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1970 M20C Panel Upgrade

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My son and I just started the journey of updating the panel on my 1970 C! I'm super excited to do this with him as he has been working for the last 18 months at my local airport as an apprentice to gain his A&P cert. We're both going to learn a lot. His boss, the local IA, has agreed to oversee, and sign off on the project.

Going in:

Dual G5's



GI106A (backup-only for Nav2)


Cies fuel senders

Aera 760


Going Out:

Vac system

Century HSI


Original Engine gauges




The KX165, the STEC30 and the GNX375 will stay.

The pics will give you all an idea of where the panel was, where it's at, and where it's headed. This is the progress we made just this past weekend.





N9425V -Proposed.jpg

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I finished 95% of the old panel cleanup. The remaining wiring seen in the photo will stay.

A couple questions for the group:

First, panel mounting. Are there "standard" mounting brackets and avionics rails available for a new panel like this or will I need to have them fabricated? The avionics guy said vibration isolators are not needed anymore, citing Garmin avionics often don't work well with them. Is this the case?

Second, some advice on lighting. I am considering a combination of LED bezel ring lights for the 5 round instruments and an LED strip light on the underside of the glareshield for an overall flood.

I'd also like to have the toggle switches or switch labels illuminated. The original throttle quadrant/flap labels and compass are also illuminated with incandescent bulbs. Can these be converted to LED?

Ideally, I would like the avionics and the instrument ring lights to be on one dimmer and the remaining flood/panel lights to be on a second.

What would you recommend?



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Some suggestions:

MaxDim Duo for panel and glareshield lights.  Nulites (incandescent work just fine, I think they make LED too but check that they are compatible with your dimmer)

KI206 or 209 for the KX165 to save a bit of money.  I think in the long run you will regret not doing 2 x GNC255's.

MD93 clock / OAT / USB C etc.

GI-275 engine gauge for space saving and symmetry.

Small vertical stack of circuit breakers like later model Mooney's on a separate panel.  It really helps to finish the power and grounds inn the airplane and have a quick connect like Mooney does on later models.



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Here's a rough start based on my M20K panel.

I think your turn co-ordinator needs to be mounted vertically, or at least recalibrated for an 8 degree tilt to get a flat panel all the way across.  Or you can try doing a vertical panel all the way across?  I think a tilted panel will reduce the height of useable space in the radio stack because of interference?






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Thanks for the suggestions Don.

I am planning to use the maxdim duo (or two single max dimmers). I prefer to not mix incandescent and LED, so I'm not sure what to do with the throttle quadrant lights.

This is (was) a vertical panel but the existing brackets and vertical rack rails are not suitable for reuse. I'll will need a new plan for those. This will be a two piece panel with the breakers all on the far right.


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