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Toyota Inclinometer Installation

toyota sr5 tercel inclinometer clinometer install installation ea82 loyale

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#1 jj421

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:15 AM

I haven't really seen any threads or pictures of Toyota inclinometers being installed into Subarus, so I figured I'd post.

 

Today, I got in the mail an identical pair of these Toyota inclinometers:

 

P1130625_zpscf369a34.jpg

 

In case you don't know, here's some details on these gauges. Toyota sold them in their '84-'89 4WD pickups, 4Runners, and Tercels. But only on the SR5 models. The 4Runner inclinometer also came with an altimeter on the left, whereas the Tercel ones (like what I got) just had a 4WD indicator light that illuminated when 4WD was engaged. Near-new inclinometers go for ~$200 on eBay, so they're not necessarily cheap. Although I believe you can get them for real cheap at a junkyard, if you find an '80s SR5 4WD Toyota.

 

If you don't know what an inclinometer is, it's basically a tilt gauge. One gauge tells you how angled up/down your vehicle is, and the other tells how banked your vehicle is (helps to avoid rollovers). Seeing as most of the people on here offroad, I'm sure most of you at least know what an inclinometer is. The nice thing about this one is it's entirely mechanical, besides the backlighting (and the 4WD indication light). Inside, it's basically just a set of gears and weights. Just like a Subaru, it's a pretty simple machine.

 

P1130634_zps897daad4.jpg

 

When I first saw a picture of one of these, I thought they were really cool. I don't offroad to a point where rollovers and steep hills are a concern/possibility. But I thought it'd be cool to have one of these in the car, especially since it'd be another thing to make my car unique.  :) So in this thread, I'll be posting about the installation of this, and I'd like to hear your guys' opinions.

 

How do I put this in my Loyale? Well, that's a good question. It does have this "case" which is comfortably close in color to my car's interior.

 

P1130629_zps0fd2c7d8.jpg

 

That flat spot on the EA82 dash would be a perfect place to put this. The only problem is that the flat spot isn't very big as you go towards the passenger side, so the only place the inclinometer fits is right in front of the clock. For most EA82 owners, this isn't a problem, since these clocks rarely work. However, since this is my daily driver, I do have a working clock in there, and I'd like to not cover it up.

 

P1130639_zpse0380871.jpg

 

P1130641_zpsc21117fa.jpg

 

As you might be able to tell, there is a gap under the gauges, which is quite noticeable (and ugly) in person. However, the real problem with this setup though is the angle. I guess the Toyota dashboards are sloped, because sitting on the EA82 dash, the gauges are angled upwards. This is a problem for the pitch gauge, as you have to recalibrate it. But when you adjust it a lot, it's range gets screwed with. Properly adjusted, the pitch gauge reads about +/- 45 degrees. When I adjust it to compensate for the angle at which it's sitting in the above picture, the range is about + 75 degrees, -15 degrees.

 

I have to get the gauges to sit flat for it to work properly. Easy solution is to pull it out of the case.

 

P1130638_zps4f0e018a.jpg

 

This, as of right now, is how I'm going to install this. Reason being is it's short enough that I can still see the clock, flat enough for the readings to be good, and a good contact surface for me to put velcro down to hold it on the dash (I want this to be as minimally invasive/permanent as possible). The only problem with this setup is it's not super good looking, mainly because of the white case.

 

P1130628_zps88f680f0.jpg

 

Solution? Well, I decided to paint it black! Took out all the components of the inclinometer. Pretty simple.

 

P1130631_zpse2a3cea0.jpg

 

Time for paint!

 

P1130636_zps93b4ee1b.jpg

 

I'm just painting the outside of the case black. I'm leaving the interior of the case white because 1) it doesn't matter since you can't see it, and 2) I'm not sure, but the white might help with the illumination.

 

Another thing is the wiring. For right now, I'm not going to wire up anything. I'm talking the bulbs/wires out. If I were to wire up the back illumination, I'd probably just tap into the cigarette lighter wires. I always drive with my headlights on, so they'd be illuminated all the time anyways. And the lighter is a switched power source, so it wouldn't drain power. Wiring up the 4WD light could also be a possibility, although I kinda see it as useless.

 

What I'm thinking of doing is swapping the 4WD indicator light for another gauge--perhaps a voltmeter--since it wouldn't be hard to do so. But I won't worry about that for right now.

