Customer’s Nissan S14 HVAC w/(3) Angled 52mm Gauges

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Custom Interior Fabrication, Toby Broadfield's Work
Tags: , , , , , ,

Finished up another custom piece for a customer. They liked my triple gauge setup that I flush into the vent area on the S14 HVAC. However, this customer is using the AEM gauges which have HUGE bezels. So it makes it a nightmare to flush them in AND recess the mounting panel into the vent area. If I don’t recess the mounting plate then it’s no big deal and I could still flush them. But the customer didn’t think he would like that look as much and decided to go angled.

This is what it looks like in OEM form:

Removed the vents and cut out the center support post. I then roughed the entire thing up with 80 grit sandpaper. Next I cut a piece of 1/8″ ABS and used the ever so popular, but expensive, 5 minute Norton Speed Grip to glue it in. Note: I also roughed up the ABS with 80 grit. This is very important when bonding plastic because it’s usually very smooth. The glue will bond to its maximum potential when the surfaces are prepped properly:

As you can barely tell in the first pic, I also marked out where I wanted the gauges on the panel with a marker. I used a hole saw to make a spot for my angled rings to sit down into:

Next I blocked down the glue and plate to match the contour of the OEM piece:

Next I roughed up the surface of the rings with 80 grit. I dropped the rings down into the holes about a 1/4″ so they wouldn’t stick out so far off the front of the panel. I then “tacked” them into place with some super glue and accelerator:

Next I used the Norton 5 minute Speed Grip and smoothed it around the base of the rings to form not only a bond, but a smooth transition from the plate to the rings:

Next is a BUNCH of sanding, then some filler, then more sanding, then some more filler etc to get it perfect. I didn’t take any pics of this process because it was very time-consuming and I get very dusty… so I didn’t bust out the camera for this one.

Once I was satisfied with all the contours and didn’t have any pinholes, I gave the piece about 6 coats of texture:

Electronics installed:


All panels textured:

  1. Nick says:

    I don’t your exact email or main way of contact, but I have 3 brand new stack gauges staring at me everytime I enter my garage and I don’t want them half assed mounted. Is there anyway to mount three gauges in the hvac spot, I have ac and I would like to keep my vents if possible. Or maybe even mount the gauges where my cd deck is and move my cd deck down one. I do t really know, I just want them mounted nicely. Email me your ideas and let get the ball rolling before I sell these things.

  2. Michael says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your abilities to make things looks so clean. I wish I had half the skill that you have!

  3. Reshad says:

    Hi i would like to purchase a vent gauge like the one you made for the customer. Thank you

  4. Andrew says:

    Any special texture spray? And is that just sem black paint?

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