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Old 08-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
FAKKY
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Cluster checks and options

Hey guys

Anyone got a good write-up on how to test what gauges in cluster work ?
Some require different tests I think like voltages and ohms

Also.... What gauge or cluster replacements would you recommend.
I've only ever used autometer before.

Any special considerations for LS swap too.

Thanks
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:07 PM   #2
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Seems to be about the "best value" I can find.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-56-57-5...NXP0EA&vxp=mtr

or without outside bezel

http://www.ebay.com/itm/55-56-57-58-...BY2Uxk&vxp=mtr
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Other option is

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dakota-Digit...RZJGzz&vxp=mtr

Quite pricey ...... but no extra harness or sensors required as far as I can tell.
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:37 PM   #4
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Re: Cluster checks and options

nothing special about the ls gauge setup...as long as your senders are compatible with the gauge..all you need oil and temp and those stand alone anyway
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Meaning the oil and temp sensor that comes with truck LS engine will splice directly in ?

What about tach, speed and trans
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:59 PM   #6
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Re: Cluster checks and options

the oil sender comes from the back of the engine..the water temp to gauge on mine comes from pass side head..the ecm reads water temp from drivers side head..the tach wire will come from ecm..speedometer depends on what trans your using..either electric pulse or cable drive..
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:09 PM   #7
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Re: Cluster checks and options

4l80e most likely... If not 4l60e

So the tach for example comes from factory sensor (crankshaft positioning sensor) ... Goes to ecm for ecm reading .... But then a signal wire from that harness to the gauge ?
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: Cluster checks and options

correct..in my psi harness there was a wire for the tach from the ecm...since I didnt have a tach I just terminated it in the harness..
on the trans with either of your trans choice you'll have a elec pulse speedo..you'll need a electric speedo as well....or what I did was keep my factory cable speedo and used a dakato digital convertor box to go from elec pulse to cable drive
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:50 PM   #9
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Thanks.
Think I'm just going to use mainly electrical to match the engine.
Those conversion boxes are pricey

Or if I try to go cheaper .... Mechanical secondary (tapped) sensors etc for things like oil pressure and water temps and electric for tach and speedo.

Any recommendations on this route .....

Kind of leaning to Dakota .... As all the harness and sensors included

When you add a universal harness to decent 5 guage set ..... Your at $400 anyhow
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Cluster checks and options

After not finding what I wanted, I made one. Speedhut did custom artwork on one of their 4.5" GPS speedometers to match the SW Greenline gauges. The insert is fabbed out of .040 aluminum...

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Old 08-06-2017, 08:57 PM   #11
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Wow that looks good.

I guess that's another option ... Go with fewer gauges like SW due to cost and custom fit the dash panel ....

Then just use an odb2 like scangauge for other stuff ...

Leaning Dakota at the moment .... Just hurts to think about it
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Quote:
Originally Posted by FAKKY View Post
Wow that looks good.

I guess that's another option ... Go with fewer gauges like SW due to cost and custom fit the dash panel ....

Then just use an odb2 like scangauge for other stuff ...

Leaning Dakota at the moment .... Just hurts to think about it
Thanks

Most aftermarket clusters use a 3 3/8" speedo, I opted for a bigger speedo and mounted the oil and water temp gauges under the dash in chrome cups. Dollar wise I have about the same into my gauges as the Dakota Digital but kept it retro looking

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Old 08-06-2017, 11:17 PM   #13
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Re: Cluster checks and options

dash looks great black sheep..
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:33 PM   #14
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Sure does.

Did you wire it directly or use a universal harness to splice into your chassis / engine harness etc

There's more wires that come out of each gauge than I thought ..... So the idea of universal gauge harness appeals ......
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:49 PM   #15
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Re: Cluster checks and options

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Originally Posted by FAKKY View Post
Sure does.

