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StemCellResearch
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Discussion Starter #1
I am very thankful for all the help and comments from everyone on this site, so I decided to do a full write up of how I redid my instrument cluster on my 86. My gauges were very hard to see at night, so I inverted the colors from the original white letters on black gauge face to black letters on white gauge face.
Remove the cluster from the car and take the cover off:

Remove all the gauges from the back side along with all the bulbs:

Give gauges a thorough cleaning with acetone and soapy water:

Gauge taped off and painted solid white:

Slowly and very carefully hand-painted the details to the face of the gauges:

Carefully install the gauges one by one:







Replace burnt out bulbs, reinstall cover and thoroughly clean inside of plexiglass:

Reinstall in dash, and enjoy:

Thanks for looking. The only problems I encountered was the speedometer cable was tough to reach, but once you can reach it, it comes out very easily. Everything else is pretty straight forward after that. :beer
 

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not banned
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5,970 Posts
that is exactly what i did to mine a few years ago. you were smarter though. i painted my needles red. turns out, at night, its really hard to see the needles. I should have made them orange....i think they sell the needle pain specifically.

BTW, there is a decal kit for the HVAC dash plate, to turn it white as well.
 

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I will add to this. I got LED bulbs for mine which are brighter. Still sub par as far as I am concerned, but better than factory. I then too silver/chrome paint and painted the white piece so it would reflect more. I also removed all of the blue dispursers. Now, I am going to add two extra bulbs to see if that makes it right.

SWS
 

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Roller rockers are gay
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that is some extreme, and awesome detail!

i want to see night shots.

i'm not understanding how painting the gauge face white is going to help, when you painted over the black, which blocks out the light.....
 

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1,690 Posts
Nice, looks good. Night pics! :thumbup Depending on how bright they turn out at night I might be doing this on my 86.
 

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Premium Member
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I think it looks AWESOME, at night my dash lights aren't that bright with the stock black/white faces so this would be a dramatic improvement.....I may consider doing it, NICE JOB Brother!

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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StemCellResearch
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748 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Should have taken the blue covers off the lights, without them the lights are twice as bright.

Why did you choose yellow over bright orange or red?

Yea, I am going to remove the blue covers, they give off a horrible glow. I chose yellow b/c I am color blind and have trouble with seeing orange shades.
 

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Great job. I have my gauge cluster out right now to refresh the bulbs and swap in a new drive indicator - I'll consider this while I'm at it.

20sNaRanger, try cleaning copper contacts and pry the tab on the bulb holders out a little so they make better contact. I just did this to get my turn signals working again.
 

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Definitely something I'm considering now. Except I'll be putting red bulbs/covers in since it's easier on my eyes at night.

How long did it take for you to do this? start to finish
 

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StemCellResearch
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748 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Definitely something I'm considering now. Except I'll be putting red bulbs/covers in since it's easier on my eyes at night.

How long did it take for you to do this? start to finish
Its really easy to do, but depending on how thorough you are with your prep work prior to paint will be the variation in time. Then its just waiting for paint to dry. Hand painting the detail is also time consuming, but once you get the hang of it it goes fast. The gauges come out in less than 5 mins
 

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I just pulled the blue covers off the dash lamps, and that did it for me! So much brighter, and more even coverage.
Side note: it seems to me that the letters are painted white to reflect the light for easy viewing in the dark.
 
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