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larchiefeng

Pocher Mercedes 540K True Roadster Build

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OK, the decal problem has been solved and they are printed out. I am now going to have to make the mother of pearl dash insert again, and change the process slightly now that I actually have decals. I can apply the decals to clear plastic and illuminate from behind and get the entire gauge face lit up evenly. As far as I know there are no decals available to do this for any of the classic Pochers so, this is more sort of one off, at least on the Mercedes K91.

So, with this out of the way I can really get going and I know exactly what the plan is. I have plenty of decals made, plenty of MOP, plenty of 0.010" clear plastic sheet and plenty of time to make the dash. Stay tuned this will now be coming together in the next day or two.

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That's how I made all my displays. I'd try to use a rather thick plastic sheet, I used one from a blister packaging. I put another one behind the main dash display from a nutrition packaging which is frosted to disperse light even more evenly and make it a bit darker.

How do you print your decals? Laser or ink? How do you solve the problem that you have to use an entire A4 sheet if you only want 1 or 2 new decals?

Edited by Danny_G

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At first I want to see how bright I can make it because I've been fighting getting any light through the photo paper. It's easier to tone down the lights than trying to make them brighter. My only concern is heat from the LED's on the plastic and decals; have you had any issues with heat after being on a while? I just used an inkjet printer and in my case I wanted extras and some other decals in place of photos like, the nameplates on the firewall and spare Lamborghini dash etc. I think that if I wanted I could cut the decal paper into quarters and print them like 4 X 6 photos by selecting that option on the printer.

I probably won't get back to this until later today or tomorrow since our daughter is home from college for only a couple of days. So, spending a little time with her is more important than the dash.

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Ian, regarding heat issues, if you have leds that give directed light (small beam), you will throw the light forward. The heat, if any will go upwards. there should not be much (or even no) radiation in the direction of the light. Most probably you will have very low power on the leds and if you do not mount them directly to the backing, heat should not become an issue.

Will be fabulous. take your time to get it right

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OK, here are a couple of the decal sheets I printed out. I had to add some extra stuff to fill the sheet up but, I'll use them later on at some point. Anyway, now with decals I can get the dash gauges lit up like I've been envisioning it. Tonight, I managed to get the new MOP insert cut out and ready to go tomorrow for drilling. This time i peeled the backing off the MOP and stuck it to some 0.010" plastic card and cut it out. I am trying something new this time by spraying the MOP with some clear coat before I drill anything to hopefully minimize or eliminate any chip out of the MOP from the drill bit. There's not really a lot to show tonight but tomorrow I hope to have the whole thing completed and the cluster housing for the lighting completed with the lights installed. Here's a couple of pictures until tomorrow.

The decal sheets.

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Two previous examples and the new blank ready for drilling. I'm also going to take the chrome piece out to the garage and re-drill the holes with the drill press and get them centered before I drill the holes in the MOP. At first the holes being centered weren't such a big deal but, as I saw how much the shape of the holes affected the way the gauges looked I realized that they need to be more precise with the decals. Building this dash piece really isn't a big deal, it's really been about getting the stupid decals so, I could get this done. It's always some little thing that hangs you up.

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I left off with a new MOP blank and a chrome bezel that needed to be enlarged and some decals to be applied. The first pictures, I decided to break out the heavy equipment and use the big drill press and drill out the holes in the chrome bezel larger and then while I was on a roll I continued on and drilled out the thin MOP piece with the big drill press. Here are those pictures starting with the metal piece first.

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Next up, the MOP piece

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The two finished pieces

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Here's where things went a little sideways. When I was drilling the MOP, one end wasn't fasten down and the MOP started coming off the wood block and climbed up the drill bit a little and cracked it some. I didn't realize just how much until I got up real close and took this picture. I was just finishing the decals with them sandwiched between the two pieces of clear acetate and laying the trim rings to see how it looked. I see that for some reason the center gauge is slightly bigger than the two end gauge but the trim rings for all three are the same size. I also see the chip at the edge of the right gauge. This was the one that came loose and besides chipping the edge it also egg shaped the hole so the gauge doesn't cleanly cover the hole. At this point, I know that I'm going to have to do this whole thing all over again. That will be the fifth one. I'm also seeing that where I clamped the bezel in the vise that, now the chrome has flaked off the edge of the bezel as well. OK, now I know that, not only will I have to make another MOP insert but, I will also have to address the bezel. It's cold and raining outside so, I'm just going to keep going and get the what I have lit up because that part won't change and I'd really like to see if all this has been worth it.

