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Old 04-05-2005, 10:18 PM
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anyone with backlit guages?

hello. my everyday driver to work and school and everywhere else is a 67 mustang straight 6. nothing fancy at all. but ive had the car since i was 15(im 20 now) and i plan on keeping it as a daily driver to pass onto my grandkids someday(or be buried with, lol) i love my car, but i hate the dash lights. i love the idea of backlit guages from new cars, where the numbers just sort of GLOW. i thought that would be Awesome to put on my mustang, but the only Modern type of guages are digital, and retail for like 600 dollars. i was planning on attempting to do it myself. i also have a 64 corvair that i want to do this with, so i am going to use that as a guinea pig seeing i dont drive it that often. when i took apart the guages, i noticed that there were several lights that come on to illuminate the numbers behind and above the lights. i thought that i could take all those lights and position them BEHIND the numbers. i would then take the original piece that the numbers are written on, and either take it to a machine shop or do it myself, wher i would CAREFULLY cut out each individual number and line(i know this would take a while). and then after that is done, i would set it on some wax paper or something of the sort, and then some semi-opaque, thick glass or plastic, and postion the lights that would normally be infront of the numbers, behind the numbers. so when i turned on the lights for the guages, the would shine through the colored glass or plastic, get spread around by the wax paper, and then i would only be able to see the numbers that i cut out. i would probably use a really bright, light neon green seeing where the numbers lie is black to give it a good contrast.
sorry for being so long and boring and not using any car lingo. lol. i just thought that it was a good idea, and before i start messing around with it, i was wondering what anybody else thougth about it. if you think its a good idea, or if you would go about it a MUCH simpler way, or if youve done it before, i dont know.
ps. ive attached a picture of what i am talking about kind of , just a simple drawing, where theres the normal way off to the left where it just lights up the numbers, and the one on the right, where it lights Thru the numbers. Plus, im not sure about the paper, but its just a rough idea. i would just need something to spread and soften the light.
thanks for any help in advance.
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Old 04-12-2005, 04:41 AM
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It could be done, but with the amount of time maching, the trying of different materials, mounting the lights etc, you would be better off going with digital. In the modern cars they use a thin sheet of acrylic plastic, have certain areas where they want the light to shine but be somewhat diffused...they flour blast these areas to diffuse. And where they want no light to shine, the areas are painted a flat black. What you may want to do if you have the room behind the dash is to possibly look into fiber optics. You can get fiber optic strands in different diameters. Have a machine shop turn some pieces on a lather that could be backmounted to what you need lit and would allow the fiber optic strand to be inserted into it. Then make up a small box with one common light and have the strands coming out of it to your panel. Also by doing this you could change the color of the lamp to coordinate with your interior, color of the car, etc.

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Old 04-12-2005, 08:42 AM
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There is clear transparancy film made for laser printers.

If you used a graphics program, you could make a print of what you want.

In my experience, the toner doesn't completely block light, but since laser printers are getting pretty accurate in making successive reproductions, you might be able to get by with a sandwich of several copies that would block light in the black areas and then let light through in the clear ones.

You could then insert a sheet of colored film or milky plastic to diffuse the light in the clear areas.

You might end up with five or more sheets when you're done. Maybe you could sandwhich them between some thin acrylic sheet, then drill a hole for the needle shaft.

I've never tried this, so its just an idea that might work.

If you wanted dark numbers on a light background, then I would have one sheet with the numbers above a sheet of white or light-colored plastic, so your "clear" is very clear, then put successive copies of the number sheet behind the opaque sheet to block the incoming light. That way, in the daytime, you'd get a nice resolution, but at night the successive layers of toner'ed sheet would block your backlight.

In any case, you'll have to make sure everything lines up exactly.

One more thing...you might be able to do some limited colors (of toner) with this method. Depends on the resolution of the laser and what colors you chose. Some are going to work great, and some are going to look lousy. At least, that's my guess.

If you don't have access to a color laser, or a regular laser, you can use Kinkos. They probably have graphics software on their rental computers and they'll tell you if they'll provide your output on transparency.

They might have other options too, so you might want to discuss with a Kinko's rep if you're interested in pursuing this.
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:18 PM
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hey guys. i was looking around in a Mustang magazine, and i ran across a texh article about converting your guages over to a backlit display. heres the link to where you can buy the stuff. http://www.mustangsplus.com/Merchant...y_Code=indiglo
is this kind of what i was talking about? seems like they sell the white guages, with a little luminescent thing that sticks right behind it that glows that you stick into where the lights where to go. thanks alot
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckucia
There is clear transparancy film made for laser printers.
I was going to do that, but I got in a hurry. You can also buy transparent paper that Desk-Jets will print on. I bought it, just didn't use it.

I used 12 volt LED light for mine I found them at Radio Shack. Here's some pic's. The Chevy stays lit all the time. The bowties are my blinkers and the H is high beam and the P is the parking brake. I was afraid it would be to bright, but it's not the bad.




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Old 05-10-2005, 05:40 PM
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Cameltoe-Now that looks just fantastic to say the least, since I just ordered a full set of Auto Meter gages for my 64 1/2 mustang (traditional chrome series) I would like to know if you changed the gage lights or is that the way the cobalt series looks? If it is I will exchange mine for Cobalts.
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:33 PM
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It's the way they look. Wow I was just looking around on summits
website and I maybe adding another hole for this one.

Click Me
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:36 PM
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That link doesn't go to it. Here it is.



Performance meter, Cobalt series, Multiple mode, 2 1/16 in., Round, Black face, Digital display, Each

These Auto Meter Cobalt series D-Pic meters give you all of the performance data you want, but fit in a standard 2 1/16 in. diameter hole. They measure forward and lateral G-forces, quarter mile ET and speed, reaction time, horsepower to the rear wheels, 0-60 mph acceleration, and 60-0 mph braking. Cobalt gauges have a black background with a blue LED readout display.
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:47 PM
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Mine have not even arrived yet but I just decided that they are going back. The Cobalt series is a bit pricey but just look at those things, I just got to have a set!
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:58 PM
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At first I wasn't going to buy them all just the big tach. I was just going to use the stock gauges with the big tach. Then I got the tach and thought damn these would look cool if I had the set. So I sent the tach back and got the Speedometer, smaller Tach, and gas gauges. I bought a cheap 3 in 1 for the water, oil, and volt. I'm about to order the oil gauge to match. Buying one month until I get them all.
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