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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Construction of KPH scale

During the winter of 2010/2011 I had little to do so I walked around in a cold garage and thaught that the instrument cluster looked pretty boring, so I decided to atleast give the instrument cluster frame a coat of fresh paint.
When I took it out of the cab and disassembled it, the orginial MPH scale showed up. You know here in Sweden the government insist that the most dominant scale needs to show KPH and therefor  some previous owner had put on a white and black sticker on top of the glass hideing the original scale.
I really belived that the original 50 ish stylish font was really good looking.

KPH stickers over the original MPH
Right about now the thaught was born, I wounder if there are anyone that manyfactures a rebuild kit or replacment scale for the KPH.
The WWW was investigated and I found a number of scalings for a numerous speeometers but NON for the 56 (one year only) styled speedometer. The only one I found was a company in Australia that could convert it to KPH but then it would only show 90 KPH as max. However on a youtube clip I found a truck that had a scaling showing 0 to 140 so that had to be an original KPH scaling, rare I tell you that.

Well when I came up with pretty much nothing, I asked myself how hard can it be??? to make one frome scrath myself.

Luckely I have access to CAD program thru my emploeer, in witch I work almost everyday so it was just figuring out how it should be modeled and manufactured.

I spent a few evenings infront of the TV, my family looked at that and I looked at the laptop, measuring the old one, modelling it in the computer, printing 1:1 scale models onto papers that I cut out and tried in the cluster housing, after manu back and forth it finally started to look proimising.

The design that got manufactured
A nice design where the od numbes where half sized compared to the even numbers,
however this one never left the computer
An earlie design with some humor. 120kph marking was replaced with
"SLOW DOWN". This would probably never be approved by the
government, so this also never left the computer.

Tried to assemble one of the mockups in paper.
Now to the question: How would I manufacture it?

Option 1: Was to water och laser cut thin aluminium sheets metal and then use screen print the bottom color and numbers. The advantage with this method was that I could get the numbers in flourecent paint (as the original one). But the post bending of the sheetmetal could damage the paint so this option was disgarded.

Option 2: I happened to get in touch with a guy at AtlasGruppen thru lucky circumstances. They actually had an equipment that could manufacture low series of instrument clusters backgrunds professionelly. Thay had this special technic where they could print the colors onto an aluminiumplate, then cut the contours with a small small mill and afterwards thye treated the aluminum plate in different solutions to clean and seal all the pors locking in the paint.

As this was a fun out of the ordinary days work I got a really good price.

A few weeks later a small package came into the mailbox. EXCITING.

For assembly of the scaling into the instrument cluster see this Link


  1. hello, great project! do you mind sharing what font you wound up using to replicate the Ford numbers? thanks!

    1. Hi

      I actually missed to mention that. I actually had to do some digging and finally I found the old e-mail with the font from Myfont webpage. It is close but not perfect match. I had to make some editing on #1 #7 and #1 digits to get it abit better, but still not perfect.

      "Plakette Serial regular" was the best one I found.

      Best regards