Wednesday 1 June 2011

Interior - fitting white replacement dials and chrome dial rings

When a Skyline is imported into the UK it comes with it's speedo set to KPH (kilometers per hour) which although okay is not a lot of good for a country used to the measurement of MPH (miles per hour). The usual way to get around this is by fitting a speedo converter, which by some electronic jiggery pokery changes the signal so that the speedo will read in MPH.
Of course this is all fine and good but does mean that you now have a KPH dial reading in MPH. Most people get around this by sticking a sticker over the top of the KPH reading MPH. The other way I have seen is that the K of KMPH is coloured in black.

None of the above display a very high level of refinement! So I cast about looking for a replacement dial, there are a few around.. Nismo ones (still in KMPH) rare and expensive, Plasma dials that light up as if its Christmas or my preferred choice Lockwood dials.

Lockwood dials have been producing replacement dials in the UK for many years. What appealed to me about them was that they were a direct replacement, featuring MPH plus the KMPH equivalent. Seeing as I had to change my clock after the auto to manual conversion it seemed like the ideal time to 'have a go' at this modification.

Very basically to replace the clock faces you have to remove the actual clock needles from the instruments, pull away the old black fascia and replace with the new one.

This sounds easier than it is... To remove the needles you first need to work out where they sit naturally, this involves gently pushing the needle round with your finger clockwise and anti clockwise until you meet resistance and marking that position in pencil on the dial.

After you have marked the resting positions of the needle you will need a hair dryer. Apply heat to the needle body where it is attached to the spigot, enough to make it reasonably hot (a good couple of minutes). Then with a firm twist and pull detach the needle. this works well on the majority of needles, but be warned that the rev counter is especially well attached and it would be a disaster to pull out the needle and spigot.

When all needles are removed you can then attach your new dials. Push your removed needles back into place and much like you would set the hands on a clock. Push them against resistance around to your pencil marks, you can then check both marks clockwise and anticlockwise.

I found that using my sat nav (which displays speed) the ideal way of checking calibration.

Chrome Dial Rings.
These are supposed to be a push fit. Some were and some were less so.. Suffice to say that if you can easily poke them out with your finger the application of glue maybe required. Originally I had a Skyline spec 1 front fascia to my instrument cluster. It always annoyed me and the first chance I had I obtained a Spec 2, which has a curved front face and warning lights are individually segmented. This is simply a painted Matt back plastic fitting and if yours is 'tired' you can use Wayside Adhesives plastic paint. This is specially formulated to give a 'plastic' look and feel. It is magical stuff!

Skyline R33 Dials

Finished item

The original dials and surround

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