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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(3rd pic added at bottom of page)
I'm almost finished, still have some final finishing to do, the opening is more skewed than I originally suspected. What ashtray?! ;)

Overall view.


Detail, showing the angled rings.

I'm not a fan of the red needles, but the Isspro gauges were only available in 2 1/8", and I really wanted 2 5/8" diameter.

More to come, but right now I'm off to the coast for a few days! :cool:
 

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Looks very neat, almost stock, particularly the silver bezels which go well with the silver gearshift surround.

Won't you need to take your eyes off the road a little too much though?
 

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voodoochile said:
I'm not a fan of the red needles, but the Isspro gauges were only available in 2 1/8", and I really wanted 2 5/8" diameter.
I think the red needles look great. I'm a function over form kind of guy. If you're going to mount the gauges low, I think those big red needles will be easier to eyeball.

Overall, I think this looks like a great job! Well done!

Am I the only one who would go crazy without the ashtray? I don't smoke, but I'm always throwing candy wrappers, toothpicks, and dirt from the floor in there.
 

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I was waiting for someone to mount guages below the ash tray. Looks perfect! Can't wait for you to post instructions!!!
 

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Ctrlz... im sorry, but did you say that you pick up ..dirt? lol, im just breakin your stones... but that IS funny.;)

PS. Mark.. GREAT install bud. did Cullen do the EGT sensor? im still wanting that boost gauge. lemme know.

Dean
 

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Hey Mark,

Looks great! What did you do for trimming around the gaping hole? I can't see past the shadow behind the gauges.

Jerry
 

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Wow, this looks incredible. Thats just sick. Very very nice job man. Id like to see instructions and more pics to see what happened in that sections with the ashtray out.
 

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Like Dave said....

How do you get data from these guages while at speed?

The entire car is engineered to minimize taking your eyes off the road, from the angled dash to the radio controls on the wheel.

As a bit of bling, the guage setup looks amazing. Absolutely first rate job. But I wouldn't recommend trying to figure out your boost levels while moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for the nice comments!

The location isn't ideal by a longshot; it is far from the top/center. But like others, I did not want to obstruct the odometer (now that could be located anywhere, right?), and disabling the A-pillar airbag didn't seem like a good idea, not to mention that that location looks a bit too street-boy faux-racer for me.

Functionally, I wanted the gauges so I could better monitor what is happening with boost when I am curious. I don't drive and shift by the boost gauge, so it's really just a curiosity satisfier. The EGT is nice to see what is going on under full boost. The temp does rise very quickly. Just knowing where it normally sits, regardless of reading, is nice to know so that I could note an increase in typical temps. A Halmeter is planned for the steering column, which will fit without blocking the odo or the traction icon. That's a better indication of rich/lean, but the pyro is still handy for monitoring the general operating environment, especially when tuned or running hard. I can see if things are heating up higher than typical, yet there is not really a need to monitor it on a moment-by-moment basis. The tach is the only instrument that requires that much attention, and even then only under hard acceleration (imho).

There is no mission-critical data here that I need to know in a heartbeat while driving, and I have found that a quick glance down there is pretty much indifferent from a quick glance at the regular (and albeit useless) boost gauge. Your eyes are still away from the road for a moment. It's not like you are taking a quick look into the backseat! ;) That said, I wish they would move the A/C control panel to the bottom of the stack, then have the disc loader, then the radio/'tainment fluff. Keep the A/C ducts high where they are, but have a DIN-sized opening between the stereo and the ducts, with either a candy-wrapper and dirt bin (sorry ctrlz ;) ) or blanking panel or equalizer there. Then it would be a snap to do something like this.

I did want it to look as factory as possible, and started with a single auto-gage boost gauge, which was backlit and had a white needle. Looked and worked great, but only went to 20 lbs. (not high enough for an T engine with PPC), and also did not offer an EGT gauge to match. If I went with 2.1/8", I'd have gone with either Isspro or VDO, both backlit. Isspro has white needles but costs quite a bit more than VDO, which has red needles but is still backlit. The Autometer Sport-Comp are edge-lit, which is not bad on it's own, but the pyrometer is electronic and the boost is mechanical. So they illuminate differently if you use the same bulb! A LOT differently. I was pretty bummed out at first. I ended up with cluster LED modules in green, and had to block most of the pyrometer's lamp to match the mostly-blocked illumination of the boost gauge. I do plan to take the boost gauge apart and mount four green LEDs around the rear perimeter and wire them up in series, so that they illuminate the ring directly. Then it should match the pyrometer at full brightness. Right now they both match each other, but are a bit dim, and match the dash only when the dash is dimmed. Not being backlit, they need to be a little brighter. Oh well, that is the price I paid for going after 2.5/8" gauges I guess.

