Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

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farmallmta
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Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby farmallmta » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:58 pm

This may have been addressed before, but here's how I cleared up the foggy plastic lens in the '72 F250. I couldn't see anything through it before clearing it up, now it's crystal clear.

1) Remove the lens from the gauge cluster. Clean everything with damp paper towels. No use putting a dirty dash cluster back in.
2) Thoroughly clean the lens with dishwashing soap, allow to dry.
3) Work in a well lit area.
4) You'll need a dremel drill and several muslin buffing wheels for a Dremel. I get them at Harbor Freight.
5) I used "Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish 205" https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/megu ... brand=true
6) smear about a dime size blob onto the lens and wipe it onto a small area with your finger. Set your dremel to as slow as you can, then start polishing with the spinning muslin buffing wheel. Don't press down too hard. Just enough so you can feel the buffing pad working on the plastic lens. Don't be in a huge hurry. Do both sides of the lens, wipe off, wash and check to see if it's clear enough. If not, buff some more. Keep applying the 205 to new areas as you work. You can check how the clearing up is going by sighting through it into the distance. At first, items in the distance will be quite dim. When you're done, it will be clear, albeit a bit wavy, which is how they were from the factory. Because, you know, plastic.
7) Clean all the 205 residue off and gently wash with dish soap and dry with soft clean rag
8 ) Use the same method as used with the 205, but this time with "Meguiar's Synthetic Sealant 2.0 #21" https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/megu ... brand=true. This seals and prevents re-fogging for quite a while.
9 Clean, dry, admire the clear lens! Some discoloration from sun may remain. Not much can be done about that, but the lens will no longer be foggy!
10) Clean, mask and paint the bezel. I used Rustoleum Metalic "Dark Steel". It sticks to plastic just fine without priming. I touched up the F-O-R-D letters with black model paint and a fine brush.
11) Reassemble the now-nifty dash cluster and reinstall the dash cluster in the dash of your truck.
12) Celebrate with an adult beverage or iced tea :woohoo:

This is a foggy '69 dash lens:
lens foggy.jpg

This is a cleared '72 lens using the described technique:
lens clear.jpg

After painting the bezel and reassembly:
refinished cluster.jpg
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Lone Ranger
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Re: Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby Lone Ranger » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:07 pm

Hey good job! Thanks for the write up.
1972 f100 4x4 4 inch lift with dump box kit-sold
1969 f250 4x4 highboy in progress.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=85251
Kyle

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Re: Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby sargentrs » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:24 am

Great work! Thanks for posting your process for the rest of us. :thup:
Randy
1970 F100 Sport Custom Limited LWB, 302cid, 3 on the tree. NO A/C, NO P/S, NO P/B. Currently in 1000 pcs while rebuilding. Project thread: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=59995 Plan: 351w, C4, LSD, pwr front disc, p/s, a/c, bucket seats, new interior and paint.
1964 Ford Fairlane 500. 289/Cruise-O-Matic, A/C, P/S.

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Re: Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby pchelp101 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:59 am

Nice work, but just replacing it was much faster $20.00 on LMC :wink:
1969 F100, 390, 3 Speed, 2WD

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Re: Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby colnago » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:09 am

pchelp101 wrote:Nice work, but just replacing it was much faster $20.00 on LMC


I go back-and-forth on stuff like that. Sometimes, it is more prudent to replace. But sometimes, it's worth it just so you can sit back, admire, and say, "Look what I did!"

Joseph
"Sugar", my 1967 Ford F250 2WD Camper Special, 352FE, "T" Intake with 1405 Edelbrock, Duraspark II Ignition, C6 transmission, front disc brake conversion.

farmallmta
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LOL... made my sons do it!

Postby farmallmta » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:42 pm

I guess I sort of left it so you'd think I did the work. I just showed my sons what to do and they did it for me. Hence, cheaper than $20 from LMC. What a cheapskate dad I am! :evil:

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Re: Clearing a Foggy Gauge Cluster Plastic Lens and Painting the Bezel

Postby crazyhorse » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:06 am

Mr Farmall, good job.
Thanks for the information & photos.


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