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Gauge cluster update - I've got the blues
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Gauge cluster update - I've got the blues Reply with quote

What do you guys think? This all started when my van was encountering idling problem and I wanted to install a tach to monitor the idle without having to turn the stereo off. I installed the tack but the redline didn't match my engine's output. So I refaced it with a lower red line. Then I thought it might be cool to change the cluster bulb color to blue to match the van. But then I came across this glow gauge material. I'm pleased with the outcome. I still have to swap the gauge needles for glowing ones but I think it looks pretty cool so far. I have even wired it into my stock dimmer switch so it dims with the rest of the lights in the cluster. I think this may be a first for indiglo gauges in a Vanagon. I may make a few more for resale once I work out the kinks.

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Last edited by lovedavdubs on Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lilweasel
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SNAP!

Nice work Dubs. That looks awesome. Is that stuff paint on and you change the bulbs or something? That looks great. That would match my other gauges really well.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definatly way cool. It kind of gives me that blue leader, protect me while I make a run on the Death Star feeling. It is much more even than the LED's I put in. You must share the secrets.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet!! I love your "Achtung" redline warning.

How are they to read at night? Do your eyes pick up the blue at a quick glance?

Reminds me of the old Saab 95s and 96's I used to drive. They had a high-beam indicator lamp in its own little bezel on the dash that was a really pretty violet. Everyone who ever rode in those cars at night was fascinated by it.
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys

The secret to even elimination is back lighting. I'm planning on doing away with the bulbs all together. Here's a couple photos of how I did it.

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Link

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pete000
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slick ! you should offer a kit !
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tsombrero1
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! So the backlighting is some kind of glow-panel, and the paper with the gauge lettering sticks right on top?

Where did you find that stuff? I'd like to read up on it.
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T3NUT
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is quality. Cool Ive got a LHD German import which had KPH rather that MPH so i bought some VDO stickers to convert to MPH. The stickers are white and i bought some blue LED lamps to fit into the instrementation but it looks total crap in comparison to yours. Please keep us posted if you intent to do this comercially Very Happy
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T3NUT wrote:
That is quality. Cool Ive got a LHD German import which had KPH rather that MPH so i bought some VDO stickers to convert to MPH. The stickers are white and i bought some blue LED lamps to fit into the instrementation but it looks total crap in comparison to yours. Please keep us posted if you intent to do this comercially Very Happy


You didn't get those stickers on ebay did you. I bought a set on ebay from some guy in UK. Not very good quality and the guy ignored me for 2 weeks. I wound up throwing them away.

I just picked up a water cooled gauge cluster from ebay and am planning to make a quality set of white faces for resale. I'll let you know when I do. I'll be out of the country for about seven months though so it will be a while.
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bacwmi
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

did you use an EL sheet??

I have been looking into that idea because you can dim it
can you dim an LED?

Well, after seeing how great it looks on your van I have to do it

I hope you have internet access while you are away Very Happy
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kevinbassplayer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, I'm ready to buy a kit!
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hilllaguna
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a buyer when you are ready. I've seen some pretty funny stuff on gauge fronts from things like Kaboom! written in at the red line, and more. You could do one for the guys that want something more traditional and for others that like me would like to have something with a bit of fun thrown in. Sign me up.
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wbx
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in, too... That is really nice - a clean way to modernize an aging vehicle.

-Damon
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mattography
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Cool Cool Cool

i would like orange

I love watching you mod your van. Canít wait for the next one, but it sounds like it will have to wait a while. have fun on your long trip and awesome gauges.


