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Old 07-03-2008, 12:22 AM   #1
jewels.
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HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo gauge

Hi all!

I haven't posted in years. But, you can be certain when I post something, that its usually quite useful.

Many of you may not know, but Blue_71 recently converted his factory 71 2WD long bed from a stock 3-speed transmission to a new, modern-day, 1991 Chevy 5-speed transmission (more specifically, a GetRag NV3500 tranny).

He did this to try an get better gas mileage out of a tranny with an over-drive gear. It worked. He had to swap out a cross member on the frame to do this. (That took a few hours of busting out the factory rivets.) But it was well worth the swap! His gas mileage has SKYROCKETED!

The only problem he was having was with the speedometer, which is a manual screw-in cable (from the factory). To convert the electric signal from the modern-day tranny, he used a Cable-X converter box from Abbott Enterprises. They are really expensive to buy, but he found one used on ebay for a really reasonable price.

Even tho he bought the box, it came with no manuals, no info, nothin! We could barely find anything online to explain how to set the thing up. The only info we found was on an RX-7 forum (go figure!). However, this company is awesome. We sent them an email, and their tech support responded in less than 2.5 hours! WOW! WOW! WOW! I'm shocked!

Anyways, if you want to change your tranny, (or if you already have), but you want to maintain that look of original factory/manual guages (including the speedometer), you should look at getting one of these boxes. It works great! And all the info for setting one up can be found here (on the RX-7 forum). I just wanted to post it here as well, because it seems pretty relevant.

Geesh - I sound like I work for this company or somethin.... but they just had awesome, geeky, fast, American tech-support - a rare thing these days!

Maybe Blue_71 can post some more about his swap/conversion to the new tranny, along with the pics of the converter box. I enjoyed helping him with the fix this evening!

Thanks a heap for readin' this long post!
~jewels.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:32 AM   #2
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Great to see you posting and know that you are still around. Get some picks of the project up and tell of your misadventures along the way. (love the way you tell a story) Anyway hi and hope to see you and Blue 71 at the board meet at my place.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:51 AM   #3
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

How accurate does it seem to be? Does it have any lag in between starting rolling and the MPH reading? I have been waiting on a guy to finish a similar product but I am running out of patience with him. I had heard not so good things about the cable X product but if it is as good as you say I am ordering one tomorrow. I am tired of running with out a speedo and I don't like the look of after market gauges so much. If you have any pictures or info I would be greatly appreciative.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:25 AM   #4
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Jewels!!!!!!!!!
I haven't heard from you since the big move, I guess that has been years! Do you plan on particepating on the board again, or did you go and get all grown up on us?
Shawn
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

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Originally Posted by jorgensensc View Post
Jewels!!!!!!!!!
I haven't heard from you since the big move, I guess that has been years! Do you plan on particepating on the board again, or did you go and get all grown up on us?
Shawn
Big move??? That was four years ago! I've been around. Just haven't been posting. I've been letting Blue_71 do the posting for me. He he. He reads the board, then comes over to my place and tells me all the happenings. (I guess I'm just lazy! ).

I haven't been participating in the 67-72 board because I'm not working on a 67-72 truck right now. Granddad gifted me this wonderful mess of a project - a 1958 3200 Apache - and BOY is it ever a mess of a project. No wonder all of y'all restore these 67-72 trucks. They are a heap easier to complete!

As for the grown up part - hmmmm - I don't think I'll ever grow up. But I'm still a mechanical engineer, except now I work both as a consultant and as a teacher at a local community college. Fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron 586 View Post
Great to see you posting and know that you are still around. Get some picks of the project up and tell of your misadventures along the way. (love the way you tell a story) Anyway hi and hope to see you and Blue 71 at the board meet at my place.
Yep - we are coming. With fire! Woohoo for a board meet!!! The only thing we (me and Blue) are arguing about now is which truck or trucks to bring. (//sarcasm//cause what would life be like without an argument from the BF )


Ok - just for temptation - I'll post a random pic of the 58 Apache, since y'all are asking so nicely, and southern-like.

