1962 Corvette – Red

D&M Recently had a customer drop by and show off the 1962 Corvette that had restored which included the gauges D&M restored!

D&M Restored Items

D&M has several items we have restored.  You may have seen these on display at recent car shows.. Check out the new version of our online store to see what we have to offer in the way of instrument clusters, clocks, radios, tachometers, etc.  We will be posting more later.  Do you have an “identical item” you would be interested in trading that needs work?  Consider saving some time by asking us about trade-in options!

We can also get you great deals on Carpet, Tires, Trim Parts and Other items and check out our eBay listings as well.

1967 Speed Warning Speedometer

Speedowarning speedometerSince the early 70’s D & M Restoration has rebuilt many speed warning clusters. We are frequently asked questions from customers who try to install a ’67 speed warning speedometer and encounter several problems. We hope this article will clear some of this up.

In 1967, the Corvette offered an optional speed-warning speedometer. The idea was that the driver would set the small, pale yellow needle on the speedometer to the speed that he didn’t want to exceed. When the main speedometer needle reached the place where the small needle was set, a little hairspring on the large needle would make contact with a peg on the small needle, completing a path to ground. That in turn would set off an external speed-warning buzzer. In order for this to happen, the metal faceplate had to be insulated from making contact with the speedometer main frame and the front of the cluster. This was accomplished by the installation of two fiber washers and two plastic screws, which mounted the faceplate to the speedometer main frame. A piece of electrical tape was also placed on the outer edge of the odometer frame so that any short would be prevented should the frame and face touch.

The face plate also had a flat brass strap that went to the left side of the speedometer frame (looking from the back). It made a 90 degree contact on the speedo/tach mount plate. Note: This 90 degree bend was on the strap and had to be kept from contacting the frame by using electrical tape. When the speedometer was mounted to the backplate, it had to make contact with the plate in order to achieve a good ground. But this was not possible due to the rubber pad and two rubber grommets on the mounting screws. So a brass tab with teeth on it was attached to one of the mounting screws. It then made contact with the frame when the brass teeth on the tab went over the grommet and made contact with the mounting plate.

The needle used on this speedometer was totally different from the stock needles. Because of this, the same style needle was used on the tachometer, minus the hairspring. These needles were almost ¼ inch taller than the stock needles.

In l967, the cluster remained unchanged except for the tachometer and speedometer lenses which were changed to plastic ones (like 1963). The small gauge lenses (4) were glass. They were all still concave but because of the longer needle shaft length on the speedo and tach, if not modified, the needles would make contact with the lenses. In order to prevent this when installing the lenses into the cluster, the small glass lenses were installed normally with the rubber pads first, then the lenses. But on the speedo/tachs, the lens was installed first, then the rubber pads were installed on the backside of the two plastic lenses. Then the lens holding plate was installed. This gave just enough clearance for the needles.

Additional Tip:
The following is a tip for those of you who are doing their own restorations on ‘64/67 Corvette dash clusters:
When installing glass lenses back into your cluster after you restore it, make sure you have clearance on all sides of glass lenses. Make sure the lenses are not touching the side(s) of the cluster anywhere. Then you can install your plate that holds all 6 lenses in place. If you do not do this, it’s very likely that when a temperature change occurs (i.e., going from your garage to outside or the cooling off in the evening), the glass lenses will crack across the lenses if they are touching the cluster. This would make for a bad situation causing you to have to take the whole cluster out.

1963 Corvette

The 1963 Corvette began the second generation of Corvette. According to the auto section of howstuffworks.com

For one the first time in the Corvette's history, wind tunnel testing helped refine the final shape, as did practical matters like interior space, windshield curvatures, and tooling limitations. Both body styles were extensively evaluated as production-ready 3/8-scale models at the Cal Tech wind tunnel.

The vehicle's inner structure received as much attention as its exterior aerodynamics. Fiberglass outer panels were retained, but the Sting Ray emerged with nearly twice as much steel support in its central structure as the 1958-62 Corvette. The resulting extra weight was balanced by a reduction in fiberglass thickness, so the finished product actually weighed a bit less than the old roadster.

Passenger room was as good as before despite the tighter wheelbase, and the reinforcing steel girder made the cockpit both stronger and safer. Symbolic of the car's transformation was the first-ever production Corvette coupe — a futuristic fastback that sported one of the most unique styling elements in automotive history — a divided rear window. This feature had once been considered for an all-new 1958 Corvette, and Mitchell thought enough of the back light backbone to resurrect it for the 1963 redesign.

The rear window's basic shape, which was a compound-curve "saddle-back," had been originally conceived by Bob McLean for the Q-model. The rest of the Sting Ray design was equally stunning. Quad headlamps were retained but newly hidden — the first American car so equipped since the 1942 DeSoto. The lamps were mounted in rotating sections that matched the pointy front end with the "eyes" closed. An attractive belt-line dip was added at the door's trailing upper edge, a result of cinching up the racing Stingray at the midriff.

Coupe doors were cut into the roof, which made entry/exit easier in such a low-slung closed car. Faux vents were located in the hood and on the coupe's rear pillars; functional ones had been intended but were nixed by cost considerations. The Sting Ray's interior carried a new interpretation of the twin-cowl Corvette dash motif used since 1958, with the scooped-out semicircles now standing upright instead of lying down. It was also more practical, now incorporating a roomy glovebox, an improved heater, and the cowl-ventilation system. Also on hand was a full set of easy-to-read round gauges that included a huge speedometer and tachometer. The control tower center console returned, somewhat slimmer but now containing the clock and a vertically situated radio with a dial oriented to suit.

1963 & up Corvette Ammeters

For the 1963 and up, the ammeters are very low current meters. Unlike the 1962 and down which are true meters.

Helpful Tip:

On the 63 & up ammeters, 3 amps will smoke the meter and even melt the plastic frame inside. In truth, the ammeter is the fuse. It's a very good idea to install a 3 amp quick blow fuse in one of the lines. (Does not matter which one). This will protect your meter from blowing out. ** I personally would first install a 1 (one) amp quick blow fuse. If problem persists, then try a 2 (two) amp quick blow fuse.

1963/67 Corvette Speedometer Tips

The importance of installing steel worms vs plastic when rebuilding

Because of the way the speedometer was designed with the trip odometer and the total odometer across from each other instead of over the top of each other, there is a lot more torque required to turn them causing them to quickly strip out the 2nd and 3rd plastic worms that are used in many of the GM speedometers.

Therefore, when rebuilding for th3 63/67 year speedometers, it is imperative that steel 2nd and 3rd worms are used. Also, when replacing the 2nd worm on the ‘63/7 speedometers with steel, the magnet 1st worm has to be replaced too because it is worn and will cause it to cease and snap the cable.