 

That's as far as I have gotten so far. The perfect place to install this would be where the radio is, since it's the perfect width. But I have a working radio that I use all the time, so I won't be doing that. Interested in what you guys think, and maybe if you have done something like this before. I think it's a cool gadget, and I also read that it can be used as a g-meter. Accelerating/braking affects the pitch meter, and turning affects the roll meter. However, roads aren't perfectly flat, so it wouldn't be accurate.

 

I'll post more as I make more progress. Currently waiting for the paint to dry, and it's not easy buying velcro at 10 pm, haha.



#2 djellum

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 01:54 AM

I got one out of a tercel at the junk yard.  $5 for the gauges, housing, and mounting bracket.  the tercel dash is angled.  what I would do is make 2 brackets that run on the flat part of the dash, and also mount onto the angled part where the clock is.  set them up to hook into the dash and have a squarish mount going front to back that hooks into the housing of the gauges.  paint that black.

 

I dont know if I'm explaining it well, but the end result in looks would be the the gauges strait up and down in the housing, and the housing going upward and touching the back of the dash next to the clock.  the little triangle of empty space in the back will just show the painted black bracket.



#3 AKghandi

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 02:05 AM

how about the cubby under the ash tray? not sure if it would be the right angle but it would be a good spot.. if your car has one that is.



#4 jj421

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 03:41 AM

I think I understand what you're saying. Basically make "ramps" from the flat spot to the raised portion where the defog vents are. Then just put the housing on those ramps, which will angle the gauges down. That is certainly another possibility. I might consider mocking it up, and seeing how it looks. Is this how you installed the inclinometer you bought? Or did you do other things with it and never install it in your Soob?

 

The cubby under the ash tray could work, if you modified it. The cubby itself is too shallow, too narrow, and angled too high. If you delete it and install a custom bracket, it would work well. However, the D/R cubby is attached to the piece surrounding the shifter (whereas the push button one is segregated), so that could prove a bit challenging. You could also delete your ash try and cigarette lighter, make a big hole there, and the inclinometer should fit. But, I use my cig lighter for my dash cam, so that's not a possibility for me.

 

If you have a purpose built offroader, and you don't care about the radio, clock, cigarette lighter, etc., it wouldn't be very difficult finding a good place to put this. What I'd do is, where the radio goes, put the inclinometer in the top half, and put a CB radio on the bottom half. Fabricate a piece surrounding them to complete the look. That would be cool combo!

 

The paint has dried and I think it looks awesome! Can't wait to see what it's like in the car (pitch black outside right now). Have it calibrated to my kitchen counter, which should be pretty level as houses aren't usually built on angles.  B)

 

P1130645_zps3bd6f7b9.jpg

 

P1130647_zps632a6ffc.jpg



#5 bratman18

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:46 AM

TheLoyale actually installed one of these in his car. And I actually have one to install as well. I haven't figured it out too much yet. But it will sit lower than it looks. When you set it on the dash, it sits on the mounting studs, so when those are recessed into the dash to mount it, then it will sit lower, but probably not low enough to still see the clock. Mine seems to fit to the right more than yours though. I was able to put mine so that I can still see the clock, and it will fit flat and level on the dash. I think it will involve putting some holes in the dash though. What do you plan on tapping into for the wiring?



#6 jonas

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 10:47 AM

Ever thought about cutting into the dash just to the right of your clock or just above the glove box? There may be vent ducts in the way but you could always use flexible tubing to reroute.



#7 Gloyale

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 11:53 AM

Mitusbishi Monteros, and I believe it's twin the Dodge Raider also have these gauges.

 

IIRC, they are in a compact housing mounted to the flat top of the dash.  Might be a better swap candidate.



#8 djellum

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

yes, my sisters Montero has one, it has a volt meter instead of the 4wd lights, a compass in the middle (i dont know if its all internal, but hers doesnt work), and I cant remember if its front to back or side to side on the last inclinometer port.  it does mount flat though.

 

I havent installed mine yet.  its just a toy basically, but ill get around to it.

 

I thought about actually cutting a square hole in the front face of the dash and mounting it there next to the vents.  wouldnt cover up anything, would stay flat, and you dont have to worry about color matching.  I dont know if I can commit to cutting into the dash there though (not to mention I dont know what is behind it yet)

 

you dont need ramps really, the inclinometer can just sit against the back raised part of the dash, and be screwed into the mounting screws in the front.   if you look at the inclinometer, the face bolts into the outer colored housing and there is 2 holes in the side where the whole unit mounted to the bracket.  you could just use an L bracket mounted on the flat of the dash and using the 2 screw holes, with the back of the housing resting on the rear part of the dash, but it would leave empty space where the angle makes the triangle in the back.  the only reason for the back part of the mount is just to take up space, it doesnt really even need to be screwed at the back.  basically its a simple L bracket with extended metal in the back so you dont have blank space.



