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HomeTech Articles > Gauge Face Replacement

Pelican Technical Article:

Gauge Face Replacement

Tom Sharpes
team5150@mediaone.net


This is not a project for the timid. You’re here for one of two reasons. Either you have to fix your gauges or you have decided to change the color of the faces of the gauges.

I took on the project because I wanted accent the almost totally black dash with white gauge faces to pick up the white on the exterior of the car. I had no idea that the change would be so dramatic! At first, the gauges seemed huge because there is so much white in a small space, but the do seem a lot more visible and pleasing to the eye. All in all, a very worthwhile and rewarding project.

The time I spent on this project was actually not that long. All totaled – two evenings. My biggest problem was that I ordered my gauge face kit (these are the glue on type) one day and took all of the gauges out that night thinking the faces would arrive the next day or two – and they did!

I went through the “can opener” ordeal to get the bezels off and then realized the faces were for a 75-79 911 – not a 74. The oil temp/pressure face is different for just the 74 where there is an Alternator light at the top of the gauge and the speedo has 6 windows instead of 5. Now, I was in trouble. I could not get faces for a 74 because (apparently) they are not very popular and I had a Porsche club tour coming up in two days. I had to put everything back together and wait almost two weeks to get the right faces.

So, two weeks (and a new Momo steering wheel) later, I am ready to do it again.

Two VERY important tips. One, TAKE PICTURES of the backs of the gauges. It will be a lifesaver for you in the end. Two, double up on your chances of getting it all back together right and use wire ties to keep wires together that go to a common area of a gauge AND use different colors of paint to mark the connector AND the wires that go into them. You will not regret this piece of advise later ! Clean all the connectors & change the bulbs while your at it too.

OK, here we go.

Before and After

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4  Figure 5

The photos above show the difference in the look of the interior of the car before and after the gauge face replacement. The gauges appear much larger than before and are easier to read as well.

Gauge Removal

Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10

As you remove the gauges from the dashboard I recommend you take some pix of the backsides so that you will have something to refer back to when you put everything back together. I had to pull out copies of digital pix that I took in order to get all of the wiring back into the oil gauge. Figure 10 shows how to disconnect the manual odometer reset that is connected to the speedometer.

 
Figure 11 As an additional safety measure I used wire ties on groups of wires and painted the connector and the wire attached to it a different color from the others on the same gauge.


Figure 12

What a nightmare! Actually if you take the pix, mark the wires and connection you’ll actually feel pretty calm looking at this. And just keep repeating I can put it back together, I can put it back together.

Opening Up the Gauges

I recommend that you only work with one gauge at a time so that you don’t get pieces mixed up and if you get interrupted (that never happens!) you’ll know where you were.

 
Figure 13 The first thing you will do is remove the rubber mounting ring from the gauge.

 
Figure 14 Using a screwdriver, slip the blade between the housing and the edge of the crimped over gauge bezel. Go completely around the gauge prying the bezel out until it is even with the edge of the gauge housing.

 
Figure 15 Now pry (carefully!) the bezel away from the edge of the housing. You will have to go around the gauge to get it to come off.

 
Figure 16 The bezel will now come off of the gauge. There are 3 pieces, the outer bezel, inner bezel and the glass. This is a good time to clean the glass on your gauge.

 
Figure 17 After you clean the glass with a lint free cloth, put it to the side along with the other parts while you work on the face.

The Clock


Figure 18 After removing the bezel, you will need to take the hands off of the clock face. The tool that comes with the face kit was too large to get under the hands of the clock, so I used a small screwdriver bent 90 degrees on the end to provide leverage. BE CAREFUL!! You will hear me say this again, but it is so true. A GENTLE touch is required. No coffee during this operation. If you meet any real stiff resistance - STOP. Find out why it is not moving and try going around the base of the pointers to free it up.

 
Figure 19 You’ll be seating about now. This is really easy when you get past the fear of screwing it up. If you do, you send it off to the place that was going to charge you a bundle to do it for you. Nothing ventured – nothing gained. Now that you have the face off you just glue the new white one on and let it sit for a few minutes. I recommend you use epoxy glue. Tape will not hold for long in the heat.

 
Figure 20 Reassemble the hands – CAREFULLY! Sit back for a moment and admire your handiwork. Or if you broke something, have a good cry and a beer while looking up the number of that gauge place.

 
Figure 21 Wow, looks just like they do it in the big city! One down - 4 to go.

Oil Pressure/Temp Gauge


Figure 22 Disassemble the gauge as you did with the clock (getting easier with each one), remove the face and glue the new white face on it. Set it to the side. You will now have to remove the individual temp and pressure gauges from the housing. On the back of the gauge, take out the small screws that hold each of them in.

 
Figure 23 After you pull the unit out if the housing just apply epoxy to the back of the white face and slide it over the old face making sure to get it lined up properly before the glue takes a set.

 
Figure 24 Here’s the before and after in the same gauge.

 
Figure 25 Now do the same to the other side and reassembly the unit.

