The dash lights on the convertible don’t work. The bezel is faded with the chrome areas turned to faded grey and peeling. The lenses are fogged, though not as bad as my coupe was. All of this combined tells me it’s a good project to replace some parts and see why the lights aren’t working. Maybe some upgraded bulbs along the way.
This is the starting point. Not terrible, but in need of some attention. The interior was previously redone as it was aqua originally, and it’s two tone blue now. It looks like the instrument bezel was not replaced at that point though.
Reading the shop manual, it says I should take out the heater control panel and use that access point to reach in and disconnect the speedometer cable before pulling the cluster out. The area is pretty tight for a guy my size, but I was able to manage it. Once that was disconnected, the cluster came out far enough to reach the electrical connectors and disconnect the wiring.
What better place to work on car parts than the dining room table? Things look pretty good at this point. Nothing melted or damaged. A little sign of age with peeling tape, but otherwise good.
It comes apart by removing the 9 screws spread across the back plate, plus removing the wiper switch. There are a couple parts in here not reproduced, so I was careful to handle things delicately. The little cardboard eye-pieces are my favorite. They look like they were meant to last a couple years max. Life span of a toilet paper roll. Surprisingly, they are still intact.
I put the new lenses in the new bezel, then moved the lens retainers over. I don’t think these are reproduced either. I used the original screws as well, so I took care and tightened everything down carefully. I also placed the tubes in place as well. The last piece was the little black dot on the center lens. I don’t know what it is, as the center does nothing on this console. Either way, I moved it over to the new lens.
While I was in there, I replaced the light bulbs with a kit from NPD. I also replaced some of the light diffusers with a new set from NPD. You can see the old ones on the right above. They are a little frosted, but none were melted like in my coupe. I didn’t take all the gauges out so I didn’t end up replacing all of the diffusers. Will see if I can tell the difference of the old and the new over the LEDs.
I put things back together with a few screws. Half were missing, so I ordered a AMK kit for dash fasteners. This solved 2 of the 3 original issues. The bezel looks good again. The lenses are clear. The lights still don’t work. I have blinker lights, but no night time lights. I changed the fuse, still no lights. The other part in the circuit is the light switch. It doesn’t feel quite right for the rheostat part, though it does turn on the courtesy lights. A new switch is on order now too. I will have to update later once I have finished replacing enough parts to make it work again. Until then, driving during daylight it is. I also have the passenger side dash bezel to replace, but that is a bit more involved, including removing the glove box.
6 thoughts on “New Instrument Bezel and Lenses”
Can you let me know the solution on the courtesy light or night time lights. I have the identical issue on my 68 and the fuses looked fine however i replaced anyway to no avail. I believe all fuses are in the multi fuse cluster which is easy to access. Someone suggested it might be a ground issue as this affects the door courtesy lights, dashboard lights and light under the glove box and right above the leg of the driver on the otherside.
Replacing my headlight switch corrected my dash lights. When I took the old one out, it pretty much just fell apart at the dial in the front which controls the dash light brightness. Since this same dial also turns on the courtesy lights and dome light, there is a good chance you have the same issue.
Thanks, i did notice that prior to this issue, the brightness adjustment on the switch had what appeared to be an intermittent short when rotating either clockwise or counterclockwise. Before you replaced the switch did the headlight activation work ok? Mine does. Thanks for the tip.
The headlights worked fine. The rheostat was the issue, which is the turn function from the headlight switch.
Ok i did replace the headlight switch and still have same issue with courtesy lights in the doors and the lights under the dash. I did a continuity check on the 7.5 amp fuse and both door switches in the door jams. All are ok. Any other ideas? Thanks again for your insight.
Not sure exactly where to look from there. Perhaps do a search on the VMF (https://www.vintage-mustang.com/)