Gauge Face Customization Tips
Settling for a stock, simple, and boring gauge face is a big no-no for any tricked ride. This guide will show you how you can pick a customized one for your car. With an aftermarket face, you can have gauges that will look as beautiful and stylish as the other parts of your car.
Unique to your car
Each car model uses a unique and specific layout for its gauge face. Know your car's make and model to help you pick what fits perfectly to your car. Another thing to know is your car's transmission. For old cars without digital faces, the gauge of an automatic transmission has a small diagram indicating what gear is engaged.
Areas for designs
The most interesting part when doing any visual modification for your car is picking out the design. Custom faces' looks can be varied in three areas: the material, look, and needle finish. The following is a quick description on how each part can be designed:
- Material: Custom gauge frames are usually made from either stainless steel or polycarbonate. Stainless steel faces offer a bright and shiny finish while sporting a completely new design with the lines, measures, and numbers. Polycarbonate ones are more open to dramatic customization. If you pick polycarbonate faces, make sure it is guaranteed never to fade. You want your face's looks to last a lifetime.
- Looks: Change the looks by adding color to do away with the stale stock face. You can choose from colors like red, yellow, pink, green, and many more. For a wilder design, pick glowing gauges that have flames and other creative patterns. Some faces take it to the extreme by having CZ diamonds for a flashy finish.
- Needle: Simple kits will require you to use your stock needles. Some kits include new and custom needles to match the design of your new face.
There isn't an increase in performance when you install a custom gauge face. It's all a matter of taste. If you want to be very creative and create a very unique design for your car, you can buy multiple kits for you to mix and match the different parts of the face.
Easy Gauge Face Customization
A DIY gauge face installation is one of the simplest projects you can perform for your car. Though not an upgrade to give you more speed and power, a customized and colorful gauge face will instantly give your ride's interior a huge boost in style points. With a few steps and even fewer tools, you will now look at your car's speed in a totally new way.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Polaroid or digital camera
- Custom gauge face kit
- Needle tool or dining fork
Step 1: Insert the key on the ignition switch and turn it on the on position ? don't start the car. With the electricity running, take a picture of the gauge cluster with your Polaroid or digital camera. It really doesn't matter what type of camera you use. What's important is you get an instant copy of the picture. Turn off the car and remove the key afterwards.
Step 2: Remove the gauge cluster from the dashboard. To do this, you need to unscrew different screws of the interior panels that hold the gauge cluster in place. Depending on your car's model, the top gauge panel, the outer side panel, knee area panel, and center console panel may be needed to remove.
Step 3: With the insides exposed, unplug the electrical wires connected to the gauges. Once all wires are off, completely pull the gauge cluster from the dashboard.
Step 4: Put the cluster on a flat surface and remove the plastic lens cover. Remove the needle stoppers and keep it in a safe place for later use.
Step 5: Place the needles in a 6 o'clock position. Pull it out with the needle tool or a dining fork if you don't have one. Remove the stock gauge face from the assembly. Clean the gauge cluster afterwards.
Step 6: Get the new gauge face and peel the plastic lining on its rear to expose the adhesive. Lay the new face on the gauge assembly. Be very careful that you install it properly to avoid forming bubbles and air pockets underneath the gauge face.
Step 7: Return the gauge cluster on the dashboard and slightly push replacement or stock pins in to return them to the assembly. Refer to the picture you took earlier on the needle's positions. Return the stoppers as well.
Step 8: To test the needles, disconnect the cluster again and point the needles upward. When plugged once more, the needles should all point to zero. If it does, unplug it for the last time to push the needles all the way in with the help of the needle tool or dining fork.
Step 9: Finish the repair by reconnecting the gauge, replacing panels, and returning screws.