3-gauge main cluster dash concept

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This topic contains 58 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  gregj 4 months, 4 weeks ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 59 total)
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  • #235450

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Has anyone used a 3-gauge main cluster on their TDr?

    I don’t care for the small 3-3/8″ aftermarket gauges regardless of the face (they don’t look period correct, IMO). I’ve been playing with layout concepts, and here’s what I’ve come up with to this point:

    1.  1967 and earlier 90MPH VW speedo in the center, rebuilt, and red needle. Let’s me retain both idiot lights and turn signal indicators.

    2.  Porsche 914 7000 RPM tach on the left, with an aftermarket decal face to match VW numbers and colors, with red needle

    3.  1966-earlier Karmann Ghia clock on the right, converted to 12v, with red needles

    All three would be recessed (rear mounted) with the VW chrome trim rings.  Gauges have been cleaned, rebuilt and had LED light strips added.

    4.  New VDO-clone 4-gauge layout in the center, surface mounted (oil pressure, oil temp, fuel, voltmeter), 270-degree sweep, all with black faces, LED lighting, red needles and chrome bezels.

    5. 1957-earlier VW oval window glovebox (so I can use aftermarket plastic glovebox liner) painted to match the body color, with MGB radio-delete trim panel chrome logo on it…

    6. Switches where they best fit, likely below and on each side of the 4-gauge center cluster.

    If I can’t locate or make an uncut wooden dash panel, I’ll likely just make the dashboard out of 5/8″ plywood and cover it with black vinyl… I’d probably never get a wooden one to match my steering wheel anyway.

    Not looking for TD-authentic look (BIG white-face Smith’s gauges with 3-gauge center cluster), but trying to come up with something that at least looks period authentic, while not looking like the Speedster guys dashes either.

    Since it is difficult to accurately scale the individual pics of the main gauges, the space between the gauges will be slightly different. They’ll fit, but there won’t be a whole lot of wood left around them…

    What do you think? Is it “too busy?”

    KentT2014-10-28 11:04:28

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261884

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Since you asked for opinions:
    Too busy! Delete the big clock and if you must have a clock, get a smaller one and mount it in with the small instruments – three on top, two below.
    Can you fit a passenger grab bar in? Passengers will surely like it.

    #261885

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Royal wrote:
    Since you asked for opinions:
    Too busy! Delete the big clock and if you must have a clock, get a smaller one and mount it in with the small instruments – three on top, two below.
    Can you fit a passenger grab bar in? Passengers will surely like it.

    😛 What can I say – I’m retired AF and used to LOTS of gauges…

    IMO, most TDr dashes look “too empty” with the smaller 3-3/8″ gauges but I may have overdone it…

    I can’t find a small analog clock that matches the small aftermarket gauges, and I can’t piece together a complete set of small original gauges that include oil pressure and oil temp — which I want. 

    Yes, I think I can fit a grab bar.  Ideally I’d like one underneath the glovebox, if I can make it look “balanced”, one such as the large VW bus type.  (Perhaps centered above the glovebox?)  If not, I think a chrome TD-type or black VW bug type can fit, angled on the right like the original TD had…

    Thanks for the feedback, Roy!

    KentT2014-10-28 11:31:41

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261886

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    For small clock works you might look at:
    http://www.klockit.com

    😉

    #261887

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I used a 73 beetle speedo and Classic Instruments 5″ tach. I see what you mean about period correct and so, if I were doing it again with a bigger budget I would consider the new Speedster replica gauges coming availabe from, I think, Beck.

    Two only, please: speedo and tach.

    Do the rest with matching VDOs @ 2″. It will look both “period-correct” and TD-ish.
    edsnova2014-10-28 21:13:19

    #261888

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Doing a bit of research…

    Beck’s are 100 mm which is like 4.2 inches. Those are a little bigger than the usual TD replica gauges but a little smaller than the original TD gauges, which were about 120 mm. I believe the Beetle speedo is the way forward here. Suggest the later, 100 mph version over the earlier 90s cuz TDs went to 100. You also get the built-in fuel gauge which is pretty cool.
    It’s still a VW gauge though and a tad undersized (110 mm?). A hard-core person would consider this proper Smiths repop which, while too high reading at 140 mph and way too expensive at whatever 200 lbs is in dollars right now ($350 or so?) and with the matching tach would be money in every sense of that word.
    To my knowledge there is not yet any source for correctly-re-gutted original TD gauges. SO if you go that route you’ll be refilling the housings with other electronics and mechanicals.
    (BTW their faces were an erie and un-replicable mint green, not white)
    I almost tried it but was dissuaded by the cost of serviceable TD gauge faces and housings and the lack of available 6000 rpm electric tachs to fill them with. 
    #261889

    court-wizard
    Participant

    @court-wizard

    I didn’t like the look of modern gauges and when I had to go to electronic gauges it took me a bit to find autometer line. I like the look of their quad gauge.
    And as to the question of a clock…Yes. I definitely suggest a clock.

