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Crumbling Clusters

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I am well aware of the known issue of the white plastic instrument cluster backing crumbling to dust! I just pulled one from a 77 parts car, hoping for the best, but no luck. Anybody know if certain years are worse? I got two from  78s, and they were bad. A friend had one fall apart in a '76, and that was over 15 years ago. Reason I'm asking is that I have a '74 wagon project that I just started, and if its going to grenade too, I won't touch it till I have to.
Anyone know if certain years were worse?

My 73 was decent when I had it out 10 years ago. But given the rust on the roof I'd say the car probably spent a lot of time under a tree. It was from the SF Bay area and not too hot there either.  I tried to interest my son in 3D printing them..., but he declined. One reason was the bed on the printer he had at the time was too small to make it in one piece.

 I have had the cluster out of my 1974 wagon a couple of times and it was/is pristine.  I know it is original because I got the car from a friend who bought the car brand new.  When I got it, it had sat out in a field for about 15 years with no protection.  So I would have to say that the 74 model wasn't particularly susceptible to crumbling.

My 77 crumbled i kept all the pieces going to try to glue them together. Other parts of it are intact. I want to try my hand at making a 3d model file of it so it could be 3d printed by anyone for free. My brother got a 3D printer a few months ago so will have to try my hand at this.

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I tried to get my son who is very well versed in CAD/CAM and 3D printing to make cluster housings, but he wasn't interested. One thing to be concerned about is the plastic type used to do the print. The interior of a car can get hot and that might be sagging, drooping issue with the wrong filament.

That said, I wish you all the best. This is something a long time coming to the Pinto community. There is also a cluster housing needed for the three pod gauge cluster that was option on some models. They were made of the same suspect plastic.


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