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View Full Version : How to: Gauge cluster pod



KCWagon
10-27-2011, 01:16 AM
First off, sorry for the non detailed pics, I didn't originally plan on making a how to for this cause I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out as it's my first time doing anything like this. Now that that's out of the way, do this at your own risk, as it's not really something you can undo, once you make the first cut you just have to push forward.

Things I used:
-2 2" around 52mm female adapter hubs (Ace hardware)-
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/P-1012-450.jpg
-Painters tape
-marker/ pen/ pencil whatever you want.
-Epoxy (don't really need it, I just used it to hold everything in place to bondo around)
-Dremel w/ cutting disc, grinding stone, sanding bit.
-Bondo w/ putty knives
-sand paper (I used 400grit)
-Flat black spray paint

First, I took out the cluster shroud, 2 screws up top, drop the steering wheel down, and pop it out.

Second, I wrapped the bottom of the shroud with painters tape and took a pencil to mark where I wanted the gauges to sit. To me was the more difficult step, just cause I wanted everything to sit nicely. Once I did that i took the dremel and cut where the markings were. I cut a little less then what was needed and took the grinding bit and shaved away what I needed for the "pods" to fit nicely. Once I got it to sit nicely, I sat it and spread epoxy around it and let it sit, helps for when it comes time to use the bondo. After one side was done, I started on the other side. Waited about 40min a piece for the epoxy to dry. What I ended up with.
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0445.jpg

After everything was dry and ready to go, I cleaned the surface as best I could and started with the bondo. Bought the small can from walmart for like $10. A little goes a long way. Took about a golf ball size of bondo to and 1"-1.5" of the hardener and mixed it till it was a pinkish color. Once you have it mixed, you have about 2-4 minutes till it hardens so slab it on around the pods till you get a ball park of how you want it to look. If you mess up, remember you can always sand the bondo off so it's no big deal. 20-40 minutes of drying time for each side and it looked like this
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0446.jpg

Once the bondo was dried I took the dremel and the sanding bit and smoothed everything out, once the lumps were sanded down I began to shape it to the desired look. Just try to get it as smooth as possible with no lumps or pits. After that I smoothed it out with the 400 grit sand paper. I also had the 2" "pods" which are a hair smaller then the 52mm gauges so it required some sanding on the inside to get it slide in smoothly. Which is another big pain in the ass, along with the sanding. but you can see what it looks like smoothed out here.
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0448.jpg

Test fit
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0450.jpg

Once you get the bondo sanded down, it's time to clean all the dust particles off the cluster shroud. Then you commence with the spray paint. I did a few coats and will probably do a couple more, but this is the end result, just waiting for it to dry now

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0456.jpg
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0458.jpg
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n113/cobalttc05/IMAG0459.jpg

Not perfect, the right side's measurments are off by a little, but all in all I am satisfied with how it turned out. And all together it only cost me less then $20 to make.

CZ03WRX
10-27-2011, 07:44 AM
nice write up. It probably fits better than the aftermarket ones lol.

Justin 05 Sti
10-27-2011, 08:20 AM
Nice work!

AWD Bishop
10-27-2011, 09:48 AM
Looks good. Nicely done

Crispy
10-27-2011, 10:35 AM
Very nice! Been thinking about doing something like this since the ebay ones seem to have disappeared and I'm not paying MachV $80 for their ebay version.

CZ03WRX
10-27-2011, 10:40 AM
Very nice! Been thinking about doing something like this since the ebay ones seem to have disappeared and I'm not paying MachV $80 for their ebay version.

if you look around you can find them for $40 and I haven't heard anything bad about those.

KCWagon
10-27-2011, 07:26 PM
Thanks guys! It's actually pretty easy to make, so if your thinking about doing it, I say go for it!