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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys...
I was driving my Blue to Magnaflow the other morning... it was cold!
Naturally, I had the top down!
I put the heater on and I noticed after a few miles that the 3 center gauges were misted up on the inside! Strange thing was that I did notice some months ago that there was a strange stain on the inside of the faces. The speedo has a similar stain.
Oh, I assume this is a heater matrix gone bad.... Or any other ideas?
 

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AFAIK this is common. If by misty you mean the glass is foggy with condensation (and not literal "mist" waving around in the gauges, which would be something else). Mine has done it for years and there was a thread in which others said the same thing awhile back.

My large gauges have the stains too, and a water temp gauge I just bought to replace my old one has stains also. Try turning on the lights, see if that warms them up enough to get rid of the condensation.

IIRC, the glass can be removed from the large gauges by working the trim ring (there's a thread on this), but it doesn't sound easy. I'm not sure about the little gauges. I was going to experiment on my "spare" when I get the dash out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Moisture.

Mmmm, good guess, but I dont think so Roadtrip.
The car has been Garaged here at my home in SoCal for the last 5 years. It has carpet, not rubbers mats and the last time it was wet was the last time I wet washed it... 6 months ago.
I think its a heater issue. I did notice that the heater hose at the rear of the cylinder head is perished and cracked...
I guess I will need to replace it... should I do that alone or is it not easy?
Probably I will have to remove the center console anyway, so I should just do it right and do it all at once?
I have a spare matrix from an 82... assume its the same?
If it is, should I get it pressure tested or restored first?
 

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It is a common issue, and my recollection is that it has to do with the moisture in the air, the changing temp of the guage as it operates, and the fact that these guages lose their seal (or "air-tightness") over the years either through repair or just plain old age. I have always heard that this is not a problem other than perhaps prolonged exposure to the moisure without it "drying" through use can corrode the guage. That may be an old wives' tale.

I know this, the oil pressure guage on my '81 Spider did it for the 6 years that I owned it, I never did anything about it, and nothing bad ever happened. My temp guage on my Spider Junior does it now, and I plan to do nothing about it.
 

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It's very common, not only with Alfa's but with lots of imported roadsters. If it really bothers you, a cloth bag of silica gel tucked among the gauges at the back will help. It was common with Brit cars with Lucas electrics, and very hard to actually cure. I do recall that it was common to wire a tail light bulb (or something similar) behind the cluster on open rally cars so the gauges wouldn't fog up, most drivers not wanting to put the instrument lights on high while driving at speed at night.
 

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I think it's that Magnaflow system. If you want to trade for my '84, It's still available! :p


PS: Yes. Misting is very common, especially when the dewpoint is low.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Misty

So....
If I want this to stop, I have to take out the gauges and re-seal them, or will it happen anyway?
I am puzzled!
 

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Personally I wouldn't bother, but others may have had success at that. I'd worry about not sealing them fully (after all, depending on the gauge, where the bulb plugs in isn't always a hard seal), which would waste a lot of time since it might still happen. Worse yet, you might seal moist air in there and that might make things worse. Or, a partial seal might make it that much harder for the condensation to clear out.

If I were going to do it, I'd wait until July. You could always try one and see how it goes. Gauges aren't too hard to come by on Ebay these days, typically $20-30.
 

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I think haus makes a good point, with regard to the bulb. I don't think you "can" seal them.

Mine mist every time the glass is colder than the surrounding air inside the car. i.e., once I put the lights or the heater on. The moisture in the air condenses on the cold glass, just like the outside of a glass of soda with ice. If the temperature of the glass is below the dewpoint (the point at which fog typically appears), then the moisture contained in the surrounding warm air (on either side of the glass) will beging to collect (condense) as tiny droplets (mist) on the glass. This process will continue until the glass itself warms up to the temperature of the surrounding air.

I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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