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  #1  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:10 PM
abburns abburns is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Boat: 1990 Tristar190
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Speedometer guage repair on the cheap

The speedometer gauges on my 90 tristar were cracked and ugly.
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I know the gauge lens is available from classic boat works, but I wanted to see if I could do it and save a little money.

I looked around for a source of cheap plastic and found a plastic picture frame from the Dollar Tree.
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I also needed to find something that had a similar dome shape that resembled the lens. I also found this at the Dollar Tree.
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This is the profile of the light.
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The process of shaping the clear plastic into a convex shape is done with a heat gun. The goal is not to use the whole light as a pattern, but just the top 4 inch diameter. I got a coffee cup a little bigger in diameter than the lens...probably about 4 inches. I placed the clear plastic over the coffee cup with at least an inch or two overlay at the edge of the cup. You could probably cut the plastic picture frame into fourths to make it easier to manage. I cut the plastic with a cut-off wheel on a grinder. The cut-off wheel will melt the plastic rather than cut it. In order to soften the plastic, heat the clear plastic with the heat gun until you can see it deform/sag. Quickly push the light dome over the coffee cup and push down and hold for approximately 10 seconds. The clear plastic will not stick to light dome as long as the plastic is not too hot. Now the clear plastic should match the shape of the light dome. Next use the old lens as a template to trace out the circumference of the lens and proceed to cut out with a grinder or dremel. Use the old lens as a template to drill the adjustment hole. I replaced the rubber grommets with new ones that I previously had. You can also take out the grommet from the old lens if needed. I found that heating the grommet with the heat gun for a few seconds made it easier to install. I chose not to remove/install the pointer from the old lens.

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This is the gauge with the new lens.
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I went through one picture frame while practicing, therefore,I have about $3.00 in supplies for both lenses.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:13 PM
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Table Rocker Table Rocker is offline
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Nice work! Very well done.
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  #3  
Old 02-15-2014, 07:32 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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nicely done - did you use an exacto blade to remove the bezel.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:38 PM
abburns abburns is offline
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To remove the bezel (outer ring), I just gave a firm twist with my hand and it came off. I saw no evidence of glue on the ring.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:50 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abburns View Post
To remove the bezel (outer ring), I just gave a firm twist with my hand and it came off. I saw no evidence of glue on the ring.
Mine are glued together they will not turn.... awesome job!
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:30 PM
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johnlanguab johnlanguab is offline
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Nice work
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:33 PM
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orbeamlb orbeamlb is offline
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Nice work!
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  #8  
Old 02-15-2014, 08:34 PM
abburns abburns is offline
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If the bezel won't turn I would try to heat it with a heat gun. This would allow the aluminum ring to expand a little and maybe soften any glue.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:03 PM
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ricford ricford is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abburns View Post
If the bezel won't turn I would try to heat it with a heat gun. This would allow the aluminum ring to expand a little and maybe soften any glue.
Sounds like the heat gun is your friend. Nice work.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:05 PM
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Nice work.
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