Today I finished up the basic dash. The Vapor gauge is intended to be attached to the bars, and doing so would be hard to mess up, but placing it flat on a dash is not. With the mounting holes located relatively centered on the back side of the instrument, there were issues in hole spacing and alignment. I didn't take a lot of pictures as I went through this process, as I would drill or walk the bit in minuscule increment and check gauge alignment over and over, and I just wanted to get through it and get it right.
First I just slammed in a general hole for the instrument wires, using a hole saw to cut two offset holes. Later I would end up adjusting this hole with a Dremel and routing attachment.
I marked center and horizontal line with masking tape.
The Vapor gauge uses a watch battery to maintain time etc when the power is off*, so I routed out enough of the dash to allow me to change batteries without completely removing the gauge. Initially, the gauge was sitting just off level enough to bother me. I had held off on drilling the countersinks until the end just for this possibility. To level out the gauge's lay, I forced one countersink sightly high and one slightly low, respectively. As I cranked the screws into set position, they countersinks forced them into a slight rotation and levelled it out...only took about five tries to get the pull right.
So, perfect? Maybe not quite. But given the adversities that showed up in the process, I'm definitely happy.
I placed the small panel I made last time beneath the gauge and eyeballed an approximate location, popped out the OEM indicator light cluster, and marked its dimensions roughly with a razor blade. Then drilled a strayed hole and ripped out the general shape with the Dremel. Afterwards, I would slam a hole through the dash with a hole saw, blindly guestimating where the battery gauge wires might land. Later I could route the hometown be a better fit if need be, but the best way to KNOW that my mounting holes will put my panel square on the dash will be to use the piece itself to mark their locations.
I used the piece to mark with center punch the first hole, and drilled the dash with the panel off. Once the first hole was drilled though, I screwed it down and eyed it up straight - the rest of the holes would be drilled right through the panel, so I could ensure their position.
So the dash is assembled. Sometime (soon, hopefully) I will finalize the dash process with a quick post regarding the connection of all components.
*This ended up being a bit of a misunderstanding on my part. The watch battery I now believe is there to backup the memory only. In the earlier stages of installation I ran the gauge power through the same kill switch that controlled the lights, but found that this caused the memory battery to discharge at an accelerated rate. For the sake of being capable of full light discipline the gauge is still run through a kill switch, but the switch is NC, so I can power it down in a blackout situation but otherwise it remains connected to main batt. This switch controls power to the gauge only, while lights and battery gauge share a separate circuit.