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Author Topic: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.  (Read 1589 times)

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Offline Vicrydr

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Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« on: July 21, 2016, 07:09:37 PM »
Now I went and did it. Tried to take out the tach and speedo hsg.gauge cluster to check on some wiring and dash lites that don't work. That plastic housing is as fragile as an eggshell and the top portion of it just fell apart. From what I have read on this issue, there isn't any replacements for these housings. So now I am trying to superglue this thing back together. With pieces of gauge cluster housing from the 86 Ranger I'm boning out I am making some headway. Have to go buy more glue and when I have it where I want it, coat it with something bullet proof to help keep it together. If someone out there has a good one, or an idea of what might fit in place. From what I've gathered my 77 Pinto Wagon has the Rally gauges with the tach and speedo behind steering wheel and 3 gauges in center of dash above console.
Thanks.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2016, 10:01:52 AM »
I tried to get my son to 3D print the cluster housing for me. At first he said, "Sure." But when it came time to actually do it he backed out.  Perhaps he can be enticed.  How much would the Pinto crowd be willing to pay for such an item???

Update:  He said that his printer doesn't have enough movement to cover the range. And, the design would take quite some time if it did. He also said there is some concern about interior temperatures not being kind to what is essentially low melt plastic. Oh well. Maybe someone can make a mold and they can be made out of thin fiberglass (model plane stuff) and resin???

Offline dga57

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 05:25:08 PM »
I don't know, but you'd think with all the technology available today there would be a cost efficient way to reproduce those; Heaven only knows they're an "in demand" item!


Dwayne :)
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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2016, 08:35:17 PM »
I tried to get my son to 3D print the cluster housing for me. At first he said, "Sure." But when it came time to actually do it he backed out.  Perhaps he can be enticed.  How much would the Pinto crowd be willing to pay for such an item???

Update:  He said that his printer doesn't have enough movement to cover the range. And, the design would take quite some time if it did. He also said there is some concern about interior temperatures not being kind to what is essentially low melt plastic. Oh well. Maybe someone can make a mold and they can be made out of thin fiberglass (model plane stuff) and resin???

3d printing has come a long way in a short time, but the low-cost options just aren't good enough for production use yet and even the high-cost options are still flawed at this point. Part of the inherent problem was mentioned; using thermoplastics in elevated temperatures presents a variety of potential issues. It's also not going to produce a plug-n-play part; there are going to be funky printing textures that need to be hand finished. 3D printing was initially intended for rapid prototyping.

I have the capability to make parts like Pinto clusters out of billet aluminum, but no one would pay enough for me to even cover production costs.  :(

Dome light lenses are another in-demand plastic part that just can't really be made any other way than Ford did.
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Offline Reeves1

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Offline Vicrydr

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2016, 08:36:03 AM »
So far I've spent more than a few days re-engineering the housing with good glues and the plastic cut out pieces from the Ranger cluster. Pretty intricate work. Also using kitty hair bondo on it. I'll post a picture when done.

Offline dga57

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2016, 02:11:16 PM »
So far I've spent more than a few days re-engineering the housing with good glues and the plastic cut out pieces from the Ranger cluster. Pretty intricate work. Also using kitty hair bondo on it. I'll post a picture when done.

Hope it works for you!

Dwayne :)
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2016, 02:43:07 PM »
So far I've spent more than a few days re-engineering the housing with good glues and the plastic cut out pieces from the Ranger cluster. Pretty intricate work. Also using kitty hair bondo on it. I'll post a picture when done.

I like your make it work regardless attitude.  For some (remarkable) reason my housing held up pretty well.  I modified it to take the Turbo Coupe tach/boost Gage when I did the 2.3T swap ("What? You cut up a pristine cluster housing? That's a crime against Pintodom!"  >:( ). I tried to make the green "Ride Control" light work for something else (that I can't remember now) but I fried it in the process. Oh well... .

Offline Vicrydr

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2016, 04:36:30 PM »
Here's what this Frankenstein piece looks like now. I added the blue backlight bulb covers from the Ranger. A little more work on it and should be good to go. I had to replace 6 of the twist in dash light holes. Cutting and fitting and getting the right angle to match the printed circuit was a real test of my patience. After painting it up it shouldn't look to bad. Everything fits back on it OK.

Offline dga57

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2016, 09:45:05 PM »
Good job!!!


Dwayne :)
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: Crumbling gauge cluster hsg.
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 07:35:28 AM »
Art
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