Instrument panel options - Elcamino store vs Dixie Montecarlo - El Camino Central Forum : Chevrolet El Camino Forums
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:19 AM
79elky-resto 79elky-resto is offline
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Default Instrument panel options - Elcamino store vs Dixie Montecarlo

Hi all,

First......I really want to comment how helpful it is to be a part of this site. The amount and level of information and experience everyone is willing to share is invaluable. Thanks for all the advice so far. Ok.....enough with the mushy stuff....

So the instrument panel on my 79 needs work. Both the speedometer and odometer don't work. Neither does the clock. The oil gauge works sometimes when the needle isn't flapping back and forth. I thought to get them fixed but also to just upgrade the whole panel.

The elcamino store has a nice panel that I'm looking at:
http://www.elcaminostore.com/el-cami...1978-1981.html

Dixie Montecarlo also has a shadowbox cluster
http://www.dixiemontecarlodepot.com/items/DM00514.htm

Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Can you comment on the fit and look. How much did you like the result? If you have any pictures you can post, that would be helpful to see what it looks like in the dash.

Or.....if anyone has any other suggestions or options, that would be welcomed.

thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2010, 08:26 AM
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johnmil johnmil is offline
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Default Lot of $$$

I have experience with neither of the instrument panels you
suggest. They do look nice don't they? For that amount of
money, I'd sure remove the existing speedometer and clock,
take to a speedometer shop and get a quote on repairs.
IMHO you understand.

John '82 El Camino
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:01 AM
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Speedeometer may just be a cable or drive gear issue. Less than $50 to fix. The clock probably has the contacts inside welded together. Break apart and file with a point file. The Oil Pressure issue sounds like it might be the sender. If the guage is moving, it's getting some signal. Also, all of the guages ( except the speedo) run through one large contact, and the contacts can get bad over time. Cleaning these contacts might also solve your issues.

I'd try some simple maintenance before spending big bucks, just to find out you need to do the maintenance anyway.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:02 PM
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If you Like the look then build it urself for a 1/3 of the $ or less
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983SS454 View Post
If you Like the look then build it urself for a 1/3 of the $ or less

+1 On DIY it usually turns out even nicer and you can say you did it!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:44 PM
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Im gonna be Redundant, just learned that word yesterday, Im working on my guages also, no deep pockets here. My oil pressure guage is the last one to fix.............yeah there dark and hard to see but...................my clock works great,I didnt have to fix but it ticks louder than the radio............................................. ......so Id say...................DIY
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:48 PM
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one more thing, they do sell just the white faces to stick on your guages but I understand thats a little bit of a task
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:51 PM
79elky-resto 79elky-resto is offline
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thanks......is it easy to pull apart the dash and get to the gauges? I'm not really experienced with how to do that kind of work. I'd definitely like to save the money and do it myself. Any recommendations or guides somewhere on how to open the dash up and reach them?
regards.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2010, 06:13 PM
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if I remember correctly theres only six screws to take of the big trim panel to get at em, thats as far As I went,, and I just took it off to spray, and the headlight switch, then your at the clear plastic panel, had to wiglle around steering column, but was pretty easy, at that time I wasnt dealing with guages only paint
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:38 PM
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Im just jealous you have gauges, my 85 just has dummy lights. any ideas where i can pick up a circuit board for converting to real gauges? what cars circuit boards would fit?
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:56 PM
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I really cant answer that but what I know monte carlo is very similar, I have gone to LKQ ,I understand there nation wide u pull it places ,cost 2 bucks to get in, no phone info given, but when I went there and told them what I was looking for they gave me a printout of all the cars that had that part.They gave me a bunch of small electrical items and the mirror control for 3 bucks and a price list for the big stuff, very reasonable, they print a list of cars they get in on craigslist everyday
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