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Thread: HOW-TO: Custom Gauges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Chicago/(palatine/dekalb)
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    Default HOW-TO: Custom Gauges

    Photo tutorial on making your own gauges

    Special thanks to savior, he gave me the idea and did a lot of the original work with files

    If Anyone wants the PSD files that I used here they are.. Included are the ones i got from savior...
    some are modified ... if you want the original spedo it's 5.psd (the one at the top)... there's bunch of files that i worked on with different versions in the zip file
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28556637/5.psd
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28556637/5.png
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28556637/Gauges/Gauges.zip


    ... it'll let you skip steps 3&4 and some of touching up the guages
    Step1: Remove gauges.
    DO NOT DRIVE WITH THE GAUGES OUT>>> YOUR CAR WILL NOT CHARGE THE BATTERY AND IT WILL DIE>>
    0 copy..jpg
    Step2: Remove the needles and peal the gauge faces off... (the needles pull straight up there are tools for it.. i didnt use any)
    1 copy..jpg
    If you have a Mystique i can email the PSD files i used to do this The only thing thats different for the svt is the speedo goes to 150 or 60 instead of 130... If you have an svt you can ask saivor he did it for his.
    Step3: Place the gauges on the scanner bed.. you can do it one at a time or all of them together (PAY ATTENTION TO THE SETTINGS) B/W will save you tons of time editing
    2 copy..jpg
    3 copy..jpg
    Step4: Scan it in!(PAY ATTENTION TO THE SETTINGS)
    4scan..jpg
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  2. #2
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    Default

    Step4: Modify the gauges (use adobe illustrator preferably it's vector based unlike photoshop)
    Edit: photoshop works just fine.
    6edit..jpg
    Step5: Print them out, Use a laser printer, i hear the inkjet runs... Print it on plane white paper...
    You will also need to go to Fedex Kincos or some other place and have them print out a transparency of the identical thing B/W transparency costs 75 cents for them to print out... id just let them do it.... Staples i tried to buy some transparancies a pack of 50 cost40 BUCKS!!!! don't even bother with that..

    So, 1 plane paper, 1 transparency ( you may do more but i found it didn't let enough light through...)
    7print on paper copy..jpg
    Step6: Cut it out, Use a sharp exacto knife, make sure to cut out your odometer holes too... i kinda forgot to
    8cut out exacto copy..jpg
    Step7: give it a test fit.. make sure everything works well
    9testfit copy..jpg
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  3. #3
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    Dec 2010
    Location
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    Default

    Step8: Get your adhesive spray ready!
    11adhesive spray copy..jpg
    Step9:Binder clip the two layers of the gauges, I found the top layer as a transparency and the bottom as the white paper looked the best and worked best for the light
    11binderclip copy..jpg
    Step10: LIGHTLY AND FROM A DISTANCE OF ABOUT A FULL ARMS LENGTH pull the two layers apart and quickly Spritz them with the adhesive... dont use much or it'll make it runny splotchey and look like •••• liek this
    11dontusemuch copy..jpg
    Let it dry for a little bit and go ahead and test fit try the lights out see how everything looks before spraying the adhesive on the back and making it semi permanant
    10 one layer copy..jpg
    Step11: Lightly Again and from a distance spray the back of the new gauge... now line it up and slap it on
    12 place it copy..jpg
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  4. #4
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    Default

    Step 12: Put all the gauges and needles back on... (you need to place the gauges back in the car and plug them in)
    THIS IS THE HARDEST STEP
    You now must calibrate the guages....
    it's best to start with a full tank of gas ... and a cold car...
    START THE CAR
    now the needle (if there was one on it would move to the normal position like it was before you disconnected it (except for the speedo which rests on zero))
    Place the gas needle back on
    Place the temp needle on the cold size.. where it normally is when you first start the car...
    once the car is warm put the tach needle on at 750 or whatever your car idles at...

    The speedo is the hardest i found... my best bet was to engage the cruise control while driving 55 and placing the needle right there.
    Dont push them on too hard or they'll bind and you wont know what anything is
    13 reassemble copy..jpg
    Step 13:Reassemble and (optional) Take pictures of your work and show everyone
    14 night copy..jpg

    WATon copy..jpg
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  5. #5
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chicago/(palatine/dekalb)
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    You're final copy should look like this!
    Day ON/OFF pix of everything!
    15day copy..jpg
    16day copy..jpg
    WAToff copy..jpg
    TEMP OFF copy..jpg
    TEMP ON copy..jpg
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
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    Default

    Quick update. Everything is still working well. People mentioned problems with the spray adhesive delaminating over time I haven't had any problems yet after 6 months... granted it hasent hit 100 outside the car yet so I guess summer will tell
    update 06/09/11
    It's hit 100 my car's been sitting outside and hasn't moved since today since it got cooler (no ac) but the gauges are still good
    update 10/25/11
    Everything's still working great
    04 GS500F
    98 Mystique 2.5 ATX
    04 Mazda 6s MTX

  7. #7

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    Oooh, that spray-adhesive is a good idea; I used many small, carefully-cut pieces of double-sided transparent Scotch tape, andit hasn't come apart yet, but that also took some time and effort.

    Also, one tip as far as putting the fuel tank needle back on and getting it in the right place: The orange "running-on-empty" alert light will come on when the tank is on E no matter where the needle is; they are independent of each other. I just waited till my orange Empty warning light came on, then stuck the needle on pointing at the E. Simple.

  8. #8

    Default

    Excellent idea, I think applying it in my 99 Contour LX

  9. #9

    Default

    Great tutorial it really sparked my imagination.

    Template:


    In the CAR:
    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7295/9syy.jpg

    Overall thoughts:
    Had a tough time to get the light to shine through and in a different color. I was aiming for a red color and wanted to keep the current stock bulbs. I don't have pictures of the most up to date design. I ditched the white number overlay and made it constantly red. Maybe I'll post more tips later.. I had many struggles. I'll post the newest build later.

    KEY POINTS:
    Only spent $2.70 + manual labor
    Can change the color (in my case red) of your meters without buying colored/led bulbs. Im using stock light bulbs to illuminate.

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