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Thread: how to install a volts gauge

  1. #1
    Hands Dirty +100kw MARK_XF UTE's Avatar
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    Default how to install a volts gauge

    g'day everyone, this is my first write up so bear with me on this one....

    want to keep an eye on your voltage? well a volts gauge is the best way to keep an eye on your battary volts, its a good idea to install one if you've installed a decent stereo system thats running at least 2 subs, and its just cool!!

    the things that you'll need

    a volts gauge i bought a speco thomas one
    ether a gauge mounting panel or cup, if you installing it into the dash then you wont need ether of em
    an 8mm spanner and a 7mm spanner
    a couple of screws and a screw driver for the gauge mounting panel or cup
    a hole saw if your installing the gauge into the dash, if you dont have one make a template out of cardbourd
    side cutters
    wire strippers
    some wire
    electrical connecters, you'll need to buy some real small ones for the gauge
    solder
    soldering iron
    heat shrink
    and a cigurette lighter




    on the back of the gauge there will be 3 connections. there is a positive an earth and a miscellaneous one (im not sure what it does) the bottom one is positive and the one on the right is earth. the instructions will tell you as they can vary between brands


    firstly find a spot that you like to mount your gauge, i mounted mine under the dash. in my case i used a mounting panel and i had to bend the panel a little bit to get the right angle that i wanted


    next disconect your battary, this will prevent a blown fuse or a major short circuit.

    now the gauge needs a 12 volt switched ignition power suppley and earth to operate, you can get power from ether your stereo headunit or a cigurette lighter, i got power from the red wire off the head unit. cut a decent length of power wire and splice into the power wire your going to use and do a good amount of solder on the wire's to ensure they last. theres a couple ways you can do this, you can ether cut the power wire, solder and use heat shrink, use tape to cover and protect your solder or liquid electrical tape. its like a paste and it can be bought from your local electronics shop.

    cut some earth wire find a good spot the earth the gauge, i earthed mine to where the dash bolts to the car body.

    now crimp on the connecters for the gauge and the earth, temporary install the gauge and tighten up the 7mm nuts for the gauge connectors you want them tight but not too tight that you strip the thread or crack the plastic.

    run the earth wire to the spot you found and tighten it into postion.

    it should look something like this



    now reconnect your battary and turn the key to ACC, the gauge should be pointing on 12 or a little over 12 if, its below 12 ether the battary is not charging propurley or it stuffed and if its over 14 then its being over charged, contact and auto electrition for help.

    to hook up the backlight, you can ether run the power wire for the light to the headlight circuit or interior light circuit. the advantage with the interior light cicuit is that it can be dimmed at night.

    now lets deal with the light itself, cut some earth and power wire long enough to reach to headlight switch and strip one end of the wire. solder and heat shrink the wire together, it should look abit like this



    i used heat shink to keep the wires together and neat.

    route the wires through and under the dash so your feet wont get tangled up in it, you'll need to earth the backlight somewhere, you can splice into your earth wire for the gauge or to chassis.

    now we'll need to find a wire that turns the backlight on and off with the headlights, you can ether hunt around with a multi meter or find the wiring diagram in your workshop manual

    once you've found the right wire strip the other end, splice into it and use good solder.



    its a good idea to heat shink the wires together to keep them neat and to use corrugated splite tubing.

    should look abit like this


    route it into position and install it into the back of the gauge, use cable ties too keep it out of harms way.



    now you are pretty much done!! now install the gauge in its cup, dash or mounting panel. if you installed the gauge into the dash or used a mounting panel use the supplyed bracket and nuts and tighten up the two 8mm nuts tight but not too much that it'll crack the dash.

    at night it should look abit like this


    this is my setup, i also installed a vacuum gauge and a mechanical water temp gauge.


    enjoy happy days and not having to keep worring about the voltage as you now have an eye on it.
    Last edited by MARK_XF UTE; 19-10-2012 at 01:59 AM.
    Mark
    italian 100cc kart engine + 20,000 RPM......nuff said

  2. #2
    +50kw Little Zero X's Avatar
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    Very helpfull

    i notice you have a water temp gauge aswell.

    i want to add one of those and an oil pressure gauge. But where do i hook these up to so they work?

  3. #3
    Now with an S BiH-PULSAR's Avatar
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    mad right up!

    but i still like my one

    step one: buy off ebay

    step two: put in cig-lighter-socket-doobalaki

    whola!

    Parallel lines have got so much in common. It's a shame they'll never meet.

    IF IT'S TOO LOUD, YOU'RE TOO OLD

  4. #4
    Hands Dirty +100kw MARK_XF UTE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Zero X View Post
    Very helpfull

    i notice you have a water temp gauge aswell.

    i want to add one of those and an oil pressure gauge. But where do i hook these up to so they work?
    iv got a speco thomas mechanical oil pressure as well, i bought copper line for the gauge, NEVER user the nylone shit that comes with the gauge. as for water temp speco make a housing adaptor that the temp prob screws into.
    Mark
    italian 100cc kart engine + 20,000 RPM......nuff said

  5. #5
    +50kw Little Zero X's Avatar
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    sounds good, ill rustle up some cash and eventually post the results

    can i ask why i should never use the nylon lines?

  6. #6
    Hands Dirty +100kw MARK_XF UTE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Zero X View Post
    sounds good, ill rustle up some cash and eventually post the results

    can i ask why i should never use the nylon lines?
    they go brittle after sometime and very high chance of it failing and you'll end up with oil all over the floor. copper FTW!!
    Mark
    italian 100cc kart engine + 20,000 RPM......nuff said

  7. #7
    +50kw Little Zero X's Avatar
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    Copper it is then.

    thanks for your help

  8. #8

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    Looks great! I'll post a pic when i can be bothered but next to my handbrake, i have a Volt meter that is wired to come on at startup. I have set it up so it's reading the voltage at the amp not the battery. Did this because i KNOW that my overall voltage will be somewhat higher than amp voltage. I want to see what my amp is getting over the distance and that's all that matters.

    GREAT write up man, this will help heaps of people!

  9. #9
    Moderator Jenga's Avatar
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    Nice writeup, good detail.

    I like stepper motor gauges (such as the ones that Autoplatonium sell) over mechanical gauges. Stepper motor gauges use a sender unit instead of requiring a physical oil or water line to be fed into the cabin. The sensors (and the associated connections) stay in the engine bay that way.

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  10. #10
    Hands Dirty +100kw MARK_XF UTE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenga View Post
    Nice writeup, good detail.

    I like stepper motor gauges (such as the ones that Autoplatonium sell) over mechanical gauges. Stepper motor gauges use a sender unit instead of requiring a physical oil or water line to be fed into the cabin. The sensors (and the associated connections) stay in the engine bay that way.
    thanks mate, we all have our own opinion when it comes to what gauges we install into our cars, in my case its mechanical all the way
    Mark
    italian 100cc kart engine + 20,000 RPM......nuff said

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