Tucked away behind my battery/voltage gauge

I’ve made a few recent successful repairs the last month, so I’m trying to get the confidence to clean this ugly brown spot, blocking my view of the number 10 on my battery gague (plenty of good write-ups available in the archives, so that’s not my question here). I’m a software guy, so removing my first gague is a little intimidating…

I opened the panel to get to the back of the gague, and, while looking things over, I noticed this small, brownish plate, right below this gague, with 2 wires attached, and, “5 68 47211A, 6 BR”, stamped on it. I just can’t tell why it’s there. My car was manufactured in June of '68, is, “5 68” a date reference?

And there is also this, “068” sticker on the back of the gague, in fact, on the back of all 4 gagues, was that a year reference?

I am going to proceed this weekend, and hope I don’t cost myself money fixing this. I’ve read several hilarious comments about our spouses and the cost of this hobby, and it’s well worth it for me to start learning how to work on my car. This group has been a huge help with me developing some confidence, thanks for that!


As they say …the biggest thing you have to fear is fear itsefl… we all started like that,just have at it and keep good pictures about how it all fits and you will be fine and learn a lot…its fun

As I recall, that is the resistor that is used for the ‘dim’ setting of the panel lamps switch.

No idea what the 068 or 890 is about.

HI and good for you!! The FIRST thing to do is disconnect the battery, never, ever mess with your car without doing that. As old as they are, you never know what you might inadvertently bump, press, touch that could develop into another problem, and you may not even realize why.
Always take pictures before disassembly and make notes. These projects have a funny (yeah LOL) habit of being interrupted and then we try to remember where we left off. The gauges are fairly easy to remove. Disconnect battery, take photos, notes, remove the little thumb nut holding the bracket. Put all that in a zip lock bag. Gently remove the wires, making note what color wire was attached where. Press the gauge out from the panel. There should be little ‘tangs’ that hold the rim and glass on to the gauge, you may have to gently pry those up and then rotate to remove rim/glass.
This gauge is a SMiths, not exactly like yours, but you can see the idea of the tangs on the chrome rim, you have a black rim. I usually put the gauge face down on a white shop towel to prevent damage to the front. Not sure if the spot is rust or what, but Denatured Alcohol is generally OK to use on glass. If that doesn’t work, a new, clean single edge razor blade to scrape the spot. Clean what you need to, then as they say “reinstallation is the reverse of removal”.


Your car is just 70 ahead of mine, minted July 4, 1968. Its gauges also feature the “068” stickers, which I suspect have something to do with the new styles introduced in that model year. And, yes, that’s a date stamp on the instrument voltage regulator.

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Paper sticker on the back of my battery gauge says 810 or 018 depending on which side is considered up. Markings on my brownish plate look the same as photo above. My car was built Feb 19, 1968.

68 E-type FHC

Pete, thanks for the encouragement.

Geo, thanks for the technical information. I’ll research what a “resistor” does. :slight_smile:

Valerie, you saved me a bunch of time looking up past posts, thank you!! I have to share a short story about your, “FIRST thing” advice. A few months ago, the dimmer switch for the light above our dining room table stopped working. I bought a new one, and called in my teen-age twins in, to show them how I was going to fix this. A learning moment, right? One of them asked, “Dad, did you turn off the electricity?”. Being the genius (software engineer) that I am, I told him I didn’t need to do that, we were just moving wires from the old dimmer to the new one. Literally, 30 seconds later, I accidentally touched the bare metal of the wire with my left hand, while my right hand was touching the connection screw on the dimmer! ZZAAPPP! They couldn’t stop laughing once they knew I was going to live! Ended up being a MUCH better learning moment than I could have predicted. Thank you for the reinforcement.

Nick, wow, about 40 cars before the end of the Series 1 production. I hope you’re enjoying yours as much as I am enjoying mine.

And David, thanks for confirming, this has nothing to do with MY. But also confirming its probably a factory sticker.

I will post a picture this weekend, with my shiny, clean glass on the battery gauge. Planning for success. If I get this right, I am seriously considering taking apart the heater unit, which puffs out a little bit of smoke when I toggle the rocker switch. Obviously more resistance in there than the motor can overcome.

