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70 Gauge Pod Build

Discussion in 'Interior Board' started by 68stang289, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. 68stang289

    68stang289 Member

    I was originally planning to run an original center console using the shelby style dual gauge pod that fits into the front ashtray. I decided that I liked the look of the car without the console though so I needed a place to put my gauges (fuel pressure (electric fuel pump), oil pressure and engine temp). The PO had mounted them on the cowl panel with those chrome cups. Although they aren't exactly my cup of tea, they are the nice 2 1/2" autometer gauges and they were essentially free so what the hell. I know those pillar pods are generally crap and I didn't want to mount them on the cowl panel so I decided to try my hand at building my own.


    I started out with 1/2" MDF that a buddy gave me and drew out my template. After two screw ups due to not having enough room between gauges I came out with one I was happy with. The holes were cut using a hole saw and then I sanded them until I could fit the gauges in easily.
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    Here it is in the car where it will eventually go.
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    With the gauges installed and finally happy with the spacing in between the gauges.
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    With the gauges installed and in the car where it will eventually go.
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    From there I created my sides and slanted them at a slight angle so the gauges would be tilted a little up towards me. All the MDF pieces were glued together using wood glue and then clamped together to set up for a little while. After that I took out the ol' dremel tool and went to town contouring the upper and lower portions of the main piece to fit both the trans tunnel and to fit under the radio bezel. I took a little off at a time until I got a fit and contour I was happy with. I ended up adding two very small pieces above so that I could get a better, more streamline look from it.
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    Here is a side shot. I wanted it to extend out far enough so that you couldn't see the gauges sticking out the back.
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    Here is the close to finished product with all the pieces glued in place and two of the gauges in there to help ensure they didn't get stopped by the trans tunnel when installed in the car.
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    Just a close up shot to show the pieces together (I had to build the sides out of scraps since I didn't have enough MDF to make them out of one piece because of the two aforementioned screw ups.
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    It was then time for a trip down to Joanne Fabrics to try and find a nice vinyl that would glue well as well as look as close to the factory black vinyl Mach 1 seats in the car. It looks a little shinier in the pictures than it actually is and it is about as close in color and grain as I could have hoped for. Before wrapping it I sprayed the whole piece with some basic rattle can primer to help seal it up (that MDF likes to suck up the moisture and here in Florida, we have a lot of it!). I started by using spray glue on the back of the vinyl and then on the MDF piece as well. I let that tack up a little and then slowly began working my way around it stretching the vinyl so it was nice and smooth. I ended up having to completely remove the vinyl in the gauge holes as they were just too tight of a fit pushing them straight in with the vinyl.
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    Here is a side shot. Unfortunately (and this didn't occur to me until I was stretching the vinyl over the piece), any seams where the pieces were glued together were showing through. If I were to build one again I would make it the entire thing out of 3 separate whole pieces of MDF instead of my frankenstein method. That being said the black is pretty forgiving so you don't really notice it when it is installed unless you are looking for it.
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    Here is a close up of the final piece. You can see how nicely it contoured to the factory radio bezel.
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    Overall I am pretty happy with the build results. I needed a place for the gauges and I didn't want something that was extremely loud. I think that even though these gauges are a little bigger and a different style than I would like, that it fits and flows well with the car and doesn't look too terribly out of place. This was also my first time working with MDF and I gotta say, I will use it again. Easy to cut, easy to sand and picks up the glue very well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2014
  2. SAC69

    SAC69 Active Member Donator

    Nice work, looks good.
     

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