Custom Cluster Dial Faces
A lot of people have been asking how I did mine. Instead of answering them all individually, I'll post this how-to. Maybe a mod will want to put it in the doco section.
Make something unique for your car, and it's not rice, as I went from EL dials to EF ones so I gained dial readout performance (5KM/h vs. 10KM/h and 100rpm vs. 250rpm).
The cluster in EF/EL's is made up of two separate parts, the speedo half, and the tacho half.
I took the original scans, and cleaned them up and created some masks and layers in Photoshop so pictures can be added without worrying about the 'tick' marks and other dial essentials.
These pics are what I started with:
This bit is up to you. I wanted something that was MY car, but unobtrusive, and hopefully something I wouldn't get sick of.
I was playing around (this is an early pic) with a photo from the Sydney Dyno Day #1 (Nov 2004) for the tacho, and was originally just going to have a nice Ford logo for the speedo.
I ended up with these:
Now you may have noticed an important bit, the black masks. This is key to the highlighting effect I was after when the dash lights are on.
Held up to my desk lamp they show how the 'ticks', warning areas, and the
Ford logo were going to light up. Just like I had planned:
5 P's - Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
Using the templates above, print you're work out at 600dpi (if using you're own templates be sure to adjust as required), onto quality whiter than white paper. I am lucky enough that work has a top quality laser printer/copier and paper, and for four sheets I used they don't care. If you're anal retentive, or sadistic, make sure you run colour profiles from your camera through your working space, through to the printer, so you'll get a good result. If not, print it, see how it goes, adjust print again, etc.
I used a 'light box' to carefully align my top and mask layers, then cut them out with a hobby knife so they were aligned perfectly in order to prevent the fuzzy edges as seen in the test photo above. When aligned properly the highlights have crisp edges and look superb.
Optional - Improved Lighting
While you have your cluster out, you may as well change any blown bulbs, or better yet replace them with white LEDs.
I bought a 10-pack of white LEDs from Narva (part# 47900)
Now these are great because you get a LED and holder that fits right in. They're bad because the light output is very uni-directional (a normal bulb is omni-directional), and they're too dim with they're default internal resistor.
Below you'll see a 'frosted' LED on the left and an original LED on the
In the second picture both LEDs are being run at the same current (10mA) so are producing the same light output, the frosted one just spreads it better making it look brighter.
I also reduced the internal resistor from the default to a 380Ohm, bring the current (@ 13.8v) from 16mA to a much brighter 30mA. 30mA is still a very safe level for LEDs to run.
Be warned that LEDs are directional. So must be installed in the cluster a certain way (found by trial and error). It helps to do this while the cluster is out of the dash, and only the right hand connector is required to supply power. So you'll have a 'little' room to play with it.
|Document description:||data_mine shows us how to make our very own custom dial faces for EF/EL Falcons!|
|Document written by:||data_mine on 08 2005>, Copyright © 2005 data_mine, all rights reserved.|
|Document revised:||11 2005 - Revision 1.0|
|Document views:||18200 since 08 2005|