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Old 11-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
dropanddrag71
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Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

I am wanting to change my gauge cluster (70) with one of those completely restored units. I did some searching here and found a few differant views on installing them. Is it nessacery to drop the steering column to swap out a new unit? I am hoping that i just have to undo some wires, disconnect the oil and speedo and it's out.. Any pics of this being done?
I'm trying to pick some projects i can handle without sending it off to the shop.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Yeah you need to drop the column down but its very easy just a few bolts out will allow it to drop enough to pull the dash out.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Dont think youll have to undo wires, just the main rectangular plug into the cluster, maybe a ground

Its difficult to tilt the cluster out, with out dropping the column...as said above
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

With the two bolts out under the column you can get the extra few inches that you need to easily pull out the cluster. You can drop the column and have the whole cluster out in 10min.

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

I have taken mine out several times with out dropping the column, no problems.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Does yours have the factory gauges in it .. ? I know mine would not come out with out the column tilted down because I tried thats for sure..lol
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

i have a tach dash and i can take my guages out without dropping the column. and without struggle really, the only time i struggle a little is if i forget to hold the curcuit board close to the back of the guages, other then that itcomes out fine.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Smile Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Drop the column...you'll have a better day!!...particularly if the dash bezel is new and you want to keep it looking that way.
I've installed and removed dozens of these clusters both tach and standard and can do it in about 15 minutes on average....I even did up a (2 page) instruction sheet on the tools needed and the entire process for buyers of the units I sell...works out great.
Good luck...and remember, drop the column.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:28 AM   #9
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

I didnt have to drop the column in my 70. The column was no where near getting in the way. I dont have a tech dash cluster tho. Without the tach, you dont need to drop the column. My custer came right out in 2 seconds after i disconnected the speedo, elec plug and the oil pressure feed line. Easy.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:48 AM   #10
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

I've always dropped the column, makes it easy to do.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 AM   #11
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Maybe the trucks have different tolerences or the columns mount slightly different in each vehicle. My steering column is no where near being in the way of removing the gauge cluster. It woud be like saying its easier to remove the tire if you take off the fender first. There is absolutely no point taking the fender off if you know what I mean. I'd be interested to know why there is such a difference in tolerance between non-tach cluster/column spacing and why some people need to drop the column to get it out. My truck is a GMC if that makes any difference?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Thats crazy because you are not getting my gauge cluster out without dropping the column. In my truck believe me I tried.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Weird. I really wonder what makes the difference.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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Weird. I really wonder what makes the difference.
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Are only the people with factory tachs having the install problem where the column has to be dropped?
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:54 PM   #15
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

I don't have a tach dash, and I had to lower my column a little bit to get mine in/out...
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #16
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Question guys....
Can I put the factory gauge cluster in place of my basic gauges and just install the correct sending units or is there something else I need to do?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:41 PM   #17
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Mine has tach and pulled mine around 6 times, it is tight fit not to damage circuit board but can be done.....
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

No tach in my 67, but I need to drop the column.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:52 PM   #19
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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Originally Posted by c10monkey View Post
Question guys....
Can I put the factory gauge cluster in place of my basic gauges and just install the correct sending units or is there something else I need to do?
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Oil gauge is just a line running to the back of the motor

Vacuum gauge is just run to the intake

Tach is just 12 volts to the fuse block, negative is to the coil

Temperature is to the sending unit in the head

Amp gauge.....still confused on this, but the guys in the electrical section can give you straight answers

So, to answer your question, yes....just buy a 7 hole dash bezel, and start filling in the holes
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:02 PM   #20
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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Oil gauge is just a line running to the back of the motor

Vacuum gauge is just run to the intake

Tach is just 12 volts to the fuse block, negative is to the coil

Temperature is to the sending unit in the head

Amp gauge.....still confused on this, but the guys in the electrical section can give you straight answers

So, to answer your question, yes....just buy a 7 hole dash bezel, and start filling in the holes
I want to go from factory basic to factory gauges...
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #21
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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I want to go from factory basic to factory gauges...
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What is in your dash now...just idiot lights
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:29 PM   #22
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

Yes.... just idiot lights in the dash
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:01 AM   #23
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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Yes.... just idiot lights in the dash
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That is a bit more complex....what i did, since my fuse box was rusty and had some splices, i bought a harness and fuse box from the classifieds for a hundred bucks. If after you do that, make sure your wires coming into the fuse box from the engine and headlight harnesses are of the correct color wire

Its not that hard just time consuming
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:26 AM   #24
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

So are you saying that I can't just buy a used factory gauge set and plug it In. Plus change the senders ?

I had a 71 Camaro. It had the idiot light gauges. I installed a used gauge set from a different Camaro. It plugged in but the gauges didn't work until I replaced the senders. Plus I had to run one wire to the distributor for the tach.

Can't I do that on my c10?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:05 AM   #25
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Re: Installing a complete gauge cluster 1970

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Originally Posted by c10monkey View Post
So are you saying that I can't just buy a used factory gauge set and plug it In. Plus change the senders ?

I had a 71 Camaro. It had the idiot light gauges. I installed a used gauge set from a different Camaro. It plugged in but the gauges didn't work until I replaced the senders. Plus I had to run one wire to the distributor for the tach.

Can't I do that on my c10?
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Drop down to the electrical forum, look at the colored diagram at the top, compare those colors with your plug on your idiot light plug. IIRC, they are totally differant colors.

You can physically plug it in, but you have good chance of setting your truck on fire, unless you make sure the gauges are wired correctly
Only one sender to replace for thr temp gauge, and you still have to run one wire for the tach....but, the amp gauge, just dunno
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