Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dashboard Work

It's almost painting time, but I managed to solve an interesting issue with the indicator lights on the dashboard. So, I went ahead and took care of it.

The dashboard indicator lights attach to the back of the panel, and are made up of a cardboard tube with a green plastic lens and a rubber sealing ring.  Mine are shot.  See?

So I had to come up with an alternative.

I figured out how to make the tubes--it's easy and instructions are all over YouTube.  Craft paper and a glue/alcohol/water mix (one part glue, one part alcohol, two parts water), rolled around a dowel do the job.  I made tubes that matched the existing ones, but better.  They're 7/8" outer diameter, 3/4" inner diameter.  The challenge, though was the rubber sealing ring.  They look like the eyepiece on binoculars, but I couldn't find any that would work.  So I made some.

I took a bicycle tube and cut a section that would wrap around the cardboard tube with a little bit of stretch.  Then, I sliced it lengthwise right at the point it curls around (the tubes come pretty flat and have a memory), leaving a little bit of the 'curl'.  Then I cut the remainder down to a bit less than the length of the tube.

I stitched the tube together with some thread and put contact cement over it to give it strength, then rolled the curly part up onto the tube.  It looks like this:

When I installed it in the dash, I rolled the tube back down and it made a nice seal against the metal.

I glued the lenses into place and installed into the carrier, then bolted it to the panel.

From the front, I get nice clear indicators!


I installed the badge and we're all set except for a polish and some gauges.

I paint this weekend.  I can't wait!
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