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Old 21-02-2016   #1
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Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Hi all,

My 1971 500L is currently undergoing some upgrades and I'm thinking of adding a new instrument cluster/binnacle to the mix.

I notice that there's a lot of choice if you're looking to pick up an aftermarket 'Abarth' binnacle, ranging from c.300-800. Does anyone have any experience with this upgrade and can recommend one that is of good quality (without necessarily breaking the bank)?

There's a couple interesting options on eBay at the moment:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3702959445...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2514428083...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Obviously not the Jaeger originals, but they seem reasonable priced, assuming they work!

Any thoughts very welcome.
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Old 21-02-2016   #2
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Steve HG on here has fitted one - I have built my own 5 gauge pod
There are mods to wiring obviously required and a pressure sensor needed
Straight forward enough
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Old 21-02-2016   #3
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Thanks Andrew,

Are the actual units much of a muchness? I guess you get what you pay for.

Also, are the sensors generally universal? I read an interesting thread on this forum about a member's woes with a retrofit oil pressure gauge!
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Old 21-02-2016   #4
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Nearly all the "new" pods have Chinese made instruments whereas the original pods available are Italian or French
The rewiring is extensive but if you are competent - doable
I bought pod and then bought original instruments
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Old 21-02-2016   #5
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Sensors are not too much of a problem - but where you place them is important
I have revs, fuel level, oil temp, oil press, volts and current
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Old 21-02-2016   #6
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Quote Originally Posted by AndrewHarvey View Post
Sensors are not too much of a problem - but where you place them is important
I have revs, fuel level, oil temp, oil press, volts and current
Thanks again, Andrew.

Any tips on where to source the original gear?
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Old 21-02-2016   #7
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

The only problem with buying a complete instrument cluster from abroad is that practically all of them have the speedo in kilometres, NOT mph. Andrew's approach might be the best if you wish to retain MPH, but the prices on the clusters that you highlighted is a very fair.
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Old 21-02-2016   #8
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

I used eBay as I wanted Veglia gauges as these are correct for Italian cars and there are plenty available
If you buy a rev counter be aware they will require calibration for two cylinder engines- I have all this info if you need it
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Old 21-02-2016   #9
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Hello Peter,

The instrument cluster is always going to be a personal choice no matter what brand or type and size of individual instrument you require. I was lucky in that my car came with Jaeger 100mm instruments with oil pressure and oil temperature as supplements. (see pic) Although more pricey, Axel Gerstl has the same unit complete, and they will supply sensors to suit. I will say that I personally prefer the larger style of gauge as the larger type was used on the original racing cars. The fact that mine reads in kph makes no difference. If you time it right with the pound v euro you could get a better deal.

Ian.
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Old 21-02-2016   #10
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

I bought the one in your first link, directly though along with a bunch of other parts. It looks a lot better in the flesh than the photo. Here is mine fitted...



I wired it all up so that it's easy to remove.



You'll also need some extra lights, either fitted to the new binnacle or to the dash itself to replicate the lights on the 500L dash. I made up a small loom for these...



It's all pretty straight forward, just takes a bit of time to work everything out.

cheers, Steve
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Old 21-02-2016   #11
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

I managed to obtain an instrument cluster that originally came via MBG--it has 'Smiths' instruments in it made by 'Caerbont Automotive Instruments Ltd' a company based in Cardiff. The speedo (MPH and KPH) and the Tacho (0--7,000rpm) are both 100mm instruments, along with a oil-pressure gauge and an oil temperature gauge. The speedo is a 'Stepper Speedo', part number:- SNT5372-09CB, and the Tacho is a 'Stepper Tacho' which has been set for 2cyl.
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Old 22-02-2016   #12
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Quote Originally Posted by the hobbler View Post
I managed to obtain an instrument cluster that originally came via MBG--it has 'Smiths' instruments in it made by 'Caerbont Automotive Instruments Ltd' a company based in Cardiff. The speedo (MPH and KPH) and the Tacho (0--7,000rpm) are both 100mm instruments, along with a oil-pressure gauge and an oil temperature gauge. The speedo is a 'Stepper Speedo', part number:- SNT5372-09CB, and the Tacho is a 'Stepper Tacho' which has been set for 2cyl.
Great to hear, I'll talk to Tony this week.
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Old 22-02-2016   #13
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Glad to be of assistance Peter. Would you like me to send a picture of the cluster to you? Small geographical faux pas, Caerbont are based in Swansea, not Cardiff (I was only 41 miles out!).
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Old 23-02-2016   #14
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

Quote Originally Posted by the hobbler View Post
Glad to be of assistance Peter. Would you like me to send a picture of the cluster to you? Small geographical faux pas, Caerbont are based in Swansea, not Cardiff (I was only 41 miles out!).

If you could send a picture or two that would be great.

Either via forum or directly via email.

Many thanks.
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Old 25-02-2016   #15
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Re: Binnacle/Instrument Cluster Question

You could get the KMH gauge, and it is relatively easy to print off a sticker with the MPH conversion and stick over the top, another suggestion is to mark 30, 40 and 50mph on the gauge (indiscreet red line). I do like them, but 380 is a little steep at this stage of my resto, need to get my engine sorted first!
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