#9 mudduck

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 04:21 PM

I got one out of a Montero in my 89. Fits perfect on the dash right in front og the clock. Taped into the power from the clock so it lights up with the rest of the dash lights. Has oil pressure and a volt meter also. Its kinda useless, but it does look cool in the car, and yes I have had it maxed out at 30 degrees in any direction, more than a few times.

#10 jj421

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 05:25 PM

Come on people, if you have one of these, post some photos! I'd like to see what they look like in your car!  ;) So I got some velcro and just simply put the inclinometer on my dash. Painting it black made a huge difference in looks. It actually looks pretty decent (it helps to see it in person). It doesn't look stock or anything, but it doesn't look that bad. I think not having the wiring also helps make it look better. I can see the clock over it, which is nice. The thing I like about the velcro is I can easily remove it. If I need to modify the inclinometer, or clean the dash, I can just pull it off.

 

P1130648_zps3c01dd1e.jpg

 

 

TheLoyale actually installed one of these in his car. And I actually have one to install as well. I haven't figured it out too much yet. But it will sit lower than it looks. When you set it on the dash, it sits on the mounting studs, so when those are recessed into the dash to mount it, then it will sit lower, but probably not low enough to still see the clock. Mine seems to fit to the right more than yours though. I was able to put mine so that I can still see the clock, and it will fit flat and level on the dash. I think it will involve putting some holes in the dash though. What do you plan on tapping into for the wiring?

 

Mine didn't come with the actual mounting bracket. Just the housing and two inclinometers. Plus, I don't really want to damage the dash too much if I can help it. But if you have the mounting hardware and the will to do that, that would probably work fine. I can move the inclinometer a bit more to the left, but then it doesn't sit 100% flat. For the wiring, I have removed the bulbs/wiring. But if I ever do add the wiring for the backlighting, I'd probably run it into the clock and tap into the clock.

 

 

Ever thought about cutting into the dash just to the right of your clock or just above the glove box? There may be vent ducts in the way but you could always use flexible tubing to reroute.

 

Cutting and rerouting is a possibility as well. But as I said above, I want this to be as minimally invasive/permanent as possible. Plus, I don't have the tools to cut into the dash and stuff, haha.

 

 

Mitusbishi Monteros, and I believe it's twin the Dodge Raider also have these gauges.

 

IIRC, they are in a compact housing mounted to the flat top of the dash.  Might be a better swap candidate.

 

Yup, I've heard about the Monteros and Raiders having them too. Probably would be a better swap candidate, but I like the look of the Toyota inclinometer.

 

 

yes, my sisters Montero has one, it has a volt meter instead of the 4wd lights, a compass in the middle (i dont know if its all internal, but hers doesnt work), and I cant remember if its front to back or side to side on the last inclinometer port.  it does mount flat though.

 

I havent installed mine yet.  its just a toy basically, but ill get around to it.

 

I thought about actually cutting a square hole in the front face of the dash and mounting it there next to the vents.  wouldnt cover up anything, would stay flat, and you dont have to worry about color matching.  I dont know if I can commit to cutting into the dash there though (not to mention I dont know what is behind it yet)

 

you dont need ramps really, the inclinometer can just sit against the back raised part of the dash, and be screwed into the mounting screws in the front.   if you look at the inclinometer, the face bolts into the outer colored housing and there is 2 holes in the side where the whole unit mounted to the bracket.  you could just use an L bracket mounted on the flat of the dash and using the 2 screw holes, with the back of the housing resting on the rear part of the dash, but it would leave empty space where the angle makes the triangle in the back.  the only reason for the back part of the mount is just to take up space, it doesnt really even need to be screwed at the back.  basically its a simple L bracket with extended metal in the back so you dont have blank space.

 

I think a compass would be a good gauge to put in there. I might replace the 4WD light with a compass. Not sure about the Montero one, but the Toyota inclinometer would look and fit great if you cut a hole in the dash next to the vents. It's the perfect size for that space. I don't have A/C in my car, so I don't use the vents at all. Either heat on the floor or windows down. I could cut out the two vents above the radio and put it there, since there's already a hole there.

 

Like I said above, I don't actually have the bracket for it. So I'm kinda limited as I can't do anything that involves that bracket. I think the big problem with me is I don't want to drill into the dash. If I didn't care about damaging it, I would easily be making a bracket for it.

