View Full Version : Electric/Gauge Panels
01-03-2005, 03:49 PM
I've just started to search for replacement panels for my electrical panels and gauge panels. Mine are cracked around many of the mounting screw holes and one has cracked allowing one of the gauges to sort of "fall". I've considered making some from thin lexan but haven't come up with a solution for labelling that's elegant. Just wondering how others have solved this problem.
01-03-2005, 04:13 PM
Wes, mine are doing the same.. What about some carbon fiber?? I would look the same and be pretty tough????
01-03-2005, 04:27 PM
I think I could fairly easily make panels out of lexan or plastic laminate but to me it's the labelling of the switches that I want to have look good and stay on...DymoLabel just isn't going to get it.....I've read where trophy shops can do it???? but the price is quite high....
01-03-2005, 04:33 PM
wonder if a decal shop could do it?
use the laxan, very small text, then clearcoat over that???
I would like to use the aluminum diamiond plate that I have, the powder coat it....
but I too am stuck on labels.
maybe having someone handpaint them?
mine are in bad shape too......they work but are unappealing:o
01-03-2005, 04:34 PM
that would work....just looked at my handy dandy TV remote control:headbang:
01-11-2005, 03:30 PM
any ideas yet?
01-11-2005, 07:19 PM
It looks a little basic, but the engraving that you get with plastic sheets where there is a color on the outside and white inside. http://www.nametagsource.com/nameplates.htm
Maybe something similar? http://www.dashtops.com/
You can design your own and get custom decal, like a big bumper sticker.
01-12-2005, 12:49 PM
Here's a truly geeky thought....
If you make the panels out of metal (Aluminum, Stainless steel, whatever) rather than Lexan, you can etch the labeling into the metal.
There's a whole industry of people making supplies to create Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) at home. Generally, this involves:
1. Creating a "mask" of the pattern you want. Think black ink on a transparent plastic sheet. For your purposes, Imagine laying out your panel in Photoshop using whatever fonts you'd like, and printing to an inkjet-compatible transparency.
2. Coating a layer of metal with a photoresist. For PCBs, it's generally easiest to buy one pre-coated, but it is possible to buy the photoresist and apply it to your panel.
3. Exposing the panel to sunlight with the mask on top. This is generally a 1-3 minute process.
4. Washing away the unneeded photoresist. On the most popular chemistries (negative), this removes the photoresist from areas that are covered by the black areas on the mask.
5. Etching the metal. This removes the metal in the areas not covered by photoresist. You may have problems figuring out what to etch with if you're not using Copper, but it shouldn't be that hard. In a pinch, you can always use pool acid.
I've heard of people using this method on a thin sheet of copper and etching all the way through to create a stencil that you can use to paint your panel through; I've also heard of people directly etching panels and using the difference in texture (smooth vs. etched) as the labelling. If you get the photoresist on your panel looking good, you may be able to take the panel down and have it color anodized; the exposed areas will have the anodized color while the covered areas will have the unadonized color, and both will be metal surfaces so quite durable.
Just some thoughts,
01-13-2005, 01:06 AM
Not sure if they will fit but I have a complete set of wood grain panels out of an '03 Prostar 197. Dash, switches, throttle & motor box cup holder. They were in my boat 2 weeks, and then I changed them to brushed aluminum.
01-31-2005, 12:38 AM
If you go to Market Place - Parts and Accessories on Team Talk - there is a panel for sale for an 198x MC. Not sure if this is what you are looking for or not.
02-23-2005, 02:56 AM
I know i'm kinda late to reply, but I also have an 89 maristar 240 and i ran in to the same problem except mine went a little deeper. My entire panel had cracks running through it so i ended up making a fiberglass dash by using what was left of the plastic for a mold.