Gauge Cluster Repair? Replace? Questions

Electrical & Ignition

  1. Victory

    Victory Member

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    Hey ya'll.

    Been working on my 71 Roadrunner and I've got a bunch of questions that I hope someone has answers to. Some about restoration of gauge clusters as well. It's a bit of a story

    When I took delivery of my car it had a standard gauge cluster in the dash with basically every bulb blown on it, non working fan controls, to my knowledge the speedo doesn't work, a pin broken off on the printed circuit, etc. Basically a little bit of a basket case. The only thing it had going for it was that the bezel was in good shape, as was the glass (well, plastic anyway), and the previous owner did a decent job painting it black which is what I would have done myself anyway.

    To date I've cleaned up the cluster, replaced the fan control assembly, and replaced the bulbs/repaired the printer circuit. I haven't quite nailed down the issue with the speedo yet, but I suspect it's the cable going to it because I can get the needle to move with a drill but I'm not getting the car to make it rise with speed on it's own.

    Having taken out the gauge cluster to address these issues I noticed that the ammeter was disconnected and the wires that would have gone to it were just spliced behind the dash. While the cluster was disassembled I had inspected the ammeter and it seemed to be in good shape. No signs of burning, melting, etc. So I took the liberty of disconnecting the splice and reattaching it to the cluster as it was supposed to be. It reads properly when power is applied to it.

    So what leads to my question is that when I bought the car it came with the original rallye cluster in the trunk. This one isn't in fantastic shape. As typical of the day, the bottom right of the dash was cut up for an aftermarket radio and in general it's a bit more scuffed up. Wanting the rallye gauges in I decided to take a look at the cluster that was in the trunk in an effort to maybe repair and replace the standard dash I have in now. One of the concerning things I discovered was that the ammeter on the rallye dash is melted/destroyed. Seeing that I was reminded of the spliced wires behind the dash and how they weren't connected to the replacement cluster. Looking into it a little, I quickly found out that original gauges were prone to melting which explained why the one in the rallye cluster was melted and the (shoddy) repair behind the cluster.

    I'd like to do as professional of a repair as possible while deleting the ammeter. How would be the best way to go about this? It seems like just splicing wires right behind the dash is a bit of a caveman repair.

    The second question is regarding the rallye dash that I have. I'll include two pictures of everything that I've got with it. I can't make heads or tails of what I'll need to get that back up to scuff or whether or not it's worth it to do so. If anyone has experience restoring these I would very much appreciate feedback about that. If there is somewhere I can send this out to for testing/repair I would also be interested in that if it's reasonable to do so. Currently unsure what works and what doesn't on said cluster.
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    Thanks for any words of wisdom and apologies for the long read.

    Cheers!
     
  2. BIGSHCLUNK

    BIGSHCLUNK FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Cody has some video's on E bodies for testing gauges
     
  3. 400sforever

    400sforever Well-Known Member

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    Send the wood grain bezel to 'gcar' and have him restore the wood grain and put chrome around the gauge circles. These dashes are beautiful when done correctly. Make sure to have your a/c woodgrain insert done also. I had him rechrome the borders around my a/c vents also. Looks better than new. Maybe you don't have a/c but thought I'd mention it
     
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