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Cluster Dial Mods 

 

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 Post subject: Cluster Dial Mods
Posted: Fri May 20, 2005 8:49 pm 
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Ride: '06 BF GT-P

Power: 293 rwkw

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ACT, Australia

Image

Alot of people have been asking how I did mine. Instead of asnwering them all individually, I'll post this how-to. Maybe a mod will want to put it in the doco section.

Make something unique for your car, and it's not rice, as I went from EL dials to EF ones so I gained dial readout performance (5KM/h vs. 10KM/h and 100rpm vs. 250rpm).

Materials Needed:
    - EF/EL Cluster (others can be done, but I don't have templates for them, people willing to send me a 600dpi scan so I can turn them into a template go for it)
    - Template File for the cluster.
    - High resolution pictures/logos/etc. (I can't stress this enough, low res images will print out sh*thouse)
    - Computer with Photoshop (or some other good picture editing software, something with 'layers' is needed).
    - Quality paper (I'm talking the enviro-UN-friendly triple beached stuff, whiter than white).
    - Quality colour laser printer (you may have to go to work, or OfficeWorks/Kinkos/etc.).
    - Sharp knife.
    - Steady hand.
    - Time.
    - Creative mind.
(I can't help with the last three)

Templates
The cluster in EF/EL's is made up of two seperate parts, the speedo half, and the tacho half.

Speedo/Battery/Temp 3.7MB
Tacho/Oil/Fuel 4.1MB

I took the original scans, and cleaned them up and created some masks and layers in Photoshop so pictures can be added without worrying about the 'tick' marks and other dial essentials.

Image Image

Creative Process
THis bit is up to you. I wanted something that was MY car, but unobtrusive, and hopefully something I wouldn't get sick of.

Image
I was playing around (this is an early pic) with a photo from the Sydney Dyno Day #1 (Nov 2004) for the tacho, and was originally just going to have a nice Ford logo for the speedo.

I ended up with these:
Image
Now you may have noticed an important bit, the black masks. This is key to the highlighting effect I was after when the dash lights are on.

Held up to my desk lamp they show how the 'ticks', warning areas, and the Ford logo were going to light up. Just like I had planned:
Image
Bits are blurry, and the desk lamp is way to bright, but the idea was there. Camera in one hand two sheets of (not so) carefully aligned paper in the other.

5 P's
Prior Preperation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Using the templates above, print you're work out at 600dpi (if using you're own templates be sure to adjust as required), onto quality white white paper. I am lucky enough that work has a top quality laser printer/copier, and paper, and for four sheets they don't care. If you're anal retentive, or sadistic, make sure you run colour profiles from your camera through your working space, through to the printer, so you'll get a good result. If not, print it, see how it goes, adjust print again, etc.

I used a 'lightbox' to carefully align my top and mask layers, then cut them out with a hobby knife so they were aligned perfectly in order to prevent the fuzzy edges as seen in the test photo above. When aligned properly the highlights have crisp edges and look superb.

Installation

    - Remove your cluster. Remove dash surround, then cluster.
    - Crack it open, theres a screw, and a bunch of plastic 'tabs' holding the front 'shade' and window on, take these of carefully.
    - Remove the needles. This is easiest done with a fork. Before you do remove them, make careful 'mental' note of where they sit in the off position, cause you'll need to put them back right, or you'll screw with the readings.
    Image
    - Unclip the original dial faces, and clip in your new ones.
    Image
    - Start putting it back together.
    Image


Optional
While you have your cluster out, you may as well change any blown bulbs, or better yet replace them with white LEDs.

Image
There are 6 bulbs to illuminate the cluster. Two top, left, right, to middle bottom (we're talking about the white based ones). The seventh white based bulb is for the LCD display (odometer).

I bought a 10-pack of white LEDs from Narva (part# 47900)
Image

Now these are great because you get a LED and holder that fits right in. They're bad because the light output is very uni-directional (a normal bulb is omni-directional), and they're too dim with they're default 860Ohm internal resistor.

Below you'll see a 'frosted' LED on the left and an original LED on the right.
Image Image
In the second picture both LEDs are being run at the same current (10mA) so are producing the same light output, the frosted one just spreads it better making it look brighter.

I also reduced the internal resistor from the default 860Ohm, to a 380Ohm, bring the current (@ 13.8v) from 16mA to a much brighter 30mA. 30mA is still a very safe level for LEDs to run.

