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10K Tachometer with Voltmeter - Homemade

After literally years of trial, error and research, I finally finished the first of what will likely be several custom gauges for my cars. You may recall a thread from several years back about adding a voltmeter gauge and I came up with a solution to convert a fuel/oil level gauge to a voltmeter and AFR gauge using an external circuit designed by Bob Ashlock. The gauge worked well but it was based on a narrow band AFR sensor and I wasn't happy with the vinyl overlays.

I've purchased speedo and tach faces from Heiler-Tachodesign to build a few 10K tachs and 180MPH speedos but ran into the same issues. Their speedo faces are available on metal like the originals but the tach faces are on available on plastic or vinyl overlays. They make very nice products but I really wanted the faces printed on metal and the ability to have custom designs. After contacting every gauge place I could find, nobody was interested in making custom gauge faces. It was even a challenge finding people interested in making custom vinyl overlays. After all the trial, error and effort, now I understand why.... It's a lot of work. Of course the usual suspects will make any gauge you want and I've used them in the past for restorations and custom gauges. But as anyone who has used them knows, it gets very expensive to have a gauge like this made.

So... I came up with a process to reuse the factory metal gauge faces for my custom gauges and I couldn't be happier with the results. This gauge has a custom IC-based tach driver board designed by Bob Ashlock and a VDO voltmeter movement.

I've also used this same process to make a couple 180MPH faces to convert both mechanical speedos and electronic speedos. Also in the works is a 270 degree AFR gauge that will be driven off an Innovate LC-2 and replace the clock. I'll post more pics as I finish the other gauges and get them installed.

Can't wait to get this one in my car.




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Old 05-09-2020, 04:21 PM
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Just beautiful !!!
What about with a 67 face ?
Regards.
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Old 05-09-2020, 04:49 PM
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Those look fantastic John!
Old 05-09-2020, 05:53 PM
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That is amazing.

Can you go into some detail on how you created the custom face? Photo shop and vinyl overlay?
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:17 PM
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Nice job.
Old 05-09-2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackrash View Post
That is amazing.

Can you go into some detail on how you created the custom face? Photo shop and vinyl overlay?
I'll post some pictures but I'm using the factory face, stripping and painting it black then applying the new face directly on the painted metal surface. The graphics are created in Illlustrator which required creating a custom font and graphics to match what VDO used. No vinyl overlay

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrodri64 View Post
Just beautiful !!!
What about with a 67 face ?
Regards.
Thanks... I've never worked with the early gauges but I guess theoretically you could convert one. I don't think the voltmeter gauge could be added since they have the inner silver ring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ashlock View Post
Those look fantastic John!
Thanks Bob... your tach driver circuit works great! and your help on the future gauge projects in much appreciated!
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1973 911E Glacier Blue
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Old 05-09-2020, 06:37 PM
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Here are a few pictures. I couldn't find all the pictures of the tach face but here is the same process with the electronic speedo that I'm back dating. This also requires modifying an early needle to fit the later electronic movement.







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Old 05-09-2020, 07:19 PM
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That gauge really looks sweet. And yes, I've had some custom gauges put together by the likes of N. Hollywood, and they are very pricey. Glad you came up with your own solution.
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:19 PM
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Great job and looks factory
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:34 PM
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Wow! Nice!
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:22 PM
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Outstanding work. Are you planning on making these to sell? I would love the idea of an AFR meter in place of the clock with a factory look.

Last edited by OSC911; 05-10-2020 at 01:18 AM..
Old 05-09-2020, 09:43 PM
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Interested in the tach driver circuit. I just made a speedo correction box and am working on using a wideband O2 volt output to drive the ‘boost’ meter in the tach of a 930 ( mine is none-turbo) and display AFR.

However, i understand there may be differences in how the tach is driven between the 930 of the time and my 3.2l ?


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Old 05-10-2020, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by OSC911 View Post
Outstanding work. Are you planning on making these to sell? I would love the idea of an AFR meter in place of the clock with a factory look.
Thanks... I'm really happy with the way they turned out. No plans to start a business making custom gauges but I'm considering doing a few just for the Pelican community. I have some cores and supplies so it would make sense to make a few more to spread out the cost.

I'll start a new thread on the 270 degree AFR gauge. I still have a couple issues to resolve and then I need to test it in my car before I'd be comfortable offering them to anyone.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM_ View Post
Interested in the tach driver circuit. I just made a speedo correction box and am working on using a wideband O2 volt output to drive the ‘boost’ meter in the tach of a 930 ( mine is none-turbo) and display AFR.

However, i understand there may be differences in how the tach is driven between the 930 of the time and my 3.2l ?


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Sent you a PM. I too built a tach with the AFR at the bottom but wasn't really happy with the way the AFR was working. I finalizing a new circuit to drive the AFR movement so I'll keep you posted. I'l post a picture of the face later today. Cheers,
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:32 AM
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gauge faces

Nice work John!
Can you please expand on this?
"The graphics are created in Illlustrator which required creating a custom font and graphics to match what VDO used. No vinyl overlay".
Or maybe just a link tutorial?

Thanks
Old 05-10-2020, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbell959 View Post
So... I came up with a process to reuse the factory metal gauge faces for my custom gauges and I couldn't be happier with the results. This gauge has a custom IC-based tach driver board designed by Bob Ashlock and a VDO voltmeter movement.

That tach face has been available for over 5 years from tach rebuilders, e.g. North Hollywood Speedo.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM_ View Post
Interested in the tach driver circuit.
Most tach/speedo repair shops use modules from China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankM_ View Post
However, i understand there may be differences in how the tach is driven between the 930 of the time and my 3.2l ?
The key signal requirement of both tachs is a pull to ground from either 5V or 12V.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mysocal911 View Post
That tach face has been available for over 5 years from tach rebuilders, e.g. North Hollywood Speedo.
Not sure what your point is? I just posted because I built my own and if you read my post I said they can be bought from the usual shops.

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Old 05-10-2020, 10:12 AM
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How are you printing them? Maybe that is a trade secret?

I have plans to make a dual AFR and voltage gauge to replace my clock. I'll probably make a vinyl overlay.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:26 AM
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"Also in the works is a 270 degree AFR gauge that will be driven off an Innovate LC-2 and replace the clock."

Interested!

I'm all about stealthy / stock looking mods...









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Old 05-10-2020, 01:51 PM
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