Instrument Reconditioning

Since it was too cold to work in the garage, I started working on what I thought was the coolest thing; the gauges. The odometer on these cars only goes up to 99,999 miles and mine was already at 85,747 miles – pretty impressive for a British car! There is no such thing as a rollover when referring to the odometer on these vehicles, the mileage simply stays at the maximum value. Knowing that I would be driving more than 15,000 miles with this car, I wanted to reset it back to 00,000 as well as sand the black bezels to a more appealing brushed steel. I took the gauges out of the car and got straight to work.

Dis-assembly – Prying, Twisting, Cleaning, Repeat
Polished Bezel – Hand Sanded to Give it a Brushed Finish
Taking apart the gauge assembly was a ton of fun, likewise with learning how the odometer works. Each number is on a wheel that has two sets of gear teeth on it, one profile on each side. In between each wheel is a metal stand that has a gear rotating on the back of it. This gear has the matched tooth profiles of the corresponding wheel face, making one full rotation of the right wheel turns the left wheel up by one increment. The assembly was greased, and reset back to zero, along with the trip indicator.


Odometer Assembly – Showing the Gear Teeth on Each Wheel


Completed Gauge Assembly – Lots of Delicate Parts, Lots of Fun
Each of the gauge housings were given a coat of primer on the outside, then given a gloss white enamel spray on the inside, allowing the lights to reflect off of the housing more which will increase the illumination of the gauge during operation. Each glass face was cleaned thoroughly, each bezel was sandblasted along with the housings so the paint can properly grab onto the bare metal. Lots of tea was consumed during the reconditioning. If you’re a local reader, check out the Red Teapot Studio in Preston, they have excellent blends of loose leaf – best tea I’ve had to date.


Housing – Primed and Painted


Reconditioning – Tachometer Pictured in Pieces
The gauges were then reassembled, sealed with RTV silicone to minimize dust entering the housing and given a final clean. It amazes me that these gauges are in such good condition after all of these years. The face plate of each gauge is still very black, with the numbers and text remaining to be in near perfect condition.


Complete Speedometer – Polished, and Sealed


Complete Instrument Family – Too Many Hours in This Picture

– Sean

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