Did you wire it directly or use a universal harness to splice into your chassis / engine harness etc

There's more wires that come out of each gauge than I thought ..... So the idea of universal gauge harness appeals ......
I wired the whole truck from scratch, including the gauges. It was time consuming but not really difficult.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:29 PM   #16
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Thanks.
Not too sure if I can wire the gauges without a good writeup somewhere. Only ok one could find was (but lacks details/reasoning)

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/int...classic-chevy/


So much piggybacking and different ways to do it would be concerned of overload/shorting something. Or at best a huge birds nest

I know typically its just power/ground and light ........ 3 wires per gauge ... but how many can be piggybacked and best/right way to do it as well as fuse circuit protection etc
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:13 PM   #17
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Smile Re: Cluster checks and options

what I have done in the past is bring a decent sized (large enough for the max amp draw on the circuit) set of power and ground wires up to a bus bar or insulated stud behind the dash. then run wire to the first gage light and then chain the power and ground circuits for the rest of the lights, because you wouldn't notice a slightly dimmer light due to draw on a single feed wire. then run power and ground wires to each gage for the actual gage function so they see equal voltage at each gage.
electromechanical gauges use a dual electromagnet system to pull the gauge needle one way or the other. one magnet is constant magnetism and the other magnet is variable by how much power or ground the electromagnet sees through the gage sending unit. the gage needle sits between these two magnets. so if the sending unit sees less of a circuit then the variable electromagnet in the gauge is correspondingly less strong compared to the constant strength magnet and the needle of the gauge is drawn towards the stronger magnet.
make sense why you would want full voltage to each actual gauge circuit, not shared voltage with lights, other gauges, stereos, heaters etc?
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:15 PM   #18
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Re: Cluster checks and options

forgot to mention that you need to ensure that you fuse the circuit to the bus bar or insulated stud so circuit protection is maintained.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:17 PM   #19
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
forgot to mention that you need to ensure that you fuse the circuit to the bus bar or insulated stud so circuit protection is maintained.
So ...... never done any wiring apart from 1 guage 1 time with insructions
Just tapped into a predetermined ignition on fused with supplied tap ..... ground and away we went.

Bus bar. Fuses, Circuit load, so on.

Can you do this ?
Assuming each gauge (5) draws 3 amps for 15 AMP total.
Assuming 5 prongs for each gauge
3 for main sensor - (12v IGN, Sensor and ground).
2 for lighting (12v and ground)

https://www.americanmuscle.com/autom...t-install.html



1) Run a RED 10 gauge wire from a fused ignition fuse to a bus bar. Then run 5 wires from bus bar to each of the 5 ignition wires.

2) Run a BLACK 10 gauge wire from good ground behind dash to bus bar. Run 2 ground wires from each gauge (guage and light) to the grounded bus bar.

3) Run a WHITE 10 gauge wire from fused lights on source to the 1st gauge. Daisy chain to the remainder gauges in a line.

4) Run each sensor wire directly to appropriate gauge ... or if it needs to be fused .... then ..... something like ?

http://www.wiringproducts.com/6-circ...EaAoODEALw_wcB


SO questions ......

1) whats wrong with ^^ am sure lots.
2) If you tap into an existing circuit for say lights - how do you not overload ?
3) If you dont tap into an existing circuit .... how do you do it for like key on or lights ?

etc

thanks
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:00 PM   #20
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Re: Cluster checks and options

I would be carefull tapping into a fused ign source in the fuse panel because there may be other stuff in the same circuit and a 10 ga wire is capable of more amps than the fused source or ign switch may be able to handle. you could use a relay though. fused ign source would simply turn the relay on and 10 ga wire would be powered from a battery supply with a fuse close to the source. that is partly the reason why new vehicles have an under hood fuse and relay panel. they are close to the battery that way.
10 ga wire sounds pretty heavy for just the gauges but an amp gauge would require that ga. the rest probably be ok with 14 ga and the power for the lights could be even less. use the 10 ga ground wire because you need that for the amp gauge and it could also be used for the lights but the gauge light wiring could be taken off a light source connection on the headlight switch with something like 16 ga.