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Decals placed with clear acetate and trim rings then sprayed with clear.

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So, here I'm just continuing on and making a small light box behind the gauge openings and placing a piece of clear plastic over all the holes to transmit light for all. Pay attention to where the LED is placed because it will become apparent that I will have to diffuse it later in the final product. This is an SMD LED and is the biggest of the three sizes I got. It's about 1.5mm wide by .5mm deep and is wired with 28 gauge wire. This is very small stuff and is perfect for this application and for the TR when I get to wiring it up. Last thing to note is that it is mounted using LED wax. I know the back side is not pretty or neat but, nobody will see it and it is about function not form here.

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So here is the dash assembled with all the knobs and lights and gauges in place.

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Here it is with the lights on but, all the workbench lights are on above it and it's hard to see the effect. You can see the oversize center gauge and that it is brighter actually, too bright, than the other gauges.

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Back with the lights off again

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I had to see just how bright the lights would be without the workbench lights on so, I unplugged everything and plugged just the dash lights in and this is what it looks like. Remember that LED placement here.

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Up until this point all this was an idea and it has taken this many mock ups just to get here. Even all this is just a mock up to see how the light is going to act and what I need to do to get it even and how to center the holes over the gauges to get light only on them and not around the sides, is the LED bright enough or too bright and so on. I now have enough information to know that it will work and how to make it better. Once I got the gauge faces reproduced as decals it was full steam ahead now it is a matter of refinement.

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Pretty spectacular stuff! I wonder if you could spray paint the plastic backing behind the MOP black so it acts like a black out curtain. In addition to tweaking the light brightness of course

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Thanks Rich. There's a piece of plastic behind the main dash that acts as a stop to keep the insert from falling through and that's going to be painted black. It's also the other side of the light box. Today, I made a new MOP insert and drilled all the holes. So far it's looking like it's going to be the final one and tomorrow I'm going to finish the dash once and for all and move forward with the rest of the wiring. I figured that there's no need for any more pictures until I get the interior put together with the dash installed.

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Just a quick update. I managed to get the new dash assembled tonight and, tomorrow I plan on getting it wired up and installed in the body. When that's done, I can finish some trim work on the kick panels hopefully, get the rest of the body trim installed. So, there should be some more finished pictures coming up.

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Be great to see a finished Pocher classic here soon. Especially a beautifully finished one with advanced features and body work.

Bring it on Wayne.... :yahoo:

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I made a fair amount of progress today but, not as much as I'd hoped. I have the dash mounted but, because I had it in and out so many times, I think I'm going to have to change the screws out for the trusty 2mm threaded rod. The dash is just not mounted as solid as I want and I don't want it coming loose as I move forward with wiring and flipping upside down in the jig etc. There is a little too much light coming through the top of the dash insert because it's not firmly glued in place yet. I wanted to make sure everything looked right and the light behind the gauges was enough. I went from a chip size SMD LED down to a nano size which is about half the size but, apparently just as bright. You can also see light shining down into the foot wells which is unintentional but, I might make a small provision for that. That light is because the cove over the light box in the back is just loosely taped on and the light is shining through. One other thing that needs to be done before I button the dash up is, I'm going to have to lengthen the wire from the dash light about 3-4 inches depending on which way I mount the block under the seat. For some reason I though the wire on the SMD LED's was 28 gauge, it's not, it's 30 gauge which is much thinner. I plan on soldering the extra on but, i don't have anything close to that small for shrink tubing. So, I'm going to have to figure out how to insulate those thin wires from each other as well as all the headlights and marker lights. Anyway, enough talking here is today's efforts.

One other small factoid here; I counted all the individual parts that make up the dash assembly on the front and back and the total count is 54 pieces just for the dash detail. After making five of these I'm glad it's done.

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The red and green wires are the 30 gauge and the black wire pair crossing it is 28 gauge wire just for your information so, you can see there's quite a bit of difference.

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Right now I'm using a 12V power supply that reduces down to 3V on the breadboard through the PCB it's plugged into.

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I can't wait to finally get all the parts finished on the interior but, it's getting there

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A thought for shrink tubing substitute on those connections; guys are having good success with Bondic or similar light-curing plastic adhesives. It repairs near everything and is very common as wire insulation. Put a dab of the liquid on the connection, shine the light on it and it's cured and even flexible.

