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Digi to Analog for 86 Twagon finished!!!!! very long post


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Subi81

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:42 PM

Finally converted digi to analog dash that I bought from baccaruda (totaly recommend buying stuff from him)

Anyways, my approach was to make a converter loom. On one end is the connections that the stock dash harness plugs into(female), I had to basically rip these off the digi circuit board, I highly recommend doing that if you really hate your digi. On the other end of the custom loom are the connectors that plug into the back of the analog dash. see pics in gallery

The bueaty of this system is you can always switch back, not sure why you would want to, plus it let me do all of the soildering in the comfort of my bedroom/shop/computer room... then when I went to install just plug in my adapter and install dash. Here are some pics from the install and my cheat sheet I made:

http://www.ultimates...=500&ppuser=306

Some things that should be noted:

-Chime doesn't work, not a big deal to me but some people might not like this
the reason for this is I converted an 89 RX dash to go with an 86 wagon.
in the 89 the seatbelt timer and chime is all a seperate unit, but on the 86 that at is all built into the dash. When I ditched the digi I ditched the timer

-Seatbelt light doesn't light: again the timer is a separate unit

-EGR: on the 86 there is an EGR light that comes on every 60K miles, I guess on 89 RX dashes they are to cool for this, so there isn't one. cool

-Highbeam indicator: the 89 uses a control ground circuit while the 86 uses a control positive circuit ie 89 has positive going to the light all the time stick this in a contol positive circuit and the display is reversed. indicator is on while highbeams are off.

-Rear defogger: this circuit suffers the same problem as the hightbeams, opposite circuit contol, I got around this by making a jumper to go directly to the defogger switch.

-fuel sender unit: yes you have to change the fuel sender unit, what is really funny is when I got the wagon the fuel gauge was all messed up, someone had replaced the digi sender unit with an analog unit, so I really scored on that one.

-Temp sender: there is a rumor that this has to be changed also, looking in the fsm and from actually testing it I believe this is NOT the case, the temp gauge seemed to function just fine.

-Oil pressure: since the Digi doesn't have this I found an open spot in the digi harness and plumbed in my own line to go to the Oil pressure sender, just have to get the sender unit now.

-Out side temp: On 86 digi's the outside tempurature is intigrated into the dash, and not on the trip computer like 87 and later models, I happen to have an 87 trip computer and will probalby install it and get my temperature display back. so there is a way around that.

-Trip computer "range" function: since I changed my fuel sender unit I am not sure if the trip computer will like the new senders input: more testing will reviel if this is going to be a problem or not. off the record this function never seemed to work right anyway, found myself driving around on 1/4 tank and trip computer said I should have been stranded a long time ago.

-Color: Don't get me wrong I love the color, nice and green but in 86 they used red so your trip computer display and all of your illumination lights will be the same red color after you switch. I thought about switching the dash color to red but clear plastic behind the tack and speed dials is tinted green so putting red bulbs in there would not fix the problem, someone on the board did it but I am not sure how they did it, whoever did it fess up. I gues just a cosmetic problem. I guess if you are color blind it won't make a difference.

-Cutting: inorder to make room for the extra wires behind the analog dash I had to do a little cutting, just a little, maybe 5 inches by 1 inches.

-Some good news
-trip computer: all functions seem to work except the mentioned range function.
-Display is awsome: green
-dimmer adjustment works perfectly
-needle movement ahhhhh in my opinion soooooooo worth it. when I got the car the transition from my nice 81 wagon red display to the ultra robotic dork tack, and exacto, sezier inducing speed display was a real let down
-telltail graphic: there is a graphic for fog lights and there is a little Hazard symbol that I am sure I can utilize for something
-Diff Lock = 4wd guess I will just have to get a new tranny to go with my dash ironically I am using an 86 RX tranny but it is just 4wd DR with RX low
-Low range = Low range
-Turbo light works
-Door lock light works, I hate this light I wish I whould have disabled it.
-Now I have a voltmeter!!!!!


Man if you are still reading this you are diehard, Hope this helps any future converters check the pics out for the conversion sheet and if you want an excel format i am sure I can provide that in a little bit. Good luck

#2 calebz

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 01:23 AM

Mods.. Can we copy thid to the USRM?

