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Brightening the repro Rally Pac (and other RP stuff!)

Brightening the repro Rally Pac (and other RP stuff!)

Old March 1st, 2013, 11:20 PM
  #41  
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Wow Lady-N-Rob, 10,000 views! I think this may make the "best seller" thread list? It's fun to read others wasting extraordinary amounts of time performing research and development to make something better than it was originally. I thought only I had this sickness.

Is it treatable?

Last edited by White_Knuckles; March 1st, 2013 at 11:28 PM.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 07:27 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by olds70supreme View Post
Do these problems exist for the repro 68 gauges too? How do you tell which bulbs are in there? My rallye gauge bulbs are marked 12v 3.4watts. The tach bulbs aren't marked at all.
That I do not know. I did not even know that repros for those were being made (I guess because I never paid attention - too poor for that!)

Best thing to do is to test it before putting it in the car. If you have trouble with how to hook it up, post some clear close photos here of the back of your gauge and I will help you out.
The wattage is similar to 194 bulbs, which are usual for gauge lighting. You could up to 168s and see how they do.


Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Wow Lady-N-Rob, 10,000 views! I think this may make the "best seller" thread list? It's fun to read others wasting extraordinary amounts of time performing research and development to make something better than it was originally. I thought only I had this sickness.

Is it treatable?
Heck, I never paid attention to the hit # - too poor for that!
It is sad that I had to go through all this time and trouble to make a NEW $450 repro part to work like it should have in the first place!
And for this reason, I am glad others are reading it so they can fix them quickly and right before installing them. There is no cure for this sickness - it is an engineer-thing... I enjoy helping others fix things right, too!
Of course this thread also applies to original gauges, too. After 40 years, the inside paint fades, yellows, and gets dirty, making the lighting very poor. Repainting IS the cure for it.
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 12:21 PM
  #43  
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^^ Ha ha, you "called out" the specifications and inserted a table of values.

Should you notice the lumen to watt delta, perhaps an LED lamp comparison with a color spectrum overlay would be nice?

Okay kidding, just sayin' where we live. Thanks for revealing the root of this affliction. I am relieved.

- Stupid Engineers!
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Old April 10th, 2013, 12:52 PM
  #44  
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Just wanted to add my link to this thread on fixing illumination\ brightness issue and also restoring the gauges overall using Robs thread as an initial guide. I went a little bit further than Rob did, partly out of necessity-
https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...tml#post530195

Jim
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:32 PM
  #45  
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10,000 views - the advertisers are going to start paying Rob to post!

I tried to follow Rob's instructions but got frustrated with the little clock ****, and gave up, hoping that the light would be bright enough. Well, it wasn't so I tried these LED lights:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...ase-tower/207/

They are amazing! Try the Cool White or the Blue. I will post some photos when I go up next.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:39 PM
  #46  
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I left the **** on it - was not too bad. I used a little brush and model paint, so it was not an issue.
I am surprised at the # of vies this has gotten. I guess I should have been doing the actual work for others as a side job!
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:54 PM
  #47  
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I would have paid you!
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 02:00 AM
  #48  
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Hey Rob thanks for all the great details with your restoration projects, Lady looks fantastic!
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 11:28 AM
  #49  
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I want to put a new face and lense in my tick toc tach, but I cant get the little clock adjusting **** off the shaft. Has anyone found a way to remove the ****?
Im thinking about drilling the hole in the face and lense just big enough to slide over the ****.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 01:48 PM
  #50  
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The ***** twist off. I have done about a dozen or so including clocks and most were stuck. I take some PB blaster and fill up a small plastic cap and set the stem in upside down and leave it there over night. You don't want to get the PB blaster on the face. After that just hold the stem with some needle nose pliers and take another pair to hold and twist the **** off.

***this method is for original clocks, tacs, and speedminders, I can't speak for the repos****

Last edited by 72notchback; December 23rd, 2013 at 01:51 PM.
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Old April 10th, 2014, 06:10 PM
  #51  
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Rob,
Thanks painting my 68-69 Repro RP right now, thanks for making it easy for us knuckle-draggers!

