The 80’s called, they want their dashboard back…

Posted: March 27, 2014 in Thunderbird
Tags: , , , , ,
Well, this is better.

Well, this is better.

 

Today I made an executive decision.  The engine turned gauge panel and glove box door went “Buh-bye”, and the originals took their place.  With the help of an instrument panel schematic, pin-out diagram for the gauge plugs, and a little time, the original gauge panel is going back in.

 

The steering column install was, incredibly, a direct bolt in.  I measured correctly, it seems,  a 2″ muffler clamp fit the column, and existing holes in the brake/column mount bracket perfectly.  The dirt, bond-o dust and paint dust on the wiring makes it look worse of a mess than it is.  I do need to do a little research for the wiring in the GM style column, in order to connect it to the Ford harness for the turn signals and flashers.

 

It's not as bad as it looks.

It’s not as bad as it looks.

 

The wiring is all hidden by the gauge panel.

The wiring is all hidden by the gauge panel.

 

A trip to Auto-Zone netted a new Auto-Meter 3″ tach, and a gauge trio of voltmeter, water temperature, and oil pressure gauges, all white faced like the originals.  The tach will go in the gauge cluster where the clock is, with a little adapting.  The three little gauges I’m not sure, but they may end up in the console.  The original gas gauge should work with the newer Ford sending unit, and the speedo is mechanical, so that’ll just plug in and be fine.  I also picked up the needed new ignition switch, and floor mount dimmer, since the Mustang column had all the switch gear.    I’ve got the wiring all sorted out, and fired the car up just to make sure all was well.  Happily, it runs perfectly.

 

It’s exciting to see the original gauges in the dash, I thought I liked the more modern gauges until today.    Stay tuned for the next update, it’s gonna be GREAT!

 

The tach will get some of the face of the old clock, and little "patina" on the face so as to match the original gauges.

The tach will get some of the face of the old clock, and little “patina” on the face so as to match the original gauges.

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