 

 

I got one out of a Montero in my 89. Fits perfect on the dash right in front og the clock. Taped into the power from the clock so it lights up with the rest of the dash lights. Has oil pressure and a volt meter also. Its kinda useless, but it does look cool in the car, and yes I have had it maxed out at 30 degrees in any direction, more than a few times.

 

You should post a photo of it. I'd like to see it! Tapping into the clock is actually a better idea. Which wire(s) did you tap into? I haven't had my clock out in months, and all I can remember is there are four wires. Yup, it is kinda useless, but I think it's a neat feature. Good to know I can go past 30 degrees. I doubt I'll ever get that far on the roll meter. Might go up/down an incline that steep though. But I don't know how steep 30 degrees feels, because I've never had a way to measure it.

 

EDIT:

 

Went out for a drive. It's awesome! I love it! I think any hill over 15 degrees will not be easy on my clutch, haha. I stopped on a 10 degree hill and it felt pretty steep.

 

You definitely need to be stopped for it to be accurate, haha. It was fun watching it respond to my throttle, brake, and steering inputs. It does function as a g-meter, haha. I have no complaints about how it's mounted or how it looks. It stuck to my dash securely and looked awesome! I'm happy with this install. Just gotta get a passenger and ask him/her their opinion on it.  :D

 

My regular parking spot on my driveway is kinda at an awkward angle.  :huh:

 

driveway_zps9830c00f.jpg

 

I'm actually tempted to wire up the backlight. I just need to know which clock wires to tap into. I think it'd be cool to wire up the 4WD light to come on when I engage 4WD Lo. My wagon initially had push button 4WD, but I did a D/R swap. I don't have the "Lo" indicator on my dash. I think it'd be neat to have the 4WD light on the dash come on in 4WD Hi, then the 4WD light on the inclinometer to come on in 4WD Lo. 


Edited by jj421, 14 July 2013 - 08:31 PM.


#11 Numbchux

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:46 PM

I have one, but it was original equipment in my '87 4Runner SR5....


But, here's a page about it, and how to modify it to a more useful range (30 degress is still VERY safe):
Clinomtr_03.jpg
http://www.4crawler....linometer.shtml


The Altimeter is a mechanical one (uses barometric pressure), so you have to set it every time you want to use it, which means you need an accurate reference. Kind of a neat gismo, but in reality, not very useful. Especially since I've always got a GPS unit when wheeling....

Here's what I did. I got some nasty comments on some of the toyota boards for hacking up an original inclinometer, but, oh well. I think it's awesome!!DSCF1198.jpg

Edited by Numbchux, 15 July 2013 - 01:47 PM.


#12 jj421

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:53 PM

Yup, I've read that page many times, haha.

 

I kinda wish I had the altimeter, but yeah, setting it every time is kinda useless, I'd say. I think the trans temp gauge is awesome! I'd say it'd look even cooler if it had a back face instead of white though. What diameter is that gauge?



#13 djellum

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:15 PM

if you swapped in the D/R, I would expect a plug on the handle under the console or car that sends the signal to the dash.  can likely just run new wires from there to your high/low lights.

 

if your using the stock oil pressure gauge, getting an aftermarket and running it there is a good option, most people dog on the stock gauge.

 

the bracket is just a flat bar bracket with 2 tabs sticking up, like a short legged U.  there are holes for wireing and such, but the 2 small L brackets would do the job.  understand about cutting and screwing into the dash though.

 

actually I think you will find many uses for it, as long as its set properly.  you should check your oil on flat ground, so it lets you find it.  



#14 jj421

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:32 PM

Well, wiring it up to be the Lo light would be pretty simple. When I did the D/R swap, I left the little black plug/connector on the transmission for the Lo indicator loose (not plugged into anything). All I'd have to do is run the two wires from the inclinometer into the clock, down through the dash, under the center console, out through the shifter boot, and up to the transmission. Then, just tap into the two wires for the plug, and viola! Not sure which is the positive/negative on the connector though. And then, of course, tap the backlighting into the clock wires as well.

 

Yeah, I'm currently using the stock oil pressure gauge. But I'm also thinking of getting an a-pillar gauge pod and putting an oil pressure gauge there.

 

I really don't think I need the bracket. I like the way it's mounted right now, and don't really have any complaints on how it looks.

 

Thanks a good point with checking the oil on flat ground. Also, checking gear oil on flat ground too. But I haven't noticed any oil leaks since swapping my engine ~1000 miles ago.  B)







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