View Full Version : Taking Gauges Out

01-22-2017, 09:10 PM
Someone recently asked me for information on taking the gauges and controls off the instrument panel and I do not remember who that was. Anyone wanting to do that should take a look at the Technical Resource Library. In it, there are these instructions. Dash Pad Installation 1958 1959 1960 Thunderbirds 1958 - mid-year 1959 Thunderbirds. In those instructions, which have primarily to do with replacing the dashpad, there are also instructions on how to get the gauges out and the control knobs out of the instrument panel. Check it out and see if that helps you. Just click on the link in my signature element to take you to the TRL.

01-23-2017, 01:30 PM

(starting at step 6)

The bezels or surrounds for the instruments are usually stuck pretty hard.

Found using some of those gloves with the "grippy dots" helps.

Pull straight out on the gauge surround or you risk snapping off one of the pins that holds it to the dash. Those pins get dust/corroson on them and you may need to put a drop or two of oil on them to work them loose. I used a drop of oil on the end of a q-tip to get the oil back there. You can start on one - get it a little loose then move around to the next until they are all loose and the bezel/surround will pop off.

Just had the headlight switch and ignition switch out this weekend (dome light was staying on).

Push pin for releasing the headlight switch shaft is to the right looking a the dash from the drivers seat. A good sized screwdriver should unscrew the center chrome round part which is threaded into the headlight switch.

The ignition switch is a royal pain to get back in if the spring is still in good shape and not flattened. I found a penny to be a good tool to remove the center chrome bezel which holds the switch to the dash. Even the largest screwdriver I had would hit the switch and not turn or get caught. The penny only contacts the center bezel.

Caution!!!! this bezel is 1/4 turn only - do not try to unscrew it like the headlight switch or it will be ruined. Push the switch out toward you from the back of the dash and the center bezel will stick out - then use the penny to turn it 1/4 turn counter-clockwise to release. As I mentioned putting it back in will be the hard part. You need to push out on the switch while at the same time push in with the bezel and penny then turn 1/4 turn cw to lock. Mine locked only one side 5 or 6 times until I finally held my mouth right and it worked.

It's a lot easier to have the temp and fuel gauge already out when trying to remove either of these switches.


01-25-2017, 05:25 PM
Only thing to add is when taking the temp and fuel gauges out is to mark what wires go where, take a picture makes it easier and right before you put them back in reach in and down to make sure the oil light and bulb for the lights in the light ignition surround haven't been knocked out, it's way easier to get at them before the gauges go back in.

01-26-2017, 01:12 AM
It was me Ray. Thanks Dave Dare dropped me a line letting me know about it. I didn't see it in Chapter 12-1. Hoping to get the bird back either tomorrow or Friday and will be trying this. I had tried it before but it was stuck and I was worried Ibwas doing it wrong and didn't want to break them
Thanks Scott and Eric I appreciate it. I have working gauges under the dash someone cut out holes in the trim panel under the dash andmy fuel gauge is directly under the keys. I need to get it wall out and see if the CVR(I think I got that right). It is probably bad and is the reason other gauges were installed. I have an amp gauge, which I don't like would rather have a bolt gauge. I never understood how amp gauges read. My oil, temp and I'm forgetting the 4th besides the amp gauge. I have to slide down in he seat and turn my head sideways to see them. My fuel gauge is a bouncer so I have to check if I have a to see if I have a wire loose. My speedo cable I think I can hear it moving but the needle is in my ash tray so I want to get in working order as well. Would be neat if the clock works once I get it all figured out.