Author Topic: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)  (Read 15392 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline kev 190164

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 05:48:29 PM »
great post you did here been wanting to do this for months this post has made me pull my finger out. also i am staying with the original bezzle realy sets your gauge off. thanks

Offline BARRACUDA1968

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2012, 12:58:04 PM »
Removed bezel per the video on FBody



Gauges exposed



Bezel out with hardware, notice the two clips that hold the bottom of the bezel on.  I placed about where they are located under the dash.  They come out super easy.



Dash after removing the stock gauges, the only snag I ran in to was removing the dash plate by the lighter.  They turned out to be fastened with plastic push pin screws.  Kinda looked like rivets at first.



Of course I just had to test fit the new bezel and Speedhut gauges.







1978 Trans Am
Butler Performance 461
Built Trans with 3000 stall
Pro Touring suspension
17" Year One Rims

Offline Elz

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 350
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 02:38:48 PM »
Brett, that is looking good. Now you have me contemplating new gauges.... I didn't want to spend anymore than I already have. Thanks a lot!

Offline kev 190164

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 03:03:03 PM »
that realy does look great .orded mine today i went with the trans temp and oil temp to fill the 2 ac vent holes

Offline BARRACUDA1968

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 03:20:37 PM »
Thanks for the compliments so far.  I'm still trying to get info on the wiring harness so I can get it ordered.  I'm pretty much done until then.  Plus I leave on vacation this Sunday for a week so there won't be any progress for a while.

I do like how it is turning out so far.  I'm glad I went with the polished bezels now.
1978 Trans Am
Butler Performance 461
Built Trans with 3000 stall
Pro Touring suspension
17" Year One Rims

Offline BARRACUDA1968

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 09:08:53 AM »
Made some progress over the weekend.  I decided to make my own dash harness to hook up the gauges.  This is definitely the way to go and it's not too difficult if you take your time.  Here's how I did it.

BTW  (Well don't order the wiring harness from Classic Dash, it doesn't work like they say it does.  I was under the impression you remove the pins out of the factory harness and plug them in to their harness.  Once I tried to plug my wires in to their harness they won't fit so I called them up to see what the deal was and this time they tell me to plug my wires back in to the factory harness and cut the factory wires an inch back of the harness in case I ever wanted to re-install the factory gauges.  Then crimp on the new spades in the kit to the cut wires and then plug in to their harness.   :o :o :o

I said to the guy what good is your plug and play harness then?  I realize the kit is for their Autometer gauges and the "Gauge" side of the harness is plug and play for the Autometer gauges but "Big Deal".  I didn't want to modify the factory wires to begin with and I told the guy the first time I called I was using Speedhut gauges so I didn't care about the gauge side of the harness just the car side of it.  Now I have to pay a $35 restocking fee.  I'm a little frustrated to say the least.  Knowing what I know now "which they did when I called the first time"  I would tell you not to waste your money on this kit for this type of application because no matter what you do it will never be plug and play to the cluster wires on the car.)

Original wiring from the cluster



Remove all the factory pins, I used a pick to get them to release.



I'm saving my plug just in case I want to reverse this later.



I went to Radio Shack and bought a 12 pin male and female harness.  $10

Then I wired the gauges in to the harness.  I soldered all the pins to the wires.



Did the same thing on the dash side.  I just made sure that all the wires went in the right location.  I had a wiring diagram for the car and one for the gauges.  There were 3 wires I didn't need on the car so I just capped them off.  I used to stock Voltage and Fuel sending unit harnesses on the car to hook those gauges up.  No need to change those with the right spade connector on the gauge wiring.



Here's what the gauge wiring looked like when I was done and ready to install it in the car.



I also ordered 2 extra matching bezels to go around the A/C vents.  I had to do some modifying here.  The original black bezels recessed back to meet the A/C vent box so if they aren't there you would see a space between the dash bezel and the vent box.  So I decided to put the orginal bezels in backwards and took a dremel and ground them down so they sat flush with the new gauge bezel on the front. 





I also freshened up my rear defrost switch with a sticker from a forum member.



Not the best picture but it turned out great.



My cigarette lighter wasn't working so I ordered a new one two weeks ago and it hasn't shipped yet.  I wanted to get the dash back together yesterday so I could move on to other things so I decided to try and find a replacement at the auto parts store.  Nothing worked with the factory lighter. 

I didn't take any pictures but my lighter housing was pretty rusty so I used some naval jelly to dissolve the rust on the lighter and the housing.  Then I took some mag wheel cleaner with acid and finished everything up with that.  The lighter works great now.  I even got the light working for the lighter housing.

I had a silver faced Cd player in the dash and to me it looked to aftermarket if you know what I mean so I went looking for a black Cd player to replace it.  I ended up with a Pioneer after much research.  It's almost completely black when turned off and you can adjust the lighting to match the dash lights.

