Took a couple of attempts, but I now have functioning gauges and the faces are not flaking off! First I ordered a whole new instrument panel from an old XR3i, but it turns out the inner workings were changed completely around '88, so only the speedo was useable. I disassembled that and swapped my original odometer in to keep the mileage.
Luckily, it turns out that the fuel/temp gauge faces are nearly exactly the same for early Mk5 Escorts, so I was able to get one from a breaker's yard, and after some careful trimming it could be fitted.
Every time it rains, the idle speed of my Escort drops really low to around 300-400 rpm until it is nearly cutting out. Usually it idles fine but whenever it starts to rain it seems to do this. Anyone know what could be causing this or how it can be rectified? It has the 1.3 HCS/Kent engine (with carburettor) if that is any help.