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Installing additional gauges (for example oil press/temp)

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Jeroen
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Installing additional gauges (for example oil press/temp)

Post by Jeroen » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:42 am

Below write up is by long time member Marcin, username Mcinek, many thanks!

I decided to install additional gauges to my 323i:

Oil pressure
Oil temperature
Voltmeter

All original VDO, from the old series therefore matching style of E21 interior perfectly.

I made a guide, maybe someone will use it in the future.

In order to make oil pressure and oil temperature gauges working you need proper senders. It is important, the senders are the same brand as the gauge, and of course the same scale and unit (eg VDO pressure sensor, the scale of 0-5, bar).

I got a new oil temp. sender and used oil pressure sender (Audi / VW) which I cleaned up and painted. The temperature sender is the gold one:

Image

Oil pressure sender from Audi / VW has two contacts:

WK - the light on the dash
G – Gauge

I left the original BMW pressure sender and used the Audi sender for the gauge only.

With the senders ready there’s always a question where to install them to the engine. I bought a special adapter for the oil filter where I installed the senders to.

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The only thing I did to it was changing the color.

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And that how it looks installed to the engine

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Next step is preparing wires. Every sender needs one wire to be connected to the gauge (each about 2 meters long).
Also you need wires to connect the gauges to car electrics;

1. One wire for "Ground"
2. One wire for "+" after turning the ignition on
3. One wire for "+" for the gauges lights

Image

As for gauges contacs there are three of them on each gauge:

1. + - where you connect "+" after turning the ignition on
2. G – where you connect wire from the sender
3. - ground

In voltmeter you use only two contacts "+" and "-".

That’s how it looks in the engine compartment.

Image

Red - the wires that go to the senders
Blue - wire to the factory pressure sender
Brown color - ground

That's where I got the ground from for the oil filter adapter.

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All the wires in the car waiting for gauges

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Black and black-red are the wires from the sender. You connect them to the G contact on the gauge

And now how to connect the gauges to car electrics:

Brown cable need to be connected to cars ground

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Next is „+” after ignition is on. You can connect it to the green cable running from the steering column

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And last, the „+” for gauges lights. White-blue cable from lights switch is best to connect the gauges lights to it because the lights dimming will also work on gauges.

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WARNING! It is crucial you don’t connect „+” to the oil pressure and oil temp. senders . If you do, most likely senders will brake down.

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Red arrow: cables to oil pressure and oil temperature sender
Blue arrow: "+" after the ignition is on
Brown arrow: "ground"

But before the gauges can go to the car there are still some modifications required for gauges. I took the gauges apart and painted the needles white and I painted the bulbs using red transparent paint. Now the gauges illumination matches the E21 factory illumination.

Image

The last issue is where to install the gauges.

I decided to do it like BMW E21 tuners which is on top of the dashboard. Althought I didn’t buy one from the shelf gauge cluster. I built one myself using E21 dashboard so now the texture and the color of the gauge cluster match the dashboard perfectly.

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I used doublesided tape to install the gauge cluster to the dashboard but before I had to made a cut in the cover so the wires can go through

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Here’s how it looks when finished. I’m very happy with the result.

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Rgs,
Marcin


Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: Installing additional gauges (for example oil press/temp

Post by e21-Mark » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:43 pm

Great work.

Wish we had RHD versions of the gauge pod available here!

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Re: Installing additional gauges (for example oil press/temp

Post by TopCat » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:54 pm

really good tech info on this post!

as an alternative esp. for RHD cars how about a panel below the radio like this (in a black leather covered surface)?

Image

I have seen packs of three VDO gauges (or similar) with mounts for sale somewhere
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Re: Installing additional gauges (for example oil press/temp

Post by petroscf » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:40 pm

This adapter (this metal "ring") where both oil senders (temp and pressure) are connected, is required, or there is any other alternative way to connect them?

Also, I was also given (from Bavarian Autosports, where I ordered the vdo gauges and senders) this RT angle adapter, but I don't know what it is for, and I didn't see it used anywhere in this thread

Image
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Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Jeroen » Sun May 10, 2015 11:41 pm

Our active forum member Remy pointed us toward a friend of him, Peter, who was doing some nice engineering with electronics, aiming for nice adds to youngtimer BMW's which of course started off with his own E24. The idea? Something compact and contemporary looking that would easily fit in, so it had to be smaller that the usual analog gauges of VDO and the likes. He came up with some great LED stuff that matches for example the LED's of the E21 digital clock.

