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New Gauge Pod... My Design

 
  #1  
Old 05-19-2014, 06:08 AM
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New Gauge Pod... My Design

I have a 5 gauge pod I'm making. I took my gauges out of my truck when I had it up for sale awhile back. I didn't like how I had all 8 gauges in there, I was looking all over the cab to see what was going on with them and that's the last thing anyone should have to do when you're driving down the road. So... Here's my solution. Don't knock it yet obviously it's not finished, I didn't have much time yesterday and work has been extremely busy I may not get back to it for 2 weeks. Keep in mind I'm 6'-1" so I may sit up a little higher then most
Here's the idea
<a href="http://s1243.photobucket.com/user/JOHN20011/media/IMAG1011.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg558/JOHN20011/IMAG1011.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMAG1011.jpg"/></a>

Here's it with the back on
<a href="http://s1243.photobucket.com/user/JOHN20011/media/IMAG1012.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg558/JOHN20011/IMAG1012.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMAG1012.jpg"/></a>

This is from a normal driving height for me, it won't obstruct my view like the first two pictures look like it will
<a href="http://s1243.photobucket.com/user/JOHN20011/media/IMAG1013.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1243.photobucket.com/albums/gg558/JOHN20011/IMAG1013.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMAG1013.jpg"/></a>

Like I said don't bash on it yet this is a very rough idea of what it will be I'm just getting started and wanted to share.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:38 AM
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I think it would look great down just before the defrost vents. I personally would not want it "right in my face" but down a foot or so would look great I think. Subscribing. Can't wait for the finished product
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:46 AM
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The plan is to have it back as far as possible but still maintain the area for the back of the gauges. I also plan to wire a separate dimmer and kill switch into them incase they get overbearing driving at night (which I don't do too often anymore)

EDIT: Here's the plan for the gauges. Left to right, Left Bank EGT, Fuel Pressure, Boost, Trans Temp, and Right Bank EGT
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:08 AM
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I've considered doing something similar by making a template then fiberglassing it, then cover it with vinyl to match the dash. I don't know if I'll go through with it or not, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while. I'm interested to see how this works out.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Pikachu View Post
I've considered doing something similar by making a template then fiberglassing it, then cover it with vinyl to match the dash. I don't know if I'll go through with it or not, but it's been in the back of my mind for a while. I'm interested to see how this works out.
That's been on my mind too. I have all the fiberglass to do it, I may end up making this my template then making a mold and doing it that way. I'm over **** about things I make so I won't be doing that until it is perfect.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:24 PM
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I like it. I am 6'3" and most of my height is torso, so that wouldn't be in my way at all.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:46 PM
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Good beginning, John.

I've been tossing the same idea around in my little bean for a number of years now, and have several issues which I have not yet resolved to my satisfaction.

My approach was/is going to be as follows...

Custom hand-built solid wooden form
Thermoformed plastic housing
Aluminum face plates (modular, 2-gauges per section, can be round gauges or flat panel for switches and/or digital displays, or combo)
Interior paint to match for the thermoformed housing
Powder coated flat black face plates
Up to 7 gauges across the dash

Here are my unresolved issues... I want the entire setup to be removable and returnable to "stock" appearance, and that creates a need for creative solutions to both wiring and mounting techniques.


1. WIRING...
Creative routing so as to require minimal to no drilling through the stock dash surface on top (possibly routing through the defrost ducting, possible use of flat ribbon cable to a junction box under the dash, etc.)

2. MOUNTING...
Potential use of peel & stick HD velcro or hook-n-loop. This really can only be supplemental to minimal drilling through the dash to guarantee solid and firm mounting so that the pod would not become a projectile in the event of a serious crash. The drilled holes can be repaired with color-matched plastic grommets if removal became either necessary or desirable.

There may also be some options for thin flat metal brackets at the existing joints in the stock dash pieces. There might also be a need for some sort of double-sided tape around the perimeter to prevent rattling, squeaking, chattering, etc. from road vibration (this would also prevent creating wear spots on the stock dash, again, in consideration for potential need or desire for removal).

Regardless, with 5-7 gauges on the dash, it is going to be an awkwardly heavy setup mounted on a sloping surface, so the mounting technique needs to be simple but very sturdy. The system will also need to be somewhat easily removable for maintenance for WHEN a particular gauge or two need attention. The maintenance issue might actually be helped by using a two-piece housing cover so that the "top and rear" cover can be removed without having to completely disconnect and remove the entire assembly.

