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Needle color

Bird 426

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
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Sep 6, 2023
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Location
Illinois
Has anyone one ever tried to freshen up the faded orange needles on the Amp, fuel, temp, and speedo ? Haven't gotten in there yet, I can live with them the way they are, didn't want to send them out to have everything reconditioned and calibrated. If someone has done this, what paint did you use?
 
I used this. Has brush applicator. Reduce the caffeine and do a rehearsal on application to get a feel for smooth consistent application before doing the needles. MO

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Testors Flourescent Orange. You can get it a hobby shop or Amazon.

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Hobby shop florescent model paint ... long before anyone canned it as "needle paint" !!!
 
There's a model hobby shop next to the Quad City Airport, will see if they have it when I go in for my heater core.
Thanks guys!
 
You will probably find it there, think I bought the paint at Hobby-Lobby; lots of nifty stuff for detailing work.
 
Isn't there a Hobby Lobby on every street corner ?!?!?
 
Well, got the florescent orange paint today, worked out very well. Doing the switch letters, boy that's touchy. Haven't figured out the fan and temp yet.

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To do the switches, go to the dollar store and buy some rubber erasers. Trim them so you have an edge about the width of the letters. Brush a thin coat of paint on the eraser then lightly press it onto the letters on the panel. Wipe the remaining paint off the eraser then repeat the process for the next switch. Might take a couple tries before you get the knack. If you screw up just wipe the letters off with paint thinner and try again.
 
I got a white paint pen at Hobby Lobby today, I got the heater control raised letters okay. When I moved over to the switches I zigged when I should have zagged. I will have another go at it tomorrow, I'll get it!
Thank you!
 
I got a white paint pen at Hobby Lobby today, I got the heater control raised letters okay. When I moved over to the switches I zigged when I should have zagged. I will have another go at it tomorrow, I'll get it!
Thank you!
If you can find it, the white out tape used with typewriters worked quite well. Don’t know how long it lasted.
 
Has anyone one ever tried to freshen up the faded orange needles on the Amp, fuel, temp, and speedo ? Haven't gotten in there yet, I can live with them the way they are, didn't want to send them out to have everything reconditioned and calibrated. If someone has done this, what paint did you use?
DON'T USE PAINT!! (Good time to R&R the Circuit board as well.)
I've done this several times. Rebuilt many clusters. The weight of ANY paint WILL cause em to read wrong or alltogether not function. Best way to do this? ORANGE HIGHLIGHTER marker. This one's yellow of course, but the orange is a DIRECT MATCH & adds no weight to the needles. 2-3 swipes will give you the right color.
I used Testors model paint the 1st time many years ago, and with a Non-Rallye cluster? Getting those OUT of the dash is a huge pain in the Arse. Many might agree here. Especially the FUEL guage which operates on Millivolts.
Also you'll wanna be VERY careful as to NOT force any pressure onto or BEND the needles. As they easily can bend to where they'll get STUCK onto just the OEM markings of the guage. Even the AMMETER wouldn't "Zero Out" when I did this. (I put a business card under each needle to make it easier to not marker up or paint the background. You dont wanna have to R&R that twice! Hope this helps!

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To do the switches, go to the dollar store and buy some rubber erasers. Trim them so you have an edge about the width of the letters. Brush a thin coat of paint on the eraser then lightly press it onto the letters on the panel. Wipe the remaining paint off the eraser then repeat the process for the next switch. Might take a couple tries before you get the knack. If you screw up just wipe the letters off with paint thinner and try again.
I always use toothpicks on the raised lettering. It works for me.
 
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