Dialing It In

How To Install A Tachometer And Gauges

Bob Mehlhoff Oct 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

To attach the tachometer, we installed a large hose clamp through the supplied bracket and tightened it to the top of the steering column. We chose this location because it provided the best angle of view while driving.

Proper tachometer operation requires securely connected wiring and a good ground. Remember to disconnect the battery during installation and to route the wiring so that the harness will not rub against sharp metal edges.

The Auto Meter panel houses all three gauges in a simple arrangement. We found a suitable location to mount the gauges under the dash before connecting them to the panel.

The mechanical oil-pressure gauge receives oil fed through a 1/8-inch hard plastic line connected to the engine.

To properly install the line, both ends (engine and gauge) must be fitted with a brass ferrell that compresses against an inner flare to prevent leaks.

We attached the oil-gauge feed line at the rear of the engine where the previous oil sending unit resided. You could also install a T-fitting and use both the oil-pressure gauge and the idiot-light sending unit.

To install the water temperature unit, we drilled a 7/8-inch hole in the firewall and laced the gauge’s capillary tube through the hole in the gauge panel.

Then we installed the 1/2-inch-pipe-thread nut into the fitting in the intake manifold. Coat the pipe threads with Teflon sealant prior to installation.

To install the voltmeter...

...we routed a length of 18-gauge wire from the ground terminal at the rear of the gauge through the firewall (with a grommet) and to the engine.

Next, we connected a second length of 18-gauge wire from the positive terminal at the rear of the voltmeter to a switched 12-volt source on the fuse panel (arrow).

To light each gauge, we installed the provided sockets into each instrument and connected one wire to an existing dash-light terminal on the light switch. We connected the opposite wire to a suitable ground.

After locating an easy-to-read position under the dash, we attached the gauge panel and tightened the instruments into position.

A properly tuned engine and suspension are key to keeping your Chevy running hard. Monitoring that performance requires a constant and accurate stream of information. Gauges that monitor oil pressure, water temperature, voltage, and engine rpm tell the driver at a glance how everything is operating.

Recently at CHP we began preparing our '66 Chevelle to serve as a test bed for several of our dyno engines. Since the instrument cluster delivered only the bare basics of speed and fuel level, we needed a set of gauges to keep tabs on engine vitals. We contacted Auto Meter for a set of Ultra-Lite gauges and a Shift-Lite tachometer. These units were easy to install, and we completed the job in a few hours. Here's how we did it.

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