I will try to get some better pics with more detail soon, these were very quick shots. I'll also include some details on the install process itself. No big surprises though. In a nutshell, the gauges are mounted in an autometer aluminum panel, with another trim backer cut to fit that mounts between the gauge angle rings and the aluminum plate, trimmed to fit the opening. The trim is some grained PVC material I scrounged from a notebook cover that matches the dash material quite well. I wanted some leather, but it (of course) does not match as well, seeing as the dash is after all plastic. So regrettably, the plastic notebook cover matches very well. :roll:

I can still access the lower catch tray, though not as easily as before. Things generally stay situated near the front due to the rubber mat anyway, so it's pretty functional still. I want to add a coaxial DC jack in the upper right corner to replace the lighter outlet, and will make a little adapter with a normal lighter socket on one end and a barrel plug on the other for the DC jack. Maybe. I seldom use that outlet anyway, and have the other one on the armrest.

BTW, Dean... yes, Cullen installed the thermocouple for me. I did all the rest, being the tightwad that I am. Works great, and the cable routing is very direct, with only about 9" in the engine bay. The balance is coiled up on the tunnel under the dash, as you cannot shorten it. Perfect!

(edited for nasty typing!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got switched +12v, -12v, and +12v lighting leads from the lighter plug fitting. I crimped on spades that plug into the existing lighter connector, so I can unplug it all and replace it with the ashtray if I like. Nothing was cut.

The wires route behind and above the gauges, just beneath the CD drive. There is a gap created when you remove the ashtray insert.

As for the thermocouple leads and the boost tubing, I ran them through the seal around the steering column. That was not much fun, but it worked very well, especially for the thermocouople leads. The excess TC leads are coiled and wire-tied and sitting on the hump inside the center console. I removed the driver's side trim panel along the center console. This is a lot easier than it sounds. One torx screw and it slides right out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is a better pic showing the grain of the plastic trim,
and the angled ring mounts.


The bracket was a normal two-hole autometer model. I was considering bending it to make it less than 90 degrees, so it would tilt outward to match the curve of the console, but it is quite thick, and I didn't think I could do it without bending the face of the bracket. I may make one custom from scratch. Instead, I left the bracket at 90 degrees, and used the angled rings. This was nice because I could angle them up and also to the left a bit.

I measured the width at the top and bottom after temporarily mounting the bracket to make a template for the trim piece. Pretty straightforward. After removing the ashtray, there is some raw foam from the dash pad molding that is exposed and cream-colored. I touched it up with a permanent Sharpie marker before I mounted the gauges, even though it should be well concealed by either the gauge mount or the ashtray, regardless.

To mount them, if you use angled rings, you do have to modify the gauge openings a bit to make them elliptical. Tedious, but workable! Then I mounted the ring to the gauge, fastened the trim to the bracket with some contact cement, then mounted the ringed gauges to the trimmed panel. I pre-wored it up so I was left with three connections to make: +12v switched, +12v lighting, and ground. These were terminated with spades that fit the plug pulled from the lighter mount.

I used some exterior grade 3M mounting tape (the thin gray rubbery kind) to mount the bracket... not the white foamy double-faced tape. I also used this to temporarily hold the former gauge panel in place, and it holds very tightly, as I found out when I went to remove it from the bottom of the CD transport to install this setup. Rugged stuff, and it grabs tight the first time, so youo really want to have it located right when you attach it.

The car is going in tomorrow for a 30k checkup and also oil change and passenger seat sensor replacement :)roll: ), so I'll see what the service tech thinks by tomorrow...:nono; :lol: . They are pretty good to me, though, I feel fortunate after hearing so many horror stories of bad dealerships.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
From Don at eGauges.com. I found them while looking for Isspro and VDO. They have a very wide selection, including Defi ($$$$), which is really nice.
No gReddy or HKS though, but those are easy to find elsewhere.
 

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Thanks.

Initially, the boost meter was on the panel itself, blocking off the 4000rpm onwards and the defi-link display was on top of the steering column.

it didnt look neat with wires running round, and once I started to track the car, I realised that a lot of my power is in the upper RPM range, and I wanted to monitor how it pulled.

Relocated it at the ICE shop when I installed an independant Alpine HU.

Yes, the steering wheel emblem is custom made. Got one set for the wheels and another set for the front and rear boot/bonnet emblems.

Currently setup is reading Boost, Oil Temp and EGT. If I want to get more readings, I just got to get the water temp sensor, oil and fuel pressure sensors.

Only thing that can't work well is the speed and RPM reader. apparently the diviser/dividing "factor" doesn't work with our CAN bus system.

EGT Max is 810 degrees C with a 3" dp and cat back
Boost spike is 1.75-1.8. sustainable at 1.6.
at max speed, boost seems to be at 0.5-1.0 to maintain speeds above 230kmh.
Max oil temp at those speeds and ambient temp of 26 degrees is 107 degrees running at 230 for more than 30 mins.
Average Oil temp is 83-89 degrees C
had oil temp of 99-105 before, but that was due to a failing of one of 2 radiator fans. When 2nd one failed, oil temp shot up to 117 and aircon stopped working. Replaced it and now its back to normal. No FMIC yet..... sigh. Running on 15W50 Mobil 1 turbo racing oil.
Formerly on Amsoil 0W30 which ran great! but once I started to push the car hard and long on the track, it ate lotsa oil. 15W50 is much much better for that application. Those who don't track, 0W30 is excellent, those who do, please change out to something thicker.
 
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