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cleaning & refreshing gauges

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by hopsedge, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. hopsedge

    hopsedge Platinum Level Sponsor

    I want to remove the glass face and bevel of some of my Smiths Jaeger gauges to clean up the faces and maybe repaint the needles. Other than the usual risk of shoving something sharp into my hand while trying to unbend the bevel clasps, is there any other reason I should not do this?

    I assume that I will have to replace the O-ring/gasket beneath the outer side of the bevel, but is there also a second one on the inside of the gauge housing; like b/t the glass and the bevel or beneath the glass and the housing? Is it actually a single larger gasket that covers both the inside and outside edges of the bevel?

    To be clear, the gauges work fine (temp, oil pressure and gasoline). I am not trying to replace the guts of the gauges. I only to want to clean them up now that I have them removed from the dash.

    Attached Files:

  2. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    The bezels have tabs on the back and will twist off. At least that's what they're supposed
    to do. I have had some that will, most won't. I take a small blade screwdriver and slightly bend
    the tabs up until I can turn the bezel . Once you clean the glass, repaint the needle and polish
    the bezel you can put them back together and gently bend the tabs back. Whether this is
    what most do I'm not sure, but I've done it with great success!
    ernestovumbles likes this.
  3. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    You can gently wipe the gauge face with a soft cloth and wd40 to clean them.
  4. mikephillips

    mikephillips Donation Time

    The original gasket between the bezel and the glass was cork, and generally have long since dried out and "glued" themselves to on or both sides. As noted you can gently bend the retaining tabs up to get the bezel off. I've then cleaned out the remaining cork and used a bit of glazing type compound to fill in the bezel and seal against the glass when reassembling. Then clean off any that might squeeze out on the outside from the glass. The inner, if there is one should be a small rubber o-ring. Some have it, some don't. You might also consider taking the insides out and cleaning and painting the outside of the gauge housing, most I've seen have a partial coating of rust on the outside and the mounting studs.
  5. Tim R

    Tim R Silver Level Sponsor

    If you are just looking to do a basic refresh of the gauges this video on The Sunbeam Alpine Channel may be of use.

    Tim R

  6. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Good video, Tm. I would add a couple thoughts, particularly regarding the tach. Many tachs I have repaired have a lot of paint flaking inside the case. it is important to clear out the flakes especially any that have gotten into the area in and around the meter movement magnet and moving coil. I also recommend repainting the case interior if there is extensive flaking. Also be careful to minimize the thickness of the paint on the needle. The movement of the moving coil assembly is very sensitive. Even a slight increase in the weight of the paint on the needle can have a significant effect on the accuracy due to increased weight of the needle. There is an adjustable counterbalance on the pivoting movement, but I would not suggest doing any adjustment of it unless you do a recalibration at several point around the dial, using a precision frequency source. Just be careful to minimize the paint coating. I don't think teh speedo is as sensitive to this.

    Tim R likes this.
  7. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    Instead of bending the bevel tabs for removal, I get a piece of rubber, such as an upside down computer mouse pad, and press the gauge face down into the rubber and then rotate. I've had success with this method on the large and small gauges. Not bending the tabs will keep the bevel tight when reassembled.


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