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Discussion Starter #1
The instrument cover on my newly acquired 2003 LT was pretty badly scratched.
Thought this might help anyone else with this issue that wanted to make their cluster cover look better.

First - remove the instrument cluster. There are other write-ups here on how to do that. I already had my front cowl, windshield, tupperware and gas tank removed.
Before removing the bulbs & wires, take some pictures, make some notes, etc, on where everything is located.



There are three screws attaching the fuel and temperature gauges. Unscrew one of them, remove it's wire, then screw it back in place. It will hold the gauge in place (I found this out later).



Remove the cluster from the bike then remove the six screws that connect the cluster cover assembly. There is a rubber gasket spotted with glue that hold the two halves together. I used a combination of small screwdrivers to find a location where I could open the two halves enough to use a pick to work the rubber loose. Take your time here.

Forgot to get a before pic..
Screw location


Spotted glue


The knob on the mileage reset shaft unscrews off it's post. Slide the rubber down first and unscrew it.



Reset button


Remove the seven screws holding the cover to the panel.



Use a pick to help remove the clock reset and odometer seals.



I used a 3M restoration kit. It starts with a 500 grit disc. I found that didn't cut it quite quick enough so I hand sanded with 320 then 400 grit before using the disc's in the kit.
They step through 500, 800 then a foam polish disc followed by a compound polish.



Couple before pic's..





Before assembling the cover, clean the glue off the case and rubber gasket. I coated the gasket with Dow Corning high vacuum grease prior to assembly.

After pics..











Couple misc pics...

The screws holding the fuel and temp guages are different length's.



Gauge pic's



 

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Very nice write up, thank you.
Do you think you could have done the same quality work had you not removed the cover first? I have the remnants of a sticker left on my cover that I would like removed. Had not thought of using the lens recovery kit. Great idea.
 

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Nice work, Ken!

Man - that cover was really scratched - the PO must have cleaned it with a pocket knife! Can you find the 3M kit at automotive stores?
 

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:clapping:

great job & writeup.... thx
 

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Nice job!!!

What on earth caused all those scratches??
Maybe that is where he stored his helmet?

later..Randy
 

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That is a high quality write up, thanks for posting it. The instrument panel on my LT is clear but not perfectly smooth, it has a very slight texture for what I am assuming to be an effort to reduce glare. When you sanded and polished did that smooth it out and do you have a glare off the glass now?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you think you could have done the same quality work had you not removed the cover first?
Highly doubtful. The sanding probably took a little under an hour. Would have taken much longer had I not removed the cover. The result also would not have been uniform if I didn't remove the buttons for the clock and sheath for the odometer shaft.

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When you sanded and polished did that smooth it out and do you have a glare off the glass now?
There may be a glare now. Won't know for sure until it's back on the bike. It did have somewhat of a "foggy" layer on the entire screen that I went through.
It could have been a UV protection layer, glare protection layer or just an age layer - not sure.

I've used this product on our Honda Odyssey mini-van headlights. Seemed to last about 2 years before I detected a slight yellowing. It is parked outside year around though.
Pretty sure headlights out of the factory have a UV protection coating on them. Using this protuct removes that.

It was difficult to get a good picture of the cluster after I finished. May try again in some different lighting. It is as clear as glass now, very happy with the results.

Regards, Ken
 

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Thanks for the additional info. I used 3M headlight restorer on my Kia and it did a great job. I think the trick to maintaining it was hand polishing with clear plastic polish on a regular basis, that seemed to keep my headlights clear and it sat outside all the time in AZ.

Protect All says it has a UV protector in it and is safe on clear plastic. You might want to try to use that to maintain, not sure it works but who knows, it might.
 

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Good on you for the super wright up and especially the great images that show what you were doing and did, AND THEY WERE IN FOCUS AND SHARP!!!
I can't yell that loud enough on the photographs. An out of focus photograph is completely useless in articles.

