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The definitive guide to wiring aftermarket gauges 

 

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 Post subject: The definitive guide to wiring aftermarket gauges
Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:54 am 
Getting Side Ways
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I started this thread purely because I had a hard time wiring my aftermarket gauges due to my lack of knowledge at the time, so my aim with this thread is to help out mainly people new to the whole idea of wiring gauges.

A few things to say before we get into the guts of it all:

In terms of cable to use for this, figure 8 will be fine for all the gauges listed here.

Crimps are a good idea when needed, but only good ones. Crappy crimps never work, and they're more trouble than they're worth. So make sure you get some good quality crimps and a good crimping tool.

A soldering iron, solder, and some electrical tape is essential. If you're going to do a job, do it right okay?

Sidecutters and wire strippers are also needed. I use my Leatherman for all my stripping and cutting needs, but whatever gets you stiff.

Heatshrink makes things look neat and attractive. Very good idea in the engine bay, or anywhere where the cable is visible.

Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. Shorts are bad. Especially when your leatherman almost gets welded to the chassis. Bad experience. Play it safe. All this stuff is expensive so it's worth the extra 2 minutes work.

After that, it's all good!

It seems the most common gauge, whether necessary or not (please don't flame about whether tacho's are stupid or not - the fact is, if someone wants one, that's their business) is:


Tachometer

What it does: A tacho measures the speed that the ignition system is sparking at. Faster sparking = faster engine speed. It does this by connecting its signal wire (usually green) to the negative terminal on the low tension (thinner wire) side.

Wiring it up: There are 4 wires on most tachos. Positive (red), negative (black), illumination (white), and signal (green). Power can come from any ignition or accessories power source. In my case, I wired the power for all my gauges to the cigarette lighter. So, the gauges are on with accessories, but this is especially good if you have an aftermarket Voltmeter, so you can still monitor the battery voltage on accessories.

The white wire is for the backlight, if your tacho has one which 99% should. Wire this to any positive line for cluster illumination, or to the headlight switch.

The signal wire needs to go to Pin 8 of the larger connector on the back of the cluster. The wire is pink with a blue stripe. Splice into the wire, and bob's your father's brother. :)


Electric Oil Pressure

What it does: Measures oil pressure using a device called an oil pressure sender, which is screwed into the side of the engine block which creates a voltage according to the pressure, and is read by the gauge.

Wiring it up: Falcon's without oil pressure gauges in the stock cluster have a light which comes on once the oil pressure drops below a certain point. This is made possible by a oil pressure switch, not a sender. To install your oil pressure gauge, you need to do one of two things:

1. Remove the switch and replace it with a sender
2. Fit a T-piece and have both the sender and the switch

The switch is located on the side of the engine block. In EA-ED, this is under the intake manifold, between the coil and the dizzy. Not sure for other models, but the concept is the same. If you have a Gregory's or something of the like, that should point you in the right direction. It's a bit of a game of Twister to get to it, but it's possible.

Once the sender is in, it's back into the car to wire the gauge!

Again, power can come from the same place, as well as illumination. The signal wire is the same idea as the tacho. Just connect the wire from the oil pressure sensor (which you have routed through the firewall or a grommet somewhere of course :wink: ) to the signal terminal on the oil pressure gauge, and you're done!


Voltmeter

What it does: Simply displays how many volts the battery is outputting, and therefore telling you the charge of the battery and also the load that it is being exposed to. Probably the best and most useful gauge I have in my opinion.

Wiring it up: This one is easy as. Wire up your power and illumination same as any other gauge, and you're done! Some people will argue that when the gauge is wired to the cigarette lighter for example, that it is not as accurate as direct from the battery, but unless you're hardcore about this one, the cigarette lighter is fine. You can wire directly to the battery, but make sure either the positive or the earth is switch by the key, or you will run your battery flat.


Air / Fuel Ratio
What it does: Displays a reading using the oxygen sensor which shows what sort of air / fuel mixture the car has.

Wiring it up: Relatively simple. Wire up power and illumination as per normal, and splice into the oxygen sensor in the exhaust between the headers and the cat. Done!


These gauges listed are the most likely gauges you guys would be likely to fit, with the exception of a boost gauge. Unfortunantly, I am not sure how to install such a gauge at this time, but I welcome anyone who knows how to install gauges other than the ones listed here to post a reply to this thread showing how to do it.

Hope this is helpful. Have fun!

 

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Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 4:38 pm 
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nice braidy, good write up. This will definately clear up any uncertainties for those hooking up the guages.

 

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Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 7:32 pm 
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what bout fuel pressure

and also with the oil pressure you can use the existing wire from the sender providing you are not runnin switch and sensor as the wire will still present info to the instrument cluster just need to change switch to sensor hey presto all good

 

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Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:14 pm 
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horis wrote:
what bout fuel pressure

and also with the oil pressure you can use the existing wire from the sender providing you are not runnin switch and sensor as the wire will still present info to the instrument cluster just need to change switch to sensor hey presto all good


Like I said, the ones I have listed are the only ones I know for certain how to do. If anyone can list any other ones in a reply to the thread, then we can build up a single thread which should show how to wire up pretty much any aftermarket gauge in a Falcon.

And yes, you could use the existing wire from the switch provided you disconnect it from the cluster, but I recommend the T-piece so both the switch and sender can be used, in case one fails.

 

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Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 9:49 pm 
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I got a copy of the proper wiring instructions for autometer monster tacho's! If that required!?
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Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:34 pm 
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jrfttf wrote:
I got a copy of the proper wiring instructions for autometer monster tacho's! If that required!?


If it's substantially different to the instructions listed here, sure! Post it up!

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 12:38 am 
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ill suggest instead of tape you use heat shrink tubing. It is easier, quicker and looks a bit more professional. Cheap connectors are ok but you have to use them right.

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:23 am 
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stomper wrote:
ill suggest instead of tape you use heat shrink tubing. It is easier, quicker and looks a bit more professional. Cheap connectors are ok but you have to use them right.


I actually put heatshrink up there, the tape was just for insulating soldered connections, for example where a wire gets extended. Cheap connectors DO work, but for the sake of the pain, it's just better to get good crimps in my humble opinion.

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:47 am 
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Good post.. vote 1 for a sticky!

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:34 am 
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Pm happy braidy and get it made into a tech doc!
You will be immortalised on fm forever!

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 11:45 am 
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Nicko wrote:
Pm happy braidy and get it made into a tech doc!
You will be immortalised on fm forever!


:P I'll do that.

 

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Posted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Hope these are useful! i know a few people have asked about the cylinder settings and that!?
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Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Any chance of photos of where the sensors are location/should be placed? Oil Temp, Oil Pressure, Fuel Temp, Water Temp, etc.

 

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Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 5:16 pm 
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Also, when bonnet mounting gauges onto EF/EL... where do you guys mount them? Do you actually cut into the bonnet? Or mount on the plastic where the windscreen wipers are (would that interrupt the bonnet from being lifted??)

 

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