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Can the Instrument Cluster be Hard-Wired?
#1
Jeff73Mach1 kindly sent me a 71 standard dash cluster for an experiment: can the crappy circuit card be eliminated and the dash cluster hard-wired for greater reliability?

I don't believe anyone has attempted this, so I'm going to attempt it. The dash cluster has 14 bulb sockets, two posts for the fuel gauge, and contacts for the constant voltage regulator (snap-on clips). I'm kind of surprised that the cluster is basically all lamps, and I was planning on using the snap-in 2 wire sockets used in 64.5-68, which I have a ton of. So...I tried fitting them in, and nope...the holes in the dash cluster are too small. I know the cluster uses 194 bulbs, but every catalog says that the 1895 bulbs are used for the instrument cluster for 71-73. WRONG! There's no bulb chart in the 71 FSM that I could find for the instrument cluster, so I went to my Wiring and Vacuum Diagrams that the service technicians used: yup...194 bulbs.

OK...there's many sockets for 194 bulbs, but the instrument cluster sockets are fairly unique, as there are no wire pigtails, just contacts to the circuit board. OK...they lock into place...1/2" in size. Does anyone make a replacement with pigtails? After spending 1.5 hours Googling, I think I found a replacement locking socket, and they should be here by the end of the week.

For the CVR, I plan on replacing the 71-73 version with the 66 version which has spade lugs.

I'll take pictures as I start working on this, and with luck, I should have a working dash cluster by the end of the weekend. I have a 12V power supply so I can actually test everything on the bench.

If successful, I'll then figure out if it is economical to do this, and if so, what the costs might be.

This should be interesting! And thanks, Jeff!
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#2
Sounds interesting, keep us posted. Chuck
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#3
From our short experience here I would say if anyone can make this happen it would be you. Anxious to see your progress



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#4
I'll definitely be following this thread.

-john
(jbojo)
351C 4V cc heads, 10.5 : 1 CR, 290 Herbert cam, Flat top forged pistons, forged connecting rods, Atomic efi,
C6 with Gear Vendor overdrive, 3.89 Tru Trac, Hooker Super Comp with 2 1/2" Pypes Exhaust.        

Some Mod pictures can be seen at:

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#5
Go For It.

mike

[Image: 1_11_11_13_11_50_27.png]
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#6
I can see hard wiring the back of an instrument cluster if you can find
the bits like you say with the bulbs.

I'm curious about finding a multi pin plug to use with it to
make unplug-able for removal ?

Do you have a source for multi pin generic plugs as this info would be valuable to me?

Appreciate your efforts and information!
Paul
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#7
I have "kinda sorta" hard wired the cluster on a 68 Torino by jumping directly from the harness to the bulbs that were not getting current from a very rusty and separated printed circuit board.

20 years later they all still work and it still looks like spaghetti behind the dash.

Bet yours will look much better.

- Paul of MO
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#8
rocket366;214458 Wrote:I can see hard wiring the back of an instrument cluster if you can find
the bits like you say with the bulbs.

I'm curious about finding a multi pin plug to use with it to
make unplug-able for removal ?

Do you have a source for multi pin generic plugs as this info would be valuable to me?

Appreciate your efforts and information!
Paul
Yeah, that's not a problem. Molex still makes multi-pin connectors that were used up to 1968 (and also the connector for the 71-73 center 3 gauge harness). I have a male/female 12 pin plug set, just right for the standard cluster. The tach cluster uses less pins.
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#9
rocket366;214458 Wrote:Do you have a source for multi pin generic plugs as this info would be valuable to me?

As Midlife mentioned, Molex still manufactures a variety of connectors. They have been around for a long time and are an industry standard. I used to just drive down to Radio Shack and pick up what I needed, but looks like I'll be using Amazon more, now:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_in_-2_p_8...2528832011

You can get a variety of connectors, including weather proof, at auto parts stores:
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/search.../C0335.oap

http://www.summitracing.com/search/depar...4294951518



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#10
Sounds like a great project. Looking forward to updates and pics. Smile

Doc

[Image: 6y14ea.jpg]

Project started 8-7-10
Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system
Current "mini-project": interior upgrade Undecided
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