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Thread: Gauge restoration?

  1. #1

    Gauge restoration?

    Any suggestion? I think they all work, just looks like some of the lenses are potentially damaged. I tried cleaning and the surface is rough. Haven't had the chance to put more effort into them. Suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    It can be quite a task restoring gauges. If they work you are ahead of the game. This is the guy you will hear the most about. I would send them here for a quote.

    https://www.bobsspeedometer.com/

    I did have an original speedometer in mine. In the end the cost to restore it and the look of the re-production gauges (looked identical) sold me on new ones. I think if I was really stuck on using the original gauges and I was certain they were the originals, I might have gone through the expense and time required. Mine would have cost a bunch and the wait was long.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Many of the MIL-SPEC gauges were put together pretty tightly - very good near hermetic seals that can be diffficult to get open.

    Look at them closely and see if there is an entry point (screws, etc.) Even so the glass may be hard to get out and you will need to get new glass made.

    That dual scale (kM/miles) speedometer is unique - I've never seen another. Is the temp gauge in degrees F or degrees C?

  4. #4
    Here you go. I tried to blow the pic up a little to see more. I don't think there is condensation in them, the imperfection is on the outside of the glass.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LarrBeard View Post
    Many of the MIL-SPEC gauges were put together pretty tightly - very good near hermetic seals that can be diffficult to get open.

    Look at them closely and see if there is an entry point (screws, etc.) Even so the glass may be hard to get out and you will need to get new glass made.

    That dual scale (kM/miles) speedometer is unique - I've never seen another. Is the temp gauge in degrees F or degrees C?
    I'll have to check the temp gauge when I get to the Jeep because I can't tell by the pics. This Jeep was made for the Swiss Army. Even the rear tires were made in Switzerland. Tells me the temp gauge has a good chance of being celsius?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    If that "stuff" is on the outside of the glass that is a candidate for some polish. There are several glass polish compounds out there. You can even start with a dab of toothpaste. I have used toothpaste on T.V. Screens and auto glass. Straight up white toothpaste is very mildly abrasive and a decent solvent. It wont fill a scratch but it will polish away cloudiness.

    If the gauges work I wouldn't touch them, other than clean and polish, until they don't work. If those are original, that is a nice set of gauges!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    The closer look shows that three of the four gauges are of US origin; they have a MIL-SPEC number on their face (MS-XXXXX). Even the dual-scale speedometer has an MS number! The temperature gauge is different - it does not have a flange around the case and it only goes to 135 on the scale - it's degrees C.

    If you get a chance, please list the MS numbers for the gauges - I'll look and see if there is any info on getting them apart (non-destructively).

  8. #8
    I found this picture of a different Jeep but the cluster is almost the same. The speedometer is different(missing the kph) and the 2 right gauges are flipped. It looks like my gauge is definitely celsius. I was there today and forgot to take a look but will try and get the MS numbers.

    Had a very bad thought.....since I just bought this Jeep. Found another fully restored M38. Mine is pretty nice and I believe all original which means it definitely needs some work and mostly maintenance but I could save all that work and get one already restored for not that much more. The question is what is mine really worth. Very bad thoughts.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    It is all about the money for some Jags. All about the project for others and some just want a sweet old ride. It is all up to you, your enjoyment and your pocketbook. And you never know how well it was restored. I have seen some really nice restores in my time. Some of them looked good and ran well. Mechanically perfect. Expensive restores. Some looked great and hid many mistakes. I have seen some mega expensive restores that were beautiful pieces of junk.

    When you do it yourself, or you work through it with a mechanic who is good, you know what you have. Unfortunately most restores done for resale are just a little lipstick on the pig. When you find a real restore, good quality work, it will usually cost you. After really going through mine, I can tell you no one would pay me what I want.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
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    After really going through mine, I can tell you no one would pay me what I want.

    I agree with you bmorgil 100%!!!

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