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Guest Message by DevFuse

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L-series gauge cluster swap?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 hilux_1990


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 07:41 AM

I did a search here and elsewhere and couldn't find anything so my apologies if you're all aware of this already...

Here in Australia the L-series DL and GL station wagons didn't get a tachometer in the guage cluster, whereas the Touring Wagon model did.
I'm thinking that physically both clusters are the same size, but the more basic cluster has some blanking plates with the speedo and car-picture-thing more in the center. :D

I figure I should be able to just bolt in the entire tacho-cluster assembly, but a wrecker has informed me it would require a completely different wiring loom to operate.

Therefore in order to manually connect the tacho gauge I have thought of 3 possibilities:
1. the tacho is electrical and would need to be wired into the ignition
2. the tacho operates on a separate mechanical link to the transmission
3. the tachno is mechanically linked to the speedo/odo inside the guage cluster itself

That's where I'm at so far... hopefully someone else has done this already?

#2 GLCraig



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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:14 AM

I think you would have better luck asking this question on the Australian Subaru board. Here is the link http://www.ausubaru....in/yabb/YaBB.pl

#3 hilux_1990


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:38 AM

Thanks, yeah I guess I thought this board was more busy... :bday:

#4 MorganM


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:53 AM

This is one of the most active Subaru boards around but your question is very unique.

I would agree with the tech. who told you that it would require the wireharness and such for it to work properly. On the back are lots of plugs and wires that go to specific devices. While you CAN figure it all out and wire some stuff up yourself it will be a lot of work.

How about some aftermarket guages and guage clusters?

#5 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 02:08 PM

Your tach almost certianly runs off the distributor. Every one I've seen does anyway. That's why when the disty blows, the tach starts jumping all over the place.


#6 hilux_1990


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Posted 03 October 2003 - 06:50 PM

Thanks GD.

This is my first L-series so I haven't looked into what workshop manuals are available... would anyone know where I could source the wiring diagrams for the Touring Wagon?

#7 hilux_1990


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Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:11 AM

For anyone that happens to be using the search function I figured I would let everyone know about my successful gauge cluster swap.

The primary vehicle is a 1991 DL Wagon with an EA-82 carby that previously had the basic instrument cluster (ie. no tachometer).
I managed to find a donor vehicle for all my parts, a 1987 EA-82 fuel-injected Loyale sedan.

The DL Wagon has a blue interior so I was planning to swap in the grey interior from the sedan (I like grey interior!)
This worked out perfectly because the wiring loom is actually part of the dashboard so it was a somwhat, um.... 'simple' exercise to remove the original dash and plug the donor dashboard into the car.

Once the up-market Loyale dashboard was in place it now provided all the connections for power windows, central locking and 4-speaker sound (none of which the basic DL wagon had).
To connect all these power features also required the wiring loom/relays that were concealed under the carpet in the donor vehicle.
Naturally you have to install the power window/lock motors in the doors as well.

The Loyale dashboard also has the tachometer, along with connections for various other minor luxuries such as a glovebox light and the roof-mounted map light.

If I had been able to source a dashboard assembly from an up-market carbueretted vehicle this project would most likely have been complete. Unfortunately there are a few minor differences in the dash wiring looms of carby vs. fuel-injected vehicles that required a bit more work.

The tachometer required an additional wire due to how it is connected to the ignitiion coil on carby engines.
The temperature gauge also required additional wiring due to differences with the sender units.
I imagine the fuel-injected engines require a far more complicated wiring loom to interface with the computer but, given it's only a carby engine, the large blue plug under the dash for the computer is now unused.

A further issue was that the odometer on the donor gauge cluster now read over 350,000km while the vehicle it was going in had only done 160,000km.
Before I put everything back together I decided to experiment with winding back the odo. Keep in mind I had a genuine reason.
Using a spare speedo cable I was able to hook up a power drill but due to the internal gearing of the speedo it would still have taken days (even weeks!) to wind back so many KMs. Also, a speedo is only built to handle around 180km/h max. so I was worried about the damn thing exploding too.
In the end I pulled apart the whole gauge cluster until I was looking at the speedo unit. I picked up a medium-sized DC hobby motor and a plastic worm gear from an electronics store that I connected to a 12v power supply. By removing the reduction gears from the speedo unit I was able to blu-tak (or plasticine) the motor in place so the worm gear meshed with the gear on the odometer. With a few checks in between to make sure it was running in the right direction the odo was where I wanted it later that afternoon.

#8 NoahDL88


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Posted 05 March 2004 - 01:29 PM

I swaped the entire dash, the complete thing not just the cluster, the only thing that i'm having trouble with now is the wipers and the right turn signal. i'm gonna sort that out when it gets warmer, this was a swap from a GL into a DL worked out just fine, oh and the oil pressure dosn't work but i'm installing a mechanical gauge to cure that little problem.

#9 Subi81


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Posted 05 March 2004 - 09:10 PM

That is awsome! i just took my first dash out. What a pain in the (&%. Good Job.

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