Custom Gauge Cluster

Modified FSJ Tech Area
weeegoneeer
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:34 am

Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby weeegoneeer » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:54 pm

Hey guys!

Posted this on the other forum, thought I'd post here as well. Long story short, I really wanted a tach, and also really wanted to move my wideband air/fuel readout from my innovate LM-2 I had in the glovebox to a dash readout. Wideband AFR has been awesome for keeping the Holley in tune, and also to re-jet when driving into altitude.

BUT, I really hated what my options looked like - all of them looked too high tech or were too busy and generally took away from the design esthetic I love about these old trucks.

So, in looking at the Dakota Digital VHX line of gauges, I saw that everything I wanted was available.
BIM Module to read from my AFR? Check!
Tach? Check!
Keep the factory turn signals? Check!
Keep the factory bezel? Check!

BUT, I really didn't like the design. Also that with a redline of 4,500 I'd never get close to the 8,000 on the stock tach, and I'd NEVER see above 85 MPH. So I called them & asked if I could supply Adobe Illustrator files with what I wanted it to look like. CHECK!!!

I worked with Scott through the process, was super awesome. They had to custom program the sweeps to be in line with my shorter design. Really like that he was able to hang with me and with me being super picky, and he wanted to make sure I was totally psyched with the end product. Told him that if other people wanted my design it's OK with me.

Anyway, hacked apart the old harness, installed their temp sender and oil pressure sender, wired the BIM into my Innovate LM-2 for the AFR readout, wired in the brain and installed. Works with the stock fuel sender, and installation wasn't bad at all.

As a bonus, I can actually see the needles at night and during the day since you can set daytime/nighttime illumination for needles and backlight.

AND, this is probably the best part ever - my voltmeter has the actual lightning bolt from the AC/DC logo as the icon!

Also took the moment to do a proper ammeter bypass so I'd be able to supply the voltmeter (post '86 need not worry).

Incidentally, if anyone needs an '84 gauge cluster with 163,000 on the clock and super perfect for free, let me know!

Here's what we started with: Image

Here's an early design photo: Image

A photo of it uninstalled: Image

And a photo of the installation: Image

Here's a video of the illumination/startup: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ozmqwnmz5frw0p/IMG_2461.MOV

In general, my favorite thing here is that I have AFR on the dash all the time. It's been helping me decide shooter size, accelerator cam profile, powervalve size, jet sizing. Really think that dudes in the '70's who read plugs are savants and need to be venerated, can't even imagine doing that!

Also, being able to get 1/4 mile times / speed and service alerts and so much other stuff. I'm a big sucker for older tech like carburetors and mechanical fuel pumps and the FSJ / things I understand in general, but this cluster has increased my enjoyment of my vehicle 10x.

Rockon!
1984 GW

PM me if you are curious about anything:
Rebuilt 360
Performer Intake&Cam
SA 670
MSD 8523
Desmog-except CC, pass emissions
Rancho 9000xl
Dakota Digital custom cluster- '84 style
Innovate LM-2, output routed to LCD gauge insert via Dakota BIM
Spot Trace GPS hardwire, mount under dash
Mopar deep tranny pan
Cut dash with new radio, bezel painted nutmeg
ZM Engine Harness
ZM Dash Harness (install soon)
Serehill Headlight Harness, hella h4 e-code
Ammeter bypass

Runs like a champ.

User avatar
REDONE
Posts: 2481
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:48 pm
Location: Lakewood and Bailey, CO

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby REDONE » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:58 pm

I'm disappointed. Why on earth go through all that trouble and work, and not change that bottom label to "U-238 Fuel Only"? Weak.

Obviously kidding, that looks great and is miles above the oak plywood and cheapo gauge set up I made! Nice work and thanks for sharing! :-bd
79 J-10 (The Money Badger) KE0LSU
304/Performance Fuel Injection TBI/MTA1/SP2P/Magnum rockers
T18/D20/D44s/33" Mud Claws
Grizzly Locker Rear
4" front spring drop, 5" rear shackle flip
Chevy style HEI (ECM controlled)
Dolphin "Shark" gauges in a fancy homemade oak bezel
3/4 resto, rotting faster than I've been fixing it.

