Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

This has probably been asked and answered multiple times, and if so, I apologize for that. I did search the forums and internet and can't seem to find a suitable answer that works for me.

I'm attempting to clean and refresh a set of round (SS) gauges. See photo.

Based on what I've read, I tried some cleaning products and processes on older sacrificial fuel and speedo gauges, before touching these. I tried Qtips, cottonballs, water, Windex, denatured alcohol. All of them seemed to damage, not only the lettering, but even leave streaks on the black. The lettering is especially sensitive, as many members have cautioned me about already. They were right.

I'm afraid I've gotten into something I shouldn't have. As much as I prefer to have original gauges, I'm now thinking instead to sell these and just buy a set of repop gauges. Someone looking for originals, with restoration experience, can buy then take on the restoration task.

At this point I'm asking myself does it really matter if my tach has 2 screws (repop) instead of 3 (original)? Are the repops any good? I'm just building a non-SS driver.

FWIW I spent $350 for the full tach gauge cluster and another $55 for a new printed circuit board so far.

Thanks,
Tom
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Last edited by TK-70; Jul 31st, 20 at 11:09 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 1:35 PM
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Mike
 
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

I would use what you have. The clock doesn't look that bad. In my opinion it looks great for being 50 years old. The three screws in the tach and the clock lettering say original and proud of it. My opinion is original is always better than repop if possible. Sometimes it's not possible. I think your gauges look good.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 4:45 PM
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

Unless you doctored up the pic I think they look good. Are you looking for concourse or just a really nice looking cluster. Keep them...


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 5:24 PM
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Jon N.
 
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

I'd be tempted to use eraser dust, or Windex.

Might have to try then on a different gauge first though.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 7:30 PM
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Keith
 
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

most cleaners will remove the silk screening or smudge it

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 20, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Thanks for the feedback. The gauges do look ok from a distance, but up close they are dirty. I’m not looking for concours, but I can’t bear to reassemble with a clean lense and dirty gauge faces.
I just tried again with a cotton ball with water and made a little progress at the bottom of the tach. I‘ll proceed gently with that combo and hopefully do no harm.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 20, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

Just fyi - this may be useful to some of you in the future.

It seems as though its the combination of cleaner + friction that eventually cuts into the lettering.

If I use a Windex or a solvent, I can possibly make one swipe across the lettering, but no guarantees. Any more will cut into it and ruin it. So you'd better get it right the first time.

If I use plain water and a qtip, eventually it will cut into the lettering and break it up from the friction of the qtip.

Plain water and cotton ball seems to be the most forgiving (though not as effective), allowing me multiple swipes. Hopefully water is enough for my gauges.

Here is what the damage looks like on my sacrificial speedo. 110 and 120 show the result of solvent and cotton ball. The 90 is an example of multiple swipes using a qtip + water. Whatever you use, friction will eventually compromise the surface of the number and it quickly deteriorates from there.

So buyer beware. Very unforgiving. Again, these are just my experiences. Your mileage may vary.
Thanks again for the feedback. Much appreciated.

Tom
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 20, 1:02 PM
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

I used a water wetted q-tip, but first i used a really fine make-up brush that i got from my wife. The brush was used to gently wipe away dust, with out removing the silkscreening. Terry
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 20, 1:41 PM
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68-13427 View Post
I used a water wetted q-tip, but first i used a really fine make-up brush that i got from my wife. The brush was used to gently wipe away dust, with out removing the silkscreening. Terry
I was going to suggest just that. Get a clean "Blush Brush", like the one your wife would use. Its big and very soft and brush away the dust. Dont do anything else to the gauge face. Just leave it alone.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 20, 9:14 AM Thread Starter
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Tom
 
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

Thanks again. Great suggestions.

The contamination on my gauges seems to be a little more sticky than dusty though. It hasn't budged by blowing air on it or with a dry cotton ball. It seems as if dust settled on the faces, then some humidity was introduced, making it adhere to the faces. Kind of like dirt + water = mud. The water I added to the cotton ball might be necessary to break down the "mud".

I'll definitely try a first pass with the brush before going any further. I'll see if "we" have a clean Blush Brush here, and, if not, sneak it onto the next shopping list :-)
Tom

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 20, 9:19 AM
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Keith
 
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Re: Clean gauge faces and lettering or buy repop?

a small paint brush is all you need

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