Posts Tagged ‘AEM’

This seems to be the most popular piece that I duplicate:



Finished up a batch of clusters recently.  Business seems to be picking up with the release of my new website, Facebook page and the sponsorship I was offering for a short spell.


Nissan S14 cluster utilizing a Stack Cluster flanked by 2-1/16″ Speedhut Revolution series gauges with optional 7-step OEM lens polishing:



Nissan S13 cluster housing an array of Defi BF gauges with OEM lens delete:



1998 Honda Civic cluster utilizing a 4″ Speedhut Revolution series GPS speedo dual gauge flanked by 2-5/8″ Speedhut Revolution series gauges with optional 7-step lens polising:



Mazda FC RX-7 cluster housing (2) 4″ Speedhut gauges and AEM boost gauge:



Nissan S14 cluster using an array of Speedhut gauges… (2) 3-3/8″ and (2) 2-1/16″, also 7-step OEM lens polishing:



Nissan S13 cluster utilizing an assortment of Speedhut gauges, optional LED turn signal indicators and optional 7-step OEM lens polishing:



Nissan S14 cluster using (2) 3-3/8″ Speedhut gauges and (2) 52mm AEM gauges:


Last week I finished some fabrication work for a S14 customer. I angle mounted his AEM gauges into the vent area on the HVAC panel. I also made a spot to fit his Greddy boost controller. I did this in the area below the HVAC controller where four buttons/panels typically reside. He didn’t mind getting rid of the security light panel and the blank panel… which sit on the outside corners. So I moved the rear defogger button and hazard button to the outside locations. I had to modify them since they needed to have a rounded outside corner to mount in the corner locations properly. I then bonded in ABS material and shaped it to form a housing for the boost controller. I have talked about this exact process on another customer’s project in the past… so I’m not going to go in-depth about it again. You can simply search for my Custom Interior Fabrication off to the left if you want to see step-by-step process.






I also fit his Greddy turbo timer into the cluster shroud on the right side. There use to be a couple of OEM buttons located in that area that were no longer of use to the customer. So I removed those, plastic bonded the area closed then opened an area back up to fit the turbo timer.



Finally had a customer request molding something into the radio trim bezel of a S13. The customer wanted the four AEM 52mm gauges flush mounted in the double din area where the radio/pocket normally reside. However, the gauges will not really fit in that opening… especially flushing them in. So I enlarged the area and bonded a 3/4″ piece of MDF into the opening. I went ahead and marked/routed out the gauge locations prior to bonding. At this time I also cut the opening to flush in the Greddy turbo timer. Once the MDF plate was bonded/cured, I took a couple different sanders and sanded down the MDF plate to match the contour of the S13 trim panel. At first glance it simply looks flat across the entire thing… but it’s not. And since the bottom gauges extend down so far, it gets into to the curved area right before where the shifter opening is.

All bonded and shaped:

Next I used a thin coat of body filler to fill in any imperfections. Sanded that all down then hit the panel with several coats of high build primer. Once that fully cured I wet sanded it with 500 grit:

Several coats of SEM Landau black and we have a finished product. Note: I also coat the back with several coats to prevent the MDF from absorbing any moisture at all.

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: