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System Monitoring with Guage Triggers

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BorregoK5, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    I'm looking for interesting ideas on how to trigger warning lights/bells from these old chevy guage clusters. For instance when oil pressure suddenly drops have a buzzer or bell go off. This could be used to kill the ignition as well in cases of no pressure. I know of some of these high dollar add in systems but I'd like to keep the price down. Anyone?

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  2. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    Just copy the circuit out of an "Idiot Light" instrument panel....instead of a light...turn on a buzzer, bell or horn. You might have to go with a relay. I can look into it if you really wanna do it...pm me.

    Michael[​IMG]
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  3. ducati-cooter

    ducati-cooter Registered Member

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    on the newer vehicle's like the 97 and up cars and 99 and up trucks (GM) the fuel pump will shut off with a loss of oil pressure
     
  4. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    technology is starting to replace driver common sense, and its beginning to bother me. there are certain things on a vehicle that should be controlled by the driver. and if the driver cant see the oil pressure drop he/ she is Sh1t outta luck.
    the only thing i cant controll on my truck is the trans, and you know what, that is the only thing that pisses me off, the trans[​IMG] sorryto get off subject

    beligerence doesn't justify intelligence.
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  5. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    The senders for idiot lights are set up to "switch" at a certain pressure, temp etc. If your oil pressure drops below x amount the switch closes and the light is grounded making it come on. LMC, among others, sells a whole array of switches, unfortunately they are not marked as to what temp or pressure the switch occurs. There are several aftermarket companies that sell temp switches....usually the electric fan people will have them. I would think monitoring the systems with additional sensors would be much easier than trying to interface with the senders you already have. Autozone, etc. may have the values listed on the switches, but you may have to try an old-fahioned parts store. I would consider hooking them up to one of the new really bright LEDs...they could be mounted very nicely in your current bezel. I usually have the stereo cranked too loud to hear a pesky buzzer anyway! [​IMG]

    Michael[​IMG]
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  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I used to work at a place that built industrial generator sets. They were all set up with guages that could be set for min/max values before shutdown would occur. I am pretty sure all the guages we used were Stewart Warner, and I'm certain they were all adjustable. Prolly not a cheap set-up though[​IMG]

    Rene

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  7. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with you TorkDSR to an extent. We should all be dilligent in watching our gauges but sometimes the terrain is more important. It only takes a few seconds with no oil pressure to cause irreplaceable damage especially at higher rpms. This effort was not to eliminate driver monitoring but add a second safe guard with a reasonably inexpensive circut. I'm sure my wife doesn't pay as much attention to the guages as I do and she doesn't drive it as hard but sh!t happens. I know I've been on long boring trips on the freeway when an odd noise or surge in power alerted me to the skewed guages where I immediately shut down... and had damage. Frankly, I hate idiot lights when they replace guages but the two together is rather smart. I like when my BMW tells me its "35 deg outside" so watch for ice, or your "coolent level is low". It keeps me from slackin [​IMG]!

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  8. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Michael I saw the LMC switches. I'd rather not have to add a whole second set of sending units for all my monitoring but then again redundency is good. I'm working out a transistor based circuit now that will "monitor" (I use that term loosely) the GM sending signals patched in from behind the dash. If I can gather what the ranges of resistance for each of the GM sending units (temp, pressure, fuel, trans...) I should be able to throw in some potentiometers to customize at which point the transistor activates and throws a warning. for instance, I'd rather not wait untill 0 psi on the oil. I know the fuel sender is 0 to 90 ohm, anyone have oil and temp?

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/borregok5> Pictures</a>
     
  9. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    It still seems to me adding two-three sensors to the block woul be much easier than fabbing up electronics. I have done electronics for 30 years and I wouldn't want to hassle with it....maybe I'm gettin' lazy! I'm not sure how you are going to "monitor" the 0-90 ohm fuel circuit without changing the resistance and affecting the accuracy of the exsisting gauge. I'm not saying that it can't be done, because I get a low fuel warning on my Intrepid, but that's a whole different enchilada.... The existing idiot light switches don't necessarilyswitch at 0 psi, they have ranges available. Same with water and oil temp....lots of diferent switch points. But, to answer your last request...I'm not sure on the resistance of the H20 and Oil senders...got an ohmmeter?[​IMG]

    Eagle....if you're still out there.....give us guidance.....

    Michael[​IMG]
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  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Jegs and Summit both sell relativly cheap set ups to do what you want. They have a light very simular to a shift light you see on racing tach's you can put on the colum , A-Piller, top of dash or roll cage. Nice bright light. If you lose oil pressure or over heat the light comes on to catch your attention.
    I have been seeriously thinking about going to these. You nose a truck down enough your going to suck air on the oil pump, I have done it and I have seen people do it and I'm pretty sure I ruined a set of main bearings as a result in the Lady's 79. Got stuck nose down for a while and I think I ran the engine dry.
    In a offroad situation sometimes there is to much going on that you don't remember to check your gages. having an idiot light there to catch your attention is not a bad idea.

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