Opening the "sealed" gauge units

The metal facia rim is folded back over a rim on the gauge casing, and needs to be lifted all the way around.

In this shot, I've started the process.

I go around the first time just lifting it a small amount by prysing it up with a small flat screwdriver. I then make another 2-3 passes, lifting it more each time until its straight.

This is about as far as you need to go with it.

It does make a bit of a mess, but once it is re-assembled, it's hidden under the gauge.

If you get impatient, you can try to pull them apart before you fully straighten the rim, but you may distort the metal.

Once you've done what you need to do, put the two halves back together, then use a small drift (or allen-head bolt!) to bend the retaining rim back down over the yellow rim.


Make sure you haven't got any loose bits floating around in there, or you'll be doing it all again :-)

Exploring the Pad-printing principal for raised lettering

I have a set of instruments that need reconditioning as part of a current project, and I have managed to do everything except re-paint the raised lettering below the warning lights. I just kept putting it off, because although I have a steady hand, and have got by in the past with a brush, this isn't for my own bike.

So... I had a think about how these are done in the factory using a 'pad-printing' method, and wondered if I could reproduce that. Although the factory process use a type of flexible but firm rubber pad, I couldn't think of a substitute that I would have at home. I ended up using a piece of aluminium strap I had about 2mm thick. I bent both ends up as a 'handle', leaving a flat surface of about 50mm. Looks like this:

I would need to make a smaller version for instances where access is limited - like the lettering on switch blocks.

I masked the areas surrounding the lettering to prevent any accidental bleeding. I thinned some white acrylic laquer to about 2 parts acrylic, 1 part thinners then applied an even 'film' to the bottom of my 'pad'. I placed it over a raised line of lettering then rocked it gently up and down, then lifted it up. I washed the paint off the pad and re-applied it for the next line. This was necessary because there was an imprint of the text on the pad, and would have botched the next one. All in all, it worked really well, and it looks thoroughly professional:

Looks pretty darn good. Nice clear letterforms, and no stray paint :-) Unfortunately I don't have a 'before' picture, but there was next to no paint at all left on the lettering.

I think the key to this working is that the 'pad' surface be dead flat, and the consistency of the paint needs to allow it to 'flow'. I seemed to have fluked it, and it transferred flawlessly
Anyway, I now have a new bow to my string, and I'll attack some of those other projects I've been putting off now.