Here is a link to the Cd player

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/CD-Receivers/DEH-80PRS

Cd player removed



New Cd player installed; my factory dash bezel that surrounds the radio was cracked but you can't see it unless you look from underneath so I just left it that way.  I may change that later we'll see.




Here is a few pictures of the final install of the dash with the gauges powered up.




This is the GPS for the speedometer.  It's magnetic so it works perfect on the front of the dash.



With the dash buttoned up I started to work on the rear deck.  I bought a year one package tray.  Not sure if I like it or not.  I probably wouldn't do it again but I have it so I'll use it.  It looks like cheap plastic "because it is" but I wish it didn't have so much gloss to it.  I'm going to leave it for now and see how it looks when I armor all my interior to see how it matches later. 

You will need to mount your speakers from underneath the rear deck if you want to use the year one package tray as well which is no big deal.

I'm using peal and seal from Lowes for sound deadening.  I read 10,000 threads on sound deadening material over the last two months.  I know there is better stuff to use than what I'm using but a lot of guy's with high dollar cars are using peal and seal and like it.  Plus you got to remember I have a 78 Trans Am with a 461 stroker motor and T Tops.  Not much is going to quiet this thing down anyway so I went with the cheap alternative.



Now to get the package tray ready.  Notice when I marked the 6x9 holes that the package tray will cover some of the speaker.  Not a big deal though.




Here's the finished product.  The speaker cover that comes with the package tray is very nice but will definitely reduce sound quality.  It's very restrictive.




« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 09:12:15 AM by BARRACUDA1968 »
1978 Trans Am
Butler Performance 461
Built Trans with 3000 stall
Pro Touring suspension
17" Year One Rims

Offline BlackTransAm

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 420
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 10:30:41 AM »
 Those are awesome, beautiful! That is a cool sight. I always thought that although these F-bodies are 35-40 years old their styling is timeless.
 With upgrades like this it makes these cars as modern as anything. Except twice as dependable and well made. 
 Like said above , start saving , its always something >:(
COOL POST

Offline kev 190164

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 11:20:34 AM »
they realy do look great  8) still waiting for mine to turn up did not make my mate last container to the uk. now have to wait till late march

Offline gilbertsta

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1125
  • "Live Like You Are Dying"
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 06:37:39 PM »
your work looks really good! question: when you put in the stereo did you fab a bracket to support the rear of the stereo?

Offline BARRACUDA1968

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2013, 09:07:55 AM »
No I did not fab anything to support the radio.  The metal bracket it slides in to has tabs that wrap around the back of the dash, plus the radio doesn't weigh much so support isn't needed.

1978 Trans Am
Butler Performance 461
Built Trans with 3000 stall
Pro Touring suspension
17" Year One Rims

Offline gilbertsta

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1125
  • "Live Like You Are Dying"
Re: Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 11:25:36 AM »
No I did not fab anything to support the radio.  The metal bracket it slides in to has tabs that wrap around the back of the dash, plus the radio doesn't weigh much so support isn't needed.
i am installing a new stereo i wasnt sure if i needed a bracket or not. i was thinking with the leverage of the back of stereo it might crack the dash. i prob will end up bracing the back of it somehow. 

Offline Angelo

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1068
    • Mods and Rods
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2013, 07:39:07 AM »
Newer aftermarket receivers made over the past 15 years are pretty light and are not as deep as the original radios.I got some rubber shop anti fatague mats from HF , they are about 1" thick closed cell foam. I've cut one up to use in spots in the car to fill/insulate, a small piece under a aftermarket receiver should hold it up as well as act as a shock mount.
81' (78 clone), House of Kolor Jet Set Black, Pontiac 400 built by DCI Motorsports, FiTech EFI, Tremec 6 speed, 3.73 rear, YearOne 17" snowflake, Pro Touring F-body GT shocks/springs, hydroboost, factory 4 disc, Ram Air Resto + Thrust transverse exhaust.

Offline gilbertsta

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1125
  • "Live Like You Are Dying"
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2013, 10:56:59 AM »
^^^thats a good simple idea...thanks

Offline oldskoolubr

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2013, 03:19:12 AM »
Also Gilbert a real simple fix if you are worried is a plumbers strap.  :D

Offline oldskoolubr

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Randy Combs Restored bezel with New Speedhut Gauges (Pics)
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2013, 03:21:25 AM »
Oh BTW you have made me go this route as well!  It just looks too Damn good not to, but the extra 8 bills is whats killing me!   I am going with the style that has GPS and Mechanical just in case I run into a bad signal somewhere.  Thanks again for ALL the info it made My decision alot easier!  ;)