Maybe even use it to glue the back of the 'light box' to the back of the panel; run a bead and shine the light. Safer than a hot glue gun there.

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I'm also thinking about possibly using liquid tape. Either one will work but, now using such small gauge wire I have an alternative to shrink tubing for this car and the Ferrari.

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amazing work Wayne the dashboard lit brings an incredible dose of realism.

how is the heat from these little things ? i missed how you intend to bring the brightness down but am sure you have a solution

i think it's time to think of the virtual scale modeling car museum Roy was talking about.

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Fantastic, Wayne. I'm not sure but is the light also shining through the dashboard itself? If so, might black paper at the back help?

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Thanks guys.

Sam, I painted the backing black behind the insert and I think that will take of any light shining through the MOP. You have to understand that I took the pictures with the bench lights off so, the flash added some extra light to the dash as a whole. i did fix the gap at the top and when I do the final dash install I'll seal up the box in the back; right now it's just loosely taped. I also discovered that one of the gauges, the speedo, wasn't a decal but, an old gauge on photo paper so, that's why one of them wasn't lit like it should have been.

Graham, welcome aboard. You're doing some great brass work on your Fiat and that, gives me inspiration!

Poul, I've pretty well taken care of the problems but, I'm going to have to do a test fit tomorrow. Today, I changed out the dash mounting hold down method. i had two small thin screws with a washer and with as many times on and off it became loose. So, the first two pictures show my fix for that. The first shot shows the old set up on the right and the replacement on the left; a lot more sturdy.

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Here are the two new hold downs, nothing to get stripped out here. It's not pretty under here but, it will never be seen so, it's function over form here.

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Since I was working on both cars today, I didn't do an awful lot on the Mercedes but, I did do a preliminary wiring layout which, I'll light up tomorrow. The connectors I have are very thin and the male ends plug right into the breadboard. The front part of the harness has two two into one connectors, one on each side to accommodate the headlights and marker lights right up under the fenders and will then run a single two wire run back to the breadboard for each side. I soldered an extra length of wire on the dash LED but, that was before I dug the connectors out so, I'll take that apart and shorten it back up closer to the dash and just run the wire with the pin connector straight from the dash to the breadboard. I have to decide how I plan to run the tail lights and then solder either two single sets or somehow connect both tail lights to a two into one connector. All that will be dictated by how and where the wiring route goes from the back to the seat area. Anyway, here is a long picture of the wiring and connectors.

IMG_4690_zpsgcbqcofp.jpg

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I finally got back to getting the dash installed and sorted out. It's wired up and installed so, now I can continue with finishing up the body and getting it attached to the frame. These two shots were taken with the workbench lights off so, the color of the seats is a little off in the pictures and the dash lights are brighter than they are actually in person.

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I also received the liquid tape to day so, I can use it to "paint" the soldered connections and insulate the connections against shorting out. There just isn't any kind of shrink tubing small enough for 30 gauge wire and the liquid tape is a good alternative. I'm still debating on whether or not to paint the light cluster box on the back of the dash black or leave it white and let the glow act as floor courtesy lights as you see in the pictures.

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An Herculean effort that yielded spectacular results. The cabin looks incredibly PLUSH.

A really great presentation Wayne, every step of the way. Take a bow!

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Fantastic work.

Love the courtesy light idea. Shows a very subtle and gentle effect. Stunning.

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​Fantastic, Wayne. This shows that when you try, retry and then do it again (an again?) it will look great.

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Thanks for all the kind words guys! Today, I got the kick panels done on each side. I decided to carry the door panel theme through the kick panels with the same leather and trim.

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I also got the dash finished and the plug soldered on and connected to the board

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Here's the dash installed with the finished kick panels and the seat in. The last thing to do in here will be the shift lever boot and the e-brake boot.

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When I turn the bench lights off and take the picture of just the dash lights on, it sure changes the look of the color of the interior. I painted the back of light housing black everywhere except the bottom and subdues the amount of light on the floor but, still gives a little glow.

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Here's the interior with the doors on. I should have taken the picture from the other side so the steering wheel isn't blocking out the door to kick panel trim look carry through.

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You can sort of see it on the right side on this picture. I'll get some better shots tomorrow when I polish up the body and and the chrome trim pieces.

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Just an overall picture

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