Speedometer housings in our Series 80s are made from pot metal, and are notoriously brittle and tend to change shape when uninstalled. Merely removing them to clean the speedometer/clock can mean certain death for a cracked unit.
I’m planning to make a small production run of cast+machined reproductions. I’d like a rough idea of how many people would be interested in buying one for their cars. I was thinking 10 units as a starting point?
I’m getting the original shape from a 3D scan of my own. I’ve also scanned the mating components (speedometer unit, bezel, faceplate) to make sure I get the interface features correct. The design will need to be redrawn because my original unit is somewhat warped/damaged.
Andrew, I would highly recommend that you post this project under the AACA site. This bezel also fits Buick, Packard, and Wills Ste Claire in the twenties. It does not fit Lincoln in this casting because of the trip odometer reset location. You may get more takers if you show the world. Add the above makes and see what kind of interest it brings to your project. Karl
Andrew, I have an uninstalled circa 1997 cast aluminum reproduction commissioned by the late Luther Gentry, but it needs some fine steady-hand trimming with a Dremel to fit properly, as well as all the #4 and #2 (IIRC) holes drilled and tapped, plus the much larger holes for attaching the clock-retaining arc. It does NOT have the lower arc for retaining the clock. You’re certainly welcome to borrow it for your project. I consider this a VERY worthwhile project.
Andrew, we met at Rodney’s during the Modoc tour. I live in Washoe Valley, have the red roadster, and parked next to you at the doings. I too would be interested in a speedometer housing reproduction. Mine is hanging in there but broken.
Andrew: As mentioned a month or two ago, I’ll take two of the repro housings. And two of the clock retaining cups.
For S80 owners who have not looked behind their instrument panel, It might be a good idea to do so. The speedometer assembly is in several parts: The main mounting bracket with the 4 mounting lugs. The bezel and face of the instrument is fastened to this bracket.
The second main part is the speedometer itself. it mounts to the main bracket.. Third is the clock with it’s retaining ‘cup’. This cup is frequently lost or broken. Andrew is also making the clock retaining ‘cup’.
Most speedometers require some significant prying to get it off the 4 studs that are part of the steel dashboard/instrument panel. I’ve had to resort to a crow bar more than once, This is because of the warping and growing of the zinc/potmetal mounting housing. Once removed it often cannot be reinstalled. I have on a few occasions put the housing in the mill and milled the mounting lug’s holes into slots to allow the bracket to fit over the mounting studs..
Many times the clock and it’s retaining cup will fall out of the speedo and when an attempt to put it back into place, the holes for the two cup retaining screws are so swollen from metal distortion, that nothing will possibly work but a LOT of JB weld, and that is not a very good fix for this location and to retain the rather delicate clock in the speedo.
Andrew, I have a ‘27 Series 80. Put me down for one of each part. I want to support the Cause.
Please put me down for 2.
Thanks, HAPPY NEW YEAR
PUT DOWN FOR 1 EACH RANDY SHARP 724-459-9368 BLAIRSVILLE PA. 15717
Hi friends, wanted to give a quick update on the project. I received the first casting from Dale Strittmatter in Minnesota. Aside from a minor core shift issue in the clock region, the casting looks great so I’ve given Dale the go-ahead to do the larger batch. I’m hoping to get 20 castings before his pattern wears out. The machining is complete on my first unit with the exception of the 3x #00 drive screws to fasten the black faceplate, and the 6x #3-48 screws to fasten the bezel. I created machining jigs for each of the operations which should help move production along nicely. I am going to black anodize my first unit to see how the appearance is; if acceptable, I will anodize all of the units in black.
Big thanks to Greg Long for getting me a clock (mine was missing) and to George Teebay for lending me a faceplate!