out of a '91 GT 1.8l. I don't know if the '95 is different from the '91s. Feel free to PM for specifics if needed.
 

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Ok, here is what I was thinking of doing. I got this idea because I am building computers currently and it got the idea. Now on computer cases the have an LED which indicates the power on the computer, but instead of putting the LED right on the front, most cases have a piece of acrylic that is in front of the LED that carries the light to the end of it. Really its basic light properties. Now I got to thinking, when I seen the comment about not advising LEDs, if you sanded the green tint down to clear, put a piece of acrylic behind what you were trying to light up and put a few LEDs behind it, would make for a nice looking gauge cluster. Its what all the new cars with LED gauges use. What are your thoughts?
 

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The hardest part with that idea is that the guage it self is all black. The backing behind the guage has a clear peice of plastic if you can get it clear agian. I have sanded mine with 320, 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000. Its no longer clear agian. The light only shines up from the back. That is why i was going to just put led's behind each guage. The only parts that are white are the numbers and that is after you sand off the horrable green reflective tint. If you could some how make a copy of cluster and make a single sheet of acrylic it might work.

I could just scan the faces of the guages as a templet. Sorry just had a appifany.
 

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Ya i meant sanding off the nasty green tint the covering it with a clear acrylic sheet and putting any color LED behind it to illuminate the acrylic sheet. I think I'm gonna do a J/Y pull for some Sport gauges to see what I can come up with. I know there was a company who manufactured LED gauges for my old Cavalier, but they dont do older Escorts.
 

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The guages sit on individual peices of acrylic already. The bulbs are placed stratigical and some of the acryclic is bent down to where the bulbs are. Kind of cheats to get to the same goal your doing.

What you could do is pull the hardware off of the acrylic pieces that are there and then mount them one the one single sheet. The guage faces them selves are mounted on another piece of acrylic. Don't know if it would be enough light to illumante all the guages.

I get what your saying because my pc has just a single sheet of acrylic down the side with 2 leds illumanting the whole sheet. If i put the faces on the sheet they are lit a bit but not very well. If i put the gray plastic bezel on them the get a bit darker. Could just be all of the ambient light in the room thou. You would have to take into account for the dash and the ress that it sits in.
 
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