Non traditional ammeter bypass question?

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
652
Location
Santa Maria, CA
About a year ago, I had my instrument cluster FULLY restored by Redline Gauge. These guys did an absolutely fantastic job on everything. It definitely wasn't cheap (about $1,200) but to me it was worth it. Especially because my work on this car is a labor of love - not concerned about making money back on it. Every gauge was re-calibrated, pointers were painted with the correct paint, and all marks / numbers were repainted. Clock was also converted to quartz movement as well! Very excited to see this thing light up once it's installed into the dash.

1669256220263.png

1669256473681.png


Sure is pretty to look at! You can't even tell it's been converted. I know traditionally, when you do the bypass, it renders the "Alternator" gauge pretty much useless, therefore you have to add an aftermarket gauge somewhere, but to me I really really didn't want to take away from the look of this beautiful dash.

My question is, so now that this is no longer an ammeter, do I still need to follow the MAD bypass step by step? As in, drilling into the bulkhead connector and installing a fusible link etc etc, or can this now be simplified? As you can tell, electronics / wiring is NOT my strongsuit... I'd just like to make sure I'm not doing anything extra I don't need to do, or possibly mess something up along the way.


1669256485199.png

1669256503238.png


A clock that will actually work! Going to look amazing at night...
 

Milo

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
It looks really nice you could have changed your amp meter into a volt meter like all later vehicles have then all the meter needs is a key on only 12 volt wire connected to it. you also could have it looking original by having the 12 volts reading in the center using the same gage face and needle then it would show voltage lower if the battery looses charge. I would call the company and see if they wiil do that for you Im shure the can. then it would be easy install for you
 

MoPar~Man

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2022
Messages
60
Reaction score
28
Location
Ontario, Canada
I was going to suggest the same thing - a volt meter with the pointer set to read in the center of the display when the system voltage is 14 volts. But looking at this whole issue of the amp meter being a problem on wiring and connections, I think it's overblown on old cars vs trucks, and especially old cars that don't have A/C. There is not going to be a lot of current flowing through the meter on your typical 60's car. There are mods to have the alternator current flow direct to the battery and bypass the meter if you want to limit the current through the bulkhead connection.

Checking and changing the connectors inside the bulkhead connector if it's never been done on a 50+ year old car is always a good idea regardless what you do with the dash amp meter.

The instrument cluster restore looks good but wow is that a lot of $$$. Was it in bad shape to begin with? Did they replace (or fabricate?) any broken parts? Cracked plastic?

Why did they have to do anything with the amp meter? For that money the meter should have come fresh and clean and working. To bypass the meter you don't have to do anything to the cluster itself.
 
Last edited:

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
652
Location
Santa Maria, CA
It looks really nice you could have changed your amp meter into a volt meter like all later vehicles have then all the meter needs is a key on only 12 volt wire connected to it. you also could have it looking original by having the 12 volts reading in the center using the same gage face and needle then it would show voltage lower if the battery looses charge. I would call the company and see if they wiil do that for you Im shure the can. then it would be easy install for you

Thank you! Can’t believe I missed that point. The ammeter gauge was converted to a voltmeter :) Super happy with how it came out! I was just wondering now, how wiring differs since I’ve bypassed the ammeter altogether. The explanation makes sense though, just hook it up like a normal voltmeter now.
 

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
652
Location
Santa Maria, CA
I was going to suggest the same thing - a volt meter with the pointer set to read in the center of the display when the system voltage is 14 volts. But looking at this whole issue of the amp meter being a problem on wiring and connections, I think it's overblown on old cars vs trucks, and especially old cars that don't have A/C. There is not going to be a lot of current flowing through the meter on your typical 60's car. There are mods to have the alternator current flow direct to the battery and bypass the meter if you want to limit the current through the bulkhead connection.

Checking and changing the connectors inside the bulkhead connector if it's never been done on a 50+ year old car is always a good idea regardless what you do with the dash amp meter.

The instrument cluster restore looks good but wow is that a lot of $$$. Was it in bad shape to begin with? Did they replace (or fabricate?) any broken parts? Cracked plastic?

Why did they have to do anything with the amp meter? For that money the meter should have come fresh and clean and working. To bypass the meter you don't have to do anything to the cluster itself.

Thanks! The ammeter was converted to a voltmeter but keeps its original look inside the cluster :) My unit was pretty bad … It was scratched up and had a gross layer of film on it from it sitting in the desert for 40 years. The car was a rat’s paradise and everything was covered in their pee.

Aside from converting the ammeter to a voltmeter, all other gauges were gutted and re-calibrated, had the faces all painted, pointers re done, and the front plastic was polished to a beautiful shine. Speedometer was calibrated also, and the quartz conversion was a bit more expensive since they couldn’t do it in house at redline. I forget the reason, but they ended up sending the clock to a company in Rhode Island who got the job done. I’ve still yet to install the cluster into the dash, as I’m waiting for the car to be ready for it.
 

Isaiah Estrada

Active Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Messages
390
Reaction score
652
Location
Santa Maria, CA
E87F3ACA-B4C2-4FEE-AE87-D4DBB1986745.jpeg

CCA14449-19ED-4DA2-820E-A260B17B54ED.jpeg


Some before pics of my dash. Not the prettiest sight in the world! Since I wasn’t a fan of the “plush” looking dash on the New Yorker, I went ahead and found very nice parts of various ‘68 300 dashboards. My favorite find has been this awesome and rare combo

58508296-76FA-4922-B198-FD9E8E3CD7CF.jpeg
 
Top