I decided long ago that I would like to have a dual gauge bezel for my GTO, but the prices scared me away. I also did not care for the thought of relocating the fuel door popper. Why not build my own?
Tools and supplies needed:
-Dremel (or other cutter tool that can deal with tight areas)
-2x 2" 90* PVC street elbows
-Sandable plastic epoxy
-Bondo fill putty (or something similar)
-Spray paint (I used Primer, Flat black, and Rustoleum 7715 aluminum)
First, I bought a gauge bezel of ebay. after some deliberation, I decided I wanted to make my pods with PVC elbows instead of straight pipe so as to make the dummy lights more visible and give the piece a more natural look. 2" 90* street elbows are what I chose to use.
I sanded down all bumps, casting marks, and seams on the outside of the elbows
I used the elbows as a template and marked the lowest point where I could mount the left side pod with a Sharpie. I measured key points and transferred them to the other side and marked it as well. Now it is time to cut! Notice the little notches in the center to allow for wires to clear.
Next, I cut the elbows. I left enough material for the gauge to press into and then hacked off the rest slowly until I got to the shape I wanted for each side. Make sure to mark them so you know which one goes on the left and which on the right! These do not have to be absolutely perfect, just close. The length is of little concern, but this gives you an idea of what the finished product will look like.
At this point you will have a huge mess. It is time to clean it up as you don't want this around for the rest of the process.
Now you will use the plastic epoxy to secure the pods to the bezel. I used QuickSteel because it was handy... and it worked great. You can also use it to fill in the little holes on the right side as I did. Allow the epoxy to cure per the instructions.
Sand everything down well and apply the spot putty. Allow it to cure (I applied it in the morning before work and came back to it in the afternoon.) and then sand it down so that it has a nice contour between the pod and the bezel. You may wish to do this in two 'coats.'
Now clean everything up and allow it to dry thoroughly. I used a damp shop rag and hung the bezel on a bent clothes hanger that i suspended from a hook in my garage ceiling, the same place I painted. After your bezel is dry, apply a coat or two of primer. Then apply flat black (or your background color of choice) in coats as you would normally when painting.
After the background has dried sufficiently, mask off the areas that you wish to stay that color. I do not know that it is necessary, but I sanded down the area that is still exposed before spraying the foreground color to give it a smoother surface.
Spray your foreground color and allow it to dry. Now it is time for the big reveal! Unmask you bezel...
...And there you have it, your own dual gauge bezel pod! I just finished this piece today and it is still drying in the garage. Install will be this Saturday, I will update this thread with pics as soon as I have them. Enjoy!
First off, obviously had to take out the stock piece. This was a great opportunity for a side-by-side comparison on the colors. The rustoleum 7715 aluminum is not really even close to a match for the trim pieces. The purplish tint that I had heard of was very apparent in the side-by-side under fluorescent lighting.
Another project I needed to finish was wiring the line lock. I drilled a hole through my new bezel and put it there. This pic also shows what i used to secure the gauges in the pods... green painter's tape.
After running quite a few wires, I snapped the new bezel into place.
Line of sight is clear to the gauge, even with your hands at 10 and 2... well, just at 10 in this pic because the 2 hand was holding the camera, ha.
In certain lighting conditions, I think this color of silver would not get a second glance. I will try the satin nickel spray I have heard of the next time I make a bezel and see how it stacks up. Also in this picture, you can see that the silver I used is a pretty close match to the steering wheel trim.
All lit up!
While they are not readily visible from a normal driving position, you can still see the dummy lights... the entire point of using elbows instead of straight pipe was worth the extra effort.
The only other thing to mention is that I had to make one small modification to the car itself... there is a little plastic tab on the right side of the hole where the bezel goes that I assume is for the bluetooth option. It had to go to make room for the pod. Oh well... I had no intention of installing the bluetooth kit on my car anyway!
"It's a well know fact that after you hit 400 HP you have to go with split dual exhaust like the LS2 GTOs. The '04s could get away
with single side because they were only 350 HP. With 400 HP and beyond the car wants to turn right at WOT from the thrust."
Banshee hood SAP fascia Alpine IVA-W505 Viper alarm Kook's LT's catted mids Cutouts Kooks system Forged 427 ETP 245 62cc heads 10:1 Wiseco pistons Chromed TVS2300 17 lbs boost + meth 4L80E by FLT Detroit True Trac Non-Sponsor 8.8 SCSS 3 pillar & Dash pod Non-Sponsor wires Custom mini tub designed by LSPWR with 315 dr's on factory 18's
This whole project was pretty cheap compared to the alternatives out there. I got the bezel off ebay for about $25, elbows were $2 each, $8 for the paint... I had the epoxy, Bondo, and primer already... so I guess around $50-55 out of pocket plus my time. Took an hour and a half to cut/epoxy the piece together and then it was a series of sanding/bondo/sanding/painting until it was done but that stuff doesn't really take a lot of effort, just patience. It is kind of like doing laundry at that point... do something that takes a minute, wait, do something that takes a minute, wait...
I have a Saturday afternoon/evening and a Wednesday afternoon invested in it time-wise, and that is just going off the image I had in my head. If I were to do another one, I think it would be much quicker.
Excellent write-up. I bought a dual pod and ended up dismantling it because I felt I could've done a better job. Not to mention my idiot lights were no longer visible. Thanks for showing how simple it can be. I will be tackling/rebuilding it real soon.
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