There are a couple or really nice upgrades that you can make to the stock gauges without spending a whole lot of money. One of the really nice upgrades is the 35th Anniversary bezel that provide a nice contrast to the black gauge face. I chose to add a Stainless Steel bezel to tie some of the Billet interior upgrades that had already been done to the car. They range in price from $10 to $20.
I tackled this with manual in hand and instructions in front of me. Now the manual helped me get the gauges out of the car OK, that was great and took all of 5 minutes.
The pain in the butt was the out side clear shell is melted to the black gauge bezel. The instruction indicate to use a dremell tool with a sanding disk and just cut it open again. I thought against this as I thought it would create to much dust. I used a good exacto knife, utility blade or what ever you want to call it. This was a real pain. I was paranoid about cracking the lens, cutting my fingers off and just screwing things up. I took my time, like I had a lot of choice. If I was to do this again.....dremell. Anyway, I finally got it off.
I again was concerned and used rubber gloves so as not to leave finger prints on the bezel. Well that only left rubber finger prints on the bezel. The fit and finish of the bezel is great. A couple of small pieces of 2 sided tape in strategic places and we were assembling again. Out to the car and install. Back to the kitchen, disassemble and clean off rubber glove finger prints that I didn't notice until it was in. It was very handy to have a can of air to blow the gauges clean before installing. Be really careful not to touch the black ones with your fingers as the oil will only collect dust over time.
Finally back into the car goes the instrument cluster and it looks great.
This is not for the faint of heart or someone who has no patience. The cluster is delicate and you will really hate yourself if you screw it up. You will be looking at it for a long time. Then again, it could give you and excuse to get the new Autometer gauges you been dreaming about.
It looks great and will be easier on older models where Ford didn't melt the lens onto the cluster.