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PostPosted: March 13, 2016, 5:49 pm 
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Location: canada
I am thinking of gauges visible above the rim of the steering wheel. This will be a closed car- I'm thinking firewall/cowl swap, and simply mount the gauges against the bottom of the windshield, using the base of the windshield as the anti reflection lens. Water is my big enemy. What else?

Rationale: As I get older, adjusting focal length is less immediate and effective. Also clears out room for a parcel shelf, as the project will be my daily at least part of the year. I find modern car interiors hugely space wasteful and claustrophobic. I am "only" just a hair under 6'2" but maybe it's proportions or what IDK...but I do not like all the crap on the inside of the firewall. Build me a cross tube above my knees, box it in, I don't care if I see the steering column going through the firewall as I sit (though I probably wouldn't, because it would be boxed in).
Kind of like the ultimate extension of the idea of hood mounted tachs.

TRX, I thought we talked about his once 3-4 years ago?

Not like this but keeping going further this way
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- Rover's concept of the package shelf I want- I am thinking race/industrial/vintage type finish, but same idea. Here, they thought they would add a modular instrument binnacle. I'm talking leaving it like this and then the cluster goes outside.

-Board members internally mounted cluster. In a more upright car, above the steering column on the cowl would be where I want it, viewed through the bottom 4-5" if windshield glass.

- an alternative mount area for gauges, but not my concept.

- exterior mounted gauges each in a cup- again, I am thinking the whole cluster out there, decoratively cowled to be light-sealed to the bottom of the windshield. Probably the cluster from 94-98 Dodge minivan.


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PostPosted: March 13, 2016, 6:18 pm 
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They make good weather proof gauges. One of the brands mentioned there heavy duty versions where water proof so you could hose down your dirt oval car after events. Summit would have them I think. Hmm, that wouldn't get you a speedometer though probably...

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PostPosted: March 13, 2016, 6:27 pm 
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Well, I've also thought of doing a "tablet/Phablet" whatever type display in a water resistant case, & giving up the vintage look (yes minivan instrument panels do look moderately vintage, and a metal overlay would really do it).

Motorcycle panels are "weather resistant" by definition.
Really, aside from aesthetic issues, how fragile are car clusters? First option, brush a silicone grease over the back of the board. Another option, use a caulking gun of RTV to seal 'em up.

The aftermarket gauges are probably Autometer. They have sprint car oriented ones -purely mechanical- that are glo-in-the-dark as sprint cars run at night but wiring on them is all but non existent.


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PostPosted: March 13, 2016, 9:47 pm 
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Why not just take an Acewell or Vapor dash and mount it on the outside? They are waterproof. Make a nice glass or carbon surround/hump for it. Re-wire the buttons to inside (could even use mechanical rods to activate buttons), and you're done. Speedo, tach, shift light, temp gauge, fuel gauge, all in one.

Cheers.

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PostPosted: March 13, 2016, 9:59 pm 
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Umm, because the car is supposed to look like "1961" .... and I don't own a cell phone, have never bought a CD, don't own a TV, etc etc.


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PostPosted: March 14, 2016, 9:40 am 
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Oem clusters have no uv protection or any moisture protection. The white plastic becomes brittle and the connections corrode.

Building the cluster into the center and up against the inside of the screen would provide some distance.

Rotate round instruments so normal operation puts the needles vertical, so you know if there is a problem at a glance.

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PostPosted: March 14, 2016, 10:04 am 
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Well it would be in a fiberglass or metal cover, so UV is not an issue. Assuming a fixed cowl, it doesn't come up with the hood. I might even remove the clear plastic lens, and seal it to the windshield glass. I do think silicone sprays, or oil sprays can help with the corrosion possibility.
I'd have to go in the the intention of thinking through how I prevent condensation- make it very much vented to the inside of the car, I guess.

Putting it centrally does not accomplish the same thing to my eyes (pun intended).
And it's ugly, and it takes up space where I most want it.

I'm a little surprised there's no one thing making this a hopeless idea... :lol:
I've *never* seen it done.


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PostPosted: March 14, 2016, 1:13 pm 
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iadr wrote:
Umm, because the car is supposed to look like "1961" .... and I don't own a cell phone, have never bought a CD, don't own a TV, etc etc.


Yet you are talking about using a tablet?
If done right, this looks far closer to 1961 than a minivan cluster to me:
Image

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PostPosted: March 14, 2016, 2:27 pm 
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Location: Under the weather. (Seattle)
Does your state require wipers on cars with windshields? I feel like bringing this up against the windshield would interfere with wiper operation.

Might it be possible to get a tablet dash to display a mirrored image? If so you could do the tablet laid flat on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and used as a HUD. Then you could have whatever dash you want conventionally mounted, or even no dash at all.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-build-a-heads-up-display-for-your-car-1129913775
http://www.core77.com/posts/42326/A-Clever-Way-to-Get-a-Heads-Up-Display-in-Your-Car%E2%80%94for-Just-49

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PostPosted: March 14, 2016, 2:42 pm 
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Ah wipers... did I think of that....? :oops: :shock: Honestly this idea has been kicking around so long (10+ y) that the fact I think of a way to make it work, on a more or less immediate timing, means I did consider it at one point? lol Not that I can't admit I am wrong. :oops:
I think the idea was to use a large windshield (are there any other kinds this last 15 years) sunk down into the cowl a ways.
One of the famous customizers (Barris ? is the only name I know, total newbie to those cultures) did a lot of "chops" this way- allowed for an unmodified windshield, so... the bottom of the windshield is below the tips of the fender corners.
Then only 30-40% the height of cluster is above, and there is always an unwiped area there, anyways. Wiper arm might have to have an arch in it. That's not ideal, but tolerable.
Excellent point though. Keep them coming.

Ps, this is a closed car. So definitely a windshield.
Small sedan with lots of headroom, ultra short wheelbase, wide track, and big tires. AWD.
Pics look tiny, but this would stand an inch or 3 taller than a New Beetle, and tires would be 28.5-29".
CUV type of height hip point (for the seating).

I've done the scaling up of various dimensions, and even bought some 1/25th scale model cars to sit beside this little clay.
Nothing really resembles it dimensionally. Closest is a way-deep-lowered Suzuki Sidekick 2dr. With a trunk added.
I did the clay 28-29 years ago.


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PostPosted: March 21, 2016, 11:02 pm 
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iadr wrote:
TRX, I thought we talked about his once 3-4 years ago?


I don't remember, but I'm a big proponent of mounting the instruments high up in the field of view. And that was before the change-of-focus thing became an issue...


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