1965 Mustang GT Intrument Gauges Custom Restoration

Nearing the interior stage of a 1965 Mustang GT Coupe restoration, I started off with restoring the instrument gauges and glove box door. Originally equipped with 5 dial gauges, the customer wanted to add a few custom touches to his Classic. Restoring old instrument gauges are one of the most delicate parts of a restoration. You’re dealing with old electrical wiring, brittle plastic and cardboard parts, and not to mention fragile gauges. These are the small details of a restoration which I enjoy the most. You’ll start off by disconnecting the Speedo cable from the back of the instrument cluster by reaching under the dash from left of the steering column. They can usually be unscrewed by hand from the Speedo head. Then you should be able to flip the gauges towards you to see the wiring. When disconnecting the gauge wiring, mark all the connections with either tape, take a picture, or use a wiring schematic that is correct for your Classic Mustang. Next, you want to carefully disassemble the bezel, and carefully remove all the gauges from the backing plate. Make sure you note in what order the smaller gauges go back in. When removing the Speedo gauge, don’t lose the rubber spacer inserts. They are used for alignment, and to dampen the Speedo from the vibration of the spinning cable. If the rubber is damaged, there are now new ones available. National Parts Depot carries them (part # 17304-1A and 17305-1A) At this point, it’s a good idea to layout everything in the order that you take it apart on a clean table.

Your instrument cluster has collected a lot of dust and moisture over the past 40 plus years. You can use very low pressure air to gently clean the dust out of the gauges. I also sand blasted and painted the metal backing plate and the black gauge cover plate.  Here are some useful tips. You can make your gauges look brighter at night, and make your gauges more crisp looking. Ford painted the reflective surfaces white with black areas to help direct the light. I simply paint all of the reflective surfaces silver, and add fresh light bulbs. Also, you can paint the gauge needles with a fluorescent orange model paint. Be very light with the brush on the needles. Also slip a piece of paper under each needle, so not to get any paint on the faces. Once everything is cleaned and painted, you can simply put everything back to together in the reverse order. Make sure your static and lint free when re-inserting the bezel lens, or you’ll end up with annoying little specks under the lens. That’s it, your finished!  As far as these gauges, I added a few more touches by adding White Face Gauge Appliqués, Rose Wood Inserts, and changing the light bulb filters from blue to red. The Rose Wood Inserts were a nicely finished product. However, with some aftermarket products a little shaving of the edges made for a perfect fit. All the parts used are available from Scott Drake Restoration Parts listed below.

  • 65-66 Instrument Bezel – C5ZZ-10838-C
  • 65-66 Instrument Bezel Lens – C5ZZ-10887-B
  • 65-66 Instrument Lens Anti-Rattle  Pads – C6DZ-10856
  • RedLight Filters  – C4VY-10B870-R-4
  • Rose Wood Inserts – DA-65-P-R
  • White Face Gauge Appliqués – C6ZZ-10890-W
posted by inlinesix in 65-66 Mustang and have No Comments