This has been a project I have wanted to embark on since before I purchased my car. I had an "OE" look gauge in my last car, and the lack of an "OE" looking solution for our car has left me high-and-dry. MightyQ's IMP Concepts gauge comes the closest, but I am still yearning.<p>So here we go: I have found a 'donor' gauge that has very similar backlighting to the OE cluster. It is available in:<br>-boost (30 in/hg to 30 psi)<br>-oil temp (100 to 300 deg. F)<br>-oil pressure (0 to 100 psi)<br>-water temp (100 to 300 deg. F)<br>-voltage (8 to 18V)<br>-A/F (Lean/Stoich/Rich)<p>All of the ranges are 3/4 of the gauge, meaning I can make a 'trim ring' that will fit all of them. The challenges have been/will be:<br>-finding an 'affordable' way of having the trim ring CNC'ed (will continue w/ this later in this thread)<br>-finding an acceptable way of 'recreating' the lettering (will continue w/ this later in this thread)<br>-reproducing the "Volvo" needle (will continue w/ this later in the thread)<br>-recreating the effect of the "R" face <p>First, let me preface this a bit. There have been a number of SS folks who have contributed to this project thus far and I'd like to thank them all for their help and continued support!<p>Now, I think I have figured out how I can come pretty darned close to reproducing the effect that the face has using thin aluminum sheet metal, some fancy sanding/polishing skillz, and a tinted clear, or cleared paint. I'm going to be experimenting further, but this is what my first attempt looks like. The center section is simply a "candy coat" cover over bare, untreated aluminum. After a LOT of coats and a wet sanding, I think I figured how to make reflect like the OE cluster - your thoughts on the color/finish at the moment:<p><IMG SRC="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa305/athruc/Volvo/Boost%20Gauge/DSC01788.jpg" BORDER="0"><br><IMG SRC="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa305/athruc/Volvo/Boost%20Gauge/DSC01789.jpg" BORDER="0"><br><IMG SRC="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa305/athruc/Volvo/Boost%20Gauge/DSC01791.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>Here is an OE needle and trim ring on the 'donor' gauge, along with the larger speedo needle taken apart. I'm not quite sure how I will make the needle happen at the moment, but I was thinking of making a mold that I could fill w/ clear epoxy and just paint the 'blue' section of the needle:<p><IMG SRC="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa305/athruc/Volvo/Boost%20Gauge/DSC01801.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>Next, we have the trim ring... The factory rings are painted plastic and the tick marks actually protrude OUT from the face! I was thinking that I could have a trim ring CNC'ed w/ a cutout for each tick mark. I was possibly considering filling the ticks w/ some sort of opaque epoxy of plastic, but less is more in terms of work/cost/time/etc. I could also try to create a mold and make it from epoxy/plastic as well and then paint it like the OE cluster? Thoughts:<p><IMG SRC="http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa305/athruc/Trim-Ring.gif" BORDER="0"><p>THEN, we have the lettering. The 'ticks' and numbers on the faces are pressed in from behind, left as 'polished' aluminum (not anodized) with a minuscule empty border and then white paint over top. I was thinking I could have a VERY thin piece of polished or chromed aluminum laser-cut and then put in an overlay, but I'd love to find a simpler, 'creative' solution to make these things 'pop'. I have used some fancy paper that gets 'cut' in an ink-jet printer - I was thinking I could do a two-piece overlay - one w/ chrome/silver, and another w/ the white lettering and 'press' it on, similar to what you could do w/ vinyl. I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on this whole process!!!