Shallow gauge mod.... CHEAP! - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Shallow gauge mod.... CHEAP!

Many have complained about difficulty in reading the gauges. One solution is to buy aftermarket inserts with custom colors and info displayed. I didn't want to spend a few hundred on my high miles car (130K) so I chose a cheap option. Bring the gauges up from the depths of the dash.

In a nutshell, I put plastic spacers behind the cluster to move it forward, and then cut the "tunnels" to accommodate their new position. The deep tunnels are a styling choice by Pontiac to get that retro look. Cute. Not ideal.

Instructions for removing the boomerang and instrument bezels/tunnels can be found elsewhere on the forum, so I'll skip that. Once removed there are four screws holding the instruments in place and plenty of wiring harness to pull them forward.

Instruments lying loose and still plugged in:




While you're in there, if your gauge cluster is dusty, the plexi cover is easily removed with five snaps... three on top and two on the bottom. The cover is not sealed and dust easily gets in there after the years. I washed mine in the sink and dried it with a soft cloth:




The original mounting screws are #8x1" screws. I got appropriately sized 1" spacers and went with a 1" longer screw (#8x2") from Lowe's:




These are the packets from Lowe's (in the specialty screw drawers):





The bottom, left screw can be a pain to get to. Pulling the air vent to the left of the steering wheel makes it easy. A 7mm socket on a long extension gets the factory screw out. A long, thin Phillips screw driver put the new ones in. Here is the new screw installed (please excuse the New Mexico dust. I live on a dirt road.):





A picture through the windshield of the gauges installed:





More pics:







The next step is to cut the tunnels.

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 07:34 PM
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Ingenious! post some pics when you finish.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's done!

I cut approximately 30% off the length of the tunnels by cutting an inch. It does not show up in pictures but the difference in real life is significant.

I was going to use a band saw to cut the gauges but the dust shield on the bottom that closes the space for the tilt steering and other obstacles made that too much trouble. I ended up plotting a one inch cut all around the perimeter with a ruler and marker and then cutting the lower end with a Dremel. Not as smooth but it really doesn't matter once done.




The rubber bumpers that keep it off the plexi shield are now cut off but the new tunnels are so short, I don't think they are needed. I filed and sanded off the slag and got this:







Final installation:







Total cost was only about $5 at Lowe's and a few hours labor.
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Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:47 PM
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Great idea. How well does it work?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 09:44 PM
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Very well done!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Great idea. How well does it work?
Thanks! I'll take it for it's maiden voyage this weekend and let you know. I need to see how it looks in day and night.

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 07:58 AM
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I believe that the original depth may have had something to do with shading sunlight to prevent glare. Obviously that had it's limitations also. Be interested to see how it works out!

2007 2.4L N/A. Stock + some pretty crap.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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I believe that the original depth may have had something to do with shading sunlight to prevent glare. Obviously that had it's limitations also. Be interested to see how it works out!
I considered that and already bought another set of tunnels so I can return it to stock if I don't like it. And I figured there are plenty of other cars on the road with gauges much more exposed than ours.

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 01:42 PM
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Nice work.

I've thought about putting some anti-glare film over the plexi gauge cover. Might get around to trying it one day.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:50 PM
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Anyone know hou to bring the DIC to the dash? A remote readout.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygun View Post
Nice work.

I've thought about putting some anti-glare film over the plexi gauge cover. Might get around to trying it one day.
Since the gauge cover comes off so easily, it would be pretty easy to do.

Chris

"Sunny" - '08 Brazen Orange 2.4 Auto... 7660 feet up in the mountains
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob the elder View Post
Anyone know hou to bring the DIC to the dash? A remote readout.
Do you want a repeater for the DIC (ie: same form same information)?
Or do you want a second DIC (ie: same form but independent information and control)?

John
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 08:01 AM
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When I installed my Speedhut gauges the DIC is no longer visible. A repeater I could mount on or in the dash would be fantastic

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:15 AM
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I was wondering if a tint band across the top the wind windshield wood help with the glare. I guess I could add some temp tint up there to see how it works.( static cling type)
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 09:42 AM
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While I probably wouldn't do this to my car, I think that it is a very well thought out modification - I like it a lot.

We should make a list of all the things that we could have done better than GM did.
  • Gauges you can actually see
  • Cup holders you can use without breaking them
  • A tunnel cover that doesn't crack when you put you hand on it getting into the cars
  • Door controls that you can actually find and use by tough while driving
  • External door handles that aren't predetermined to fail.
  • Coupe taillights that can have bulb changes without disassembling half the rear of the car


I'm sure most owners could add a few items...

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