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'57 Tbird Instrument Cluster Removal


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Hi John,

I believe that you can remove the cluster with the instruments still in place, or take them out of the bezel one at a time. The biggest issue you will have is getting at the panel from the back, since space is at a premium. It is easier to work with if you take out the seat and probably the steering column. If all you are looking to do is clean the lenses it is possible to carefully pry up the rings that hold the lenses in place from the front of the panel and they will come out. They have tab on the other back side that hold the rings in place. Once you clean the lenses you can put them back in place.

I hope this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Detroit57Bird,

You can carefully pry the trim rings out from the front. This is for the rings around the instruments. The rings around the turn signal indicators and the oil pressure and charge idiot lights are a different matter. They are pressed into the instrument panel bezel that holds the gauges and are hard to get back in so that they aren't loose once reinstalled. When you put the new trim rings for the gauges in you may have to bend the tabs a little to be sure that they grip the hole they fit into solidly and don't move around. I hope this helps.

Regards,

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  • 1 year later...
I tried to remove the bezels but couldn't, so I removed the dash. If you would like instructions on how to do it email me at

billb42@goeaston.net

FYI, I removed the chrome bezels starting at the bottom around each gauge, clock, etc. very carefully using a very small putty knife I made a little thinner... I was then able to clean lens, and gauge faces with a cotton swab -even touched up end of each needle w/ florescent orange paint. Major difference!

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  • 6 years later...

Nedaynow,

 

I also have to remove my gauge lenses and clean them, as well as paint my needles.  Did you get new chrome bezels, or reuse your existing ones.  How difficult was it to reinstall the bezels and not bend the tabs too badly?  I really want to avoid having to pull the whole dash, or having to remove the gauges from behind the dash.  Would an exacto knife work for prying the bezels out?  Also, did you have to replace the lens gaskets?  Any info would be appreciated!!  

 

Thanks much!  

20200819_171247.jpg

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I think most of the "need-to-knows" are in the previous responses. I did mine when I pulled the steering column to rebuild the steering box. I pulled the gauges out from behind and the same with the speedometer. It was easier to clean them and repaint the gauge needles after having taken them out of the car. The same for the gauge lenses and bezels. Whether you will need to replace them is a function of the number of times they may have been removed in the last 64 years. If you have a hard time getting them to release they may not have been taken out before which would be good for you. You should be able to get the bezels to release from the front by carefully inserting a thin putty knife between the bezel and the dash trim and you should be able to get them to come out. I would not use an Xacto knife because it could scratch up the dash. Your dash looks to be in pretty good shape. Using the putty knife the the way to go.

Lew Bachman

1957 Thunderbird

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Thanks much 1957Birdman!!  Since pulling them out from behind is somewhat tricky and difficult, I may try the putty knife trick first ... then if they don't release, then I'll have to resort to pulling them.  I really don't want to pull the whole dash if I don't have to right now ... although I suspect in a few years I will either have to repaint/dye my dash cover or replace it with a new one (dye is starting to flake off).  Appreciate the reply!!

Cliff

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