SemperFIGuy
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:49 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby SemperFIGuy » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:03 am

Ohhhh, I like the BEEP out of that, very nice where is A/F read out at?

Sent from my SM-T230NU using Tapatalk

weeegoneeer
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:34 am

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby weeegoneeer » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:54 am

AFR is assignable to one of the LCD readout panels, I have it running under the tach.
1984 GW

PM me if you are curious about anything:
Rebuilt 360
Performer Intake&Cam
SA 670
MSD 8523
Desmog-except CC, pass emissions
Rancho 9000xl
Dakota Digital custom cluster- '84 style
Innovate LM-2, output routed to LCD gauge insert via Dakota BIM
Spot Trace GPS hardwire, mount under dash
Mopar deep tranny pan
Cut dash with new radio, bezel painted nutmeg
ZM Engine Harness
ZM Dash Harness (install soon)
Serehill Headlight Harness, hella h4 e-code
Ammeter bypass

Runs like a champ.

RamJetFSJ
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:36 pm
Location: Carpinteria, CA

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby RamJetFSJ » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:04 am

Beautiful. Nice work! Wish this was available when I did my custom gauges.
80 Wag in 73 attire, Ram Jet 350 power

81waggy
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:30 am

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby 81waggy » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:12 pm

I didn't know dakota did custom gauges like that. Thought it was just one font fits all. I was looking at using this set from NuVintage. They are the right diameter, just need to cut a board to mount them on and wire up the turn signals mount indicator for the high beams.

http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/n-yp39j5/tz ... 80.jpg?c=2
81 Wagoneer with a TBI 350 Vortec...More Power!

weeegoneeer
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:34 am

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby weeegoneeer » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:49 pm

Those are cool! The font sort of looks like the 70's style gauges.
1984 GW

PM me if you are curious about anything:
Rebuilt 360
Performer Intake&Cam
SA 670
MSD 8523
Desmog-except CC, pass emissions
Rancho 9000xl
Dakota Digital custom cluster- '84 style
Innovate LM-2, output routed to LCD gauge insert via Dakota BIM
Spot Trace GPS hardwire, mount under dash
Mopar deep tranny pan
Cut dash with new radio, bezel painted nutmeg
ZM Engine Harness
ZM Dash Harness (install soon)
Serehill Headlight Harness, hella h4 e-code
Ammeter bypass

Runs like a champ.

User avatar
merrill77
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:25 am
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby merrill77 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:05 pm

I want.
77 Wagoneer and 97 TJ.

User avatar
HeavyMetalThunder_81
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:01 pm
Location: Central Valley, CA

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby HeavyMetalThunder_81 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:44 am

This is just awesome! I wonder if they could do the '73-'74 style/font? I'm getting a little tired of rebuilding old gauge clusters every couple years.
-Jonny B.
1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle - 4" lift, 33x12.5R15
AMC 360 - 4180, TFI, Headers, Dual Exhaust
TH400 - Shift kit, Deep Pan
D20 - Twin Stick'd
F D44 - 3.54:1, Open
R D44 - 3.54:1, Locked
Ristow wrote:the best advice on the thread.

User avatar
Tatsadasayago
Posts: 3669
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:22 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby Tatsadasayago » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:46 am

That looks fantastic!
Would you mind sharing the cost?
1977 Cherokee Chief - The Blair Jeep Project III
A collection of parts flying in close formation

weeegoneeer
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:34 am

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby weeegoneeer » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:23 am

All told it came to $1300... the $795 for the off-the-shelf system, plus about $415 to custom program the sweeps and to use my overlay. Also got the expansion module for $100 so I could get AFR.

Thinking about getting another expansion module so i can rig up a MAP sensor & get vacuum as well.

