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Modding a factory gauge cluster to fit Autometer gauges

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:27 PM
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Question Modding a factory gauge cluster to fit Autometer gauges

I eventually plan to get a new complete set of Autometer gauges for my truck (see link below for pics). I don't want to cut up the dash to mount them though. I had an idea to modify a factory gauge cluster body to fit the new gauges. I currently plan on having a tach and speedo (3 3/8" diameter) and four smaller gauges for volts, temp, oil and fuel level (2 1/16" diameter). The final design would be such that I could remove the gauges as a group, have the clear plastic cover in place, and maybe even have the trip odometer reset button be able to press the calibration button on the new speedo.

Right now I'm just trying to get some ideas rolling on how I'd pull this off. If there's some way I could wire the gauges through the factory circuit film, that'd be even better. I'm just not sure if the contacts on the film for, say, the water temp gauge, are for gauge power and the sending unit. If going through the circuit film would be too much trouble, I could just put something together to bypass it, or somehow keep the film in place but wire the gauges by hand.

Auto Meter ES Series Gauges - JEGS
 
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:35 PM
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I cant wait for updates. Id love to do this with mine
 
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:17 PM
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In the intrest of saving your cluster, you could just make a flat panel the size and shape of the front of the cluster in which to mount your new gauges. Then you could just bolt on the clear lens from the original cluster and bolt in the panel and wire it up. Your cluster would remain whole, except for using the lens and you could design the look of it however you want. Seems like just a piece of 3/8" MDF would suffice.
 
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:17 PM
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That's a great idea!

I had an idea for how I'd wire it too. I'd get my gauges mounted; I would then get some short bolts and mount them onto the panel in such a way that I can use them for power distribution (yet they wouldn't be visible from the front of the panel).

For example, I would have one main power lead from my addon fuse panel going to the bolt, and all the gauges' power wires would connect to that bolt with eyelet connectors. Same with the power for the lights and ground connections. I would find some sort of connector for the sending unit leads though, since you can't combine them into one connection.

It may be a year at the least before I can get the gauges (they cost money, I have little), but as I can afford it, I could start putting the panel together as a project and use a spare 2-1/16" voltmeter I have as a template for the smaller holes.

I will still need to address the various indicator lamps on the factory cluster though. Any ideas?

I've seen custom gauge panels on here, but none of them really were what I want. I'd like to retain my AC vents and an overall factory appearance, while still having modern gauges.
 
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:15 AM
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this one is a sweet set up not mine its what blue80 did to his
 
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:43 AM
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The warning lights are in their original location, however I've soldered wires to the back as they don't use the original circuit board. I completely rewired the truck so I couldn't suggest how to incorporate them into the original wiring.


 
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:46 AM
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Don't the factory cruise control modules take the input from a speedometer cable and convert it to an electrical signal? I wonder why you couldn't use one just for this purpose, and use that electrical signal to feed an aftermarket speedometer. The 8.8 axles and the older BW1356 transfer cases also have the ability to use electronic vehicle speed sensors (VSS) which feeds the speedometer on the newer clusters. If you found an easy way to use another speedometer you could modify a junkyard cluster anyway you wanted, and then hook it to the necessary wires in the factory harness with wire taps.
 
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ozstang65 View Post




The warning lights are in their original location, however I've soldered wires to the back as they don't use the original circuit board. I completely rewired the truck so I couldn't suggest how to incorporate them into the original wiring.


I love the way yours turned out. Looks awesome
 
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ozstang65 View Post




The warning lights are in their original location, however I've soldered wires to the back as they don't use the original circuit board. I completely rewired the truck so I couldn't suggest how to incorporate them into the original wiring.


Did you do this yourself?

If so how?

I'd love to do something like this on mine.
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ozstang65 View Post




The warning lights are in their original location, however I've soldered wires to the back as they don't use the original circuit board. I completely rewired the truck so I couldn't suggest how to incorporate them into the original wiring.


That is exactly how I want my interior to look!!!! Did you make any plans up for the center console? And what year/model car are the seats from? Awesome effort on the truck mate
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by masseysbronco View Post
Don't the factory cruise control modules take the input from a speedometer cable and convert it to an electrical signal? I wonder why you couldn't use one just for this purpose, and use that electrical signal to feed an aftermarket speedometer. The 8.8 axles and the older BW1356 transfer cases also have the ability to use electronic vehicle speed sensors (VSS) which feeds the speedometer on the newer clusters. If you found an easy way to use another speedometer you could modify a junkyard cluster anyway you wanted, and then hook it to the necessary wires in the factory harness with wire taps.
There's an inline adapter that goes into the trans/transfer case that gives you the electronic adapter. They even used it with the E4OD from 89-91. It generates 8 pulses per rev and should work with any trans/TCase offered or even swapped.

F-series from 84-91, Vehicle/transmission speed sensor.

Standard motor parts - SC46
Also, Motorcraft DY382
Also, E3AF9E731, E3AF9E731AB, E3AZ9E731A, E6DF9E731CA, E6DZ9E731C, E9TA9E731AA, E9TZ9E731A, F3AF9E731AB, F3AZ9E731A
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:17 PM
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This topic is over a year old. lol
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:30 PM
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/80-86-Ford-Pickup-Black-Dash-Carrier-Panel-w-AM-Phantom-Mechanical-Guages-/271020760602?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Make%3AFord%7CModel%3AF-150&hash=item3f1a189e1a
Lots of these on e-bay, but they are not cheap.
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKirbyMan View Post
This topic is over a year old. lol
Well... did you ever modify your dash? Or did you just stick with factory guages or other aftermarket guage locations?
 
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:04 PM
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Iv been tossin the idea of doin a cluster that looks like a kenworth. Not quite sure how to make it look right.
 
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