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Old 01-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Anderson SC
Posts: 3,355
Re: How To Restore and Detail an Original Gauge Cluster

To clean and detail the wiring harness I like to remove the wrapping and clean the connectors and wires with 3M Adhesive Cleaner. That removes all the grime and stains and makes the new electrical tape stick better.

Before cleaning:

Make note of the way the factory tied the end of the wrap and also how they wrapped the tape around the clip.

Sometimes there will be cuts or modifications that will need to be fixed. I have a spare bulb holder from another junk harness to take care of this. A crimp-on butt connector can be used to fix cuts like this.

Wrap removed, wires and connectors cleaned.

After cleaning, rewrap the wiring with electrical tape, starting at the end away from the harness plugs. To make the knot at the end, clean the adhesive off the last few inches so the knot won't stick to itself.

Some harnesses had cloth friction tape instead of electrical tape. I like this better than electrical tape since it has more of a vintage/classic look. It goes on the same way as electrical tape does, except you can't remove the adhesive for the knot. Use glass cleaner as a lubricant when tying the knot.

For the final detailing, I like to use Duragloss on the wires and connectors to bring out the color and add a slight sheen. It isn't alcohol based so it won't dry out the material.

If you have any other wiring you can also wrap it for a more detailed look. There were three wires for the aftermarket tachometer so I braided them first to make them easier to wrap. I tied one end to mimick the factory wrapping style. I'm just a little OCD if you haven't noticed by now.

To clean the bulb holders take 0000 steel wool and Nevr-Dull wadding and mix them together. The steel wool will cut the oxidation off without scratching the plating much better than polish alone will.

Before and after.

Ready to install back on the cluster with new bulbs.

Last edited by theastronaut; 01-22-2013 at 12:36 PM.
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