Custom Speedo for your SMART (451)

Disclaimer:
Use these instructions at your own risk. I will not be responsible for broken or scratched instrument clusters, fred ECU, or any other stupid things people might do to their cars. I am also not responsible if you cut yourself, burn yourself, electrocute yourself, or sustain any kind of injury while working on this project. In other words, I will not be responsible for ANY kind of injury or damage (physical, mental, spiritual, whatever) that occur during the process of creating and installing your new custom speedometer face.

Here you are. You've decided you you want to make your own speedometer face. Excellent! Designing the gauges will take you anywhere from 2 to 8 hours. I use Adobe Photoshop, and have decided to post a original gauge face template on this site you can use it to create your own designs.

After you settle on a design, you get to print your gauge faces. You must use a high quality color laser printer. Ink jet WILL NOT WORK. The spray adhesive will liquefy ink jet ink. I suggest going to Copy/Print Center (Staples, Office Depot etc.) and spending $10 on a few sheets from their nicest color laser printer. Print extra copies of your gauge faces just in case you mess up.


You get to spend at least 1 hour with latex gloves on your hands while you cut out the gauges. Why? Because while you can wipe off a few fingerprints, you cannot wipe off as many as you'll put on a gauge. You must wear gloves!

Then you get to glue your three layer gauge face together.

FINALLY, you get to install the gauges. If you've done this before, it's a 10 minute job. It takes a bit longer your first time.

So you're up to about an 2 to 8 hour project.



I originally created 6 different sets with different type of papers and layering combinations to find optimal settings and took my Speedo apart about 10 times.

So, after extensive R&D, here is DIY guide for you.

DO NOT ASK ME HOW TO REMOVE OR OPEN YOUR SPEEDO.

You can find all the info you need here:

SPEEDO REMOVAL

SPEEDO DISSASEMBLE

I would recommend to disconnect the battery before removing the Speedo. You will need this tools to complete the project: Hobby knife, rubber gloves, rubber roller and spray adhesive. Also you will need to know how to use some type of photo editing software. I used Photoshop for this project.

Here is the files you will need for this project:

ZIP file of Smart (451) speedometer face:

CUSTOMSPEEDO.ZIP

Here is the files in the archive:

SPEEDO_FRONT.BMP (original scan of the face)
SPEEDO_BACK.BMP (original scan of the back)
SPEEDO_FRONT.PSD (photoshop 451 version of the face)
SPEEDO_BACK.PSD (photoshop 451 version of the back)
SPEEDO_FRONT_PNG.PNG (PNG 451 version of the face)
SPEEDO_BACK_PNG.PNG (PNG 451 version of the back)

You will need to edit images on your computer. You can change the numbers, color, speed line, add logos and even photographs. Speed line, numbers, turn arrows and warning signal must be transparent and in close proximity of original location, so they will lit up properly at night.

 

FRONT (color image) must be printed on GLOSSY PREMIUM PHOTO PAPER at the BEST QUIALITY.
BACK (black image) must be printed on transparency paper.


It is cheap, so print extra copies just in case you mess up your first attempt. To complete the project you will need 2 (two) BACK images and 1(one) FRONT image.

 

HERE IS THE RAW (layered) PHOTOSHOP FILE AND FONT I USED TO CREATE THE SPEEDO.
(It is a mess, but you can play with it) :-)

raw_psd_and_font.zip

 

Use the spray adhesive (very light coat) and glue two transparency pages. You can use only one BACK page, but back light was bleeding too much for my taste.
make sure that you align the pages properly. This page will help you to separate back light.

 

Use the roller to press two pages together.

 

2. Cut the back of the new speedo with hobby knife. You will need also cut the slid on top of the speedo (above the "50").

 

3. Cut out the front of the speedo.

 

Using the spray adhesive, glue the both pieces together. Align both pieces using a bright light behind them while the glue is still setting.

Use the roller again.

 

 

Carefully pull the stock speedo face and replace it with the one you created. There is will be some sticky glue left on the plastic assemble from original speedo face, so you will not need to add any glue..

 

Assemble speedo back and enjoy.

 

ADDITIONAL DESIGNS

 

Carbon Fiber Face (3 var.)

CF_SPEEDO.ZIP










 

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