Now that all the wires are spliced, crimped with their new connectors and plugged in, we slid the new instrument cluster in place. Before we even started screwing it down, we made sure all the grounding wires were properly out of the way and routed through the dash and firewall. Don't forget to run the new speedo wires through the firewall and attach them to the VSS. Now that everything was in place and the battery hooked up again, it was the moment of truth. As the light switch was pulled, only half the gauges lit up and worked! After pulling the panel out and inspecting everything, it turned out one of the grounding wires had come loose and affected the others down the circuit. Now it was time for the second try. Success, everything lit up like it was supposed to, but when we took a spin around the block, some of the gauges didn't work! It was back to the drawing board. It turned out we forgot to install the oil-pressure sending unit and calibrate the speedometer. What a rookie mistake! Now everything lit up like a downtown Christmas tree and worked--only the gauges seemed way too bright. Simply twisting the light switch did nothing to dim the dash; it only turned them off. Turns out Auto Meter makes a simple dimmer switch. We're going to have to order that one and put it on.
Looking back, if there was a chance to do some things over again, we would. The lower gauges on either side of the steering column are too far out of the way to be effectively seen. They are nearly hidden in those locations. Doing it all over again, I would order a blank dash from Covan's and an A-pillar pod from Auto Meter. That way you can place the large gauges anywhere on the panel you chose. The remaining smaller gauges would be quite visible tucked into the A-pillar pod.