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<-----No More Beetle :(
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18,311 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know where I could buy a custom gauge face? I think I was something specific with graphics on it. Does anyone do that?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Super Moderator
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8,913 Posts
jpdeuce said:
You could make one yourself.

Or you could design it yourself and give a graphics place the outline of the size it needed to fit in. The black is just an insert in your gauges that you can replace. But you have to break the gauge cluster down to the bare bones. Check out my How To over at the old site:

http://forums.newbeetle.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=54469
I need to add that to our How-To Section with your permission! That's a great write up!
 

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<-----No More Beetle :(
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18,311 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey thanks everyone! Doesnt look tooo bad. As soon as I have more time on my hands I'm going to be trying a few minor mods on my own. :goodjob:
 

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College Student..WOOT!
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104 Posts
Is there any way you guys can post a list of materials needed to make a new gauge face? I would love to have a custom gauge face but don't really know what would be good to use as a starting point.
 

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2008 "Fowvay" yellow NB
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574 Posts
I just printed mine out on paper and covered it in a clear sticker but like I say it's just a temp. I want to create a better one but I also am wondering what to use. The OEM is some kind of stiff plastic stuff, about the stiffness of a new playing card. It seems to be printed with some colors on the back and blacked out on the front where the light is not supposed to shine through. I'm thinking I want to find some really thin plexiglass and sand it to a frosty finish. Then I plan to use some decal paper for the colored parts and print on stick on clear plastic, the black front stuff. That's the kind of stuff I have and know about so that's what I'll use.

Post up your progress. Mine isn't going anywhere fast.

Good luck.
 

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Super Moderator
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8,913 Posts
Let me see....

You will need:
Torx wrenches
Plastic Knife
Plyers
Small straight head screwdriver
Steady Hands
Scanner
Ink Jet Printer
Low Tack White Film
optional - plex or thin plastic sheet

Here's some light reading:
Speedo Project
Removing the Gauge
Speedo Face Removal

Okay - I just lost an entire post so let's see if I can rehash what I just lost.

Read through the "Speedo Project" and also there are some good links on that page to the Old Org threads on the subject that are worth checking out prior to taking this on.
When you feel you are ready to take the project on follow the directions on "Removing the Gauge" and then remove the OEM face by following "Speedo Face Removal".
Once you have the OEM Face removed scan the face at 600 dpi or the res of your printer.
Use Photoshop to pull the portions of the scan out to create a template for your design.

There are two things that I have figured out from doing over 20 of these things. They are that there are basically two schools of face design that I have worked with and each has it's advantage and disadvantage.
1 - Use the OEM Face and design and overlay that will work with the existing/OEM Font, tick marks and symbols. This one is easier to design and work with. The lights will line up and shine through without any conflict. Photoshopping is basic and you basically make a template by isolating the existing text, marks and symbols so you can insert a design in the background...this is what I did with the Smurf and Blues Brother designs on the first page. The advantage is that the OEM face works to focus the light into the original design and you simply put the overlay over the OEM face and reinstall. The only real drawback to this method is that you are now adding another layer of film so your face will be a little more dim at night.
2 - Do not use the OEM Face and basically redesign the entire face. This requires a little more effort and with a little bit of experimentation can produce a wonderful piece that is truely unique. Take the Marvin's Eyes face as an example. Marvin's Eyes has a custom font and redesigned face. I built that one by scanning -then working over it in AutoCAD until I got the linework the way I wanted it - I then imported it into Photoshop and colored it much like you would color cel animation.
It is built out of a three layer system.
- Layer one - Top layer - The colored layer of Film printed out on an injet printer
- Layer two - Mid layer - The black and white layer of film printed out on an inkjet printer to have white whereever there is either color or white on the front gauge face to help transmitt and focus light through to the front layer.
- Layer three - Back layer - Thin plastic that has been cut in the same shape as the OEM face outline and sanded to create a frosted effect to help transmitt and diffuse light from the existing LED configuration to the new areas for backlighting the artwork.

Here is the Film I keep refering to...and it has been a "secret" product that I have only given out to a few people..but the best product I have found for this application.
It has to be low-tack so you can remove and reposition, has to be film because that implies that it is plastic and it will transmitt light better than paper and ink jet because you can print it easily out of your home printer.
http://www.hyaz.com/inkjet cling tack media.html

Why Film and not paper?
Film will transmitt the light better than paper. The first few I ever did were on photopaper and had to be rubber cemented to the OEM face and transmitted close to no light at all so it was rather dark at night. I even received an order once that was incorrect and was a low tack paper - I tried that as well and the fibers of the paper did not transmitt the light near well as the film.

If I can remember any more I will add to this post.
 
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