BRILLIANT!!!
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Very Happy Thanks for all the complements guys. Guess it was worth the effort. Bacwmi you are correct, I did use Electroluminescent. With all these responses it looks like I've got my work cut out for me when I get back from Taiwan. I wont be able to do much between now and then unfortunately. My wife will have my head if she catches me disassembling any more gauge clusters before I finish packing up our apartment. No honey Im not working on my VW stuff Liar Anxious She hates this van Rolling Eyes This project has been my obsession for the past month. I just about have this mod down to a science now. It can be done without any permanent modifications to the cluster itself. This was one of my main objectives. I just took a 2 hour test drive and all systems are go. They look real trick along side of my blue Pioneer and blue Sirius satellite receiver screens. Now every light in the dash glows blue. God damn I'm excited Dancing

Keep ya posted.
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mattography
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is she from Taiwan? I hope her family is okay or at least you can get a hold of them. That earthquake has made my Indonesian phone calls and msn very hard if not impossible.
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mattography wrote:
Is she from Taiwan? I hope her family is okay or at least you can get a hold of them. That earthquake has made my Indonesian phone calls and msn very hard if not impossible.


She's from taipei way up North. Thanks for asking though. Everyones fine.
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noganav
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unbelievable! This is one of the coolest upgrades I've ever seen. It could be mistaken for stock. How are you printing the gauge faces? I had tried to buy a tach from an 84 wolfsburg on ePay, but I bailed when the price went over $150. One of the later tachs would be much less expensive, and With a new face, it wouldn't look god awful.
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lovedavdubs
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

noganav wrote:
Unbelievable! This is one of the coolest upgrades I've ever seen. It could be mistaken for stock. How are you printing the gauge faces? I had tried to buy a tach from an 84 wolfsburg on ePay, but I bailed when the price went over $150. One of the later tachs would be much less expensive, and With a new face, it wouldn't look god awful.


This was exactly my circumstance in the beginning stages of this project. Those Wolfy tachs go for a pretty penny. There aren't to many of them out there. So here's the trick. Go down to the junk yard and pull a cluster out of an 88 Jetta or Golf. 91 will work also but I've learned that there is a little more work involved. Neither will just bolt right up, but with a little trimming etc. you can get them to fit. The difference between the two is in the compactness of the circuit boards. The 88 is much smaller. The tach in my cluster now is out of an 88. When I refaced it I just changed the redline. I payed 30 bucks for the whole cluster. Then sold the speedo and the rest on ebay.

I've got this ridiculously high quality laser jet printer that allows me to get that crisp stock look. I'm also printing on high quality acetate as I've learned that paper will begin to wrinkle and or yellow after a while.

noganav wrote:
Unbelievable! This is one of the coolest upgrades I've ever seen. It could be mistaken for stock. How are you printing the gauge faces? I had tried to buy a tach from an 84 wolfsburg on ePay, but I bailed when the price went over $150. One of the later tachs would be much less expensive, and With a new face, it wouldn't look god awful.


This was exactly my circumstance in the beginning stages of this project. Those Wolfy tachs go for a pretty penny. There aren't to many of them out there. So here's the trick. Go down to the junk yard and pull a cluster out of an 88 Jetta or Golf. 91 will work also but I've learned that there is a little more work involved. Neither will just bolt right up, but with a little trimming etc. you can get them to fit. The difference between the two is in the compactness of the circuit boards. The 88 is much smaller. The tach in my cluster now is out of an 88. When I refaced it I just changed the redline. I paid 30 bucks for the whole cluster. Then sold the speedo and the rest on ebay.

This is the 91 tach. I had to do alot of trimming (to the tach and the cluster) but it fit in the end and I used it for over three months before I decided to build a better one. I really didn't like the idea of trimming the cluster. So I set out to make one that would bolt up with no mod to existing equipment.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.





This is the 88 (absolutely no modification to the original cluster Cool ) It took some time to work it out, but it is much cleaner. I made a plate out of plexy glass that matches up with the stock screw holes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I've got this ridiculously high quality laser jet printer that allows me to get that crisp stock look. I'm also printing on high quality acetate as I've learned that paper will begin to wrinkle and or yellow after a while.
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Last edited by lovedavdubs on Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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CF
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok very nice work jay



when are you going to start on my dash?? Very Happy
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