    No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.

    #261890

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    John, I like that look.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #261891

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    billnparts wrote:
    John, I like that look.

    So do I.  Some Karmann Ghias had that look, with two large gauges (speedo and clock shown) with the smaller gas guage between them.  Wanting both oil temp and oil pressure has complicated this somewhat…

    Thanks for all the feedback guys — I’m still a year away from this, most likely, as I wait for my garage to get built, then tackle the long list of planned mods…

    I’m somewhat committed to VW main gauges, having already paid to have the 914 tach rebuilt and modified.

    My initial plan was to use it with the 69 VW speedo currently in it, and replace the smaller 3-3/8″ tach. Then, replace center gauges — but I’ve also found it a challenge to find them to fit the 2-1/8′ holes currently in this fiberglass dash panel. Which then led to perhaps redoing the whole dashboard.

    What got me on the 3-gauge concept is that I have the opportunity to get the matching clock, converted to 12v. Question is, where to put it.  If I put it on the right side, I’d have to forego the glovebox.

    Keep the feedback coming!

    KentT2014-10-29 09:10:18

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261892

    nobody
    Participant

    @nobody

    Depending on the size of that clock you may be able to put it in the middle of the dash with the 4 smaller gauges two to either side? Something like OO 8O8 

    #261893

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Someone makes a horn button clock. Any thought of that?

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #261894

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    newkitman wrote:
    Someone makes a horn button clock. Any thought of that?

    Never heard of one of those.  Any more info on it?

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261895

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Nobody wrote:
    Depending on the size of that clock you may be able to put it in the middle of the dash with the 4 smaller gauges two to either side? Something like OO 8O8 

    That clock will not fit into the current molded fiberglass in the center, because of the width of the molded “humps” around that area.  If I went with a flat wood dash it would likely fit. But I’m not sure if there would be enough room to put two gauges on each side and still fit that glovebox in…

    The VW glovebox shown is slightly larger than most TD gloveboxes I’ve seen.  I’m not hung up on that glovebox, just thought it would be easier than making one from scratch…

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261896

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Moss sells the TD glove box “flocked as original” for about $30

    #261897

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I have a voltmeter installed and really never use the ammeter.  I would like to pull the ammeter out and replace it with a clock similar to the VDO black line of gauges. 

    Does anyone know of a clock insert that has a 2″ barrel with a 2-3/16″ bezel?

    #261898

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Check this thread for a lot of info on an original style under dash grab bar.

    Scroll down about two-thirds of the way.

    http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/grab-bar/

    Cool side bar: I Googled “mg td under dash grab bar” and the #1 hit was our own thread! Thumbs Up

    An additional pic not in the above thread:

    PMOSSBERG2015-01-25 18:44:32

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #261899

    billnparts
    Participant

    @billnparts

    I once worked with an older woman who used to run Pikes Peak in an MGTD with a straight 6. She always told me the grab handle on my dash actually belonged on the floor so you had something to hold onto when you rolled it.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    #261900

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    That’s pretty funny Bill! 😆

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #261901

    george-fisher
    Participant

    @george-fisher

    I am finishing my dashboard using gauges from an Opel mid 70’s. Speedometer and Tach are 5″. I am using smaller gauges from VDO that came with car. Gauges are black faced I think they look good.

     They are mounted to my wooden dashboard. Had to Modify mounts to fit the dash. Now have to finish re wire of car to get on road. Also making a spare dash with some custom wood work on it. It will go in my other td replica. Will post pictures of one later when Grand daughter is out of school.

      Grand kids and Life sometimes get in way of fun stuff.

       George Fisher

    #261902

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Look forward to the pics, George. I contemplated using a set of Opel GT gauges, but the smaller ones were two-in-one, and that combination wasn’t what I wanted. I was looking for 270 degree sweep, which I’ve found easier to read with a quick glance.

    KentT2015-01-26 16:29:49

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #261903

    texag71
    Participant

    @texag71

    Just google “horn button clock” and you’ll get loads of hits.

    1981 Lafer TI
    1600 cc Type 1 engine

    #261904

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I really like those Opel gauges and would like to learn more about how to adapt the speedometer to the VW.

    #261905

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    My 3-guage cluster has 5 gauges in it.  I finally took out the ammeter and put in a clock. 

    #261906

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Roy – do you have or could you make a template of your 3-gauge cluster? Me likie!!:P

    newkitman2015-02-12 17:40:24

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #261907

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    I’ll do my best tracing. Send me your mailing add.

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