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Restoring the face of a trip computer?
Every trip computer I've ever seen on a LTD/SEI is faded by now.

I want to either restore mine, or somehow improve its look so at least the lettering is more legible. I know the lettering is supposed to be backlit, and I'll address that later, but I want to resurface the "brushed aluminum" face. (Which I suspect is mostly plastic.)

Any suggestions about how to go about this without significant risk of destroying it?

P.S. I may be interested in buying a broken trip computer or just the faceplate to try some restoring experiments with it.
Paul
'86 SEi
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#1 02-04-2008, 08:50 PM,
besides ebay, have you emailed or called usergoldwings.com??
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
[Image: signaturebg4.jpg]
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#2 02-06-2008, 03:40 PM,
Not sure what you mean since there's no such website. According to GoDaddy it's never been registered. Did you mean some other website?
Paul
'86 SEi
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#3 02-06-2008, 03:45 PM,
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.usedgoldwingparts.com/home.html">http://www.usedgoldwingparts.com/home.html</a><!-- m -->

sorry about that Tongue
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#4 02-06-2008, 04:04 PM,
Yeah, I check everywhere for used parts and I know of them too. That's not really my problem. I can get a used one in lots of places for experimentation.

This thread is really about how I can restore the faceplate.
Paul
'86 SEi
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#5 02-06-2008, 04:47 PM,
can you post a picture of it? how many colors it is?, you can get it printed using screen printing, i dont think that would be hard to do.
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#6 02-06-2008, 05:12 PM,
The photo below isn't my particular computer, but mine looks like every other LTD/SEI trip computer out there. If you're not familiar with them, you may not be familiar with methods to restore them. The lettering is recessed into the face and screen printing isn't how this was done.

I'm interested in a method involving re-coloring the outer surface so the lettering shows up better, hoping to hear from someone who has tried it. (I assume someone has. After all, after 20 years pretty much all of them look awful.)

I have been brainstorming many methods, for example: a combination of light sanding, staining, and perhaps filling in the lettering in advance with some removable gunk (wax? grease?) so the lettering wouldn't be affected by the stain/paint/color.

I hope to use the fact that the lettering is recessed to my advantage in this project.

[Image: 2843GL1200Pegs028.jpg]
Paul
'86 SEi
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#7 02-06-2008, 05:20 PM,
Paul,
Mine looks about the same- mine maybe just a little darker color
Tim
currenlty own
Car, truck, and bicycle :)
formerly owned
86 SEI,83GL 650i,82GL 500i
450 nighthawk, german spec CB 650, KZ 100, YZ 125, CT90
http://catman01.webs.com/
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#8 02-06-2008, 06:26 PM,
Of course it does. That one isn't mine actually... just another that looks its age. If you know of anyone who has had success restoring them, please let me know.

I have another thought about a possible approach: A company who makes trophies and name badges may be able to help. They often use etched plastics with brushed metal faces so they might be able to make new ones. If the plastic behind the metal is tranlucent, the back lighting might still work. I may look into that.
Paul
'86 SEi
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#9 02-06-2008, 06:34 PM,
Here's the face of my computer. From some angles it looks okay. The faceplate is a sticker with metal. I'm going to look into ways to replace it. This will require providing artwork to a shop, which is gonna be delicate work with precise measurements but I think I can do it. Heck, if I find a shop with a minimum quantity order, I might have something good to sell for restoring trip computers.

[Image: 20452etc1.jpg]

[Image: 93412etc2.jpg]

[Image: 75965etc3.jpg]
Paul
'86 SEi
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#10 02-07-2008, 03:31 PM,
Anyone recognize this logo? It's in the lower right corner of the trip computer's faceplate, which isn't much more than a very thick sticker with a metallic front.

I would like to contact this company so if ya know who they are please let me know.

[Image: 10001Logo.jpg]

I have now removed the sticker and scanned it at very high resolution. Now, using graphics software and layers, I can duplicate the art pretty closely, so, worst case I should be able to have a replacement sticker made. Since transparent portions in stickers are possible, the backlighting should still work.

The "metallic" appearance might be history, but it should look pretty good. I might even have it done to match the bike's paint.
Paul
'86 SEi
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#11 02-07-2008, 05:36 PM,
I'm making progress. I found lots of companies that make graphic overlays. Some offer inexpensive prototypes. (Some even free!)

They can retain the backlighting capability of the overlay, and yes they can do it with an anodized aluminum surface.

Of course, the problem was precision cutting and artwork and I don't trust anyone else to this work freehand and get good results. Luckily, the companies will accept artwork from me, and I happen to have graphics software.

So, I got to working on it, and the bottom part is now done. I started by scanning the original faceplate in my scanner, and I took lots of measurements. Below is a low-quality version of the artwork I intend to use. (The real one is 1200 dots per inch for high quality etching.)

I don't have the same fonts as Honda used, but these are very close and the positioning is correct for backlighting. Also, I decided I wanted the border lines thicker and rounder for legibility, but I wanted to keep it in the spirit that Honda intended.

[Image: 67519NewOverlay.jpg]
Paul
'86 SEi
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#12 02-10-2008, 08:48 PM,
Wow, that didn't take long. In under an hour I sent 10 emails to 10 companies requesting quotes to reproduce these overlays. There are so many companies that make "graphic overlays" I could have kept sending the same email for hours, but I figure 10 should be enough that somebody will quote a decent price.

I asked for quotes in quantities up to 100. 100 might be too many, but heck, if I can get them for $10 each, this could be a marketable product for restoring the look of trip computers to "like new" condition.

I will be doing it for sure, but I'd like to know if there's interest in this. (Assume I will post photos of my computer with the new overlay, looking like a brand new computer with working backlighting before you buy.)

Anyone? Please let me know. There's no commitment by expressing interest of course.
Paul
'86 SEi
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#13 02-11-2008, 05:05 PM,
You should team up with guys from other sites Paul so you can connect with the guys with the LTD's and SEi's.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#14 02-11-2008, 06:45 PM,
Okay, thanks. I've now posted on other sites also, but folks can still show their interest here.
Paul
'86 SEi
Reply
#15 02-12-2008, 12:05 AM,


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