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how to remove clear plastic from instrument cluster

 
Old 02-03-2019, 02:50 PM
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DSMblue
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Default how to remove clear plastic from instrument cluster

I want to refinish the interior of the from portion of the instrument cluster, and wanted to know the best method to remove the clear plastic front from the rest of the shell. On a related front, the gauges are going to North Hollywood Speedometer to be refinished - would they also do the interior of the housing? If so, this would be a moot point.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:26 PM
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Is the plastic lens scratched ? Is this why you wish to remove it ?

If it is, there is a plastic refinishing polish sold which will clean up scratches and make the clear plastic look like new. It is sold in Motorcycle shops and some finer sports car dealerships parts counters.
Or you could check Amazon or search eBay for a seller. I believe I have seen products sold by Simichrome, Meguiars, P21S, and Griots Garage that will do the job. ( the tube I have, I bought nearly 20 years ago and do not remember what brand it is but am thinking it was P21S and sold over the Porsche dealership's parts counter. )
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mrgreenjeans View Post
Is the plastic lens scratched ? Is this why you wish to remove it ?

If it is, there is a plastic refinishing polish sold which will clean up scratches and make the clear plastic look like new. It is sold in Motorcycle shops and some finer sports car dealerships parts counters.
Or you could check Amazon or search eBay for a seller. I believe I have seen products sold by Simichrome, Meguiars, P21S, and Griots Garage that will do the job. ( the tube I have, I bought nearly 20 years ago and do not remember what brand it is but am thinking it was P21S and sold over the Porsche dealership's parts counter. )
No, not the issue. The black interior has become sun-faded and is no longer the nice matte black finish. I want to separate the lens from the housing body to refinish the interior. I will be checking with NHS tomorrow to see if they do that service (along with the actual gauges). If they don't, looking for the ability to do that refinish myself.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:01 PM
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Easy to do yourself. Most use a small utility knife in between the plastic clear lens and the black plastic housing. Go slow and it’ll come off eventually. Then clean the black plastic as well as you can and shoot it with black rattle can.
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob-O View Post
Easy to do yourself. Most use a small utility knife in between the plastic clear lens and the black plastic housing. Go slow and it’ll come off eventually. Then clean the black plastic as well as you can and shoot it with black rattle can.
Thanks! I always feel uneasy about these type of projects because if I break it, the new part is insanely expensive.
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:24 PM
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You don't say for sure, but this has to be a later car, right?

The 928 has a very similar cluster.

I took mine apart & cleaned it up. The plexi is glued to the 'body' of the cluster. But the glue isn't a continuous bead. And the glue gets old and brittle.

I used a sharpened putty knife. I could get it in a spot with no glue, then twist it gently to break the glue loose. Slide it over until it stops, then twist some more.

Slowly and gently were the key. No more force than is necessary to crack the glue loose. Take your time.

The really uncomfortable part about the process is that the glue cracking loose sounds a lot like plexi or plastic breaking.
I had several 'oh crap' moments, but they were all false alarms.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Wisconsin Joe View Post
You don't say for sure, but this has to be a later car, right?

The 928 has a very similar cluster.

I took mine apart & cleaned it up. The plexi is glued to the 'body' of the cluster. But the glue isn't a continuous bead. And the glue gets old and brittle.

I used a sharpened putty knife. I could get it in a spot with no glue, then twist it gently to break the glue loose. Slide it over until it stops, then twist some more.

Slowly and gently were the key. No more force than is necessary to crack the glue loose. Take your time.

The really uncomfortable part about the process is that the glue cracking loose sounds a lot like plexi or plastic breaking.
I had several 'oh crap' moments, but they were all false alarms.
Yes, this is on a 1992 968. Same relative issue exists with my 87 944, but not a priority at the moment.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:00 AM
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ditto to what rob-o said. Mine came apart when I was removing my cluster to fix the odometer gear and replace instrument lights. Its a glue adhesive thats probably pretty old and easy to separate at this point.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:28 AM
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Got things pulled apart finally. It was slow going, and it did put a couple of cracks in the plexiglass, but not in the field of vision. New question is whether people have put reflective tape on both sides of light tunnels? My temptation is to do that so it will have maximum reflectivity.
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