Gearbox

Turbo Tribute Build.....The small stuff

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Going down the road with a Turbo tribute build on my 76 Polaris.  Have gotten all the rust issues resolved and now working on the body and suspension.  Engine is being rebuilt and will have a 318is EFI controlled by a Megasquirt and eventually a Turbo.  While I was able to get most of the body flares and dams from IE and scored a NOS OEM rubber spoiler from Rogerstii, the one remaining part I was not able to find was the Turbo gauge pod and boost gauge.  After searching exhaustively, I decided just to build one.  Armed with all the pictures I could find I drew up some CAD drawings and set out on my 3D printer.  Needless to say it took a number of attempts as the pod had so many angles and curves that I needed to get right.  I didn't have a real one to copy, but from the angles of the pictures I had, it was as close as I could get.  The Kienzel clock was the standard tii clock and are still available used, but at a cost.  But this still left me with finding or making the Boost gauge.  I searched at naesium with no luck in finding a used one or one that VDO made as an aftermarket gauge.  The problem was the size, the BMW version was 60mm to match the clock but most all of the VDO gauges were in the 52mm size.  But expanding my search I found a Volvo 240 turbo gauge that had the same mechanism I was looking for, but it was too a 52mm gauge made by VDO.  And most of the 60mm gauges VDO makes are for either tractors or boats.  I found a new VDO 32V Voltmeter for 19 bucks on eBay and gave it a shot.  Both gauges were the type 2 which means that the bezels are crimped on at the factory and cannot be removed without damage.  So, I Dremeled the casings in half on both gauges to salvage the bezel and glass off the 60mm gauge and the mechanism and rear casing of the boost gauge.  In order to mate the two halves, I 3D printed a sleeve which slipped into the bezel side and then the mechanism can slip into the back.  The Volvo needle was orange so it needed to be painted white.  I had to draw out the face of the gauge in Photoshop which I copied from pictures and then printed it out on Matt vinyl with adhesive backing.  Overall the pod and gauge came out well and looks pretty OEM.  Not bad for just going on some pictures lol.  I'm sure not many will go to the lengths I have, but it was a raining weekend and I had nothing better to do.  Hopefully this may give some of you some ideas.  The fun just never stops with these cars :D  BTW the last picture is one I got off the web that I copied from.  

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Impressive what can be done with 3D printing.  That should encourage some clever soul out there to 3D print license plate light covers, currently in the unobtanium category. 

 

Don't forget to paint your instrument cluster surround a dull red to match the Turbo's. 

 

I'd love to repaint the orange/red VDO gauge needles on my auxiliary gauges to match the white needles on my cluster instruments, but I'm leery of trying to pry off the gauge bezels--not sure it can be done without damaging 'em.  How did you accomplish that?

 

mike 

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2 hours ago, mike said:

Impressive what can be done with 3D printing.  That should encourage some clever soul out there to 3D print license plate light covers, currently in the unobtanium category. 

 

Don't forget to paint your instrument cluster surround a dull red to match the Turbo's. 

 

I'd love to repaint the orange/red VDO gauge needles on my auxiliary gauges to match the white needles on my cluster instruments, but I'm leery of trying to pry off the gauge bezels--not sure it can be done without damaging 'em.  How did you accomplish that?

 

mike 

 

Hi Mike;

 

           Thank you and you are reading my mind.  3D printing is a boon to the hobby, but it does have limitations.  And those NLA Hella lamps are on my to do list, but not as a 3D printed part.  I even bought a NOS one for $150 to copy.  But the only way to correctly do them would be to cast them out of resin (painfully slow and not always perfect) or just bite the bullet and commission tooling to have them properly plastic injected.  The cost of tooling is daunting, but it has not stopped me in the past.  Actually, I just had the tooling made for those Wind Splitters that were on the E9 and E10 race cars back in the day which I will be making available to the community this week.  So, despite not having the faintest of fantasies of recovering all my costs, I would like to recover some before I venture into the next project.  So yeah, I will have them available eventually.

 

            The VDO gauges came in two types, type 1 are the ones made in the 60's and 70's and have a bezel that can be removed easily.  If you look at the back of the bezel, you will see tabs on the bezel and casing.  All you have to do is to rotate the bezel to line up the tabs and the bezel will come off.  I find WD40 helps a lot and maybe some slight prying with a thin screwdriver to loosen the decades of dirt and grime.  The type 2 is more difficult if not impossible as it is crimped on at the factory.  Even if you were extremely careful prying them off, you will never get it back on again and have the gauge look right.   The two gauges I had were type 2 and what I did was to cut the casing about 1/2" below the bezel to salvage them.  Given that both gauges were different diameters, 52mm and 60mm, I made a sleeve to adapt both sections together.  I guess you can mate the two halves of the casing back with epoxy after painting the needles.  Plastic casings would be easier, but the metal ones will require a thin steel band to reinforce the part.

 

            And yes, searched forever for the right color and finish for the dash cluster paint.  Closest I found was this MTN Rojo Claro Light Red in a Matt finish that replicates the Turbo dash.  I'm playing around with a number of undercoat colors to dial it just right.  But it looks good right out of the can.  Nice matt finish and the color is pretty close based on all the pictures I have collected.  

 

            My name is Allan and I am a restoration junkie.  Someone please help me.  

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Edited by Gearbox
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9 hours ago, Gearbox said:

Actually, I just had the tooling made for those Wind Splitters that were on the E9 and E10 race cars back in the day which I will be making available to the community this week.

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PM’d. Dude put me down for a set!!!! Friken sweeeeet!

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11 hours ago, 02tradition said:

 

PM’d. Dude put me down for a set!!!! Friken sweeeeet!

  Thank you, and you will have the first set.  I will be posting shortly with better descriptions and pictures.  But they came out better than OEM.

 

10 hours ago, Dudeland said:

were they ever painted, or always black?

They are made from the same type of Rubber as the rear Turbo spoiler, but with modern UV resistant rubber and the latest 3M tape.  I made a few changes to ensure that they will be robust, but identical to the original Posany design which was the most popular back in the day.  And yes, they are usually black and I had never seen them painted.  

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21 hours ago, Gearbox said:

Actually, I just had the tooling made for those Wind Splitters that were on the E9 and E10 race cars back in the day which I will be making available to the community this week. 

 

make sure you post these on the e9 forum... https://www.e9coupe.com/forum/forums/e9-general-discussion.7/

 

Ed

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