Garage5 Independent Gauge Ring + Lens Install

Gauge Rings  installed
Garage5 Gauge Rings - installed

Your Shopping List

  • A set of Garage5 gauge rings and lenses. You can buy them right here! Check out the Store.
  • A clean work area. There's no way to overstate the importance of this.
  • Clear silicone. To glue the lenses and rings together. Also to install the rings in your cluster.
  • Toothpicks and paper towels. To apply the silicone and to keep everything clean.
  • Time. Clear silicone takes 24 hours to cure. Time should probably be higher on this list.
  • 90% or higher Isopropyl Alcohol + nice microfiber towel. For cleaning the lenses after you're done.
  • Large flat-blade screwdrivers. To remove the OEM plexi from the NA cluster.
  • Gloves. Because it's always nice to have gloves.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I have an NB. Will this work?
    Yes! There are gauge rings for both the NA and NB.

  • Can I buy these in anodized or powdercoated or painted?
    Not from me. For custom colors contact Garage5.

  • Where can I get the parts in these pix???
    I sell them here on this site! Check out the Store.

Preliminary Work

Remove your gauge cluster. Check out the first part of the NA or NB gauge face install pages on this site. It's about 10 minutes of work to remove the cluster and transport it to your clean area.

Setup your clean area. Silicone gets everywhere. It's not a bug, but a feature. The more work you can do to contain the mess, the better off you'll be when you're elbow deep and trying to keep your lenses clean and pretty.

I suggest many paper towels pre-torn and at the ready. Some sheets of white paper as your work area will keep everything scratch-free and easy to see. Gather some extra toothpicks before you need them. Plan for a corner of your work area to have a little pool of silicone present and ready to go throughout the install.

NA Plexi Removal

remove the glass
Remove the front cover from your gauges. I'll copy/paste from the NA Gauge Cluster Tutorial for the next step.

Separating the cluster cover
To get at the gauges, you'll need to separate the front cluster cover (the glass) from the rest of the gauges. It is secured by a bunch of little tabs that run around the outside. They are easily popped free with just your fingers. Press down on one tab with your right thumb (I like to start on a top corner) and wedge the cluster glass free with your left hand. It will open up very slightly. DO NOT FORCE IT. Then move to the tab next door and pop it free with your thumb while opening up the glass even more with your left hand. After two tabs are free, you're most of the way there. The rest of the tabs will open easily.

ready for freedom
NB owners have it easy - the plexi on the NB clusters pops off. NA owners have to break the plexi free.

pop it out
It's very easy to pop your front plexi off. Get a wide flat blade screwdriver and just start working around the outside of the cluster. You just want to break the glue free that holds the plexi onto the black plastic. Work slowly and don't get frustrated.

You don't need the cluster edge to be pretty since it's hidden by the gauge cowl cover. Don't worry if there's a bit of glue or clear plastic left around the edges of the black fascia.

Lens Gluing

my work area
This is my work area. You don't need a lot of space for this, but it has to be clean space. A sheet of paper protects the glass and lenses from scratches. A little blob of silicone is ready to go at the top. I have extra toothpicks ready as well.

Keep in mind that the silicone will start to cure the moment that air hits it. It will get gloppy in about 15-30 minutes. When this happens, just wipe up the excess in your work area and put down a new blob. It's much easier to work with and smooth out fresh silicone that gloppy, partially cured stuff.

The target area
Silicone will be applied to the little lip on the inside edge of the trim rings. It should not get on the inner walls of the gauge rings or on the outer surface.

Tiny bit on a toothpick
You can't apply too little at a time. Instead of big blobs, apply just small amounts of silicone smoothly around the inner lip.

Silicone applied.
After applying the silicone, use your toothpick to smooth it out on this inner lip. Do not leave little blobs like you see in the photo above. A smooth film of silicone will secure the lens just fine and you won't have much if any problem with the silicone spreading out beyond the gauge ring lip.

lens installed
Once the lens is installed in one ring, move onto the next one. Do all five at once before messing with the cluster itself.

lens installed
If you have visible blobs of silicone on the lens - do not try to wipe or clean them up. Wait 24 hours for the silicone to cure and then clean up the blobs. Your life will be much better if you do this.

Ring Installation

Remove stock trim rings.
Remove any trim rings your cluster might have. The stock NA and NB ones can just be pulled off by hand. The NB have little tabs holding them in place while the NA has glue.

Apply silicone
Apply silicone around the inner edges of your gauge cover. You don't need much silicone. Apply a few large blobs and then carefully smooth it around the edge until you have a thin film. Carefully inspect each application after you're done and remove any blobs that might have not been smoothed out as well.

Do all 5 gauge openings at once. Install the rings after applying the silicone.

When installing the trim rings - do NOT press on the lenses from the front. This is because you just stuck them in place and they have no strength. Press the ring and lenses on by holding the outer edge of the ring. This might be obvious to you reading it, but I'm typing it because I screwed up this one myself. I popped a lens out and had to carefully re-install it.

Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.

lens installed
A repeat from above, but it needs to be repeated. If you have visible blobs of silicone on the lens or the cluster, - do not try to wipe or clean them up. Wait 24 hours for the silicone to cure and then clean up the blobs. Silicone is very easy to clean once it's cured. It smears everywhere if you try to clean it before it is cured.

Cleaning the Lenses

Use rubbing alcohol (90% or higher isopropyl alcohol) and a soft microfiber towel to clean the lenses. A glass cleaner might remove the anti-reflective coating from the lenses, but rubbing alcohol is very safe. Get the lenses as clean and streak-free as possible. Flake off any visible silicone around the inner edges of the lenses and rings.

Cleaning might take you longer than the actual install. I spent about 45 minutes on this step for my own demo cluster. But it's worth the time it takes. Just remember to keep any cleaning fluids away from your gauges. The gauge faces (either stock or my own) do not like any form of moisture to come in contact with them.

Additional Images

Gauge cups

Gauge cups

Gauge cups

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