Custom Dash and instruments - CAD file available

Build projects, things that guys have come up with to make a Pinz better (or worse?) and aftermarket add-ons.
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yaknowthatguy
United States of America
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Greeley, CO
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Custom Dash and instruments - CAD file available

Post by yaknowthatguy » Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:38 pm

When I started the restoration work on the Trophy Truck, I wanted to make sure I took care of the rebuilt 2.7L that Jim LaGuardia worked on. To do this I wanted to have some sensors - oil temp, oil pressure, that sort of thing. I also wanted to keep with the style of the truck and respect the design and engineering that went into it.

I looked around, and eventually came across a gauge from MGL Avionics, a company making aircraft instrumentation. This specific model had options for cylinder temp, exhaust temp, oil pressure, oil temp, RPM, and a built in Hobbs meter (for engine hours). It seemed perfect.

I got the gauge and wanted to install it in the stock dash, but realized that wasn’t realistic. Due to overall size and profile, I’d have to space the gauges a little differently than stock, and I didn’t feel up to cutting a stock dash to try and fit the new gauge - I didn’t think my meager metalworking skills could do it accurately enough, and I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good original dash.

That’s where frontpanelexpress.com comes in. I downloaded their free CAD software, and took to the dash with a millimeter ruler. After a few times printing full size mockups, I felt like I was ready for the real thing.

This dash is made of 3mm aluminum with inlaid lettering painted by Front Panel Express. total cost with shipping was about $150. I figured for a one-off custom dash that’s not bad. Turnaround was about 10 days from upload to arrival. You can have them change color/font/size of lettering, and the dash can be powder coated or anodized in a variety of colors. Since the cab has black seats and red trim, that's how I chose the colors for the dash.

The MGL gauge has since been superseded by a more modern version. To my knowledge the wiring is still the same. I added a thermocouple for cylinder head temp, an oil pressure gauge from VDO, and a fair amount of straightforward simple wiring. This gauge also takes 24v power, which was perfect.

While the Trophy Truck is up for sale, I wanted to post this dash and instrument setup so any other users could take advantage of it and not recreate the work from scratch. The pinz community has been good to me, and even though I’m selling the Trophy Truck, I’d like to give back a little and say thank you. I tried to upload the CAD file (it's an .fpd file, proprietary to Front Panel Express), but haven't had luck; if anyone can help out with that I'd appreciate it.

Please ask questions if needed.

First photo shows the cylinder head thermocouple on cylinder #2.
Second photo shows the passenger side wiring - blue pickup for RPM, black grounds to engine block near distributor, green and orange to oil temp/pressure senders.
Third photo shows the gauge close up.
Fourth photo shows the whole dash.
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712 amb. under construction.

Jake2015
United States of America
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:18 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Custom Dash and instruments - CAD file available

Post by Jake2015 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:29 pm

Nice build. Does your gauge support more than one cylinder head temp input?
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yaknowthatguy
United States of America
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Greeley, CO
Contact:

Re: Custom Dash and instruments - CAD file available

Post by yaknowthatguy » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:21 pm

it can; I believe it can support up to 4 individual thermocouples. I figured I'd start with one on cylinder #2, and see how things went from there.
712 amb. under construction.

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