Intro: Automotive Gauge Pod
This is my first post so I hope I clearly communicated this project. I'd be glad to get your feedback, thanks in advance. AND this is a compilation of techniques that I found on the web so I can't take all the credit. I hope someone does find this useful.
I needed a gauge pod to hold an oil pressure gauge for my 1992 MR2. The oil pressure gauge is not standard on this car and I MUCH prefer gauges over dash lights. I made a 2 gauge pod although I only needed one at the time but figured I could come up with another "needed" gauge. The instructions here are for a 1 1/2" EQUUS Oil Pressure Gauge but the technique could be used for just about any size gauge. Supplies:
1 1/2" EQUUS Oil Pressure Gauge (vehicle specific - you will need to identify the correct gauge)
1 1/2" PVC - to hold the gauge
1/8" flat piece of plastic - to be used for the base
100 grit sand paper
60 grit sand paper
Wood burning tool - will be explained
JB Weld (4 hour) - for mounting and building up the base of each gauge
Black automotive spray paint, semi gloss (what I wanted)
I pulled the wires (electric gauge not oil feed gauge) through the console and behind the radio. This is where the gauge pod will go.
I used 1 1/2" PVC because the threads of the gauge fit nicely in it. I cut about a 4" piece, measured the mid point and cut a diagonal so both pieces would be the same size. I then used sand paper to level the diagonal side and right angled side.
For the base I used a clear piece of plastic about 1/8" or so thick. This can be found at many of the hardware stores. I placed the cut PVC pieces where I wanted them and then used a pen and drew a circle for each.
To create the hole I started with a wood bit. The first hole went fine but in my haste I pressed too hard and broke the plastic drilling the second hole. I figured it would be quicker to glue it. Then make the hole with a wood burning tool. Took a little longer but less chance of breaking the plastic.
Using the JB Weld mount the pod pieces on the clear plastic base. I used JB Weld because it easier to work with, cures quickly and can be sanded. I tried using other "glues" but most will not set properly and run. As the JB weld dried (about an hour) I would add more to the base and repeat several times. Using the 100 grit sandpaper I sand down the JB Weld, fill in the pits and build up the base until I get it looking like I want it.
I covered the pod with several coats of paint - several. After painting it I used a sponge (not shown) and after the paint had almost set, still tacky, I dabbed it with the sponge. This helped add texture to match my dash and cover up flaws.
Mounting it? This was tricky. I apologize for not having pictures of what I did. Basically I determined how much pod overlap on the base there was (back side), glued some pegs on the back at the mid point of each side near the overlap point, fashioned clips from coat hangers that rotated on the pegs. I fed the gauge wires through the left hole and then using my fingers, rotated the clips, until the gauge was snug. This picture was taken before I textured it, so I did take it out and mount it one more time. If you have a suggestion on a better way to mount this, feel free to add a comment.
I hope you find this useful and maybe get some ideas for other projects.