It was spendy but it's really been awesome to have. 3 months later and still no regrets.
1984 GW

PM me if you are curious about anything:
Rebuilt 360
Performer Intake&Cam
SA 670
MSD 8523
Desmog-except CC, pass emissions
Rancho 9000xl
Dakota Digital custom cluster- '84 style
Innovate LM-2, output routed to LCD gauge insert via Dakota BIM
Spot Trace GPS hardwire, mount under dash
Mopar deep tranny pan
Cut dash with new radio, bezel painted nutmeg
ZM Engine Harness
ZM Dash Harness (install soon)
Serehill Headlight Harness, hella h4 e-code
Ammeter bypass

Runs like a champ.

User avatar
Jonnyworld
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby Jonnyworld » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:20 pm

weeegoneeer wrote:Hey guys!

Posted this on the other forum, thought I'd post here as well. Long story short, I really wanted a tach, and also really wanted to move my wideband air/fuel readout from my innovate LM-2 I had in the glovebox to a dash readout. Wideband AFR has been awesome for keeping the Holley in tune, and also to re-jet when driving into altitude.

BUT, I really hated what my options looked like - all of them looked too high tech or were too busy and generally took away from the design esthetic I love about these old trucks.

So, in looking at the Dakota Digital VHX line of gauges, I saw that everything I wanted was available.
BIM Module to read from my AFR? Check!
Tach? Check!
Keep the factory turn signals? Check!
Keep the factory bezel? Check!

BUT, I really didn't like the design. Also that with a redline of 4,500 I'd never get close to the 8,000 on the stock tach, and I'd NEVER see above 85 MPH. So I called them & asked if I could supply Adobe Illustrator files with what I wanted it to look like. CHECK!!!

I worked with Scott through the process, was super awesome. They had to custom program the sweeps to be in line with my shorter design. Really like that he was able to hang with me and with me being super picky, and he wanted to make sure I was totally psyched with the end product. Told him that if other people wanted my design it's OK with me.

Anyway, hacked apart the old harness, installed their temp sender and oil pressure sender, wired the BIM into my Innovate LM-2 for the AFR readout, wired in the brain and installed. Works with the stock fuel sender, and installation wasn't bad at all.

As a bonus, I can actually see the needles at night and during the day since you can set daytime/nighttime illumination for needles and backlight.

AND, this is probably the best part ever - my voltmeter has the actual lightning bolt from the AC/DC logo as the icon!

Also took the moment to do a proper ammeter bypass so I'd be able to supply the voltmeter (post '86 need not worry).

Incidentally, if anyone needs an '84 gauge cluster with 163,000 on the clock and super perfect for free, let me know!

Here's what we started with: Image

Here's an early design photo: Image

A photo of it uninstalled: Image

And a photo of the installation: Image

Here's a video of the illumination/startup: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4ozmqwnmz5frw0p/IMG_2461.MOV

In general, my favorite thing here is that I have AFR on the dash all the time. It's been helping me decide shooter size, accelerator cam profile, powervalve size, jet sizing. Really think that dudes in the '70's who read plugs are savants and need to be venerated, can't even imagine doing that!

Also, being able to get 1/4 mile times / speed and service alerts and so much other stuff. I'm a big sucker for older tech like carburetors and mechanical fuel pumps and the FSJ / things I understand in general, but this cluster has increased my enjoyment of my vehicle 10x.

Rockon!
That is cool and looks original enough not to stand out like a sore thumb.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
82 wagoneer 360 4spd
with a well lubed driveway.
4 inch skyjacker lift

I can fix it or fix or I can fix it where no one else can."

geminiroq
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby geminiroq » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:24 pm

I want one too!!

rirealtor
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:09 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby rirealtor » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:52 pm

