FAQ

Q?

How do I determine if gauge refacing is necessary for my instrument cluster?

A.

In some cases, there is no question. Examples: 59-62 tachs and speedos are often peeling or completely faded. 63-4's seldom require refacing, however, in cases of damage or red line changes, refacing would be necessary. 65-7: These faces are stamped metal as opposed to aluminum, white metal or plastic of earlier years. What is the enemy of metal? You guessed it: rust. Convertibles are more susceptible to this condition than coupes. Let's face it, most Corvettes do leak water from washing, rain, etc. How many convertibles have you seen that did not leak? Although you may not drive your Corvette in the rain, you must remember that these cars were used at one time as a mode of transportation. What happens?  The car leaks, the carpeting gets wet, the car is parked with the windows rolled up and you have just created the perfect environment for rust to begin its dirty work. The beginning of rust is evident by minor discoloration that shows up as jagged lines and/or specks on the face. If this is evident on any of the gauge faces, refacing is recommended. It will not stop but will only get worse. Southwestern cars, especially convertibles, were less susceptible to rust but experienced a greater amount of fading due to sun exposure. The colors that were originally green, florescent orange and yellow may now appear off-white, light orange and cream. Our process restores the original color and intensity that your instruments had when they were "showroom new".

Q?

My clock needs to be rebuilt.  Should I have a standard “mechanical” movement installed, or should I go with a quartz conversion?

A.

If you are having your Corvette judged by NCRS or Bloomington Gold standards, you need to have a standard mechanical movement or you will get point deductions. If you have a "driver" car, we recommend a quartz movement, as they are much more reliable.

Q?

Should the lenses in my 1963 instrument cluster be plastic or glass?

A.

If you are having your Corvette judged by NCRS or Bloomington Gold standards, the lenses must be plastic. If you have a "driver" we recommend glass lenses.

Q?

Can I purchase the necessary parts to repair my speedometer/tachometer?

A.

At one time, kits were available. This was a supposedly pre-calibrated unit assembled from new parts. If you were lucky, this unit worked fine. Some of the problems occurring with this method included (1) Improper detection and replacement of associated parts, thereby, causing a repeat failure, (2) Calibration errors resulting from pointer on repaired unit being weighted differently from the original pointer or changes to magnetism inadvertently caused by installer of kit. Now that new repair parts are no longer available, this kit is seldom offered.
The final calibration (which assures accuracy of the finished product) can only be performed with specialized equipment including a magnetizer, de-magnetizer and a calibration machine. These items are generally not found in the average garage.
We often have requests to purchase "odometer gears". A quick fix would be the replacement of the second worm gear. It's just that:  a quick fix. This will only provide a temporary resolution because wear also occurs on the first worm or magnet which drives the second worm. The correct fix requires rebuilding and/or replacement of the entire frame assembly. This requires special tools and equipment and cannot be performed without the proper tools and calibrating equipment. We have the necessary equipment to perform this job properly.

Q?

Can I just have one gauge refaced? The others look fine.

A.

Yes, however, consider whether you will be happy with it. How long have the other gauges been on the cluster? Time and the elements cause fading and deterioration. Although they may appear cosmetically good to you, in comparison with a newly restored gauge, they will not match.

Q?

What can I do if my speedometer works fine but the odometer has stopped?

A.

A good guess would be that 80% or more of the speedometer issues involve this same scenario. Most often this occurs on 1963 and later speedometers that contain a trip odometer. Basically, the same parts that are used in this unit, are used in a speedometer with a total odometer only. The extra strain of the trip odometer can contribute to wear on the worm gears that drive the odometers. A quick fix would be the replacement of the second worm gear. It's just that:  a quick fix. This will only provide a temporary resolution because wear also occurs on the first worm or magnet which drives the second worm. The correct fix requires rebuilding and/or replacement of the entire frame assembly. This requires special tools and equipment and cannot be performed without them. We have the necessary equipment to perform this job properly.

Q?

I used to do business with “Corvette Specialties of Maryland” in Eldersburg, MD.  Is this the same company?

A.

Yes!  In 2010 our company moved out to sunny Palm Desert, California, but we are the same company.  We are now Corvette Specialties of MD West.

Q?

Are you still restoring Corvette parts?

A.

Yes!  As of June 1, 2011 we have once again begun taking restoration work.  Check out the Restoration Services links on the left side of the page for more details.

Q?

Do you sell used, original, or NOS parts?

A.

Yes.  We have a large stock of quality used, original and NOS parts available.  Our inventory of these parts is constantly rotating, so we cannot offer a full catalog.  Please call (800) 638-6450 with your specific needs.

Q?

Do you have a catalog?

A.

No.  Due to the nature and limited availability of some of our products, we are unable to offer a comprehensive catalog.  The links to the left cover our manufactured reproductions, but our stock of used original and NOS parts is constantly rotating, depending on demand.
If you are looking for these types of parts, or if you would like to receive a copy of our ad which we place in many periodicals, please contact us via our Contact links.

Q?

Do you only sell the items listed on your website?

A.

No.  We have a large warehouse full of our used, original, and NOS parts.  Please call (800) 638-6450 with your specific needs.

Q?

Do you have a service department?  Can you work on my Corvette?

A.

No.  Our new California location does not have a service department.

Q?

Can you repair my temperature gauge? It reads high, but my ‘Vette is not actually overheating.

A.

This is a common customer complaint with all Corvette electrical temperature gauges from 1955 to approximately 1972.  The customer will usually add the following: I know it's not the sending unit. I've already replaced that.
The reality is that ALL, and I mean ALL, new sending units that are sold presently are wrong. I don't care what the parts guy tells you or what the parts manual says, they are wrong. There is an exception to this, which is to find a New Old Stock (NOS) part. In our experience, these parts have not been available for at least 20 years. Our testing of a known good original sending unit and the currently available part shows that both units read nearly the same until the water temperature reaches approximately 180 degrees. From that point and higher, the correct sending unit will maintain accuracy, but the replacement unit will give you a reading that is approximately 30 degrees higher than the actual temperature. Unfortunately, in our opinion, the addition of a resistor (to alter the reading of the replacement part) is inappropriate. The readings are not consistent throughout the normal temperature scale. They do not vary (enough to be a problem) until approximately 180 degrees. For those of you who have a car that rarely exceeds 180 degrees, you will not notice an inaccurate reading with the replacement sending unit.

Our solution is this:  We currently have a GM licensed reproduction sending unit with correct calibration available. The appearance is like the original, including the wording "A.C.- Made in USA.-12 Volt". You may also replace the sending unit with an original type. It may sound difficult, but through research we have found that many GM products from the 50's and 60's used a sending unit that will work in your Corvette. For example, some 6-cylinder applications and any vehicle that used a temperature gauge (not a warning light!) including but not limited to Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, etc. Old "junk boxes", salvage yards and flea markets are your best sources. If it "looks" appropriate and has the words "A.C.- Made in USA.-12 Volt" printed (may also have a series of dots or small squares) in the area just above the threads, this is what you are looking for. We have also found that usually the bottom of the unit will be concave or dimpled. Remember…these original sending units are RARELY bad electrically. Sometimes, however, they will leak. Most of the time they were discarded because new parts are so inexpensive and the average owner will install a new one because it "looks nice".