Being a retired commercial photographer of some 45+ years I cringe at the mass of out of focus images I see on the web.

I'm off the soap box now and will calm down.

I just looked at the EXIF data on your first image to see that you were using an iPhone 5. They look like they came from a real camera.

You did good!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good on you for the super wright up and especially the great images that show what you were doing and did, AND THEY WERE IN FOCUS AND SHARP!!!
I can't yell that loud enough on the photographs. An out of focus photograph is completely useless in articles.

Being a retired commercial photographer of some 45+ years I cringe at the mass of out of focus images I see on the web.

I'm off the soap box now and will calm down.

I just looked at the EXIF data on your first image to see that you were using an iPhone 5. They look like they came from a real camera.

You did good!
Thanks TC.
The first pic above was taken with my iPhone. It's what I had handy and didn't need to be very high quality to serve the purpose.

Any pictures that need detail, I'll use something better. In the past I've used a regular Canon point & shoot in macro mode. Just bought a Nikon J1, almost a real camera.. The rest of the pic's above were taken with it. Haven't taken time to try the manual mode focus yet (was trying to get the screw threads on that odometer shaft above in focus).

I'm right there with you when I see pic's on technical website's that are out of focus, have bad lighting, etc..
Another bummer is on a forum's website links that forward to a site that no longer host the expected data/pic's,etc. Found one or two in our HoW.

I've used Photobucket to host pic's for quite a few years now. Made folders for different bike's, quads, guns, cars, etc.. I leave the pic in that folder so anytime I post a thread with pic's, the links always work.

For instance, here's a couple photo's I posted on a CB750 forum a while back to help explain a rich mixture idling issue I was having. The needle's were grooved where they sit in the seat. Would have been hard to describe with an out of focus picture.



Little fuzzy after the zooming in but the grooving is visible.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the additional info. I used 3M headlight restorer on my Kia and it did a great job. I think the trick to maintaining it was hand polishing with clear plastic polish on a regular basis, that seemed to keep my headlights clear and it sat outside all the time in AZ.

Protect All says it has a UV protector in it and is safe on clear plastic. You might want to try to use that to maintain, not sure it works but who knows, it might.
Thanks Cooper,
These are a couple of my new favorite products too.

303 works on most everything and is supposed to have UV protection.
I've used the 3M lens polish/protector on lens that didn't need the full sanding treatment with very good results.



Regards, Ken
Enjoy the journey!
 

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Thanks again. I'll be headed outside to try and remove the remnants of a sticker you can see in this photo I just took. Drives me nuts!
 

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Hey again on the pics. Good on the Macro work. Most don't understand how to use Macro mode on P/S cameras. When I was shooting film way back in the day and needed to shoot 35 for magazines or such, I still used my Nikon F5 and the dedicated Macro lens. You could almost focus inside the front element of the lens. ;)

But we used Hasselblad and 2¼ square film format for other commercial things. Also used the Mamiya RZ 67 that was a 2¼ x 2¾ format. Went digital in the late 80's with Kodak first digital offering and then shortly with the Canon D30 when it came out. Had all the Canon bodies there after up through the 1DMk III and then when we retired about 8 years ago, I sold all the equipment. I did keep a 20D body and a lens or two, but find that the Canon SX40HS fits me fine for most of that I do now. Small and quite sharp. I have that body 'cracked' so I can shot in super fine mode. I'm waiting for the new SX60 to see if that lens will be a 2.8 all the way. If it is, I will get one of those, but if not, I'll stick with the one I have that's paid for. Take Care.
 

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Looks like you got it under control,and need no advice. Just wondering if novus 2 would have worked? Looks fantastic..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like you got it under control,and need no advice. Just wondering if novus 2 would have worked? Looks fantastic..
I have the Novus 1 & 2. Considering it took about 5 min with 320 grit to break though the scratches and haze layer, I'm pretty sure Novus 2 would not have worked.

Ken

Had a little friend visit while repairing the oil weep on the water/oil pump..

 
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