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QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/21 8:54 a.m.

I realize that in your mind it is unfinished, have you considered having it photographed yet? It is seriously beautiful and I would buy a print for my garage. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/10/21 9:59 a.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

I would love to get some professional photos of it. The outside is finished enough for my liking. 

SVreX needs to drive his 'A down here for some side-by-side stock vs hot rod pictures!

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/21 2:46 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

I realize that in your mind it is unfinished, have you considered having it photographed yet? It is seriously beautiful and I would buy a print for my garage. 

It would be the closest thing to a completed project to grace your garage 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/18/21 9:45 a.m.

Motivation has been low lately, so I pulled the unfinished dashboard to do some metal work. I like metal work. 

Remember, this panel used to be one side of the gas tank, which was mounted over your lap. I decided on some 3-3/8" round gauges from Autometer. 2 holes will house 6 pieces of information. I couldn't figure out how to scale the Lexus potentiometer reading to match what this gauge wants. Lexus unit is 110 ohm empty 4 ohm full, while the new hotness is 240/33. No matter, this kit comes with all senders, including fuel level sending unit, which I will need to replace my OEM Lexus one with. If you can remember 4 years back, I frankenstein'ed the fuel pump pickup and sending unit into one flange. So now I need to franken-frankenstein the Autometer float gauge into it.

Pretty happy with how it came out, though it oil-canned a bit from welding. There is also an upper trim piece I ordered new, which means I'll need more paint. But it's ready for gauge and switch holes. Which brings me to the next problem. I've been wanting to keep the Lexus key and ignition switch, and I want it mounted in this dash panel, but it is simply too long and deep to fit back there. Something about a sideways-mounted master cylinder and booster. So I may buy a generic alternative key+switch. Also need a headlight switch. Open to suggestions for simple, elegant, attainable examples of each. 

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/18/21 9:53 a.m.

Oh hell, there's an inline plug in thingie that should allow you to keep the stock adapter.  I found its sister unit when I was trying to adapt an aftermarket oil pressure sender to a stock gauge  Let me do some digging.


Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/18/21 9:58 a.m.

Here we go  https://www.technoversions.com/MeterMatch.html

It takes the reading from the sender and then outputs a different reading (which you set up) to the gauge.  Autometer also appears to have something that does the same called a "Fuel Bridge" which may be the easier route https://www.autometer.com/fuel-bridge-fuel-signal-adapter-for-autometer-gauges.html

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/21 10:58 a.m.

Jag xj6 switches have like 5 positions and are cheap. Off, parking, fogs, headlights, headlights and fogs, I think.


Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/18/21 11:34 a.m.
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/18/21 12:36 p.m.

An IS300 gauge cluster would look really cool in there and would probably simplify the wiring.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/18/21 12:39 p.m.

Thanks guys. If I can't fit the Autometer float sensor in my sending unit and tank, glad to know there is a device for scaling the output of what I already have. The kits comes with the sender anyway.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/18/21 1:03 p.m.

I bet that IS300 gauge set talks to the computer for at least some of those functions.  I think going with discrete gauge/sensor pairs and not talk to the ECU is going to be easier.  

Those Autometers should look pretty nice when finished.  As for a headlight switch, I'd probably grab one from an SN95 Mustang, as they were used in lots of cars and are stone simple.  Unlike the Jag part I imagine every parts store in the country has one on the shelf.  Pull knob, rotate for bezel diming control, small and clean to install.  But there are lots of other options out there.

GaryC83 New Reader
8/18/21 3:14 p.m.

Classic Instruments has a great solution for the fuel sender issue as well- the fuek link. We use them all the time.  Works phenomenally well, easy to use and setup. Works on anything from 0-350 ohms and you can custom calibrate them to your specific gauge. They just plain work...and they also have a slight delay in them to prevent the needle from bouncing under harsh acceleration if you don't have a baffled tank setup.


Honestly I'd go that route before I tried to further modify what you have, especially if the fuel aspect  is already working. 



