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Custom Center console gauges




Additional gauges? Why not? Sporty cars need sporty gauges. And the center console looks some empty with only ashtray and stereo. Some space left to be used.


So let's go VDOs. Gauges and sensors are easily available and cheap; indeed I found the requested ones in one of my grabbleboxes. Oil temp, oil pressure and volts.


But not like this:




More like this (borrowed from John_im_VA, hope you don't mid, John):




Ok so far. But the face design!!?! Let's have a look at the stock tach and compare with the voltmeter design:





Not really the same. In the VDOs the white has become some tan, there are colored sections, the font is incorrect and way too many lines and numbers. Too obtrusive for my taste, even if there are fellers that like such:



Looks like a vegetable shop.


So whenever I modify Jérôme I try to find a design that fits to the car and is as close and similar as doable to the design BMW may have chosen in those years- if they had. And since my speedo cluster is made my way, the three small ones should look like that, too.


I took them apart. The front rings and screens were not longer requested. White paint inside, I didn't know before how the illumination may appear later:




Getting it darker is easier than getting it lighter. A wooden plywood with frazed holes holds the gauges with the light rings, covered with 2mm acrylic and finished with an aluminium front plate I frazed also.





Oh sorry, Esty and gentelmen. I do know that this machine is called router, but I think “frazer” hits better the sound it develops while operating. “Frraaaayze...” Yaah. So if you don't mind let me call it frazer.


Well, the arrangement is done and the installation into the console will be some work but no real problem. The pressure sensor will be located instead of the switch with an adapter next to the dizzy, the temp sensor probably into the oil filter socket- not entirely sure yet, but I'd like to know how hot the oil really is and not how cool in the pan. Running wires... Lousy but no problem, too.


And now the face design. Thanks xfer and jmr we know the figure font “Century Gothic” is close enough to the fonts in tach and speedo. At some point I've found all positions of the figures, but from here I was out. CAD unfortunately is not my business- but it's my old school friend Thommy's business. So I contacted Thommy, we met and palavered about the design and he agreed to create a file.


In the meantime I cared about the three hands. I wanted them with the same design as temp and tank in the bavaria what's the same in the 02's speedo and tach, but smaller. I started to modify the current hands but this was no way. They are made of three very thin metal layers and have a peak on top. There's simply not enough material there. Here's an essay:




No. Too rough. The hands themselves may be ok, but not the hubs. So I bought base material:





Knurled plastic screws M4. I treated them to get a similar shape to the bav hubs and drilled them longwise to 0,35mm. The gauges have hand shafts with 0,37 to 0,38mm, I could easily push the plastic onto the shafts.




To make the hand's needles was nervy. I got white triangle profile from a modeling ware shop, 1,5x1,5mm and a special fine knife set to cut the peaks. This was a real challenge. The profiles are pretty filigrane and I had extreme problems to hit their center to create an exact peak. More than a dozen essays were needed:




Well, at some point there were enough to choose three of them to use. They were glued to the hubs with special modeling glue. Here installed in comparison to a 2x2mm profile:




Then we have a wire adapter inserted between the plugs to the heater box fan:




So switched power and the gauge illumination are easily brought into the console. A small additional fuse box accessible from the glove box:





There's an adjustable resistor next to it (an old driving light switch) to regulate the illumination intensity. That's quite good because it turned out to be much too bright. The result:




Note that this is a direct view. You'll see that the single gauge units are located downwards and to the passenger side. This is done because when driving the car, the driver looks disangled onto the gauges and not directly. This way the front rings of the aluminium and the gauge's faces align much better. Using stock gauges in the center console, a small section of the face's left bow is cut off by the front ring and on the right the bright illuminated housing is visible what I always disliked. Here's approximately the driver's view:




And the entire thing:




The clock's front ring has to be modified, but all in all, that's it. Thanks for looking in!



Edited by Henning

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