OK, getting a little ahead of myself.

Thank you all for your on-going help!!

Ed, Long time ago I worked at Smiths Industries in London, and I remember seeing the girls on the assembly lines putting date stickers on every gauge.
IIRC, the first two digits indicate the week of manufacture, and the last digit is the year- so- 068 would suggest the gauge was made about halfway into February, and the year ending in “8”.You choose the decade!

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That sounds right. My early 1969 has a gauge labeled ‘049’.

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Your black dash looks exactly like mine did a few weeks ago. I wanted to deal with it, while also servicing the gauges and installing a new switch panel and switches, since my panel was cracked and several of the switches needed replaced.

I asked here what to do about the dash panel itself and this was the recommendation. Forever Black

While the gauges were out I cleaned the vinyl and they applied this material with the included foam brush. Oh my goodness, what a transformation - my dash looks new again. Just thought I’d pass on the tip that I was given.

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Get spouse on Ativan

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Plastic razor blade for those of us who have scratched glass before

shameless hijack here.

since some one mentioned the dash panel, has anyone dealt with a bit of looseness in the covering. I see this often near the centre where the sunlight (OTS) hits, the fabric separates from the metal and makes sort of a loose “blister” or “bubble”?

would not like to rip off all the Rexine and recover it.

I just dealt with this the other day. If it’s near an edge, just pull the two halves slightly apart, dab both surfaces with contact cement, wait 20 minutes, and clamp together.

Here’s a link to the “plastic razor blades”…

I was not aware such a thing was available, but for the price/availability, a good thing to have.

For the looseness in the dash panel covering… see if you can identify the perimeter of the looseness. Go to your local farm store and buy some ‘cattle/animal’ needle syringes.

Mark the perimeter of your looseness with bits of tape or sewing/quilting pins.
Fill the syringe barrel with a good grade of liquid contact glue/adhesive. Weldwood Liquid Cement, in a brown bottle works for me. Insert needle into glue bottle, pull up on plunger and stick the syringe needle in an area where you want glue coverage…You can insert the needle at an angle to get glue into all the areas, use your finger pressure to ‘spread’ the glue beneath the covering into the loose areas. You need to work quickly, as the Weldwood sets up fairly fast, so buy more that one syringe.
This worked for me when I replaced my headliner and some of the roof areas had insufficient adhesive. The needle holes shouldn’t be too noticeable.

you’re saying stick it through the Rexine at the perimeter of the looseness/bubble. But there will probably be glue residue left on the outside of the Rexine. How do you get that off?

You perforate the “bubble” or looseness with the tip of the needle… then gently depress plunger. If you put a piece of Blue Paint tape on the spot where you will be inserting the needle, smooth it so it adheres to the Rexine, then insert your needle in the center of the blue tape, there shouldn’t be any residue. Practice with some sheet plastic on a piece of wood to get the hang of it. If you just have bubbled up areas, the size of a pencil eraser, insert the needle in the center. If there are larger areas, like a quarter-size, visually divide the area in half… stick your needle in the center of one half, then the other. You don’t want to pump a whole lot of this glue into the work area… practice with the plunger so you can determine what pressure on the plunger will produce the drop (or more) of glue that the size of the loose spot may need. If you could post a photo of your problem areas, that may provide more guidance.

I’ve made great progress, but now I am a bit stuck, and prefer not to mess this up.

Getting the gauge out, as described, was really easy. In fact, I even got the original o-ring off which sits between the rim of the gauge and the panel, intact, with an exacto knife blade and a few minutes of patience:

I do see three “tabs”, equally spaced every 120 degrees, they appear to be metal, and part of the rim.

The reason I am stuck is that I don’t know how to safely (gently, as Valerie wrote) fold these tabs back. I have a history of forcing things which really need to be finessed. They are really tiny tabs, and the smallest tool I found so far is an eye glass repair screwdriver, and even that appears too big to get under it:


After 39 years of ownership it still brings a smile to my face. So, yes!

I have yet to scratch glass with a razor blade: I must not be pushing hard enough!