Custom cluster idea, thoughts and suggestions please

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jagged, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

    Apr 25, 2005
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    Someone turned on a light bulb in my head a few minutes ago, and I think I have an idea on how to easily (relatively speaking) create a custom insturment cluster. The material I'm considering is plexiglass. You can form it with a heat gun, and it's pretty easy to paint a neutral flat color (like flat black). Once the basic shape is figured out, holes can be cut for any gauges I want, and mounts secured for the gauges. I'm hoping to try to use the original mounts for the cluster pod, but if not, it wouldn't be too difficult to contsruct my own so that I can easily remove the whole cluster. Forming plexiglass does create irregularities along the edges, and my plan was to sand the edge and use fiberglass filler to smooth the edges a little.

    What I'm aiming for is something that's more functional, e.g. mechanical gauges placed where I want them, than the original cluster. I'm not trying to make the cluster look pretty, just functional and non-haphazard-like.

    Any thoughts or suggestion you all might have would be greatly appreciated.
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

    Jul 24, 2003
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    I have one...

    I kept the "custom" aluminum dash cluster the previous owner of my 74 K20 made--it has a tach,gauges,etc--set up similar to the stock dash..I wish I had a digital camera so could post a picture in the "for sale" colum..several guys PM'd me about it,but want pictures! :doah: ..I dont plan on ever using it..

    I think plexiglasss might crack easy,especially in colder would be an alternative to metal though..I've seen a few nice dash clusters made of aluminum diamond plate (the thin stuff Lowe's sells)..Lexan would be bullet proof,but costly,and I dont know if you can bend or cut holes in it... :crazy:
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Jul 22, 2001
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    Mesa , Arizona USA
    I worked in plastics for awhile , I have done vacuum forming , extrude molding , and fabricated those boxes with the kids faces on them you drop the money in at the store .

    We used lots of simmilar materials , like Lucite .

    The edges can simply be scraped with a knife edge , then torched with a flame , to create an edge that looks like the edge of our door windows .

    If you use clear , you can paint the inside and it won't get scratched internally , may even look shiny .

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