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Sometimes I feel like a clumsy archaeologist. I took out my instrument cluster, disassembled it, and cleaned the cover with Windex (thinking this was the least corrosive of all the toxic chemicals in my garage arsenal).
Turns out, either Windex is more corrosive than I thot, or the chrome finish on the cluster cover was thinner than my wallet. I am left with mostly a green/gray finish (other than the black camera case part).
Short of forking out the hundred bucks for a repro cluster housing cover (which could not possibly be more poorly made than the original Ford part - one of the few el cheapo original parts I have encountered on my Mustang), has anybody had any success restoring these? A couple of the plastic screw posts did break upon disassembly (the screws and the plastic seem to have become "one" over the years) but I should be able to fix that; it's that chrome finish that looks so good on the INSIDE of the cluster cover that is so elusive to reproduce on the OUTSIDE, where it shows. Any suggestions? Most "chrome" paint looks like cheap aluminum foil.

P.S. Our spell checker doesn't recognize the "archaeologist" form of "archeologist" (probably never even considered including it on a Mustang forum). It should, however, recognize "toxic" as being part of our lives.

Dan
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Are we talking the gauge Bezel here? If so they are about 25 bucks repo.

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<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by KeenBean on 03/29/01 10:22 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
 
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That's what I usually call it, too, but I see in some of the catalogs they call it the instrument cluster housing, so I tried to be generic. It's the part that covers all the gauges and shows, behind that is a cluster lens, then what I actually call the instrument cluster housing (actually does the job of holding the gauges). This thing is just the decoration part that shows on the dash... (am I helping or making worse?)

Dan
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I'm confused, You are talking about the bezel, Right? I assume so because the back doesn't have a camera case finish. Where are they a hundred bucks?????

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O.K. Granted, the repros are $29.95. I have a couple of catalogs w/Genuine Ford Parts for $99.95. My experience with repros is fairly spotty. On something I would have to look at regularly, I would just as soon go the extra 70 bucks for the genuine article. My rant about that is that the genuine article is not all that hot in the first place (construction-wise). But, all that will be moot if somebody has some good suggestions regarding paint, etc. as to how to resto the original (which is all there and unbroken, except for a couple screw posts, which I can fix).

Dan
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I see, I have a repo and it looks good alot better than the original, Well it was 35 years old.

AKA "Fastbackpimp"
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Sometime ago, Mustang Monthly did a comparison between service part, NOS, and repro cluster bezels. The results were interesting in that they found the repro bezels were pretty darn good. I would go with a repro. If it doesn't meet your expectations, send it back and look for an NOS piece.

Vintage Burgundy 1966 Mustang GT Fastback (Midlife's younger brother)
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I'm starting to think along those lines. I will be going to Ventura this weekend, so I can stop at Mustangs and More and NPD and compare the repro bezels vs. NOS. Sounds like repros may be equivalent to what was (seems to me) poor production NOS. $30 is better than sitting there trying to paint chrome back on with a nail polish brush.

Dan
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I got a NOS standard 65 dash bezel on EBAY about 6 months ago. I paid 40 something bucks for it. It came to 50 something with the shipping.

You might want to check there. Every now and then a bargain pops up.

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The black is easy to respray, the silver is not. Check posts from about a week ago, there was someone (username in green letters) who had success with silver spray...
 

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I have the cheap repro on my 66. It LOOKS very good. The only problem is that the speedometer is off center about 3/8's of an inch. When I reassembled it I went nuts trying to figure out what I did wrong. A side by side comparison showed what the problem was.

Like I said it looks real good. And as the only driver I am the only one who can see it doesn't line up perfectly. It still bothers me from time to time tho.

Gene J

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