what gauges/lights do you plan on having in the cluster?
fuel level
oil pressure
coolant temp
voltage
amps
trans temp
cyl head temp
nitrous pressure
boost pressure
vacuum pressure
fuel pressure
speedo
tach
hi beam indicator
left and right turn indicator
park brake on indicator
brake system indicator
fog lights on indicator
seat belt indicator
outside temp


some manufacturers have dual or quad gauges that show several things in one gauge. you could save cluster space that way.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:04 PM   #21
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Re: Cluster checks and options

http://forums.iboats.com/filedata/fetch?id=6971922

check the link for a chart showing generally accepted wire size for amp load and wire length
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:10 PM   #22
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
I would be carefull tapping into a fused ign source in the fuse panel because there may be other stuff in the same circuit and a 10 ga wire is capable of more amps than the fused source or ign switch may be able to handle. you could use a relay though. fused ign source would simply turn the relay on and 10 ga wire would be powered from a battery supply with a fuse close to the source. that is partly the reason why new vehicles have an under hood fuse and relay panel. they are close to the battery that way.
10 ga wire sounds pretty heavy for just the gauges but an amp gauge would require that ga. the rest probably be ok with 14 ga and the power for the lights could be even less. use the 10 ga ground wire because you need that for the amp gauge and it could also be used for the lights but the gauge light wiring could be taken off a light source connection on the headlight switch with something like 16 ga.

what gauges/lights do you plan on having in the cluster?
fuel level
oil pressure
coolant temp
voltage
amps
trans temp
cyl head temp
nitrous pressure
boost pressure
vacuum pressure
fuel pressure
speedo
tach
hi beam indicator
left and right turn indicator
park brake on indicator
brake system indicator
fog lights on indicator
seat belt indicator
outside temp


some manufacturers have dual or quad gauges that show several things in one gauge. you could save cluster space that way.
LS swap. Probably.....for main dash

Electric Speedo
Water Temp
Oil Pressure
Voltage
RPM
And left/right indicators

Later on ...... maybe boost, trans temp if I go FI.

If you dont mind - dumb it down for me regarding creating you own "cluster circuit" so to speak.

Meaning - if you dont tap into an existing circuit for KEY on ..... how do you create a new one. I get splicing into existing circuits. Not sure how you create a new one though isolated from others and protected with fuse.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:51 PM   #23
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Re: Cluster checks and options

wow
these look good.

http://www.speedhut.com/gauges/?cati...customer_price
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:47 PM   #24
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Re: Cluster checks and options

Quote:
Originally Posted by FAKKY View Post
You can customize them to your taste. Pretty reasonable too, custom artwork to make my speedo match the SW gauges was only $30. I was expecting it to be much more...
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:49 AM   #25
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Re: Cluster checks and options

to get a separate circuit that is hot with ign on, you can wire a relay in the same manner as would be done to wire an aftermarket fog light. the difference is the switch wire is connected to the fuse box in a position that is fused "hot with ign on" instead of to a toggle switch

-start at the battery by installing a 10 ga inline fuse or auto reset circuit breaker
-connect 10ga wire to the outlet of the fuse/breaker. as a hint, since you are at the battery anyway and will also need a 10ga ground, you could use a twinned wire that has a protective sheath and run a power and ground into the cab with one operation.
-run that 10ga wire through grommet/insulator in firewall/floor and bring to location of your choice near the end use (dash cluster) that is accessible for servicing
-install a relay (like one used for driving lights) in the same area for ease of servicing and connect the 10ga wire to the "power in" terminal (usually terminal 30)
-connect a smaller ga wire (14 or 16ga) to a source of fused "hot with key on" power and connect that wire to the relay coil/switch terminal (usually terminal 85)
-connect a ground wire to the relay on the other coil/switch terminal (usually terminal 86). the coil circuit of the relay is what turns the relay "on" and connects the terminals 30 and 87
-connect a 10ga wire to the outlet terminal on the relay (usually terminal 87) and this will become the power supply that is hot with key on. this wire can be attached to a bus bar or insulated stud to be used as a power supply that is hot with ign on.

this same scenario could also be connected to a heavy duty continuous use rated 100 amp relay, like ones used on trucks that have campers or trailers and use the relay to charge the camper battery when the truck is running.

see link for a circuit that is similar

http://www.accessconnect.com/fog_dri...hts_wiring.htm
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