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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, my name is Sam and I'm the proud new owner of a '65 Impala Sport Sedan. As my username suggests, the car originally wore Mist Blue paint, but it's currently a mix of blue and several colors of primer from a full repaint and the previous owner's attempt at two-tone. Since most of the idiot lights on the gauge cluster (LH side) of the dash are dead, I'd like to switch the whole assembly out for an SS cluster with real gauges instead of idiot lights. I know I have to at least replace the wiring to the cluster (under-dash extension), but do I have to replace the rest of the under-dash harness? I know have to replace the temp sending unit in the intake and tie it back into the factory harness since the po cut it off to install an aftermarket gauge. I'm just not sure on how much rewiring I have to do to make this switch. Thanks in advance for your help!

Best,
Sam
 

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1965 Impala SS 396 Convertible
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Like you, I am a fan of gauges instead of idiot lights, but I have a '65 SS with the gauge package and I have to tell you they are hard to read, except maybe the fuel gauge at the top. If you are not going to keep it bone-stock, you might want to look at the Dakota Guage digital stuff. Comes with all you need to re-wire and very easy to read. but a bit pricey. I saw one installed on a '55 and it is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions! I took a look at the Dakota Digital dashes, but I'm not a fan of the gauges. To me, they look like something out of an 80s-90s car and not really "right" in my '65. Since individual SS clusters aren't easy to come by (I'd rather not buy a whole dash) and because of your point that they're hard to read, I've decided to keep the original idiot lights and replace the sending units (temp and oil pressure) that are likely keeping them from working. Thanks for all your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got the dash finished up and wanted to share a bit of info on the process. The most annoying part was the little lamp that illuminates the shift indicator. You have to guide the speedometer and dash assembly behind and around the lamp when installing the dash because otherwise, the housing will knock the lamp out of place (and lots of swearing and cutting your hands on the sharp metal of the dash will ensue). Other than that, everything else went well. The wiring to the temp and oil pressure lights had been pulled out of the harness, so I gave up on trying to get them going again and settled on an aftermarket gauge cluster. I found an old JC Whitney gauge cluster that matched the wood grain on the dash, and I even added a Bluetooth module to the original AM radio. I'm pretty happy with the results and I can't get over how cool everything looks lit up at night.
 

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