1965 Corvette

Converting a "Battery Gauge" to "Volt Meter"


With dash removed to replace dash pads I decided to repair/upgrade/convert various items. Some of them were:

Service Wiper Motor
Eliminate/Reroute Defroster Duct
Clean-up / Paint Birdcage
Firewall Insulation
Plug Connected Dash Cluster
WhiteFace Gauges
Convert "Battery Gauge" to "Volt Meter"

My battery gauge worked but I prefer a Volt Meter. Why? Not for discussion or defense here I just prefer JJ

The conversion is fairly simple and straight forward  "If you already have the cluster out and on a workbench" To start with you will need a Volt Meter from a 78-82 Vette. I got mine off of Ebay for about $25 +shipping,


After research/experimentation with the gauge I determined that only 1 wire is need - a switched 12 volt as the gauge is grounded through the cluster. But the original resistor is needed to make gauge work.

If you lay the gauges side-by-side you will see the are similar (see below). The cans are the same size but the mounting holes are off a little so you need to swap the internal electrical components.

After painting the next thing was to reconnect the base with the can with very small rivets. They are aluminum and soft BUT I didn't have correct tools and wanted to avoid damage to the face of the gauge so I cut a small block of wood to hold rivet in place and drilled some holes to accommodate the pointer shaft. I then put epoxy on the back side of the rivets and with the wood block in place applied pressure to hold in place.



I was also installing in white face gauge overlays from  http://www.whitegauges.net These are not 100% perfect but are great & cheap for a DRIVER and look great from a normal distance but it you get your nose close to the dash you will see imperfections. 

Next item is to properly install pointer (needle). I had been testing and gotten good at getting it correctly installed. I had a spare 12v battery along with a 9v battery on the work bench and by hooking up one then the other to insure I had it placed correctly. In photo below the battery was reading 12.48 volts.


Now just install gauge back in the cluster and hook up 12v switched wire.


More how to's:

Article on  how to install BLUE LED idiot light which displays when voltage drops below 11.5 volts

Article on  Pluggable C2 Corvette Dash Cluster Harness

Article on WhiteFace Gauge Overlays


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