Author Topic: Gauge Cluster Solution - Hybrid factory gauges with aftermarket  (Read 2104 times)

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Offline Angelo

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Gauge Cluster Solution - Hybrid factory gauges with aftermarket
« on: October 12, 2021, 05:07:52 PM »
Hey Everyone,

I have been looking at the Dakota Digital gauges for a few years, with a plan to upgrade my gauges. This year I got the New Vintage Gauges which are new for our 2nd gens. I got them installed, look great but I'm not happy with a couple things about the setup and I would prefer to have the factory tach and speedometer at this point. One thing they did which is the primary reason I did not like the Dakota Digital gauges is they allow you to keep your original trim rings on your bezel, that way everything looks uniform with the cluster and you don't have gauges literally fastened to your dash bezel.

Trans Am factory gauge clusters (any cluster with a tach) puts oil pressure/water temp right in the middle of the main center cluster. This is great except both the factory oil pressure and water temp gauges are not very accurate. I noticed however the non tach clusters put the fuel gauge in the center. The factory fuel gauge works well, as does the tach, quartz clock and mechanical speedometers. It's just the oil and water gauges that are not accurate. I am aware you can calibrate the senders to fix this, but I rather have aftermarket high quality gauges for these 2 readings.

I have been doing some measurements and took a center cluster fuel gauge and see that it can mount within the location of the factory oil / water gauge, but it means you cannot use the light bulb sockets for the circuit board. I think I can deal with that and put an LED light in that location. More importantly the 2 wire connections for the fuel gauge power and reading wires cannot use the circuit board. I have a solution for this problem, remove the posts and use ring connectors with wires that do not touch the printed circuit board.

Now this leads to the next phase of my project, put autometer oil/water gauges where the fuel/volt meter goes. The New Vintage kit came with special plastic mounts to recess the gauges. For the oil/water gauge locations, they recessed in this pod gauge location with a few layers of plastic. I am now looking at building something similar out of plastic or metal or a little of both for autometer gauges.

It seems to make the 2 gauge pod out of plastic the perfect solution would be using a 3d printer. Has anyone used a 3d printer for printing gauge pods or similar, and how does one go about that?

My goals are to use the factory bezel without having gauges mounted directly to them, use the factory tach, fuel and speedometer in the center cluster, and use aftermarket oil and temp gauges in the 2 gauge pod on the right. I am aware I will be forgoing a volt meter, but I will have one with the USB port hidden in the glove box.

81' (78 clone), House of Kolor Jet Set Black, Pontiac 400 built by DCI Motorsports, FiTech EFI, Tremec 6 speed, 3.73 rear, YearOne 17" snowflake, Pro Touring F-body GT shocks/springs, hydroboost, factory 4 disc, Ram Air Resto + Thrust transverse exhaust.

Offline eviledolean

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Re: Gauge Cluster Solution - Hybrid factory gauges with aftermarket
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 06:37:38 PM »
Sticking with my stock gages here.  The modern one are cool, but I'm just old fashioned.
Founder & President: Southwest Pontiac Car Club - El Paso, Texas


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