The illumination rings on these were black.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 01:23 PM
  #52  
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Tic tach toc

Hi all,

I have a 1972 442 (w-29) that came with a stock "H" 350, but have "worked" the motor to a much bigger powerplant.
I don't have much faith in the 3-function stock gauge (water temp, oil pressure, and fuel capacity).
Fuel gauge ok.... seems oil pressure is always High until we run her a while and then she drops to middle or 3\4's (which should be normal).
but it's the water temp gauge that's got me staring at my dash on long cruises instead of enjoying the trip. and I mean ALL highway driving.
30 minutes at 70mph and I'm on just about on the H mark
Radiator, mixture, all seem ok.
many options: go to a clutch fan, electric fans, etc.
But I'm thinking I'm going start by adding some after market gauges with real NUMBERS on them to see what temp she really is.
Can I just add on 2 gauges for the water and oil under the dash and leave the fuel function still on the original dash gauge? or will i need to do all 3?
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 05:28 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Jersey Chris View Post
Hi all,

I have a 1972 442 (w-29) that came with a stock "H" 350, but have "worked" the motor to a much bigger powerplant.
I don't have much faith in the 3-function stock gauge (water temp, oil pressure, and fuel capacity).
Fuel gauge ok.... seems oil pressure is always High until we run her a while and then she drops to middle or 3\4's (which should be normal).
but it's the water temp gauge that's got me staring at my dash on long cruises instead of enjoying the trip. and I mean ALL highway driving.
30 minutes at 70mph and I'm on just about on the H mark
Radiator, mixture, all seem ok.
many options: go to a clutch fan, electric fans, etc.
But I'm thinking I'm going start by adding some after market gauges with real NUMBERS on them to see what temp she really is.
Can I just add on 2 gauges for the water and oil under the dash and leave the fuel function still on the original dash gauge? or will i need to do all 3?
What i would do is buy an IR thermometer to check your engine's real temperature and correlate the lines on the gauge with real temp numbers. I did that so I know what line is approximately what.
I even put a cheat sheet under the ash tray door is I forget.
The IR thermometer has many other uses from checking your home's AC performance, to checking food temps. They can be had for 10 bucks and up.
If you are having overheat issues, create a new thread in the main forums and we will help you out.
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Old August 23rd, 2015, 05:32 PM
  #54  
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Thanks Rob,
That sounds like a better( cheaper) way to start out.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 10:22 AM
  #55  
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Joe,
One more afterthought.
I heard that IR therms actually showed more of a surface temp than an internal temp.
Your thoughts?
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Old August 24th, 2015, 06:44 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Jersey Chris View Post
Joe,
One more afterthought.
I heard that IR therms actually showed more of a surface temp than an internal temp.
Your thoughts?
That would be Rob...
You are correct, the IRT will display surface temp of the engine. Held about 1/4" above the surface right beside the water sending unit on the intake, you will get a reading thats pretty darn close to the water temp as long as there is no rapid heating or cooling going on. It will be within 5 degrees or so during normal operation, as I tried this on my Pinto which has a mechanical temp gauge with numbers. In that example, the surface was 5* cooler than water but close enough for me.
IRTs will also read air temp if held away from a surface and not held in intense light.
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Old September 12th, 2015, 10:45 AM
  #57  
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the overheat

