by Jim Morrison

Even some of the cruddiest looking gauges can be brought back to show condition through a careful disassembly and cleaning of the chrome bezel, glass and gauge face. This procedure has been described in the CAT shop notes and other places. When I got my gauges looking spotless, the sun faded needles were very obvious especially after I had my speedometer rebuilt. The bright orange needle on the speedo accentuated the yellowish needles on the other gauges. After deciding to paint all the other needles, the hard pan turned out to be finding a paint the correct color to match the speedo. After much searching in hobby stores, paint stores and hardware stores, I discovered the perfect paint: Testors Model Master Fluorescent Red (FS 28915). In painting the needles, I slid a thin piece of cardboard behind the needle prior to painting to protect the gauge face from an accidental painting. One word of caution: The needles are very fragile and care should be taken that they are not bent or the gauge movement damaged. (ed note: Painting speedometer and tachometer needles may affect their accuracy. Several coats of paint on a needle can cause an error of about 300 RPM on tachs or 4MPH on speedometers when the needle is at the 6 or 9 o’clock positions.)