making new gauges for newer XJs (and anything else that runs a 4.0 after 97) - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Non-Technical Forum > making new gauges for newer XJs (and anything else that runs a 4.0 after 97)

Rugged Ridge Modular XHD Snorkel Now for both 3.8L and 3.6ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4wJeep Wrangler Bushwacker Flat Fender Flare Sale at Baselin

Reply
Unread 08-27-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
Azzy
Web Wheeler
 
Azzy's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Finleyville
Posts: 3,211
making new gauges for newer XJs (and anything else that runs a 4.0 after 97) DONE!

In my thread on my gauge cluster makeover kits, there were a lot of requests to do a 97+ kit. Im going to go through the development here so the other thread isnt cluttered up.

These things have some technical challenges to overcome, mainly... they are backlit. Which means, replicating the multi-layer gauge layout that came stock, and replacing it.


Ive seen some other kits, some replace it with a lightup cluster that is indiglo, and has weird looking cutouts for all of the things like fuel and ABS. nifty, sorta, if you like the sound of the whining electronic box that powers it.

So I started with artwork. thats the easy part for me, Ive already done how many of the 89-96 clusters. Easy, relativly. takes scans of the original, lots of measurements, test fitting paper cutouts... etc. So I got to work on that, and this is what I came up with. Used a warning light cluster, because that's what I could find on ebay for less than $100 at the time. Besides, those guys need something too! (and the wife wouldn't let me pull hers)


(Prelim design)



Then it was finding the material. Thankfully, Digital Media Solutions and my man Tim over there helped in finding some injet back-lit sign film. Cool stuff, its heavy duty and is made to be in outdoor installations. Its good stuff, but may be a bit too thick for our printer (we use an HP Z3200 42" photo printer for projects at work, and I am allowed to pay for consumables and use it. Being the Director of Tech and having a cool President helps things greatly).

Material found, I made some test prints to test out some theories, and they worked. So time to find a place to get them cut at. That was the real issue... no one wanted to do it, or wanted an exorbitant amount... and then still couldn't guarantee they could cut it out on the imagery!

That's when I found this little gem, the Silouette Cameo, a home cutter designed with crafting in mind. Guess thats the way of Jeeping, find something that might work, hack it and craft it into doing what you want!.


The second test cut and an assembled gauge

Making it work for what I do with these took about 12 hours of getting software and prints to come together correctly. That was my weekend... but, on a plus side, it lets us get the other kits out the door a bit quicker, only requiring assembly and a few cut touch ups before they head out the door.

Convinced my lovely wife to let me tear apart her dash to test them out, and after some tweaks in the design... here is the result of the first batch:


(ambient light and no tripod)


End of the test cycle, just like it is sitting when the engine is off


and finally, test cycle with everything lit, note the added messages for warning lights
For now, my next steps:
  1. Find a slightly thinner material, or tweak the printer to raise the heads
  2. tweak the black piece that you see above, that is where the messages for warning lights and indicators go
  3. work on the design for the lit areas and non lit areas
  4. work on the full 6 gauge cluster face, with the addressed above areas
  5. and get these in the hands of a few testers!
(Update)
Got a sample worked up for the standard version:
(Red outline and circles are a cutline... something you would never see)

Comments and thoughts graciously accepted

And Tada!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
Officially added to my inventory

In the order notes let me know if you are a JF user and I will make sure that yours gets to the top of the line.

http://www.azzysdesignworks.com/#!store/cn5v

Installation instruction video










[/B]FAQ

Q: What is diferent beween style 1 and 2?
A: Just graphics. Style 1 is based off our first and most popular sets, set 2 is a bit more of a refined cluster face.
Q:_Do I have to remove the needles?
A: Yes, in order to replace the stock gauge face, which block most of the light in the dash, the needles need to be removed. It is not an easy project, but not impossible either. See our video instructions on how to do it.
Q: Can I get a custom color or pattern?
A: Sure can. We would like to let you know that ADW will not use official licensed patterns, without permission of the original artist. An additional charge may be applied do to test printing and the time it takes to make sure all the colors work when printed. Email us for more info on this.
Q: Can I get custom text?
A: Yes, as long as it fits. Email us for more info on this.
Q: Are these just printed on paper?
A: See above, they are printed on plastic, over-laminated with a cold process to preserve color, and then fitted with layers of similar material and Mylar.
Q: Do they glow?
A: Not yet. We are working on that. However, they do catch more light than the stock gauges do, and are easier to see in low light situations.