 
Figure 26 Wow, Now you should be getting pretty good at this. By the way – start this early in the evening because once you get going you really don’t want to stop. I was up until 4 AM because I wanted to finish – and no it wasn’t a weekend! OUCH!

Fuel and Oil Level Gauge


Figure 27 OK, by now you know the drill. This gauge is the same as the oil gauge with the gauges mounted from the back of the housing. Take it apart, pull the face off, glue on the new one and remove the individual gauges.

 
Figure 28 As with the oil unit, glue the faces on and reassemble. It really does go fast at this point.

 
Figure 29 The white really does look sharp against the black bezels.

Speedometer


Figure 30 The Speedo is a little different from the others. You need to pay attention to where the needle is set in order to reassemble it correctly.

 
Figure 31 The needle rests against the stop attached to the face of the gauge. Lift the tip of the needle up CAREFULLY!!! and move it over the peg.

 
Figure 32 Let the needle come to a rest and you will see it point to one of a number of lines marked on the lower part of the gauge. MARK THIS POINT ON THE EDGE OF THE GAUGE HOUSING. You will need to set the pointer back to this mark when you reassemble the unit.

 
Figure 33 Using the tool provided (or you can use a fork as I did some of the time) GENTLY pry up the pointer and remove it from the stem.

 
Figure 34 Remove the two (very) small screws from the face of the speedo.

 
Figure 35 Pull the face off, apply the epoxy and glue the new face on.

 
Figure 36 Reassemble the unit and if you were listening you should be able to see the mark you left on the housing to index your pointer as you put it back on the stem. Push it on GENTLY!

Tach


Figure 37 The tach is just like the speedo. Be sure to note where the needle rests.

 
Figure 38 When you take the face off take this opportunity to clean out the gauge and change out the bulbs.

 
Figure 39 Glue the new face on making sure all of the holes line up correctly.

 
Figure 40 Reassemble it into the housing.

 
Figure 41 Attach the needle CAREFULLY.

 
Figure 42 Install the glass and outer bezel.

 
Figure 43 You are done! Now go to bed! When reinstalling the gauges just match up the color-coding you did on the connectors and the housings. It will go faster than you thought.

Comments and Suggestions:
james280779 Comments: Hey, I have moved from UK to Australia and brought my car with me. I now have KMH instead of MPH - can I just buy a KMH kit and put over the top of the MPH?
September 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention your vehicle type. You will likely have to re-code the cluster. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gilles Comments: Cool article, but where did you get those gauges face replacement kit? I need to replace them on my 911E 1971. Thanks.
January 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part kit.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
larilane Comments: Question on the 1983 model there is something different among the gauges the car has a manual trans could their be a up shift indicator located next to the tac on the right?
September 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure.
I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Aaron Comments: The glass is broken on my fuel gauge in my 964. Any idea where to buy just the glass?
Thanks!
July 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'll have one of our sales people answer this question - John at Pelican Parts  
cano Comments: Hi;Thi is Luis Gonzalez need to know if I can get a gauge face for toyota tercel 91
September 26, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try a local salvage yard. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
1-ev.com Comments: Hey guys, how do you put back the outer bezels? To make sure it looks nice, txs.-Y
August 5, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bezel presses back on. If you are careful when prying them off, there shouldn't be any way to tell they have been removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jonrok Comments: Such a great write-up, I was hoping for some details about putting the bezels back in place without deforming the edges/leaving obvious evidence that they'e been off. Also, are the earlier mechanical clocks different in terms of the needles? I've had a couple apart, and couldn't get the top needle off, even after getting frustrated and using pure force. The aluminum center point is so delicate there's not much opportunity for leverage.
Thanks in advance.




Oh, and if anyone else has the same question as Dave O'Sullivan, NO, don't try prying the bezels on a 996. It's a plastic housing that all comes apart with screws and clips.
June 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bezel presses back on. If you are careful when prying them off, there shouldn't be any way to tell they have been removed.

I think the clocks are the same. The needles never seem to want to come off. I could be mistaken, but that is how I recall it.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paule Comments: All this info is great but is there an article that tells you how to get the gauges out of the dash? Do they come out the front or do you need to remove the whole dash first. I have a 1985 911. I really need some help. thanks
May 29, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have to lever them out. They pop out from the front of the dashboard. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rolf 1 Comments: where can i get a black speedometer face plate in km/t for my porsche 911 3.0 sc 1978 modell pleas send me and answer rhjem@frisurf.no
May 29, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
marc aube Comments: where can i purchase colored faces for the gauges, so i can do it myself.
February 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We sell these in our catalog for many different makes and models of car. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Sonny Comments: You guys rock! It's. Nice to know there is tech help, I had a face plate come unglued on one of my guages, the artical was a life saver!
Thanks again

James Buchanan
February 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dave O'Sullivan Comments: I have a 2002 996. I need to clean inside the glass on the gauges. Can the bezel be pryed off in a similar manner as shown here.
Thanks in advance.
September 7, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have never tried, I imagine they come apart. I would be careful when you try in case they are glued together. Here is a tech article on how to remove the 996 instrument cluster:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/90-ELEC-996_Cluster/90-ELEC-996_Cluster.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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