Be warned that LEDs are directional. So must be installed in the cluster a certain way (found by trial and error). It helps to do this while the cluster is out of the dash, and only the right hand connector is required to supply power. So you'll have a 'little' room to play with it.

Results
Image
Flash

Image
No flash

Image
Night time before I frosted and fixed the birghtness of the LEDs. (Needless to say I was dissappointed)

Image
Night time AFTER I frosted and fixed the LEDs. (The camera doesn't do it justice, it doesn't have an apeture big enough) For fairness I took both pictures at the same camera settings.

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Fri May 20, 2005 9:29 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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That's a sweet mod data_mine, you've definately got more patience than me 8-)

 

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 1:42 am 
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definately more patience then me!

i have el glow panels to get put in for my custom facias bt ive been to lazy to get it done, might happen in a week or so as i have a spare set of chaser el faces to scan up again! one of these days! although have to make a dimmer for the bloody panels as their WAY to bright!

nice job tho mate! good effort! least someone is doin something!
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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:26 am 
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dude thats f**k awesome

 

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 3:23 am 
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Location: Perth
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Nice mod. Something different.
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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:25 pm 
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If you want to control the brightness of your dask, you can get a kit from D.S. $14.95 which controls small motors and lamps. It uses Pulse Width Modulation. The longer the pulse the brighter the lamp or shorter the pulse the dimmer. It is variable from nearly 100% to about 10%. Also very good for dimming LCD displays if your BEM does not have that feature and you upgrade your cluster to the LCD version. :D :D

 

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EA Spak EL dash and interior, thermo's,BBM, EF head and cam, superlows,

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:25 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Posts: 476

Joined: 28th Jan 2005

Ride: 1990 EA Spac

Location: grenfell
NSW, Australia

If you want to control the brightness of your dask, you can get a kit from D.S. $14.95 which controls small motors and lamps. It uses Pulse Width Modulation. The longer the pulse the brighter the lamp or shorter the pulse the dimmer. It is variable from nearly 100% to about 10%. Also very good for dimming LCD displays if your BEM does not have that feature and you upgrade your cluster to the LCD version. :D :D

 

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Drive safe, arrive alive

EA Spak EL dash and interior, thermo's,BBM, EF head and cam, superlows,

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:42 pm 
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I'm very impressed. That's f**k spectacular.

I'm really tempted to try the same. Unfortunately, I'm also really lazy. So it probably won't happen.

 

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 6:51 pm 
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Age: 36

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Joined: 24th Nov 2004

Ride: '06 BF GT-P

Power: 293 rwkw

Location: Canberra
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lol, I'm lazy too. I need to be challenged to do something.

so...

I challenge you to get this done. I wanna see your pics by the 5th June

 

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1998 DL LTD in Sparkling Burgundy, daily, 302W, stereo, slow - 97.5rwkw
2006 BF GT-P in Ego, mods. 293rwkw - 12.427@109 - 0-1000m 24.838@221

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 7:40 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Location: Richmond,
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Wow awesome stuff
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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 7:48 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Location: Melbourne, S.E Suburbs
VIC, Australia

i can see it now
in the not so distant future
'porno clusters'

 

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Posted: Sat May 21, 2005 9:09 pm 
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data_mine wrote:
lol, I'm lazy too. I need to be challenged to do something.

so...

I challenge you to get this done. I wanna see your pics by the 5th June


bastardos!! now we have to get off our a***!! :lol:

 

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Posted: Sun May 22, 2005 5:11 pm 
Parts Gopher
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Joined: 21st Dec 2004

Ride: BA Futura

Location: geelong
VIC, Australia

hey i got blue lights in my ef dash
and u say use white leds

i still wanna keep my blue dash but i also wanna do this mod
will the blue light come through and still be bright enough?

oh yer
is your dash acctually brighter than wat the pic shows? coz it look like cant c bugga all

 

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Ba Futura. on gas. lowerd, 17 xr wheels tint, ipod n bluetooth. nothin to xciting. does the job and goes cheap.

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Posted: Sun May 22, 2005 5:16 pm 
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[self-deleted]

Last edited by blackjack_original on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Sun May 22, 2005 8:21 pm 
Parts Gopher
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mmmmmmm booooobies r goood
mmmmmmmmmmmm

i could c causing accedients
better be bloody goood booooooobies

 

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Ba Futura. on gas. lowerd, 17 xr wheels tint, ipod n bluetooth. nothin to xciting. does the job and goes cheap.

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