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New gauges in stock gauge cluster
#764875 August 17th 2020 10:57 pm
Joined: Nov 2013
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BigPip Offline OP
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I finally got tired of the oil pressure gauge reading low due to the stock sender going bad. I also didn't like the stock volt meter gauge either so I replaced both of them but I installed them in the stock/factory gauge cluster! Here we go:
Original cluster
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
Disassembled
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
I used a piece of sheet metal I had hanging around and cut it to the same size as the stock face and had to guess the best I could to get the gauges center
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
First test fit
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
I didn't take pictures of the back side but I did have to open it up to allow the back of the new gauges to fit properly. Final for, painted the new face black
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
Before I started the swap, I changed the bulbs to green LED lights, here's they are lit up in their final position
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
I also drilled a couple of holes to add some red LED lights for the low oil pressure warning. I have two at the gauge and one on my main cluster
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]

[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
And I lied, I did take a picture of the back showing what I had to cut out and also the wiring
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]

You can see here that I wired everything up to a wire connector so if I have to take this out of the dash I can just unplug it.
Wiring was pretty easy, just 4 wires:
Ignition wire (factory Dark Blue) went to the + of 12v gauge AND to the positive of red lights for low oil pressure. The negative wires for the low oil pressure lights went to the pressure sensor (factory grey wire). Dash lights + went to the factory orange wire and negative side of 12v gauge and negative of dash lights went to factory black.

I hope to have it all together tomorrow- will post pictures of it installed!

I am working on a 1994, I'm sure 95 is the same but I don't think 96 and up would be the same. I would imagine later models would be pretty similar. I had to use 2 1/16 gauges due to space.

Last edited by BigPip; August 17th 2020 11:03 pm. Reason: Added van info
Re: New gauges in stock gauge cluster
BigPip #764884 August 18th 2020 11:51 am
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This Florida sun is a killer! All I did was solder a couple wires together and install the copper oil line and put the gauge cluster in and I was soaked in sweat... Literally, head to toe, ugh!
Anyways, I need to get some better pictures when the sun isn't beaming down on my. I also installed a new tach and air/fuel ratio meter so I can see just how rich the 360 PCM is making my 318.
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]

I did one last thing while I was there but done have any pictures. I had my air horn hooked up to a switch but since I used that ALL the time and not the sissy stock horn, u filled the (+) wire from the relay up to the bulk head plug and cut it and sent it directly to the air horns. One more bonus- I hooked up the 'trunk release' button on my alarm system to power the same wire! It's great, I don't even have to be in the van and as long as I hold the button, it's sending power and the horns keep going as long as I want. Love it!

I will take some better pictures of gauges soon, maybe get some night shots too.

Last edited by BigPip; August 18th 2020 1:10 pm.
Re: New gauges in stock gauge cluster
BigPip #764887 August 18th 2020 4:36 pm
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Nicely done!

I put a tach where my 1989 b250 stock useless Ammeter resided, but nowhere near as cleanly as yours came out.

11.3v with your ignition on points to two things, that you took the voltage for the meter not from battery terminals, but somewhere else, and your battery is weak/undercharged.

I've a digital Ammeter showing amps into and out of the battery, and a voltmeter whose voltage sense leads run right to battery as well, but is switched on by the ignition.

Kind of handy to see how low voltage falls during engine cranking. When it falls into the low 9's, there is a month or three left max.

If the voltage regulator that controls alternator output, inside your engine computer takes a dump, or you'd like to run a different V regulator for faster charging of depleted batteries, Lemme know. I should likely do a thread on it now that this site can host photos.

My engine computer voltage regulator still functions, but it is insane, choosing 14.9v, or 13.7v. 'Just Fine' for a never depleted starting battery, but woefully inadequate to recharge a depleted marine or deep cycle battery in a timely manner.

A depleted battery will accept 3x more amperage when 14.7v is reaching battery terminals, compared to 13.6v.
I've a dial on my dashboard which controls the voltage regulator's setpoint. It makes me laugh like a maniac.

Be warned that a well depleted battery, Idling, parked, when regulator is still holding 14.7 to 14.9v, can overheat the alternator in about 14 minutes(220f+). Driving 65mph and even maxed out it cannot get much over 145f. Speeds under 25mph are not much better than idling, temp wise.

Re: New gauges in stock gauge cluster
BigPip #764888 August 18th 2020 4:53 pm
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Here are a couple final pictures:
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]
[Linked Image from i.servimg.com]

Still not the best pictures but I think you can get a feel for how they look.

Re: New gauges in stock gauge cluster
wrcsixeight #764889 August 18th 2020 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by wrcsixeight
Nicely done!

I put a tach where my 1989 b250 stock useless Ammeter resided, but nowhere near as cleanly as yours came out.

11.3v with your ignition on points to two things, that you took the voltage for the meter not from battery terminals, but somewhere else, and your battery is weak/undercharged.
Thanks 👍🏼 it was a fun project!
It was showing 11.3 because the engine was off and my compressor was running at that time. I haven't driven it much in the past week- I usually put my battery tender on it when it sits for a week but haven't had a chance yet.


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