Triple gauge retrofit / aftermarket gauges?

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Bentworker

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My Grande came with an idiot light dash with clock.  It is getting a tach retrofit right now thanks to RCCI.  Is the factory triple gauge center console setup comparable with 1 7/8” gauges or did it use proprietary ones?  I’d like to know how to retrofit some gauges in the factory triple bezel.  Any wisdom to share?

 

droptop73

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The factory gauges mount to the rear of the panel and are proprietary. The holes for the gages in the factory panel are not round. I modified a reproduction panel to fit a trio of VDO instruments. I can take a pic and post it in a bit.

 

73pony

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I also modified a panel to fit new autometer gauges. 

 
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Hi Bentworker, There has been lots posted on gauges and gauge mods, if you care to search.

In the meantime, my choice was a set of Bosch gauges as they look somewhat similar to the factory ones. I did construct bracketry to mount them. for now, here's a couple of pics. There are lots of options out there that will or can be made to fit and look good. Again, my choice was for oil and temp as mechanical plus a volt meter. I also kept my idiot lights working by using dual senders.

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Bentworker

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Excellent - I appreciate the good pics.  Now to get to fabricating.

If anyone else has any ideas / pics / links to threads where someone has done this please post them.

I tried the search function and didn't have much success.  Searching for "gauge bezel" or "triple gauge" "gauge retrofit"  led to thousands of results.  If I didn't see anything in the first dozen results I gave up and tried a different phrase. 

 

73pony

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I do but adding pics on new forum is PITA. If i figure it out I will post

 

73pony

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Here is a link to a previous post on them. Best I can do...






 

Mister 4x4

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I replaced the ammeter with a Bosch voltmeter, same as the one above.  I completely disassembled the Bosch gauge and simply replaced the factory gauge with the 'guts' of the Bosch gauge - no crazy fabrication needed.  The big difference I see between mine and the others shown here is the direct mounting of the aftermarket gauges to the 3-gauge cluster trim panel, rather than mounted into a factory 3-gauge cluster which would then be mounted to dashboard, with the trim panel installed over it.

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I replaced the ammeter with a Bosch voltmeter, same as the one above.  I completely disassembled the Bosch gauge and simply replaced the factory gauge with the 'guts' of the Bosch gauge - no crazy fabrication needed.  The big difference I see between mine and the others shown here is the direct mounting of the aftermarket gauges to the 3-gauge cluster trim panel, rather than mounted into a factory 3-gauge cluster which would then be mounted to dashboard, with the trim panel installed over it.

View attachment 43119
As you correctly say Eric, very doable to add or convert the factory 3 gauges. If a person has the factory gauges then probably the better option, However if one only has the panel and no gauges (missing as in my case), it was construction time. There are indeed many options to get aftermarket gauges in there and look like they were meant to be there, it's just a matter of finding what works for you.

 

Mister 4x4

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As you correctly say Eric, very doable to add or convert the factory 3 gauges. If a person has the factory gauges then probably the better option, However if one only has the panel and no gauges (missing as in my case), it was construction time. There are indeed many options to get aftermarket gauges in there and look like they were meant to be there, it's just a matter of finding what works for you.
Totally understand - not all of these cars came with them.

It's cool seeing all of the different solutions, as well. :thumb:  

 

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I have a full set of gauges that I removed from my 73 when I went Dakota Digital. All were operating fine when removed.

 

Bentworker

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I have a full set of gauges that I removed from my 73 when I went Dakota Digital. All were operating fine when removed.
About 4 hours ago I pulled the trigger on a used set that was listed on eBay.  Current plan is to make some sort of hybrid with Westach gauges.

 

Bentworker

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Got it done- or at least 95% done.

The Westach gauges are lightweight, but not everyone’s cup of tea.  The aluminum bezels I made aim the gauges more towards the driver.  Turned out pretty clean it took some pretty major rotary tool surgery on the console.  

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Bentworker

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Fist picture with the cutoff wheel shows cutting the “return” off the bezel.  I don’t think this is 100% necessary, but if does make cutting the holes to size easier.  
 

Second picture shows all 3 “returns” cut off flush.

Third picture shows the left most gauge hole after cutting it to 2 1/16”.  Some emery cloth on a piece of PVC pipe made quick work of fine tuning it after using a burr in the rotary tool. I did have to oblong the hole a bit because of the angle of the gauge.

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