__________________
ADW - Custom gauges, decals, and now laser engraving. Check out the gallery here.

Last edited by Azzy; 04-15-2013 at 12:21 PM.. Reason: Updated
Azzy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-27-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
moses21
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: hamburg, ny
Posts: 734
those look really cool. What are the pricing going to be on them?
moses21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-27-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
Azzy
Web Wheeler
 
Azzy's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Finleyville
Posts: 3,211
Im going to have to figure out what it takes to make them. I am hoping just a bit more than the current ones, maybe in the $35 range. Maybe, depends on material and printing, and of course shipping. But that is my target at the moment.
__________________
ADW - Custom gauges, decals, and now laser engraving. Check out the gallery here.
Azzy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
AKIQPilot
Senior Member
 
AKIQPilot's Avatar
2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 643
I like it, looks very cool. I suppose after you get the later model clusters figured out you could do one for a 2001 XJ Sport. Mine has a tach and all the gauges.

$35+ is a very reasonable price IMO.
AKIQPilot is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-28-2012, 05:52 AM   #5
moses21
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: hamburg, ny
Posts: 734
same here i have the one with the tach and everything else. would glady pay 35 dollars if you made one of them.
moses21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #6
Azzy
Web Wheeler
 
Azzy's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Finleyville
Posts: 3,211
The tach version is coming next. Logistically, it was easier to set these up first. And now, since the wife's XJ is sitting needing me to drop the oil pan, well, it doent matter if her dash is in or not
__________________
ADW - Custom gauges, decals, and now laser engraving. Check out the gallery here.
Azzy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
Altimeter
Registered User
1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 593
I definitely like the idea. Put me down for one with a tach whenever you get your operation up and running.

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum
__________________
1997 Sport XJ - DD
Gone:
1990 MJ, 1998 XJ Sport, 1977 CJ5, 1993 ZJ, 2006 TJ
Altimeter is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #8
AKIQPilot
Senior Member
 
AKIQPilot's Avatar
2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altimeter View Post
I definitely like the idea. Put me down for one with a tach whenever you get your operation up and running.

Sent from my iPhone using JeepForum

Yep. I'm in too. Put me down for one with a tach and gauges. I may even be able to come up with a spare cluster if he needs it for the design.
AKIQPilot is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
moses21
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: hamburg, ny
Posts: 734
put me down for one with a tach to! im bored at staring at the same boring thing and need a reason to do some leds in there.
moses21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #10
Azzy
Web Wheeler
 
Azzy's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Finleyville
Posts: 3,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
Yep. I'm in too. Put me down for one with a tach and gauges. I may even be able to come up with a spare cluster if he needs it for the design.
Ive been looking for one to purchase to get these off the ground. PM incoming.
__________________
ADW - Custom gauges, decals, and now laser engraving. Check out the gallery here.
Azzy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #11
Glavus
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Murray, UT
Posts: 216
Looking forward to this
Glavus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-30-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
Spokes
Mall Crawler
 
Spokes's Avatar
2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Plainfield, NJ
Posts: 6,172
could you make the background color custom per order? like i had a red XJ, red background?
__________________

Red 00 XJ lifted
Build -->http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/...hread-1280981/
Blue 00 XJ Hella stock
"Lima bean" 91 XJ 5spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by hussler737 View Post
because anyone can drive a wrangler
Spokes is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 08-31-2012, 05:15 AM   #13
Azzy
Web Wheeler
 
Azzy's Avatar
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Finleyville
Posts: 3,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
could you make the background color custom per order? like i had a red XJ, red background?
Possibly, but the first batch will probably just be my current color scheme, in MPH and a metric version. Red would be a hard one to do, but I would be up for the challenge.

Biggest issue would be having to change out your lighting, hard to get red lights to show up through red surfaces.
__________________
ADW - Custom gauges, decals, and now laser engraving. Check out the gallery here.
Azzy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-01-2012, 05:03 AM   #14
PhilipJ
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,417
Also interested. I currently have individual white overlays but these look much nicer.
__________________
Build n' stuff: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/99-sport-build-thread-grocery-haulin-panache-1179209/

Cherokee Of The Month Winnar! - September 2012
PhilipJ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #15
KG8893
Registered User
1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Middletown, Maryland
Posts: 1,127
hey if i can find a gauge cluster to replace mine you can have my old one. it's got a crack in it. i would say i would ship it to you and you could send it back but i kinda need it to drive......... well drive safely
KG8893 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.