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Swap from no factory tach to one with tach?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by AntAZBlaz, May 3, 2002.

  1. AntAZBlaz

    AntAZBlaz 1/2 ton status

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    Hey
    Does any one know what would need to be done in order to switch from a guage cluster that does not have the factory to one that does? I was looking around on e-bay and I found someone selling a guage cluster that had a factory and I would love to have one unless it involves more work than it’s worth. Thanks for any info.
    Anthony
     
  2. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    I did this with my '73. I believe mine was from a different year, so I had to re-do the temperature gauge (vs. temp light), and the brake light had to be rewired.

    Basically, I traced the wiring on the gauge cluster and marked and switched my harness to accomodate. The harness wires pull out after you push the lock in (hard to describe). Then I was able to move my wiring about as indicated above.

    Good luck.
    I really like the in dash gauge vs, the funny aftermarket one.
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Realize that 81-up clusters are not 80-older clusters. the font is different, and yours has VSS (transmission lockup control) on the speedo, which a pre 81(? maybe 82) will not.

    It can be made to work, but you'd have to do the whole swap, but either lose VSS or figure out how to fit it to the older speedo. The speedo cable connection may be different as well. IMO not worth going to an earlier cluster just for the tach.
     
  4. AntAZBlaz

    AntAZBlaz 1/2 ton status

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    The cluster that I’m looking at is out of an 81. Are there wires already installed to where I could hook up the tachometer with some work or would it be the same hooking up a brand new tachometer?
    Anthony
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    My trucks harnesses (various 81-87's when I was assembling it) had no wiring for the tach. It should be fairly straight forward, only the tach lead to the dist. needs to go through the firewall (plenty of locations for that pre-existing) and the ground and ign 12v can both be set up using factory conectors from the wrecking yard. Ground to the ground block under dash on the drivers side, and 12v ignition right off the acc. connectors on the fuse panel.
     
  6. AntAZBlaz

    AntAZBlaz 1/2 ton status

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    Hey
    Thanks for the information. I’ll probably do that as a project when I get some money. I’ve always wanted a factory looking tachometer in the dash. It sounds like it wouldn’t be that hard to do. Looks like a $250 project by the time I add changing the gauges to white and wire.
    Anthony
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    As well, some of the late 70's/early 80's camaro's tachs are close enough to pass as the right tachs. Check out some of the f-truck photos on my link below if you are interested in what they can look like. Fuel gauge is from a camaro too. It's even more work, but worth the money that the factory tachs are going for? Oh yeah. It's not *that* hard either.
     
  8. 1bad82k5

    1bad82k5 1/2 ton status

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    I took the entire cluster out of a 78 3/4 ton and plugged it right in where my other one was (82 k5). I wired up the tach, and everything else works just fine.
    eric
     
  9. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I want to replace all my factory gauges with Autometer. If not that, Dakota Digital makes a really cool digital dash.
     
  10. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

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    When i did the ebay swap on my 79 it was a total plug in play deal....73 - 80 tach dashes were either manual oil psi (early models) or electric from about 78 up...as long as you get the harness for it also its really easy to hook up...i have the 86 wiring diagrams that you can borrow if needed. It would be a lilttle more work if your K5 was a strip model....ie: Lights no gauges...but since yours is not should be an easy deal.

    Azblazer
     
  11. AntAZBlaz

    AntAZBlaz 1/2 ton status

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    Hey
    Thanks for all the information if I had some money I would do it right now but I just paid for my headers, that showed up today, and I still have to pay to have them installed. I might get this post going again if I start earning some money this summer though. At least I know it can be done now. Thanks
    Anthony
     

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