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Re: KPack's 1954 Panama
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BigKev - Under the trim it's pretty close to the rest of the blue on the panel. It's more of a blue-gray-green. I borrowed a bunch of samples from an upholstery place here in town and none of them were a match. They were all closer to the sample I got from SMS. Too blue and not enough gray. They didn't have a lot to choose from though.

I might try an upholstery shop further away to see if they have a better selection. Just not sure how interested they would be in having me buy vinyl from them without having them do the work. But then again, if they help me out I wouldn't mind giving them my business to reupholster the seats.

HPH - They also said this was an exact match. It definitely is not. The seat cloth sample and the ivory vinyl is dead on though. For sure I will get those materials from SMS. I couldn't find an ivory vinyl that was close from other sources.


Posted on: 11/20 19:21
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Re: KPack
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I've been wanting to clean up the instrument cluster for some time. The car is supposed to have ruby red gauges (remnants can be seen where UV light did not get to it). I also want to repaint the gold outer bezel, and replace the chrome gauge bezels.

Two questions:
1.) Does anyone have any gauge bezels in better condition? Mine have significant rust and peeling chrome. I'm happy to pay for some in better shape. I don't want to bother with sending these out for rechrome and doing something like hyrdrochrome is not much cheaper.

2.) How do I remove the needles from the speedo and clock? I don't want to break anything. Those have to come off to get the plastic covers off, then I can paint the gauge faces.

Attach file:

jpg  Instrument gauge disassembled.jpg (648.92 KB)
1059_63851d7e1821b.jpg 1024X768 px

jpg  NOS on left and faded on right.jpg (664.31 KB)
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jpg  Rusted bezels.jpg (568.01 KB)
1059_63851d9d49c8d.jpg 1024X768 px

jpg  How to remove needle.jpg (630.78 KB)
1059_63851dc300175.jpg 768X1024 px

Posted on: 11/28 15:44
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Re: KPack
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The clock and speedo needles are just pushed on the shafts but they are tight. I was able to get mine off with fingers only but you might also check out some of the clock hand removal tools if you want some mechanical assistance. Several are shown on ebay. The clock hands should come off without too much drama. The time set knob has a barrel screw threaded on the shaft that will need to be removed. On some clocks the rest of the knob will then pull off but on others it also unthreads from the shaft. The speedo shaft in particular is delicate and the end the needle pushes onto is very thin. When removing that needle use care to pull straight without twists or bends.

Faces are not what I would call ruby red but a richer maroon color than is currently showing. Once the needle on the speedo or hands on clock are off you can pull the face and straighten the tabs on the metal center piece so it can be removed. Once that is removed you will probably see the exact face color. On the faded centers I was able to restore the gold shade without covering the brushed metal look by spraying on a thinned coat of transparent amber glass stain but the clear glass stains seems to be very hard to find now. There are some clear transparent amber shaded lacquers used on refinishing guitar woods that might work.

The gauge needles do not remove but you can straighten the tabs holding the faces and with some turning and tilting carefully thread the needles thru the large opening. Be careful not to bend the needles in either direction or they will scrape the face or rub the glass.

Posted on: 11/28 17:11
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Re: KPack
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Thanks Howard. You're right, I was able to get the needles off with some finger pressure. The speedo took a good amount of force to get off.

I took the face off my old fuel gauge and experimented with painting that. I used some dark red metallic paint from Testors, shot through an airbrush at about 30 PSI. I had to do a couple of coats to build up the color. Testors leaves a glossy finish, so I'll probably follow it up with a flat finish to help it look stock.

The color is a bit more red and less maroon than the original. The fuel gauge shown is NOS....I'm assuming the color is accurate. But this is the only color I could find that was close. What do you guys think? I'll paint the others if you all feel that it is acceptable.

I cleaned, sanded down, and repainted the gold cluster bezel. I used Testors Gold, which was actually a pretty close match. I'll topcoat with a gloss to protect the paint.

Attach file:

jpg  Repainted gauge face.jpg (702.42 KB)
1059_63854aa4668bc.jpg 938X1024 px

jpg  Repainted bezel.jpg (497.46 KB)
1059_63854ab200c23.jpg 768X1024 px

Posted on: 11/28 18:56
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