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Gauge cluster install Empty Gauge cluster install

Post by crice63 on Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:15 pm

so I have the gauge cluster from the parts car and of course I'd like to put it in my Elco. My top choice would be to go all stock but the PO put a sunpro tach in it. I have no idea if it works. So one thing I'm wondering is if there are any threads or builds that show someone building a cluster--putting in the aftermarket gauges and requisite wiring, so I can see what kind of difficulties this will entail. All the threads I can find so far are 68-72 cars, and even there in most cases they have bought things that were made to fit. We don't have that luxury!

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Last edited by crice63 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added pic)

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Post by crice63 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:01 am

OK, here are some more specific questions. If you use an aftermarket speedometer, what do you do with the gear indicator?

The two large holes in the bezel, for tach and speedo, are not round, and not the same size either. They are both 4-3/8" high but the speedo width is 3-7/8" and the tach is 3-3/4". Doesn't seem like much, but it will be more noticeable when there are two circles overlaid on them. So most of the pics I see on chevelles.com and all have the gauges set right in the bezel, essentially flat rather than angling up at the driver. Has anyone tried setting the gauges in the cluster, essentially mounted like the stock gauges?

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Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:21 am

Personally, I'd test the SunPro tach and go with what you have if it works. It looks good with the other stock gauges...and, would certainly simplify your installation. And, either get a working clock (I've got a few)...or, some have installed an oil pressure gauge in it's place.
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Post by crice63 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:43 am

Do you happen to know if the circuit board for the 73--which has an ammeter--would accept a volt meter? I guess one thing I'm trying to avoid is repinning the cluster plug then finding out that some or all don't work. But on the other hand, I'll need to know all the wires if I'm going to put in aftermarket stuff too.

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Post by Mcarlo77 on Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:36 am

No...flex circuit used to accommodate the amp gauge is different than for volt gauge. Both are available aftermarket for around $90 IIRC.

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Post by Tom Kochevar on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:14 pm

I had a 1973 Chevelle with the ammeter.  I located a volt meter on Ebay and put it in and it worked great!  I believe ran speaker wire from the "+" side of the volt meter and nothing on the "-" and was just fine.  Make sure you remove the battery cable before doing this.  I think I ran the power to the radio or the lighter.  Hope this helps!

Just so you know, I did call Bob's Speedometer Service in Michigan and that is what they told me to do.  if you dont believe me, call them and double-check for yourself.  But it will work fine!

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Post by Limey SE on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:55 pm

Man I would run that Sun Pro it fits and looks like it Belongs .....I have Modified Autometer Tachs to the Fuel Economy gauge and would Mount the same as the Fuel gauge it uses the Factory Mounting Holes....But till recently I was Unable to secure an Affordable Round cluster
NOW need an Affordable Dash bezel where some one wont rape me in Price Like a true car Person shouldn't do I have sold alot of my Parts Cheap because the person was on a Budget like the rest of us are.

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One Mild original
one Wild NON original
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Post by crice63 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:42 am

So I was wondering why I hadn't chosen to just put this cluster in ang go, and looking at it today was reminded.

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It's hard to believe that anything on that cluster works except the tach and speedo due to the way the circuit board has been cut. I can see that the circuits for the bottom warning lights (oil and seat belts) are interrupted, and so is the circuit for the bright headlamps indicator. The outside circuit that goes nearly all the way around the board is broken, and it goes to the two top left gauges. So even if the different circuits are isolated, there is still a lot of functionality lost.

One solution might be to get a new board--$64.79 on sale! from El Camino Store--but then would still have to get the tach wire through. Does anyone know if the board will still function without the stock tach engaging the three contacts on the board? If so, this may still be my easiest route. I can feed the tach wires through the contact holes instead of cutting it up.

This might be coming together. Would anyone happen to know if the only difference between the 73-4 and 75-7 boards is the amp/volt thing? Could I run with a 75 circuit board and a volt meter? The cluster shape itself is the same, and the gauge placement is the same. Lights look to be in the same places, but are they the same functions?

75 circuit board:
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:17 am

Man...what a hack job behind the tach. Totally unnecessary.

I don't have all your answers, but can confirm that you can install the '75 flex circuit onto your existing housing while adding a volt gauge. Not positive, but still think you'll need to tweak your power feed to accomodate the volt gauge? Maybe someone can chime in on this. And, yes...the '75 flex circuit board will function just fine without a factory tach installed. Matter of fact, GM used the same board in '75 whether the car came with Tach or Fuel Economizer gauge (which didn't use any of the three pin connectors utilized by the Tach).
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Post by crice63 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:45 pm

Well this might be the solution. The one review at Ecklers stated that his repro circuit board delaminated rapidly, so I will look around first for a stock one in good condition.

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Post by Mcarlo77 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:02 pm

Probably why they have them on sale for 25% off! OPGI and Parts Place also sell them...but, I'd bet they're all made by the same company. Demand just isn't there for more than one company to invest time and money to setup and fabricate small qtys of these. Anyway, I may be able to help. There is (or, was) a '76 GMC Sprint sitting in a yard up this way as of last summer that has a gauge cluster (non-tach). I didn't pay too close attention to it's condition as the door latches were seized and I couldn't access the inside (yard Supervisor actually told me to just break a window glass to get inside...but, I just couldn't bring myself to destroy a perfectly good glass). Was planning on removing the back window on a future visit if time allowed to crawl inside. Maybe this is the time? Otherwise, watch e-Bay for a cluster with the Fuel Economizer pkge. They will go for much less than a tach cluster.

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Post by crice63 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:30 pm

pm sent

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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:51 pm

subscribed. Interested.
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Post by 1973 454 MONTE on Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:50 am

I have a tac cluster in a box packed up for the next swap meet. I will get some pics of it tomorrow. I have way to much going on today.
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