Most important stuff you'd like to add? Volts and amps from the alternator perhaps, oil temp and oil pressure?!

This is the install in Peter's E24 and we immediately fell in love with it

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Peter started to make a few sets for E21's, using the following oil filter adapter with sensors to get decent readings, here on Remy's engine

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Adapter fitted

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Oil filter back on

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in the meantime Peter was building the modules for the dash

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this is the set that was designed for Remy, left to right Volts, fuel pressure (Bar), oil temp (C), oil pressure (Bar)

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installed in Remy's car

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my install

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wiring

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end result of the stock E21 set with volts, oil temp, oil pressure

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This is the standard set Peter_P is offering:
- box with 3 displays (Volt, oil temp C, oil press Bar)
- sandwich oil filter adapter with 2 sensors
- wiring
Price is 229 Euros + shipping

Please contact Peter_P through his profile by PM for more info (option available for all registered members).

Special requests are possible but take more money and time of course

In the meantime, Peter took things one step further. Started off with a single display for the stock switch opening of an E30, using a switch as basis. Just a single gauge might do in many cases, for example the E30 M3 already has an oil temp gauge and in here you can add oil pressure for example

Switched off

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On

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The next step? Integrate multiple functions in one display, and make it controllable through the OBC button on the indicator stalk! Watch the video for a demo, I love it!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llll-cFfI3U
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by petroscf » Mon May 11, 2015 7:53 am

Already pm'd the guy.
This is possibly less retro than the analog gauges, but it is way more discrete, and also saves valuable under console space.
Can anyone say how thick/thin it is? And also, how is it mounted on the console?
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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Jeroen » Mon May 11, 2015 8:19 am

It is as thin as can be seen on the pictures, guess abt 30mm max.

What I did:
-removed the centre console entirely
-drilled a few 1mm holes in the top enclosure
-as well as in the plastic bottom of the centre console
-used a couple of very small screws to mount it, first fitting top cover and then screwed the rest of the instrument cluster underneath

Make sure the screws are not in the way of any components inside the cluster of course but I don't think that was the case at all.

Of course you can also fit it with velcro tape, double sided tape, or even some tie wraps perhaps but I wanted it to stay, even after a hot day haha
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by pandemonium001 » Mon May 11, 2015 10:08 am

That looks spot on. Excellent price as well. :thumbsup

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by petroscf » Mon May 11, 2015 10:09 am

Ok, a mounting solution can always be found!

I am ready to order this, I already love it!

Can anyone tell if this "sandwich" adaptor will work the same with an M10 engine? The one on the picture is fitted on M20 if I am not mistaken
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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Jeroen » Mon May 11, 2015 11:31 am

it's the same
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Peter_P » Mon May 11, 2015 6:26 pm

Jeroen, thanks for copying to the international section. I'm glad you guys like the idea.
If there are questions I can help you with, feel free to contact me, or post your question in this topic.

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Jeroen » Mon May 11, 2015 6:40 pm

:thumbsup sorry for taking my time haha!
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by Mihajlo » Mon May 11, 2015 9:37 pm

Good job!
Is it possible to integrate all that to existing digital clock in tachometer?

Edit:
Can we get part list? :mrgreen:
Last edited by Mihajlo on Mon May 11, 2015 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by bmw e12 e21 » Mon May 11, 2015 9:37 pm

petroscf wrote:Already pm'd the guy.
This is possibly less retro than the analog gauges, but it is way more discrete, and also saves valuable under console space.
Can anyone say how thick/thin it is? And also, how is it mounted on the console?
I mounted it this way.
2 screws on the front:
Image
One L-bracket under the gauges:
Image
grt Remy

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BMW e21 323i ED. S 1982 143pk 190Nm
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BMW e91 318d 2009 190pk 411Nm
FORD Focus 1.8TDci 2010 115pk 300Nm

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Re: Additional digital gauges install (E21-E24-E30)

Post by bmw e12 e21 » Mon May 11, 2015 9:38 pm

Mihajlo wrote:Good job!
Is it possible to integrate all that to existing digital clock in tachometer?
I THINK you may not have enough place there.
grt Remy

BMW e21 M315 1983 75pk+ 110Nm+ WEBER 32/36 DGAV
BMW e21 323i ED. S 1982 143pk 190Nm
BMW e12 M535i 1980 218pk 310Nm
BMW e91 318d 2009 190pk 411Nm
FORD Focus 1.8TDci 2010 115pk 300Nm

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