That's why I think there may be some validity in utilizing hook-n-loop fasteners. At the same time, the heat absorbed through the windshield can cause peel-and-stick types of adhesive to let loose, rendering them ineffective, and that is why some type of metal bracket would have to be included at multiple points to keep the unit firmly in place.


Any thoughts on the above issues?
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:56 PM
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Looks like a good project subscribing!
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:56 PM
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I've wanted to do the same thing for years. I just never got a 2 1/4" round tuit! The 99-04 pickup dashboard lends it self very well to the across the top gauge mounting arrangement. As John2001's third picture demonstrates, the gauge faces and mounting bezel does not interfere with sight lines any more than the hood itself. In fact, the hood is still higher.

I've seen this type of gauge mounting before... where people have taken two (and in one case three) surface mount triple hole dash pods and hodged "pod"dged them in a row on tope of the dash. Not quite as elegant as what John2001 is aiming for, but it has been definitely been done before, dating as far back as 1999. Your idea has been considered by big name professionals too. In 2001, Gale Banks talked with me about making a single piece curved across the dash pod like John2001 is building now, but that plan got nixed in favor of newer technology in what eventually became the Power PDA products... which are not as dependent on dashboard shape, which Ford obviously has changed a few times over the last 15 years.

I'm all in favor of using the "dead space" on top of the dash that the hood and wiper cowl block from forward visibility anyways. Nothing to "bash" here. Great job John2001!
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:47 PM
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Thanks guys. I didn't expect so much interest

Jason,
you know how I feel then... Add boots to that and I have a bad tendency of slouching because the world is built for someone a few inches shorter (no offense to anyone)

Pete
1. A rectangular slot just big enough for wiring to fit through. With a piece to look like just another vent gauges are removed, only the guys who know these trucks would notice.
2. Mounting... I haven't thought this through enough to give you a solid answer yet. To cover the rest of your concerns and kinda answer your #2 question the best way off the top of my head is to make another piece shaped to the contours of the dash on the bottom, essentialy boxing the whole setup with a good sized access port at the bottom. Still in the works... Well see where it goes.

Thanks Andrew

Y2KW57
Thanks, I have A LOT of time in how I wanted the gauges to be shaped on the dash... 3 hours maybe cutting and trimming then junking the piece and starting over because I wasn't happy with it, that's all with thick pieces of plastic. It could be easily messed up in shape to block the view of almost anyone. My main objective was to maintain a clear line of sight.
Thanks for calling it elegant. The cool thing is if I ever add a gauge I can always redo the face and use the same template because there's is about an inch or so between each gauge now.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 03:13 PM
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Well, you bring up a great point about one's eyes being "scattered all over the truck" looking at ash tray pods, inside rear view mirror pods, pillar pods, and the latest craze... arm rest pods in the form of tablets. The idea of having gauges high on top of the dash, just underneath the windscreen, is the closest one can get to "heads up display."

Toyota attempts this level of ergonomics with their digital instrumentation in the Prius, placing it all the way forward where the defrost vents in most cars are found, and situating it somewhat more centered, as opposed to directly in front of the driver, because the driver's eyes tend to average on the forward center of the windshield, scanning for intruders (cross traffic, cyclists, pedestrians, deer, *****, kids, dogs, parked car door openings, etc) from the right just as much, if not more so, as oncoming traffic from the left.

I'd suggest that a little less space is required between your circles, and that you can add a circle or two on the right hand side toward the radio, and perhaps that will give you enough holes to delete your A pillar pod altogether.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JOHN2001 View Post
EDIT: Here's the plan for the gauges. Left to right, Left Bank EGT, Fuel Pressure, Boost, Trans Temp, and Right Bank EGT

I like it!

My two cents:

1) I'll echo Y2KW57 and recommend the gauges occupy only the view already obscured by the hood.

2) put the left and right EGT gauges together. You'll want to compare L to R so it's easier that way. I'd order them L to R: Boost, EGTs, Trans, Fuel. Most movement outside and least movement (generally) toward center of truck, and most frequently observed right in front of you.

3) (inflation ya know!) keep the cover dark so it does not reflect in the glass.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by aawlberninf350 View Post
put the left and right EGT gauges together.
Or get one of the fancy-schmancy dual pyrometer gauges that ISSPRO makes!
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Pikachu View Post
Or get one of the fancy-schmancy dual pyrometer gauges that ISSPRO makes!
Sproing! Only Isspro I can find tops out at 1200F. Link pretty-please?
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:15 PM
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