Progress Thread Auto Meter Gauge Cluster

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Kumm3, Feb 7, 2014.


  1. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    Figured that i should start this thread because maybe it will help others looking to do the same type of gauge swap.

    Anyways, I found a guy locally on CL selling Ultra Lite gauges, i.e. 3-3.8 Tach and Speedo, and 2-1/16 boost and fuel. Guy was basically giving them away for less than the cost of the speedo brand new, I couldn't pass it up.

    Sold the Boost gauge since i don't need that, bought a 2-1/16 Mech Oil Pressure gauge. I had a 2-5/8 Mech in my pillar, along with a 2-5/8 tach which were both sold on ebay along with the boost gauge. Net cost so far, roughly 40 bucks in my pocket.

    So the previous owner had the gauges mounted in a black press board panel. This will just not do. I debated using a Carbon Fiber panel, but cutting with a hole saw in CF seemed to be impossible. So i decided to use 3/16' ABS. I had some 3M Dinoc CF matte vinyl that i was planning on using on my switch plates, so i figured i would just wrap the panel in that to give it a little more "Style". (Gotta count for something)

    So i made a template out of cardboard. A few templates actually. just to make sure that i have the spacing right, and i like the design. Finally nailed down something that i like and will make the most sense. (subconsciously, i copied the layout of the 09-12 Ram 1500s, of which i own one.)

    Next move, buying the hole saws. Easier said than done. Not a common size in a B&M store. Amazon saved me there. Fast forward to delivery day, hole saws get put to use.

    Panel get cut and trimmed with the hole saws and a multi saw, which works amazing BTW. Gauges get mounted, panel gets mounted, all looks good, right?

    I only wish. The dash needs to be trimmed to make clearance for the size of the gauges, which are deeper than the stock cluster. So there is another road block.

    While this is all going on, i decide i do NOT want to use the nylon line that auto meter supplies with the oil pressure gauge. I had the larger gauge in my pillar leak and completely ruin my door panel, never again. So I settled on going with -4AN braided line to supply the gauge. Found a guy on Ebay selling used AN lines and fittings off a NASCAR cup car. Lightweight versions to boot. so now i have 4 lines of varying lengths all with crimped connections, score!

    So i also pick up the 1/8" to -4an restrictor fitting that Autometer sells, along with the adapter for the gauge, and I'm good to go.

    Wait, what about indicators? Im glad you asked. I didn't want to use the standard round LEDs that i see on the Florida 5.0 clusters (no offense to any F5.0 guys out there, just not my style). After a lot of searching, i narrowed it down to a rear mount 7 panel indicator from New Vintage USA.

    And thats where i am left now. Waiting for the indicator panel to be delivered (Damn Snow!) All the wires have been purchased, along with weather pack connectors, split loom, heat shrink etc.....

    So enjoy the pictures.

    [​IMG]

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    Ill update this as i go. The wiring and indicator panels are next on the list. Hopefully this will help at least one person.
  2. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    The indicator panel came in today. Going to mount it up and get the face of the cluster ready for the Dinoc, then its time for the nightmare that is wiring.

    [​IMG]
  3. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    Ok, mounting plate, vinyl overlay, and indicator panel are all complete. Wiring is on the agenda for today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  4. boostfrk

    boostfrk Active Member

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    Nice, I like it!
  5. Grabbin' Asphalt

    Grabbin' Asphalt Mustang Master

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    Those are cool :nice:
  6. tonydalrymple

    tonydalrymple Active Member

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  7. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    More progress. Have the entire cluster wired, 4 hours of my life and yet only 2 beers down....hmm.

    I left them extra long in case i need to pull the cluster to do some troubleshooting, the factory 2" of slack just won't cut it for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next move is to get the LED lighting in, speedo adapter, and then tap into the factory wiring. I swear, i can rebuild a 302 in less time than this is taking me!
    stangboy likes this.
  8. Grabbin' Asphalt

    Grabbin' Asphalt Mustang Master

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    How much you charge for that....lol
  9. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    Labor + Materials = just keep giving me your paychecks lol
  10. Chuckman

    Chuckman Active Member

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    you know, about a month ago i saw someone on corral replace his 87+ gauges with autometers drilling the stock cluster, and now you're making youre own panel inside the stock cluster housing. looks like florida5.0 and mcmachine may as well just give up now if its now as simple to do this to the 87+ as it is to do for the 86-.

    btw, are you just going to splice those indicators into the factory wiring somehow, or you re-running the whole thing?
  11. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    I wouldn't call it simple. Definitely took up a decent chunk of time to do all this. MC machine gives you the indicators, panel and predrills everything for you. Those parts and hole saws alone were about $100. Factor in about another 40 bucks in wiring supplies and the MC machine doesn't look like such a bad idea.

    I just wanted something different than the stock gauge layout.


    And yes, I'm going to splice into the factory wiring, if that doesn't work, then I will have no choice but to run new wires.
  12. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    How much was that indicator panel? I'm not a fan of the f5.0 led indicators either.
  13. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    It was $62 not including shipping. New Vintage also has a 2-1/16 gauge that has high beam turn indicators, and a generic warning light that can be used for a number of things.

    Definitely cleaner than a round LED with no label.
  14. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    Nice. I dig it. That's the only thing that has turned me off of a custom cluster. Definitely worth the 62 bones.
  15. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    Yeah i agree, actually makes it look like the indicators weren't an afterthought.
  16. Grabbin' Asphalt

    Grabbin' Asphalt Mustang Master

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    Yup, well worth it to have indicators for sure.
  17. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    The blue LEDs came in today. Installed and realized that i should have went with white. Dials can barely be seen in a dark room. So white LEDs were ordered tonight.

    Also, the Speedo adapter was delivered yesterday. I had to clearance the hole on the speedo bracket as it was .965" and the knurled part of the adapter was .980". Did some machine work and everything is set now.

    I added a few zip ties to the wiring as well. I didn't like the way the wiring just hung off the gauges before it went into the braided loom. A little extra securement never hurt anyone.

    So once the new LEDs come in I will get this thing installed and operational in the car. Pics will follow soon after that.
    Grabbin' Asphalt likes this.
  18. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    Finished product finally installed with white LEDs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    But, it all has to come out. Forgot the resistor to make the alternator charge. Other than that, the only thing that is making me scratch my head is the High Beam indicator. Flash to pass it comes on, but it won't come on when i push the lever forward for high beams. Definite head scratcher.
  19. MikeH686

    MikeH686 Mine is only two inches though.

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    Let me Ask this since your using auto meter gauges what bulbs are those you used I just noticed one of mine has burned out and I definitely would like to get a few extras in case it happens again
  20. Kumm3

    Kumm3 Founding Member

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    They are some eBay specials. All but the water temp are using the metal collared one. The water temp has the 10LED in it because for some reason it was dimmer than the rest as you can see in the pic.

    Attached Files:

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