Smith's Gauge Construction

I’ve got a number of Smith’s gauges of largely unknown origin. Something that surprised me is the construction on a few of them is quite different from what I’ve seen in the past. Most have very simple construction, with the “movement” attached to the “can” by two screw posts, insulators, and nuts. This makes it very easy to completely remove the entire movement as a unit by simply undoing the nuts, removing the insulators, and gently lifting the movement out in a single piece. But there are one or two which have the movement secured to the can with rivets, and removing the movement requires un-soldering several wires, drilling out the rivets, and removing the movement in several pieces. Successfully re-assembling this style movement appears to me near impossible.

The question is: Was this style of gauge ever used on the E-Type, or were they used only in later models?

Ray L.

I can vouch that the '68 Series 1.5 gauges are of the simple construction as I disassembled, rebuilt, and reassembled them with relative ease.

Ray, when I worked at Smiths Industries (68-71) all small instruments were assembled without rivets, as you describe… Then the assembly line just hummed along!

One more gauge question:

Are there supposed to be o-rings or any other kind of rubber ring between the gauges and the instrument panel? I’ve seen these on some cars, but it’s not clear whether this was original, or they were just added to help prevent the gauges from getting rotated in their holes.

Ray L.

The rings are original.

I’m pretty sure they originally came with a very thin “O” ring. Mine were rotten and broken, so were removed almost immediately. I think one survived, so I stuck it back on. Almost invisible…


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Here is a photo of the original dry/cracked/crumbling o-ring on one of my original gauges. The rubber behind the front trim rings was considerably worse (turned to dust essentially). One of the usuals sells a gauge o-ring kit that has all the more-or-less correct replacements.

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Here’s a example of one for sale on eBay. Note that they are square in section, not round. The vendor also sells ones for the smaller 2" gauges, and the glasses and bezel seals.

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Yes, they are original, and they are square in section.

Whoops, I see David already mentioned the square section.

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I see these guys have the kits as well as bezels glass etc…

Many years ago this subject came up and someone suggested as a replacement the spine used for installing window screens, they are round but there is one size that fits perfectly and you can get it at Home Depot or wherever.

I think the screen spline suggestion was for the seal that goes between the bezel and the glass. 1/8" screen spline works fine for that application. The seals being discussed here are much thinner, and go between the gauge and the dash panel.

Thanks for the clarification. Been a long time ago but don’t remember the other seal.