A Work in Progress…

Did I jump the gun on announcing the S13 dash buttons?  Well, I have some good news, some bad news and more good news.
For those that haven’t been following the blog, I have been experimenting with ways to customize and restore parts of my car’s interior due to limited aftermarket options and out of production parts. It started with restoring the stalks and recreating faded OEM labels and could possibly venture into getting some 3D accessories produced, but I need your help getting these out to the community.

The bad news, I had to go back to the drawing board with the S13 button lenses because I thought I could produce them in house, but the end result just wasn’t up to standards, so that’s why they have been delayed on being released, the good new is they are on schedule to be release by or before Spring. The following lenses are being reproduced.

S13 Basic Buttons

  • Cruise On
  • Cruise Off
  • Hazzard
  • Headlights
  • Rear Window Defroster

S13 Convertible Buttons

  • Top Up
  • Top Down

180SX/200SX

  • Wiper Washer
  • Fog lights

You will be able to get eyes on them via a review on Kalvin’s Garage and will initially be available on a print-to-order basis for the simple fact that there are so many variables. You will be able to select each individual button to create your own set, and everyone will easily be able to afford these.

What Are The Lenses Made of & How do I Apply Them?

The icons and labels are printed on a sheet of polycarbonate (Lexan) and then cut to size. A thin transparent double sided adhesive layer is applied to the back of the lens allowing a peel and stick application. As always, I will have a write up to follow.

Custom Faceplates, Why? What Sets These Apart?

I wanted to actually replace the faceplates on my cluster and not just put an overlay on them. I’ve made inquiries to a few businesses that sell custom faceplates only to be disappointed by the fact that they either didn’t make anything for the s-chassis or the options they had were limited. Eventually, I found someone who could design in-house and use my provided artwork to turnaround the faceplates faster and for a price that didn’t require me to give blood or take out a small loan.

Why a custom faceplate? Because options. As you can see from the image above, once the dimensions of the original faceplates have been established, sky’s the limit. Personally, I’m sticking with the original style, but it’s good to know that I can get a couple faceplates created to switch things up a bit if I choose to.

To install, the needles and the original faceplates must be removed from the cluster. For anyone wondering whether or not the speedometer will read correctly here’s a “Barney-Style” (old Marine Corps saying) explanation. If your current speedometer reads/goes to 110mph/180kmh, covering it with an overlay doesn’t change how it operates. If you remove the faceplate (not the speedometer) and replace it with a 260kmh faceplate, it will still read just like a 110 mph/180kmh speedometer because the hardware stays the same. These faceplates will only change how your speedometer looks, not how it functions.

With that in mind, know that the USDM miles per hour tick marks can be placed on any of the kmh faceplates, these are fully customizable.

Also, anyone with a native kmh cluster, can have it converted to miles per hour upon request.

How Can You Help?

Obviously the only faceplates that can be produced are the ones available to me. At the moment, that’s the S13 analog cluster. More will be added in the future however, your vehicle can become available sooner than later. In order to reproduce the most accurate faceplate possible,  a high resolution image of the original faceplate is necessary. The best way to do this is using a flatbed scanner. The current speedometers and tachometers being recreated are:

S13 Analog 

  • 180/240/260/280 kmh.
  • 8/9k tachometer

R32/R33 GTR/GTS/GTS-T

  • 180/220/310/420 kmh
  • 110/130/160/200/230/260 mph
  • 9/10k tachnometer

Being realistic, I don’t expect anyone to disassemble their cluster for this purpose however, it is the best way to get accurate specs. High resolution images can also be utilized, but only in certain cases for instance, the S13 analog cluster faceplates are ready to go, but there are many variables of speedometers and tachometers.  Because I have actual dimensions of the faceplate, reproducing the variable speedometers can be done with high resolution images like the one below without completely disassembling the cluster, only the cluster lens needed to be removed. To go one step further, removing the black trim is even better, this will reveal the full length of the tick marks and is almost as good as a scanned image, but only if the photograph is clear and of a high resolution.

The following photo is a good example, but not the best. This is the lowest possible resolution any submitted photograph should be. Please review this image on your laptop or desktop computer for full resolution.

The following photo is a bad example. Low resolution, and pixelated.

So there it is. If anyone is interested prior to the store update, please contact me in the menu link above or message me on instagram with your email address and I will send you details. Once the costs are finalized I will add to the store and notify everyone via instagram. Car show season is coming and now is a good time to mockup up your layouts and color schemes. You can even rep your brand or car club with logo placement.

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