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Restoration Tips from the Pros

Look good and go fast with Car Craft's Ultimate Guide to Muscle Car Resto-Mods

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The cluster's printed circuit also gets overhauled. All paths are checked for continuity, and the connectors are cleaned and re-soldered as needed.

One of Redline's most popular conversions is fitting the factory tachometer to VDO movement. Shannon says they use VDO because the units are extremely compact, dead-on accurate, and work with any ignition system. Compare the size of the VDO internals already installed in the gauge cup to its factory controller on the workbench in the foreground. He'll even label the back of the gauge to aid in the reinstallation process.

Want a different look for your factory instruments? Try a different background color and font for the numbers and letters. Shannon says they've matched gauge faces to a car's exterior color, created numerically higher-reading speedometers, changed pointers and pointer colors, and even turned a factory clock into a tachometer. There are really no limits to what you can do with your gauges.

Redline can even create entire clusters to fit within the factory bezel. Here is a drawing a customer sent in along with his OE gauge bezel. Shannon will have a background made up matching this drawing, which will then be applied to a custom-cut plastic backing. He'll wire in the appropriate gauges, calibrate and test them for accuracy, and install the completed unit in the factory bezel. "In these cases," says Shannon, "you're only limited by your budget." He can add a shift light and warning lights in the gauges, do custom lettering and numbering, and even replace idiot lights with gauges. He can also re-face prebought gauges from major brands like AutoMeter.

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