Too cool. Thanks for the writeup. This exact thing has crossed my mind a number of times. I'm sure this will make it a lot easier.

#3 Turbone

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 01:58 AM

Well, I congradulate you :clap: You are one of the few that have actually done the conversion, and made it work. I second the request for USRM placement.

#4 TimHansen

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 02:34 AM

funny, i'm actually trying to find parts to convert my '88 Camry from analog to digital!

(digi dash Camrys were only sold in Canada...)

#5 baccaruda

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 05:27 AM

wow. you did that faster than i shipped it to you!
thanks for the plug.
so you made an adapter for the car's wiring harness? that does seem like the best way. Now since I'm going to try to fix the wagon's engine, I want the dash back.
no, really.
;)

#6 WJM

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 08:21 AM

So whats the fate of the old digi dash? :brow:

#7 Subi81

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 01:53 PM

The original messed up digi dashes fate hmmmmmm?? - I think I will make a display out of it and put it on the wall, maybe with some nice backlighting?

There is basically no way to make it a functional dash agian, all of the connectors have been ripped off the board, if you go to the image gallery there are some pics of where I ripped out the connectors, not pretty.

The digi baccaruda sold me worked flawlessly bty. I used it as the backup while my broken one was getting sacrificed. You want it back Really????? I don't know... good working Digi's are hard to come by. ;)

#8 grantsxt

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 02:13 PM

Yeah I am thinking about going to digital, do you have to just rewire the dash like crazy, or do you also have to change sensors too. I am kind of a old technology freak and would love to have that sweet digital dash in my XT :grin:

#9 Turbone

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 04:59 PM

You might want to read the first post :brow: And view the pics in the Gallery too.

#10 Subi81

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 08:13 PM

To convert a dash all I had to was make a new wire loom (see Pictures) that connects the analog inputs to the digital inputs, Change the fuel sensor, run a wire to my rear defogger switch and make additional space behind my dash for the additional wires.

Read the first post for all the details. Figgureing out which wire goes where was the hardest part, soildering all the wires together was just plug and chug. Then there is the debbuging, (hey why is my defogger indiator on when defogger is off?) Lots of headscratching!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing that should be noted, the convertion that I did converts an 85-86 digi dash to a 87-@89 Analog dash, if you do a convesion that uses the same year dash then it might be a little easier ie the headbeam indicator and defogger indicator might not need modification.

Also you will need the FSM for both dashes, this proved priceless in the conversion.

Hope this helps

#11 baccaruda

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 08:55 PM

noooooo, i want the analog dash back now :P

actually.. is there any chance you could hook me up with some wiring diagram goodness? I wouldn't mind having the diagrams you used for this in case i want to do it later (i see analog turbo dashes at the JY from time to time) and I would also love to have diagrams for the transmissions' wiring harnesses (pushbutton 5 speed in wagon)... I'll send you beer money for photocopies..... ??

#12 Caboobaroo

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 10:00 PM

yeah I'm kinda goin through the same deal with my conversion from the stock '78 Brat cluster to my '87 Honda Accord cluster. Tryin to figure it all out and I don't have the FSM for the Honda so I'm following the whole dash and tryin to lay it out. Glad to see someone decided to do this and do a write-up on it. I'll put this in the USRM for everyone:D

#13 Subi81

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:01 AM

Caboobaroo ya the wireing diagrams are very helpful I am sure you could wire up a dash without one but it would take a long time.

baccaruda Ya I will look around for those diagrams, I have the FSM for 86 and 87 I will try to get some pics sometime this week. don't worry about the beer money I need to cut down on my "distractions" from school work.

#14 Subi81

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:22 AM

http://www.ultimates...ery.php?cat=613

Here are those wire diagrams if you need higher resolution I can jack it up more.

#15 baccaruda

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 02:56 PM

those are great, thanks!