Inspiration right here! After struggling with repair of the dash and wanting a few extra gauges, I am going the same direction. Might as well when the ammeter bypass is being done.
In working with Dakota Digital, we are working on the warning/indicator/idiot lights and their uses or meaning. So far I have the following-
Left cluster(tach) : cruise control, brake light, and check engine. There is already a light for brake from factory and I'm wondering if cruise wire could be added. Same goes for the Check Engine- maybe something from the ignition box(soon to be MSD)?
Middle Cluster : High Beam, Left & Right Turn Signal. As I will be using factory signal locations, I now have 2 open spots. Thought was to use one for the emergency drive light of QT and use a diff lock icon? Suggestions for the remaining turn signal for future use ? Maybe a charge wire light if elec issues are detected ( low volts?)
Right Cluster : no lights. Oil, Temp, Fuel and Volt
75 Wagoneer Alpine White fresh from the Left Coast

geminiroq
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby geminiroq » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:54 pm

rirealtor wrote:Inspiration right here! After struggling with repair of the dash and wanting a few extra gauges, I am going the same direction. Might as well when the ammeter bypass is being done.
In working with Dakota Digital, we are working on the warning/indicator/idiot lights and their uses or meaning. So far I have the following-
Left cluster(tach) : cruise control, brake light, and check engine. There is already a light for brake from factory and I'm wondering if cruise wire could be added. Same goes for the Check Engine- maybe something from the ignition box(soon to be MSD)?
Middle Cluster : High Beam, Left & Right Turn Signal. As I will be using factory signal locations, I now have 2 open spots. Thought was to use one for the emergency drive light of QT and use a diff lock icon? Suggestions for the remaining turn signal for future use ? Maybe a charge wire light if elec issues are detected ( low volts?)
Right Cluster : no lights. Oil, Temp, Fuel and Volt


Looks good to me :-bd

weeegoneeer
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:34 am

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby weeegoneeer » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:09 pm

Sorry I'm late to this party! I wound up keeping it pretty minimal. Cruise, ebrake, 4x4 on the left dial, hi-beam in the center dial. The VHX has programmable alerts in the LCD panel whenever any sensor input is out of range, so a light may be overkill for stuff that isn't just +12v or ground connection. The flashing LCD readout that made me freak out in the middle of the desert and did a fine job of alerting me my oil pressure was zero (was only a bad ground, TG).

These are expensive so would think of future plans. For instance: there is no 4x4 input on my '84 but put it there in case I for some reason put a later year D44 in front and a later year 229 T-Case that has the switch. Or, if you are going to ever consider doing an LS swap, you could leave the check engine light. Am not sure which warning lights came on a '75, but it sounds like you're doing a good job of keeping all of those.

If you can't think of anything for that remaining turn signal, might be fun to leave a ground circuit open for FUN MODE and connect it to a toggle switch. You start having fun, flip the switch. :)

Here's the line drawing showing what I went with. Also, need to plug Dakota again here - they are 100% behind their product and just super awesome to work with. I deal mainly with Scott and he's been amazing.

Image
1984 GW

PM me if you are curious about anything:
Rebuilt 360
Performer Intake&Cam
SA 670
MSD 8523
Desmog-except CC, pass emissions
Rancho 9000xl
Dakota Digital custom cluster- '84 style
Innovate LM-2, output routed to LCD gauge insert via Dakota BIM
Spot Trace GPS hardwire, mount under dash
Mopar deep tranny pan
Cut dash with new radio, bezel painted nutmeg
ZM Engine Harness
ZM Dash Harness (install soon)
Serehill Headlight Harness, hella h4 e-code
Ammeter bypass

Runs like a champ.

rirealtor
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:09 pm

Re: Custom Gauge Cluster

Postby rirealtor » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:19 pm

Appreciate the response- think I'll leave the CEL for future usage in left pod, add 4wd light for Emergency Lock (as current set up for the '75) in the center cluster.
For the newer models, wasn't there a charge light on the dash from newer alternators? I could always add that as my old 37a Motorola will be swapped out.
Thoughts?
thanks on comments about Dakota- very helpful to know. I think you have set a precedent there with the design and Scott said it will now streamline/shorten leadtimes. So thanks to you as well!
75 Wagoneer Alpine White fresh from the Left Coast


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