View Full Version : Getting ready to make a new dash faceplate

04-18-2012, 01:00 PM
Hey guys,

Just wanted to share with you my latest improvement to the Orange Whip, my '76 2+3 with a SBC and TRS. I put in a new higher performance motor last year and want to add some gauges to give me more info, I want to add oil temp, h20 pressure and very importantly, a trim drive indicator.
What I'm going to do is make a faceplate out of 3/16" thick 316ss that will be basically the same shape as the old one, just with four more 2.125" gauges. I'm going to go with new Livorsi, Vantage View Platinum gauges with chrome bezels. The plate is getting cut on a laser table and then I'm going to put a slight bevel around the edge and have the entire piece machine turned, I've always liked that look. On Livorsi's page, they actually have a dash that is going to look very similar to mine as far as the look, not the layout. Any thoughts, insights, feedback, etc. is always appreciated. I should have it done in about two weeks or so.


Since I don't want to change the five holes that are already in the dash, I'm going with one 3.375" tach in the middle and then 8 2.125" gauges, four on either side of the centered tach. Unfortunately, they don't make a 2" gps speedo, lol but we already know when we're going fast and I have some hand held GPS' if I ever want to go chasing numbers.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I had a friend weld in a bung for an o2 sensor in one of my stainless exhaust pipes so we can attach a wide band sensor for more tuning, fun stuff!

I added a couple of other things to the boat,

rechromed every piece on the boat, thanks to Toledo Polishing

added an automatic fire suppression system

added a "dead man" switch

new wiring from tip to toe

there isn't going to be a whole lot left I can do after this season!

04-18-2012, 01:45 PM

04-18-2012, 02:20 PM
That's sharp.
It has a really nice retro look to it.

04-20-2012, 11:40 AM
I approve!


Carl C
04-20-2012, 12:26 PM
Think positive. Get the 100 mph speedo :nilly:.

jonzis donzi
04-20-2012, 03:26 PM
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Where did you get the cf? Looks sweet! Looking to do something similar to my 16 dash. Thanks

04-25-2012, 10:18 AM
Haha, Carl, that would be wishful thinking. I'm good for 75mph and that's all I really want for a "family boat" that's 18 feet long. :)

Actually, I'm not even going to have a Speedo. I've kept the same location as the original five guages and am adding four more.

If anyone is interested, here is a link to my drawing. I'm ordering a piece of 7ga 316 today and should have it cut out Monday or Tuesday and then I'll work on the engine turning.

In the drawing, you'll notice it's not all symmetrical because I had to cheat things over to allow for proper fitment due to controls that are already in the dash such as tab controls. I think once it's mounted, you won't really notice it at all.


04-25-2012, 10:33 PM
what about screw holes?

04-25-2012, 11:02 PM
Where did you get the cf? Looks sweet! Looking to do something similar to my 16 dash. Thanks

Not sure if this was for me or Pipnit, but no CF here...just engine turned aluminum. I guess it does sort of look like CF in that light, but it's basically the same thing as the first pic, just smaller rounds.

04-26-2012, 01:08 AM

I did every little circle on my dash. I also did the shape and design. I had a guy laser cut it for me out of brushed stainless. I recommend paying someone to do the engine turning. I do have the satisfaction of knowing the entire piece is my creation, but it took a huuuuuuuge amount of time.

04-26-2012, 01:11 AM
The pics are tiny, but you can at least get the idea. You cant see the engine turning in this pic, but its there.

04-26-2012, 12:24 PM
Yeah, Planet, I've done some engine turning in the past and it is a PITA time consuming process which I'd rather hire out. I found these guys who do all sorts of parts and they aren't far from where I live: http://www.customjewelshop.com/index.html
As far as the screw holes go, I'm not going to use any. I intend of welding four small stainless blocks which are thinner than the dash to the back side of the plate and then tap them and use a stainless strap on the backside to keep the plate in place. I'm thinking it'll look pretty sano like that.

04-26-2012, 12:25 PM
Zelatore, did you clear coat the aluminum? Don't you have problems with it oxidizing on ya?

04-27-2012, 12:43 AM
No, it's au-natural and it's holding up pretty well.

I did try clear-coating the aluminum diamond plate I put in in the engine room, but that didn't turn out so well. Sorta hazy finish. Most likely a result of my rattle-can paint technique.

04-27-2012, 07:48 AM
Cool, I was just curious.
FYI, in the past, I've had great luck clear coating with the POR 15 product called GLISTEN P.C.
You brush it on, it's self leveling and dries to a very hard finish that is crystal clear: http://www.por15.com/GLISTEN-PC/productinfo/GPCGG/

04-30-2012, 04:18 PM
Got the raw dash back. Going to put a bevel on it today, weld on the tapped boss mounts and then send it off to the guy who does Engine Turning!


05-01-2012, 01:39 AM
you might ask your guy that is doing the turning if he can do that with the pieces welded on the back. It needs to be flat

05-01-2012, 11:30 AM
It doesn't need to be flat, it's a matter of clamping it properly in the mill. He's used to doing irregularly shaped gun parts including round barrels.



05-18-2012, 02:34 PM
now I just need to get the instruments in and splash her!


05-18-2012, 03:30 PM
very nice!

Just Say N20
05-18-2012, 04:35 PM
now I just need to get the instruments in and splash her!

It sounds so easy when you say it like that. :)

05-25-2012, 07:14 PM
haha, it has taken a little longer but it's looking sawweeeeet! It's going in on Tuesday, I don't want to go boating with the crazies this weekend!


Bobby D
05-26-2012, 03:45 PM