Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

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bobmwsc
Posts: 60
Joined: 04 Sep 2014, 11:25
Location: West Boylston, MA

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by bobmwsc » 17 Oct 2016, 15:49

So yesterday I was working on one of my projects - a 1989 Bayliner Capri 1750. I have a set of replacement gauges that I scored online a while ago to replace the original gauges. Four of the six original gauges are in terrible shape (maybe 10% transparent) and two of them look brand new. I took out the old ones and set them aside. I need to fabricate adapters to reduce the two largest gauges (speedo and tach) which mount in a 4.25" hole down to 3-3/8" holes for the new gauges.

I was looking at the originals today and wondered if they could be saved. I have a headlight restoration kit that I've used a few times with good success. It's a Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer Kit that I bought a few years back at Walmart for $7 (up to 7.99 now). I tried the rubbing compound that comes in the kit - no luck. I then spent a whopping 5 minutes tops using the sanding sponges then cleaned it off with the included uv protectant wipe and I was very surprised. The gauge is actually usable again! If I spent a little longer I know it would have come out far better. Now I have to decide if I want the new gauges or reinstall the old ones.

Original:
foggy.jpg
Clear(er):
clear.jpg

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bobmwsc
Posts: 60
Joined: 04 Sep 2014, 11:25
Location: West Boylston, MA

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by bobmwsc » 17 Oct 2016, 16:33

I tried in on the worst condition lens. it's better but not great. The plastic has a bunch of hair line fractures in the surface. I may try again with some fine sandpaper followed up by the headlight kit.

Original:
IMAG2486.jpg
Clear(er):
IMAG2487.jpg

overboard
Posts: 1124
Joined: 21 Jul 2011, 10:31
Location: palmerton pa.

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by overboard » 17 Oct 2016, 19:52

Wow, huge difference there.
I think I would try to use the original gauges as long as they work, that is unless you want to save them for down the road, then I would install the new ones using an adaptor, new gauges are always nice though!
Your call, as they say 6 of one, half dozen of the other, or maux nix; in other words, either way! :lol:

KMixson
Posts: 2119
Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 16:54
Location: North Charleston S.C.

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by KMixson » 18 Oct 2016, 04:19

If you really want to clean them up use sandpaper and wet sand them down to 2000-3000 grit sandpaper. Then use non-yellowing clearcoat and spray a couple of light coats on them. The lens will look better and better as you put more coats on them.

Al U Minium
Posts: 115
Joined: 17 Apr 2016, 19:24

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by Al U Minium » 18 Oct 2016, 07:22

Don't use alcohol on plastic. Some types of plastic develop fractures and cracks. The polishing method looks great.

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richg99
Posts: 4879
Joined: 27 Nov 2010, 09:36
Location: Houston, TX & Crossville, TN

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by richg99 » 18 Oct 2016, 19:12

Back in the late '50s, I used to work on some of the old TVs for neighbors.

I found that I could take scratches off of the plastic tube covers by using toothpaste. Just another slightly abrasive compound.

I see that the technology has moved WAYYYY forward now.

Your job looks great. I love to see things restored.

richg99

bobmwsc
Posts: 60
Joined: 04 Sep 2014, 11:25
Location: West Boylston, MA

Re: Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by bobmwsc » 23 Oct 2016, 17:56

overboard wrote:Wow, huge difference there.
I think I would try to use the original gauges as long as they work, that is unless you want to save them for down the road, then I would install the new ones using an adaptor, new gauges are always nice though!
Your call, as they say 6 of one, half dozen of the other, or maux nix; in other words, either way! [emoji38]
I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I'm going to use the originals and save the other set (means I don't have to cut the ends and rewire all the gauges).

With about an hour or so of work I went from this:

Image

to this:

Image


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Last edited by bobmwsc on 23 Oct 2016, 19:25, edited 1 time in total.

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fool4fish1226
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Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by fool4fish1226 » 23 Oct 2016, 19:14

Looks great :beer:
Work: A dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing

Project "A Little Snookered" http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=22132

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Fishfreek
Posts: 351
Joined: 09 May 2015, 13:04
Location: East Central Florida

Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by Fishfreek » 29 Oct 2016, 15:36

Nice JOB!
Fish fear me
Women love me
But I sit here all alone eating peanut butter sandwiches

bobmwsc
Posts: 60
Joined: 04 Sep 2014, 11:25
Location: West Boylston, MA

Re: Clearing a cloudy gauge lens

Post by bobmwsc » 29 Oct 2016, 23:23

Fishfreek wrote:Nice JOB!
Thanks... I just figured a quick $7 fix was better than shelling out a few hundred and having to rewire all the gauges. They came out better than I expected. I know that when I did my headlights they lasted for close to 2 years before needing a second application being subjected to the New England winters getting pelted with salt and sand. I figure these should last far longer only out in the summer sun and rain (when not covered).

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