Gauge repair question

kawkev

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For me, taking things apart, cleaning, repairing, and reassembling them is part of the fun. Especially if it works when I'm done. [thumbzup]
 

blisters13

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Some Before-and-Afters, without removing the lenses:

009_web.jpg013_web.jpg014_web.jpg015_web.jpg016_web.jpg

All I used was a 3M headlight polishing kit (plastic gauge lenses, plastic lens polishing kit).
 
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kcollum

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My temp gauge stop working so went through TM and tested and found the gauge was bad. Well I order a new one and installed it. The gauge worked fine but I was not happy with the new look in the dash with all the old SW-505 gauges. So I carefully pried off the bezel and took the gauge apart, to my delight I found one of the small copper strands that come from the coils was broken or came loose from the top center post. A quick solder job and good polishing of the plastic housing, put back together and tested by grounding the 33 wire from the sending unit. Turned on the ignition switch full deflection of the gauge to 240. Working very nice now and the back lighting is much better than the new gauges with the opaque backing.
 

rustystud

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Now that's the way to go "kcollum" ! Instead of just throwing parts away, try and fix them ! On our trucks the military went with the manufacturer that could meet there specifications at the best price. Sometimes this doesn't always work, but most times it does. So keep the military parts !
 

oddshot

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Now that's the way to go "kcollum" ! Instead of just throwing parts away, try and fix them ! On our trucks the military went with the manufacturer that could meet there specifications at the best price. Sometimes this doesn't always work, but most times it does. So keep the military parts !
PLUS 1!!! Good job kcollum!

You may not have saved a lot of money, but your time was well spent.

A lot of people have NO IDEA how to simply solder two wires together. This is a great skill to have.
 

kcollum

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Thank you for you kind words, true not a lot of money saved but I really like the older gauge style and was bummed when it stopped working. I figured I had nothing to loses so I opened it up to have a look and maybe learn a little about it.
 

wilfreeman

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Going to bump this thread again. Planning on opening up a couple of gauges (temp and fuel) in the next week or so to clean them up. I have a couple of questions. What are the lenses made of, lexan? And second, is there anything that you can repaint the needles and ticks with to make them glow again? I know you can buy glow in the dark paint, but you have to "recharge" that don't you?

Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
 

frank8003

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stick with the stuff from the Manhatten project/.
You will eventually die but the gauges, refurbished to specs,
will live as designed for another 50 years
 

kubotaman

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I am about to attempt this myself. Before I do the gauges I want to use on my truck, I am going to practice with some old ones from a parts truck. So just to confirm, the best way to remove the bezel (the outer ring of the gauge) is to use a good quality small flat head screwdriver and to carefully pry the crimp up?

Has anyone found a method of recrimping after restoration?

And lastly, what is the best way to remove the needle from the gauge?

Thanks.
 

gringeltaube

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I am about to attempt this myself. Before I do the gauges I want to use on my truck, I am going to practice with some old ones from a parts truck. So just to confirm, the best way to remove the bezel (the outer ring of the gauge) is to use a good quality small flat head screwdriver and to carefully pry the crimp up?
Correct; just pry up a tiny bit at a time and do several passages. Otherwise the metal is expanded too much and will crack.
It is not necessary to do 360°; about 3/4 of the circumference and it may come apart already.
Has anyone found a method of recrimping after restoration?
Yes, you need to do this with a small shop press and at least two molds (= cups) for each size gauge; one that conforms to the front side of the bezel; the other one to press its back side with the crimped-up edge back down in place.
I said at least two, because we want to get the metal back into the exact original shape and that normally requires working in several steps, using cups with more- and then with less chamfer, progressively.
I'm sure you get the idea. It sounds complicated but you will see, it isn't at all.

If done right, one can barely notice that it had been opened. The attached picture is one example...

what is the best way to remove the needle from the gauge
Don't... You will find that in most cases it is not necessary.



G.
 

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runk

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i would add to gringeltaube's comment - Are you totally sure you need to open the gauges ? It is amazing how much of the crud is on the outside of the lens and barrel. Make sure you thoroughly clean all the gauges before you open them. Opening them up may not be necessary.
 

o1951

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Bergen County, NJ
Gauge repair shops use what looks like a mini bearing puller.
The point goes on the shaft, and 2 jaws grab on either side of needle.

I have used 2 flat head screwdrivers with some success.
Go slow, and keep pressure even. Very easy to bend shaft.
I put moderate pressure on screwdrivers and if necessary, tap shaft with a small brass rod.
The rod is a modified toilet tank flapper valve rod.
Results depend on how tight the needle is on the shaft.
Lifting with 2 screwdrivers puts a lot of stress on needle shaft bearings, and if done too vigorously, can break or distort things.

Tapping on end of shaft is not good for gauge.

After repair, I have difficulty getting needle on shaft tight enough so it does not shift with vibration.
The parts are so delicate, I do not want to use a lot of force to put needle on.
I have been cleaning good and using a q-tip to put a bit of yellow Locktite on end of shaft.
 
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Menaces Nemesis

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Correct; just pry up a tiny bit at a time and do several passages. Otherwise the metal is expanded too much and will crack.
It is not necessary to do 360°; about 3/4 of the circumference and it may come apart already.

Yes, you need to do this with a small shop press and at least two molds (= cups) for each size gauge; one that conforms to the front side of the bezel; the other one to press its back side with the crimped-up edge back down in place.
I said at least two, because we want to get the metal back into the exact original shape and that normally requires working in several steps, using cups with more- and then with less chamfer, progressively.
I'm sure you get the idea. It sounds complicated but you will see, it isn't at all.

If done right, one can barely notice that it had been opened. The attached picture is one example...

Don't... You will find that in most cases it is not necessary.



G.
Okay, after reading this, can't stand it any longer... Sorry for the little detour here, but I've read many of your posts, on many topics, and I've PM'd you a time or two for your opinion. I'm very impressed with your range of knowledge, the CAD drawings you come up with, etc. If you wouldn't mind, could you please give us a brief rundown on where you gained the skillset(s) that you share with us, i.e. schooling, training, fields/trades you've worked in etc.? I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious (unless it's one of those "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" type deals). :D
 
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gringeltaube

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That's funny... I have been asked similar questions here, before... and no, I don't feel any special...:)
Easiest, shortest possible answer: ... School of "Life"! (That's the hardest training I ever went through, and still not quite done with it...;))

My formula: Keep eyes and ears open; learn to learn and don't trust your memory... be helpful to others if you want to be helped... and be prepared for whatever next challenge life might bring...







And now, back to our regular programming........;)
 
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