#16 Sonicfrog

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 08:49 PM

Finally converted digi to analog dash that I bought from baccaruda (totaly recommend buying stuff from him)

Anyways, my approach was to make a converter loom. On one end is the connections that the stock dash harness plugs into(female), I had to basically rip these off the digi circuit board, I highly recommend doing that if you really hate your digi. On the other end of the custom loom are the connectors that plug into the back of the analog dash. see pics in gallery

The bueaty of this system is you can always switch back, not sure why you would want to, plus it let me do all of the soildering in the comfort of my bedroom/shop/computer room... then when I went to install just plug in my adapter and install dash. Here are some pics from the install and my cheat sheet I made:

http://www.ultimates...=500&ppuser=306

Some things that should be noted:

-Chime doesn't work, not a big deal to me but some people might not like this
the reason for this is I converted an 89 RX dash to go with an 86 wagon.
in the 89 the seatbelt timer and chime is all a seperate unit, but on the 86 that at is all built into the dash. When I ditched the digi I ditched the timer

-Seatbelt light doesn't light: again the timer is a separate unit

-EGR: on the 86 there is an EGR light that comes on every 60K miles, I guess on 89 RX dashes they are to cool for this, so there isn't one. cool

-Highbeam indicator: the 89 uses a control ground circuit while the 86 uses a control positive circuit ie 89 has positive going to the light all the time stick this in a contol positive circuit and the display is reversed. indicator is on while highbeams are off.

-Rear defogger: this circuit suffers the same problem as the hightbeams, opposite circuit contol, I got around this by making a jumper to go directly to the defogger switch.

-fuel sender unit: yes you have to change the fuel sender unit, what is really funny is when I got the wagon the fuel gauge was all messed up, someone had replaced the digi sender unit with an analog unit, so I really scored on that one.

-Temp sender: there is a rumor that this has to be changed also, looking in the fsm and from actually testing it I believe this is NOT the case, the temp gauge seemed to function just fine.

-Oil pressure: since the Digi doesn't have this I found an open spot in the digi harness and plumbed in my own line to go to the Oil pressure sender, just have to get the sender unit now.

-Out side temp: On 86 digi's the outside tempurature is intigrated into the dash, and not on the trip computer like 87 and later models, I happen to have an 87 trip computer and will probalby install it and get my temperature display back. so there is a way around that.

-Trip computer "range" function: since I changed my fuel sender unit I am not sure if the trip computer will like the new senders input: more testing will reviel if this is going to be a problem or not. off the record this function never seemed to work right anyway, found myself driving around on 1/4 tank and trip computer said I should have been stranded a long time ago.

-Color: Don't get me wrong I love the color, nice and green but in 86 they used red so your trip computer display and all of your illumination lights will be the same red color after you switch. I thought about switching the dash color to red but clear plastic behind the tack and speed dials is tinted green so putting red bulbs in there would not fix the problem, someone on the board did it but I am not sure how they did it, whoever did it fess up. I gues just a cosmetic problem. I guess if you are color blind it won't make a difference.

-Cutting: inorder to make room for the extra wires behind the analog dash I had to do a little cutting, just a little, maybe 5 inches by 1 inches.

-Some good news
-trip computer: all functions seem to work except the mentioned range function.
-Display is awsome: green
-dimmer adjustment works perfectly
-needle movement ahhhhh in my opinion soooooooo worth it. when I got the car the transition from my nice 81 wagon red display to the ultra robotic dork tack, and exacto, sezier inducing speed display was a real let down
-telltail graphic: there is a graphic for fog lights and there is a little Hazard symbol that I am sure I can utilize for something
-Diff Lock = 4wd guess I will just have to get a new tranny to go with my dash ironically I am using an 86 RX tranny but it is just 4wd DR with RX low
-Low range = Low range
-Turbo light works
-Door lock light works, I hate this light I wish I whould have disabled it.
-Now I have a voltmeter!!!!!


Man if you are still reading this you are diehard, Hope this helps any future converters check the pics out for the conversion sheet and if you want an excel format i am sure I can provide that in a little bit. Good luck


Hey Subie 81.

What circuit did you use for the oil pressure gauge??? I'm changing out my 87 ugly digi with a modified 86 analogue.

#17 Subi81

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 07:31 PM

I had to run a wire from the oil pressre sender all the way to the gauge. I think I used connector spot # 10 on the digital harness. But any empty slot will work. Good luck, If you need anymore info post, I will keep a lookout for this post.

#18 Sonicfrog

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 11:53 AM

I had to run a wire from the oil pressre sender all the way to the gauge. I think I used connector spot # 10 on the digital harness. But any empty slot will work. Good luck, If you need anymore info post, I will keep a lookout for this post.


Couldn't I just use the line from the oil warning light that sits below the gauge array?




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