Hi Rob (and all others),
Bought the IR therm, got the car hot and area around water pump was anywhere from 212-230 (+/- 5 deg differential)..so we know the dash gauge is correct when she reads HOT.
Buddy of mine is a mech; suggested I get the car real hot, then watch the fan blade after I shut off the motor. The blade spun around 4-5 revolutions instead of "on the dime" and he said swap out the clutch on the fan to see if that helps.
Fyi, I already have a GM 6-blade fan which is normally used for an AC car or for high-cooling needs (and I don't have AC) instead of the 4-blade.
But before I order the clutch, I wanted to make sure there was no blockage in radiator to pump so I took cap off, started car (with bucket underneath), and antifreeze started dribbling out top. It stopped dribbling out when the car got hot around 160 deg on the IRT, so I'll assume the 160 degree thermostat works.
Last test I did was run the heater and hot air came out which again i'll assume the water pump is running.
So does it sound like changing the clutch on the fan would be the best place to start?
(Year One: $126 for Extra Heavy Duty \$85 for Heavy duty)
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Old September 13th, 2015, 07:44 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Jersey Chris View Post
Hi Rob (and all others),
Bought the IR therm, got the car hot and area around water pump was anywhere from 212-230 (+/- 5 deg differential)..so we know the dash gauge is correct when she reads HOT.
Buddy of mine is a mech; suggested I get the car real hot, then watch the fan blade after I shut off the motor. The blade spun around 4-5 revolutions instead of "on the dime" and he said swap out the clutch on the fan to see if that helps.
Fyi, I already have a GM 6-blade fan which is normally used for an AC car or for high-cooling needs (and I don't have AC) instead of the 4-blade.
But before I order the clutch, I wanted to make sure there was no blockage in radiator to pump so I took cap off, started car (with bucket underneath), and antifreeze started dribbling out top. It stopped dribbling out when the car got hot around 160 deg on the IRT, so I'll assume the 160 degree thermostat works.
Last test I did was run the heater and hot air came out which again i'll assume the water pump is running.
So does it sound like changing the clutch on the fan would be the best place to start?
(Year One: $126 for Extra Heavy Duty \$85 for Heavy duty)
The real test for a fan clutch is if it is locked during the hottest running.
When you know it is hot, pop the hood and verify a hot blast of air. Hold a folded 8x11 sheet of regular printer paper in your fingers above the air cleaner. The air flow should be strong enough to whip them back at 90* and almost out of your fingers. If airflow is weak, clutch is slipping and needs replacement. Of course this is only known valid with factory fan blade.
I would choose a Hayden or AC Delco clutch from Rockauto to save a wad of cash!
Now your original post stated that your OH occurred at highway speed, so the clutch may not be the only issue.
Please start a new thread on this problem so that it will get more attention and better help for you.
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Old October 28th, 2017, 11:49 AM
  #59  
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Thanks very much for this very informative thread, Rob. After decades of wanting to do this, I finally got around to it and I'm doing now.

I'm using special needle paint on all of the gauge needles of my OE Rally Pac, speedo and shift selector. Over time, the needle color fades and appears orange. The original color is actually more red than orange, and the correct paint is fluorescent, which loses its reflective properties over time. (Red loses color pigment and fades to orange.) This is the needle paint I used: https://www.hipoparts.com/fluorescen...oration-paint/ mixed with orange in 2 parts red to 1 part orange ratio.

I polished the copper contacts for the light sockets on the cluster circuit boards, as well as the copper contacts on the bulb sockets. The copper contacts surface had decades of patina. It's important to have good electrical contact for the gauge illumination bulbs (#168) to actually achieve the maximum rated light output (4.9 watts each). Poor electrical contact results in heat rather than light output. Also polished the connection pins on the circuit board.

Thanks again Rob!

Last edited by Toms cutlass; October 30th, 2017 at 07:32 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2017, 03:24 PM
  #60  
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In as I had forgot about this thread and wanted included in my subscriptions because I will be working on gauges this winter.
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Old October 28th, 2017, 03:29 PM
  #61  
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No prob, Tom - glad to see this vintage thread still gives assistance where it is needed.
So now that these repro gauges have been out for around 10 years, does anyone know if the poor lighting issues have ever been addressed?
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Old December 16th, 2018, 08:30 PM
  #62  
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I recently bought just the tach itself from the parts place. It looks exactly as Rob's did, black bezel and all. On another note, what has everyone done for the bleeding through? Have never seen any oem gauges lit up so I don't know if it happens on those too or not. I would assume painting the offending reflective metal black would help, but it may limit the illumination as well...

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