Finding or building dashboard meters and gauges

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by LxAV, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. LxAV
    Joined: Apr 2007
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: The Netherlands

    LxAV Junior Member

    I am thinking about 'pimping' the dashboard of my beautifull '64 wooden/mahogany runabout.
    Some nice chrome meters and gauges, more for looks than actual use, but they should work to some extend.

    Some questions I hope you guys can help me out with:

    I can't seem to find any smaller than 2.5" diameter, while I need them to be 2" tops, like 5cm or even smaller.. If anyone knows a online store of manufacturer to help me in the right direction would be awesome.

    But, I cant find the right size anywhere, I'm thinking to just build some myself. How hard can it be?

    A voltage and Ampere meter are the most simple, a clock and baro/weather meter I can build from existing units but a RPM, km/h, fuel and depth level are more tricky.

    Has anybody here have experience with this kind of stuff? I think it should be possible to build this myself, but I have no clue where to start..
    Some links or tricks would be really appreciated!

  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    I suppose anything can be built. The guages however are for the most part products of the economy of scale and a hundered years of manufacturing technology. Your efforts will be educational if nothing else--- it's fun sometimes to get right into how something's made and make your own.
    That said, if you can't find guages small enough, maybe you should make the dashboard larger (taller, meaning lower). I would think that if I were faced with a choice of making my own guages or replacing the dash, I would certainly not make guages. Sometimes dashes have a central cluster inside a shape that is lower (a letter D sideways). It can be wide enough for all guages, and be made from a beautiful piece of Honduras mahogany, with a border of chromed half-oval brass (raised from the existing dash). Lots of things you can do, but making guages is a bit ambitious (I won't say insane, since making things is a subjective thing) , I think.
    Got any pictures of the existing dash and the list of additional guages you want?

  3. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
    Posts: 595
    Likes: 25, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 289
    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    There are many, many gauge choices in the "HotRod" catalogs like JC Whitney, etc. etc. The manufacturers run from the old origonals (Stewart-Warner, VDO etc) to many other aftermarket guys. I'm sure have seen really small gauges (like 1.5") in some of the stuff online. Google "Hot Rod" "Custom Car" and " Gauges"

    Try: ETC.

    Related subject: I'm back on a project making "Gauges" and software-based panels for Marine applicationsm (Now that all the West Epoxy is cured on my 29 YO Boat!).. I'll post a invitation / status soon....

  4. stonebreaker
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 438
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    Location: Shiloh, IL

    stonebreaker Senior Member

    Standard gauge sizes are 1-1/2", 2-1/16", 3-3/8", and 5". Autometer probably has the greatest number of styles, from traditional black or white face dials with black or chrome bezels, up to the ultimate ready for Vegas pimped out stuff like entire gauge sets that are computer controlled, with stuff like programmable warning lights and seven color LED lighting that can be programmed to cycle through the colors.
    2 people like this.
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