GaryC83 New Reader
8/18/21 3:28 p.m.

As far as the oil canning my money is you just sunk your patch panel whilst welding and you need to do some hammer and dolley work to the welds to stretch them back out and in effect that will raise the "sunk" and puckered metal back to where it should be.  Odds are its a "loose" easily moved oil can situation... which would directly relate to the welded areas being shrunk and needed to be stretched back out, in order to bring things back to where they should be. 

Obviously without seeing it, it's impossible to say but seeing the shape of the patch and looking at it... my gut says that is happened. If it's mig welded, which it looks to be, odds are you may crack some of the welds as you hammer and dolley them back to shape. It'll happen. They're not as malleable as a tig or gas torch welded joint, but it shouldn't stop you from hammer welding them back to get it sorted. I'd take a large flat dolley and a flat faced body hammer and start to work those welds. Once everything is back to where it should that sunk area will pop back into place as the stresses from the shrunken areas (welds) are drawing it all in and forcing to flop around.  Should be an easy fix. Reweld the cracks. Hammer weld those as well and call it a day.



AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/19/21 9:05 a.m.

Just a thought for the key. I saw these a while back and I haven't done in depth research to know how reliable they are, but...

DIY Keyless Entry/Start

You could make that thing all fancy and never have to pull the key out of your pocket!

I'm guessing the standard push button start switches wouldn't really firt the theme of the car, but I'm sure you could make up a different push button that's more retro. 

java230 UberDork
8/19/21 10:55 a.m.
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/19/21 11:07 a.m.
java230 said:

Im envisioning old school chrome pull out switch for headlights....


And a floor mounted high-beam switch.  Then you can get one of these https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Barefoot-Dimmer-Switch-Pedals,5519.html

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/19/21 11:59 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

You seen my crowded footwell lately? I can barely fit in this thing, even barefoot! I love the floor-mounted brights switch in my El Camino though. 

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/19/21 12:01 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Mount it on the firewall?  Mount it on the side of the trans tunnel so you can kick it with a little heel work?  Back right by the seat so you can pull your knee up and stomp it?

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
8/21/21 7:39 a.m.

Rice Rod is amazing!


Now get going on the Europa!

minivan_racer UberDork
8/21/21 2:35 p.m.

Damn i come back and it's all done and painted....


I'm in for a poster as well.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
8/26/21 5:49 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I came across this picture and thought of you.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/26/21 7:18 a.m.

I like that Lotus and that FJ rod. I really want to finish the dashboard and gauges before starting a new project, since this requires a little bodywork and paint. I'll have you all know I drilled like 8 holes yesterday so...there.

newrider3 HalfDork
8/26/21 9:29 a.m.

A chrome pull-knob headlight switch does seem appropriate; you can get a matching pull out starter switch too.



V6Buicks Reader
8/27/21 7:06 a.m.

The IS300 cluster is partially instrumented through canbus.  Getting it to work fully again would be a big pain.  I agree that it would look cool though.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/28/21 5:56 p.m.

This amount of bodywork is just right. Enough to be satisfying, not enough to make you crazy.

Here's the switches I went with. Just generic Dorman stuff from Rockauto. Overall fits the theme of simple but good, nothing flashy. The black knob matches the other black accents, like the gauges, steering column, and windshield frame.

To make it all work, I have to revise some plumbing and wiring. The 4-gauge pod comes with its own sending units. Left to right: metric to NPT adapter (wrong size it turns out), new coolant temp sender, OEM oil pressure switch, BSP inline with NPT side port, and new oil pressure sender. I plan to replace the OEM low-coolant switch with the new coolant temp sender, so the ECU still has the temp signal it expects. Though honestly, I'm not sure it's even wired into the ECU right now, based on how it's been running cold vs warmed up. But it will be useful to have separate temp senders for gauges vs. ECU when I go stand-alone.

I'll have to order a new fitting to get the coolant temp to work, but so far so good. Fuel level will be another story.

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