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Idiot lights, switching to gauges?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by stockk5, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. stockk5

    stockk5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    My 87 just has the idiot light for my temp/bat bla bla.. how complex is it to switch it to a set of real gauges, i have a few sets of them, just wondering if i can take apart my dash, take the current lights out and plug in the new ones? or any details of what i need to do in order to do this would be great.
     
  2. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    mmm sounds like a good tech article to me.*thinks about writing one*

    OK the third time this month!
    You need to get different sending units for the oil pressure and water temp. I traced the copper curicut plastic on gauge cluster to get what wire was what. I then got a print out of the wire connector from AllData and checked the wires from engine compartment into the cluster connector. My gauges were out of a 1989 so I could check plug but I used a small flat head screw driver and pulled each wire out of plastic plug. I then plugged them into it in order that they needed to be for gauges. I had to add a ground wire but that was it. Others have said they just unplugged the lights and plugged in gauges. I however think they are full of it because the sending unit for light is different than gauge unit.

    Here is what the wires went to for my set up.
    1989 wires for lights were:
    1. light green: hi beam indicator
    2. Grey: dash illum
    3. black: volts /dash illum
    4. pink/black tracer: volts
    5. tan: oil sender unit
    6. pink/black tracer: oil, temp and fuel gauges
    7. pink: fuel sender
    8. black: fuel ground/ illum
    9. green: temp sender

    18. pink:
    17. dbl tan/white tracer: brake light
    16. pink/black tracer: check engine
    15. black: check engine ground
    14. BLANK(empty)
    13. yellow: seat belt light
    12. dark blue: right turn indicator
    11. light blue: left turn indicator
    10. black: illum ground

    The plastic plug has numbers on the side of it.

    1 18
    2 17
    3 16
    4 15
    5 14
    6 13
    7 12
    8 11
    9 10

    If you just want easy go get a set of sunpro 1 1/2" gauges from auto zone Sunpro part number CP8090 msrp $34.99 take the idiot light bulb out and remove the red plastic off the light covers insert the gauges into the cluster plastic and hook em up.
    You can get wire diagrams at Slosh and auto zones web site too
     
  3. mike n

    mike n 1/2 ton status

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    If you choose to go this route be sure to leave the Battery light intact, as it is part of the field circuit that switches the alternator on.
     
  4. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Ran mine for three months with out any gauges or idiot lights and never had a problem. At night and day time plus had blower going, wipers and radio too!

    ... mmmmm must be all that positive energy I have?

    not calling anyone any names. Just what I have done, did and how it worked for me.
     
  5. blazeonchevy

    blazeonchevy 1/2 ton status

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    i just put a temp gauge in today. wasnt hard to do. got it from a local auto parts place for 15 bucks and it came with adapters to put the probe in. then just find the hot wire for the old gauge and splice it in if its a light up one. mine is but i didnt do that yet.
    and agreeing with Metrodps i have also ran my truck with the whole gauge cluster unplugged and it worked just fine. i do need to figure out all the gauges in my truck though. i REALLY need to figure out the gas gauge....with prices as they are i would like to go as long as i can between filling i know it doesnt make a difference as to how much you put in but the $$ issue is what im talking about. my voltmeter used to read right at 13 but now it reads 15 all the time:doah: so i would like to know what goes into that aswell. sorry for the semi-hijack. sam
     

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