Enjoy!
~jewels.
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Last edited by jewels.; 07-03-2008 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

its about time you came home.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:42 AM   #7
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Sounds like it might be different, but I recently got an '89 T-5 with the digital output and took the old analog screw out and stuck it in where the digital output was. It works fine, but I need to adjust the ratio now for my rear gears and stuff.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

I did the NV3500 conversion about 5-6 years ago and except for the speedo, it worked out super. I did consider the electronic conversion deal but the new price was like $350. so I went without. Today you can hook up a elec mapping device and they all give you your speed as well as location which is way cool.
What is the before and after MPG gain?? Mine was about 4mpg highway with the OD.
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:45 PM   #9
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

lts70:
mine does have a lag, but i honestly think its in my speedo as my needle has started sticking/jumping, and the odo isnt wanting to turn.. its about 5 mph off, but again, i think thats a speedo problem.. it sits on 5 mph when your not moving, so i expected that to be a problem. overall im extremly happy with the cable-x. once you figure out how to set the dip switches, it works great!! i have never seen such responsive customer service either... 2.5 hr response time, after hours, on a week that they are having their yearly shut down.

brad: ive actually heard mixed things on that.. the best i can determine, is that the t5s can have that done but the nv3500s cant. i read in a couple places that the speed sensor on a t5 sits above the output shaft like a normal old manual cable, whereas my nv3500 points directly at the output shaft.. i didnt look to hard into it though after finding a good deal on this cable-x used

huck: your truck was the first reason i did the swap im actually not sure on the mpg after, but before last time it was on the road was about 12mpg if i remember right. i havent ran through a tank with a working speedo yet
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:53 PM   #10
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Thanks for the info Blue_71. Any plans on switching out your speedometer any time soon? I would be very interested to see if that solves all your delay problems. In fact I will look and see if I still have an extra speedo, if I do I will send it to you if you want.

Huck is there any where I can read up on this elec mapping device? I am not sure if I understand what it does but it sounds cool.
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Last edited by lts70; 07-05-2008 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:50 PM   #11
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

i do plan on switching it, but my gauges are custom hand-painted (by jewels.) so i have to sweet talk her into painting another one i would also like to find someone who can set the odometers as mine is original to the truck, so id like to keep the miles semi-correct. i did manage to get the odo to turn over today to 08900 and the lag and the jumping has quit
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1974 Chevy Custom Deluxe/10
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Originally Posted by Alan Jackson, Cause I'm a country boy
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R.I.P. Michael Stilts... I will always love and miss you brother! (9-12-80, murdered 4-9-05)
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:03 PM   #12
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

aaaand just because...

the blue one is Bloo, my first truck; the 5 speed truck.. bought december 9th, 2000.

the orangy-reddish one is the fuel injected K20
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:08 PM   #13
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Sounds like you don't need the speedo, glad to hear the lag problem is fixed. Any pictures of the Cable X installed? Nice looking trucks.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:07 AM   #14
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by lts70 View Post

Huck is there any where I can read up on this elec mapping device? I am not sure if I understand what it does but it sounds cool.
I think he is referring to a GPS unit you plug into the cig lighter. It will show your MPH
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:50 PM   #15
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_71 View Post
i do plan on switching it, but my gauges are custom hand-painted (by jewels.) so i have to sweet talk her into painting another one
i will always be happy to paint another speedo gauge to match your set.... it really looks cool - doesn't it? (maybe i shouldn't praise my own work so much - i sound full of it! )

so sweetie, tell me, did the lagging stop? or is the needle still questionable?

P.S. if you drive the truck over here this evening (hint hint), i'll take a pic of the gauges and post them here for you, since you are minus a camera these days
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Last edited by jewels.; 07-08-2008 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:16 PM   #16
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Jewels could you get a picture of the installed Cable X while you are at it?
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:36 PM   #17
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

.... well, Blue_71 drove over to my house tonight, but he brought the wrong truck! duh!



I think he just left to get the other truck. Don't worry. He only lives a mile away.

~jewels.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #18
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Quote:
Originally Posted by jewels. View Post
I think he just left to get the other truck. Don't worry. He only lives a mile away.
Here was his response when he returned with the correct truck:


And here are some pics of his gauges:
This pic includes the test speedo gauge we used for calibration and such.


Here are all the gauges I painted for him:










More pics below......
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:27 PM   #19
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Re: HOW TO Convert (modern-day) electric speedometer tranny signal to orig. speedo ga

Here is the cable running from the dash, down the firewall, and across the carpet (it used to be under the carpet):



And it runs under the seat to the box:


Here are some photos of the box for size references:


(FYI, the cover was removed for the photo):



Blue_71 has ordered a shorter cable because he wants to mount the box under the hood. But for now it is run under the seat. It has to have a power wire, a ground wire, and a signal wire from the transmission. It also has to be kept dry from the elements (water, excessive wind, ice, snow, etc.), as any electrical equipment usually does.

Here is his interior: Now can anyone imagine why he calls this truck "Bloo"???



Hope you enjoy!
~jewels.
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