Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Appearance Mods Discussion, Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; I'm in the middle of the White LED Gauges mod (coverting orange to white LED) and I figured while I ...
  1. #1
    etcts-v's Avatar
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    Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    I'm in the middle of the White LED Gauges mod (coverting orange to white LED) and I figured while I have the cluster out and the needles off I may as well throw one of US Speedo's Gauge Overlays in. I'm having a hard time deciding if I should go with the stainless steel or their Aqua.

    Although I like the idea of the Blue since it will "pop" a little in the car and give it some real character, I'm leaning towards the stainless steel since it will match the other stainless in the car and will look more factory.

    Thoughts, Opinions?

    http://www.usspeedo.com/view.php?id=162

    untitled.jpg

    They don't have a picture of the Aqua for the CTS-V (can't find one anywhere) so the picture below is just a stock photo of their Aqua gauges.

    AquaGauges_opt.jpg

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    AAIIIC's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    That stainless looks rather hard to read. Have you seen them in person? Are they better in person?

    I would concur that stainless would match the rest of the interior them better than blue.

  4. #3
    etcts-v's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Good point, I didn't even think about that! I haven't seen them in person. I imagine at night it would be easier to read with the glow behind them but the daytime may be a challenge.

  5. #4
    UnsafeAtAnySpd's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Do you have pics of the stock gauges with the white inset gauges? I like the sounds of that! All I've seen is the HVAC control color swap.

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    etcts-v's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Yeah I did the HVAC led swap this weekend and it turned out so good that I decided to go ahead with the gauge cluster (the orange is horrible!). The white led's make a HUGE difference and it's an easy mod if you are good with soldering.

    I just ordered the led's for the gauge cluster today so I won't have a pic of the finished product for a few days (digi key rocks by the way, they deliver within 3 days!). Also the leds that were recommended in the HVAC thread aren't as powerful as they should be so for the cluster I went with part number 475-2544-1-ND, there are 16 led's for the cluster.

    Here is a shot of the cluster circuit board, the led's that need to be swapped are arranged at the end of the two pens:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60973400@N02/6210013733/

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    I think the Stainless looks great except for he numbering and hashes.. any way they can do one with better contrast..


    any pics of how your HVAC came out?

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Not a big fan of either, but if they could make the stainless with black numbers/hashes similar to the autometer ultra-lite series, I'd go that route
    2005 cadillac cts-v.r #83 nasa st3 . 2011 escalade esv . 2011 sierra denali

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    unless you are using that blue color elsewhere in your car, it's not really going to "pop" as opposed to standing out like a sore thumb...

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Faber View Post
    unless you are using that blue color elsewhere in your car, it's not really going to "pop" as opposed to standing out like a sore thumb...
    Agreed, my aftermarket stereo is blue and and my HVAC unit is now blue so it would match those interior pieces. However I just got a pic of the CTS Aqua gauges from US Speedo. He said they do not have a picture of the V, just the CTS gauges with the 160 Mph. He did however say they are exactly the same (no V logo) just 180mph for the V.

    I have to say I'm not a fan so I will be going with the stainless.

    Here is a pic:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60973400@N02/6214266999/

    Quote Originally Posted by Junior1 View Post
    Not a big fan of either, but if they could make the stainless with black numbers/hashes similar to the autometer ultra-lite series, I'd go that route
    I'm not a huge fan of either, however there are two big reasons why I'm willing to pony up the $200. First the stock gauges are incredibly flimsy and crappy when you look at them out of the cluster, they look like something out of a Honda civic. I believe what makes them look better in the cluster is the stainless edging around each gauge. The second thing is I also installed a black suede headliner along with painting all of the gray plastic black so my interior is completely black inside and the gauges black are a little too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadybx7 View Post
    any pics of how your HVAC came out?
    I'll post a pic of my HVAC control tonight.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Would you be interested in doing the LED swap for another V's HVAC and cluster (i.e.- mine )?

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAtAnySpd View Post
    Would you be interested in doing the LED swap for another V's HVAC and cluster (i.e.- mine )?
    Yeah for sure, as soon as I finish the swap in my car I will post some pics and offer my services to anyone else interested in this mod. I was planning on becoming a authorized vendor anyways for some of the other stuff my company does and this would be a good project to start with. I estimate total cost to be around $80 plus shipping for both the Cluster and HVAC swaps, $40 plus shipping for just one (either HVAC or Cluster).

    I will also offer to throw in new gauges from US Speedo for an additional $220. If I get enough people interested I would be willing to do some core swaps so you wouldn't have downtime in your car. Looks like clusters are going for $170 on e-bay so I think a $200 core charge would be a safe bet.

    Once I finish the mod (hopefully the gauges will arrive by this weekend) I will sign up as a Vendor and take orders if anyone shows interest in the final result.

    One more thing, I was wrong on the Aqua gauges, I should have finished reading the e-mail. They are exactly the same as the stainless gauges just coated in a blue, therefore they will have the V logo. I also found out that both gauges have white background lighting.

    "AQUA EDITION GAUGES ~The newest product line from US Speedo! These kits are made from 100% REAL STAINLESS STEEL. Each part goes through a unique coating process that turns the stainless steel to AQUA Blue."

    At any rate I still went with the stainless, I'll keep you posted!

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    I like the stainless much better.

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    looks good, any pics of your radio and hvac leds?

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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    Okay I finally have some pics. The new LED's I tried on the cluster were a bust, they are really dull and sort of orange. So I will be ordering a set of the same LED's I used on the HVAC mod and will swap them out next week when they come with the new faces.

    Here is a link to the pics, not that my needles are off so the led's behind the needles are a little glaring. Although it looks a little orange (the camera does not the color justice), if you compare it to how orange they were before then you will see they look 200% better! I included some pics of before.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/6097340...7627843195368/

    This mod is not for the faint at heart when it comes to the soldering. These led's are surface mount and really hard to get lined up right, it takes a lot of patience as the smallest little bump or breath send these light little buggers flying!

  16. #15
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    Re: Stainless Steel or Aqua Gauges? Need Feedback

    I had bought a set of white overlays and was going to do an AMG look to the V's gauges. The tach was going to be unlike the other all white gauges with a white ring and keep the black center...

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