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Old May 3rd 2010, 17:12
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914 Gauge Install

by David McCutcheon NO_H2O
Dec 08, 2003

Overview

If the idea of the same old VDO gauges in aftermarket panels on ether side of your speedometer have you yawning and you would like to swap to a 914 gauge cluster in you Beetle dash, then this is the article for you ! With some hand power tools, a sheet of aluminum from the home center and a gauge cluster from a 914 we will update the dash of a Bug with a Porsche look

Step 1

We need a template for the dash panel. We will be removing the 3 pc (2 grills and a speedometer) and going with a 1 pc panel.Remove the glove box door and take out the latch, this will become our template.

Flip it over and trace out the outline on the aluminum. I added a little over 1/4 inch to the bottom to fill the opening of the late model dash.



Step 2

With a jigsaw and a metal blade cut out the panel. Use a slow blade speed or aluminum will melt and clog the blade and it will not cut (voice of experience). Leave the line and sand it to a perfect fit with a belt sander.

Remove a little bit at a time and test fit it until it is just right.



Step 3

With the panel fitting correctly, align the 914 panel over the aluminum panel and trace out the hole locations. With a hole-saw and a drill cut the holes undersized. We will make them perfect later.



Step 4

Now with a cut off tool, remove the outer rim of the 914's panel so it will lay flat on the aluminum one. We are going to use the rest of the donor panel to hold the gauges in place. Porsche use rubber sleeves to hold the gauges in place and so will we.

Using just the thickness of the aluminum against the rubber sleeves will not be very secure. The gauge bores in the 914 panel will hold them securely so we will attach them to the back of the new panel. Align the 2 panels and back drill the 4 mounting holes to attach them together securely.



Step 5

With a router and a laminate trimming bit, trim holes in the aluminum panel to size. Set the depth of the cutter to trim the aluminum and not the donor panel.

The trimmer bit guide will follow the 914 panels bore without cutting it and give us a perfect hole for the gauge. Be sure to use a carbide trimmer bit.



Step 6

Test fit the gauges and finish the panel to the way you want. You can go with the brushed aluminum look, prime and paint it or overlay it with a carbon fiber sheet to match your interior. If you want oil temp and oil pressure in the dash you can substitute a 911 combo gauge for the 914 combo gauge.



Step 7

Remove your old Speedometer and dash panels and start the fitting process. You will have to cut out the stock speedometer supports and trim some of the metal out of the opening. Remember you will need some dash metal in the corners to fasten the new panel to.

Once you have it in and secured you can start to wire them. You will have to add some back-light wires but most everything else is just like the bug. You will have to have isolated lights in the fuel/combo gauge (plastic socket with 2 connectors).



The fuel sending unit even seems to register the same 3/4 tank that the bug gauge did. If you need more gauges you can do a center cluster under the dash or a center console.

Hope this gives you some good ideas.
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