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Restoring Dash Gauges

About 40 years ago I restored the dash gauges in my '31 Chrysler when I restored the car...I recall having the round bezels chrome plated and a fellow in San Diego who was also restoring a '31 Chrysler sent me a set of or rather a sheet of vinyl self adhesive decal dial face images for the 4 gauges...I believe this was before anything could have been computer generated, they were pre-cut on the backing, just peal and stick...Don't know how he would have made them or where he may have gotten them...Anyway, they came out looking real spiffy when I got them finished and still look nice today....So, I am wondering if I were to attempt restoring the round gauges on my '32 DeVaux using this same method, I am wondering how to go about it, would I need to take pictures/images of gauges that are in somewhat good condition and take the images to a print shop for them to enhance and size and then print or whatever they would do? The Chrysler decals were white with black lettering, the DeVaux would need to be black with white lettering...Also as I recall the gauge faces were riveted to the gauges and not easily detachable....Is all this just old school for today?

Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Bill- I've used momamanufacturing.com for instruments and they do a fantastic job. They are right near your summer home in Arizona. As far as having the lettering copied onto a vinyl sticker, I think that is possible if you or someone you know is computer knowledgeable, who can then transfer that to the right size sticker. You would have to use an exacto knife and cut the hole in the sticker for the gauge window. Maybe you could just do the half that doesn't involve the attaching rivets(shouldn't show anyway). Good winter project. Ross

Where Are You From? Orygun

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1930 6-14

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Thanks Ross,

It looks by momamanufacturing does excellant work, will check in with them...


These are the '32 Chrysler instruments that I used decals on 40 years ago, they look similar to the '32 DeVaux other than a reverse color...Can't remember how I worked the decal over the rivets/pins or if the pins were removable...Dash board is a cheese cloth job with grain pattern, the lacquer finish is starting to get a few small cracks from old age.

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This is the instrument cluster on the '32 DeVaux that I am contiplating using decals to referb, the white gauge may be from a early Chrysler?

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And this is Bob's '33 instrument cluster that I pulled off of the picture page.

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Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Bill
I know you probably want to do this yourself but there are a number of companies and individuals that restore speedometers and guages around the country. There is one I think it's named Bob's Speedometers that a lot of the Triumph & MG people use and he's in Southern California. I believe he does other makes too. I'll look up some of the others that I have heard people using and post it here when I get a chance.

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 door sedan

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Bill the 1932 670 De Vaux, 1932 633 Durant and 1932 685 Frontenac had same Hayes bodies, same dash plates and black faced gauges.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Dominion built 614 Sedan

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

What are the odds of running across an envelope after nearly 45 years marked "1931 Chrysler instrument decals"...I had forgotten that the fellow in San Diego had sent an extra set of decals in case I goofed when I installed them...I thought this was space age technoliagy back then... Anyway, still kicking this can down the road...My son Dean is checking in with a company that does all their Graphics and decals ect.


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Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

A little progress, working with a graphic company in Yuma called "Sign Pro" they came up with some snazzy looking decals for the '32 Devaux instruments...Carlos used photos from myself and Bob's '33 durant instruments and starting from scratch did the art work by computer program, using the photos for sizing and layout....They were a little difficult installing mostly because gauge pointer stop pins could not be removed and the stop pins needed to project threw decals.



This is the mixed spicies of instruments that I needed to restore back into the original design face plates, no they are not silk screen, but looking at my original silk screen gauges they haven't held up all that well...The tempature gauge was not working but I was able to repair using a new tempature gauge's bulb as a doner (place the new gauge bulb in Ice water then sever the tube and solder it onto the old original gauge using a sleeve.


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Not sure Norm would have noticed it but after restoring the Oil guage and callabrating it I now see a typeo, Dang me, will have to redo that gauge.

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Another pic with gauges and newly machined cluster plate

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This was kinda fun, the old cluster plate was, I think nickle plated brass .020", well tarnished and etched, so rather than having it re-plated and taking the chance of burning threw the nickle when doing an jeweling or engine turned finish I picked up a piece of .030" mirror like stainless from McMasters and machined the plate to same specs as original and using an extra fine Craytex 1/2" rubberized abrasive rod (approx 400 grit)and the mill, was able to duplicate the same texture and appearance as the original.

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Anyway, this is some of what I've been up to lately, and Hey, I have just about got all the wood done in the DeVaux that will be needed.

Where Are You From? Yuma,AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Bill -Those gauges look great. Yeah 160lbs of oil pressure would probably promote leaks. You got a black sharpie? Ross

Where Are You From? Orygun

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1930 6-14

Re: Restoring Dash Gauges

Thanks Ross....Don't think that I haden't thought about the black sharpie, but as it were when Carlos found the time he produced some decals with the correction and it only took a few minutes to back up and replace the decal and recallabrate....Thought I would mention that I found with the dial face oil and tempature gauges that you don't want to reinstall the pointers/needles until you are set up to callabrate the gauge, with the oil gauge you would hook it up to your shop air pressure regulator and adjust the pressure regulator to a given amount then install the the pointer on your gauge at that same amount, then adjust your regulator up and down and see if the two gauges are in sink...With the tempature gauge you would put the either filled bulb in boiling water and install gauge pointer at 212 degrees...I used the instructions for the Temp. gauge repair at https://www.ply33.com/Repair/tempgauge , It is an interesting method and worked for me, I would suggest to look for a new mechanical gauge to use as a doner that has a large sensing bulb, this will give a greater pointer travel....Oh, and to complicate matters my '32 Devaux has a 3/16" asphalt loom over the capulary tube so I had my hands full to quickly install the new loom over the capulary at the same time I made the switch to the new doner.


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Where Are You From? Yuma,AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

 

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