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Old 06-26-2012, 08:00 AM   #1
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Cheap and easy custom dash with new gauges

So I FINALLY got the wiring sorted out behind the dash and the stock gauge cluster working. However, I hated how tacky the stock center dash piece looks in the YJs... So I decided to pull it out and make my own.

I had some diamond plate left over so I made a template of the center dash piece and cut out the diamond plate. Used a vice to hold the diamond plate and bent all the edges to fit. Traced out holes for the stereo and heater controls (very poorly I might add, should have taken my time, but cutting diamond plate with a jig saw is a bitch). Then I cut out the back dash plate so that it was one large open area. I decided to make the gauge panel a separate piece that is removable because I know I will be back there constantly and its nice to not have to remove the radio every time.

Bought a clock/inside and outside temperature/voltmeter for $15. Hooked it up to accessory 12v. The clock and temp are always on, but when it gets the acc 12v, the blue backlight comes on and the voltmeter turns on as well.

Got a fuel gauge for $20 that uses the stock sending unit ohm ranges, so all I had to do is hook it up to the wire coming from the sending unit, formerly going to the stock gauge cluster.

Added a vacuum gauge and got a temp gauge and oil pressure gauge, $20 each.

Got a push start panel for $40 that included 2 switches. Not sure why I bought this, it was completely unnecessary, but whatever...

Painted the panels with VHT gloss paint.

And I think it looks a thousand times better than stock, but I could have done a better job if i took my time. After selling the stock gauge cluster and trim peice, I should break even, so that makes me happy....

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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What gauges are they?!

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Nice.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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What gauges are they?!
All free shipping with Prime

Fuel Gauge (Uses stock sending unit input) $20.32 Amazon.com: Equus 8362 2" Fuel Level Gauge: Automotive

Temp Gauge (Uses stock sending unit input, but does come with a new sending unit): $18.73 Amazon.com: Sunpro CP8201 StyleLine Electrical Water/Oil Temperature Gauge - White Dial: Automotive

Oil Pressure Gauge (Do not know if it uses the stock input, I just went ahead and used the sending unit that came included with the gauge): $19.16 Amazon.com: Sunpro CP8202 StyleLine Electrical Oil Pressure Gauge - White Dial: Automotive

Vacuum (Comes with tubing and adapters to hook up to manifold): $18.73 Amazon.com: Sunpro CP8203 StyleLine Mechanical Vacuum/Boost Gauge - White Dial: Automotive

Clock/Temp/Volts (backlight when connected to 12v (switchable between blue and orange): $16.50 Amazon.com: Innovic EC30 Multifunctional 4 in 1 Car Digital Clock, In/Out Thermometer, Voltage Monitor with stand and magic tape: Car Electronics
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:03 AM   #5
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Looks good! I always wanted to try and mod my dash
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
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Sick!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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dude thats tight, makes me wanna get ride of my mossy oak and do that
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:33 AM   #8
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100% awesome!
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:51 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, I ordered a Smittybuilt lockbox to replace the oem glovebox, should get here today. Just need to install that and figure out what to do about the trim peice that goes around the steering wheel...
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:51 AM   #10
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Dude that is rad!!!
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #11
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You don't happen to have a diagram or list of what wires go to what gauges? I've got a spaghetti mess of wires under my dash and I need to wire up all of my aftermarket gauges. Not sure where to begin.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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Marry me!
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:53 AM   #13
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You don't happen to have a diagram or list of what wires go to what gauges? I've got a spaghetti mess of wires under my dash and I need to wire up all of my aftermarket gauges. Not sure where to begin.
Haha, well my hours of frustration and toiling will pay off for you. I got you covered. When I get home today I will put a diagram together for you. I hard wired my stock gauge cluster because the circuit board was fried. Just didnt like the way it looked, it however did work perfectly hard wired.... PM your email address
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Marry me!
Vegas?
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
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Vegas?
Never been there (being 9 and eating at circus circus doesn't count), so why not. Drive thru or Elvis wedding?
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #16
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Looks awesome!
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #17
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that looks awesome! want want want! Great job!
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:48 PM   #18
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Very clean look - Great job man!
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #19
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what did you do about the tab that sticks out on the smittly bilt box? pic please
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #20
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Dude that is super sick!! How long from beginning to end did it take?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #21
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Well I have been too lazy to do it, but you can just cut off the tab with a grinder and a cutoff wheel. Ill take another picture when I get home and upload it.

Beginning to end it took me about 5-6 hours probably. Not counting paint dry time.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #22
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GREAT stuff that light display looks awsumm!! You get an atta boy for the research on the gauges too!!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:51 PM   #23
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how did you make the template to transfer to the d-plate?
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:02 PM   #24
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That is sweet! Im not sure i follow you on the bending of the D plate? How thick is it? Can you elaborate a little more on that?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:31 AM   #25
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For the Template I just took the OEM plastic center piece and replicated its footprint so that it would mount up and cover the area, but would be flat instead of angled like the oem piece.

For bending the diamond plate, i put it on my workbench overhanging the ledge. Then clamped down a 2x4 over the diamond plate. From there I just tapped it with a hammer from one side to the other until i had it bent to where i wanted it...
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #26
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What type of prep did you do to paint your dashboard? I'd like to paint mine black.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #27
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1) clean with soap/water
2) light sand with fine grit
3) rinse off with water
4) spray with prep spray and wipe off
5) apply first coat very light and let dry for 10-15 minutes
6) apply 2 or 3 more coats
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #28
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Well done.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbrd84
1) clean with soap/water
2) light sand with fine grit
3) rinse off with water
4) spray with prep spray and wipe off
5) apply first coat very light and let dry for 10-15 minutes
6) apply 2 or 3 more coats
Great, thanks.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #30
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I can't my lights to work behind my gauges, just took it all apart as replaced all bulbs and cleaned all contacts and still nothing. I noticed an auto start behind my dash and removed 90% of that which had a few crazy slices into my stock wires. Do you think this could be affecting my lights in the dash? I hear a sound like the switch is opening for the lights but they just won't light!!!! Any suggestions?? I'm goin in for more tomorrow...

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