removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

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JimB66thunderbird
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removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by JimB66thunderbird »

I am trying to figure out how to disconnect the gauges from the wiring harness to put new gauges in. Could someone tell how to do that? I have lower gauges lose and all that is holding them on are the connections between the gauges and the wiring. Is this something that needs to be done from underneath the dash? Sure is crowded up in there.
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sseebart
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by sseebart »

I think the only way to do this is to remove the instrument cluster as a unit so you can work from the back. If you decide to go that route, be careful to put some kind of protection down over the steering column--it's very easy to scratch things up doing this job.

My bigger question is, what's wrong with the current gauges? You may actually have an issue with the voltage regulator (if all the gauges except the amp gauge are out) or some other wiring glitch (if nothing is working).

~Steve
JimB66thunderbird
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by JimB66thunderbird »

Seebart, thank you for the response. Actually, I am trying to take out the instrument cluster to repaint the speedometer numbers but the gauges seem to be in the way. I am also going to replace the CVR and have a question about that also. Is it better to get an original type or the electronic CVR?
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sseebart
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by sseebart »

I installed an electronic version some years back, thinking that with less moving parts, it would be more reliable. It has been, well, just ok in performance. (I get some wandering in all the affected gauges.) So, I think it's a crap shoot either way. Best bet is to follow the advice others have given: relocate the darn thing to somewhere more accessible. That way, when it inevitably fails, it's an easy fix.

~Steve
Rt.146
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by Rt.146 »

Somewhere in these post on gauges, there are problems of wiring being a problem in the re-connection of the gauges, with the wiring, e.g., too short, as best as I remember
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paulr
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by paulr »

Rt.146 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:58 am Somewhere in these post on gauges, there are problems of wiring being a problem in the re-connection of the gauges, with the wiring, e.g., too short, as best as I remember
The wires are short. If the speedo is out of the way and the steering column is dropped down you can only get the barest amount of slack from those wires and it's still cramped quarters. Most important one of all are the ammeter connections; after that, slipping the other spade connectors together and the light bulb sockets without any of them coming off in the exercise takes patience.

I recommend as you're unplugging all these wires and bulbs to tie the groups together and label them. It's a bowl of spaghetti otherwise. And I second Steve's advice to lengthen the leads to the CVR and find a decent reachable ground surface to mount it to for future access.
Paul
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Burtman
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by Burtman »

Is this what you might be wanting to do? It does look like quite the complicated mess, but with patience and lots of tape tabs to label wires and lights, it can work even without lowering the steering column. Now, what was I doing back there? Oh, now I remember; painting the numbers for the speedometer. I used rubber cement to mask the green back light portions. When the paint was dry the rubber cement pealed out easily. ...Just thought you might like to see this.
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JimB66thunderbird
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Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by JimB66thunderbird »

Burtman, thank you for the info and suggestions.
JimB66thunderbird
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:16 pm

Re: removing gauges 1966 thunderbird

Post by JimB66thunderbird »

Thank you rte146 and Paulr for the info about how the connections could be very tight and short.
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