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Speedo/tach from a VW Fox
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Speedo/tach from a VW Fox Reply with quote

I successfully swapped in the tach and speedo from an '84 VW fox (At least the back of it was dated '84) into my Subaru powered syncro.

the gauges look very similar to the stock vanagon ones.

the are similar to this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The speedo is marked 1540 on the bottom. This is as close as its gonna get for my 28" tires.


My speed was off about 3 mph and the odometer would read between 5-6 miles low per 100 miles.

I figured stock is 1600 / 2 = 800 revs per mile

My tires are 747 revs per mile

So the new speedo is 1540 / 2 = 770 which is closer to my tires. This should just about split the difference. I need to get my wife's gps to verify the speed readings.

My main motivation wasn't to correct the mph, it was to replace my very loud syncro speedo that has almost 300,000 miles on it. they are getting very expensive and hard to find. I picked up this whole cluster for $15 bucks. and I wanted a tach with a more appropriate redline for the subaru engine.

The tach works with my subaru diode mod. the electronics of the tach looked identical to the stock vanagons. I now have a 6600rpm redline. the tach was a direct drop in, but it sits very slightly cockeyed.

the speedo needed a lot more work. I messed around with it for a bit swapping parts from the two... but I ended up using the Fox backing plate with a custom made adapter/spacer to bolt it to the vanagon cluster housing. the speedometer cable connection is the same though.
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VisPacem
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Speedo/tach from a vw fox Reply with quote

Hello pilgrim

That is one H... of a nice setup Cool

Please if you have a chance, post pics of the completed work, and if possible the details regarding installation/possible modifications Smile

thanks Arrow Arrow Arrow Arrow ..... Cool
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Sir Sam
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, I'm having flashbacks to driving a red 93 fox after seeing that cluster.

93 VW fox, only car to meet the "passive restraint" regulations by having those damn automatic seat belts.

Hippies have acid flashbacks, VW owners have Volkswagen flash backs(and sometimes both).
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vwlovr
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you don't need to buy a new one, just get it rebuilt. mine went south and got very noisy as well, but for like $100 i got it refurbed and regeared (although that wasn't worth it as it now reads 10-12mph faster) by palo alto speedometer.

they are very nice and VDO pros. i plan on taking mine in to re-gear again. but now mine works great and makes no noise.
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take back what I said about the tach working with the diode mod. It works up to 4000rpms, then it goes all wonky.

I'm going to try the subaru ECU tach signal and see if that works. I know it works with pre '85 vans, and since this tach is from that same era hopefully it will work.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edgood1 wrote:
I take back what I said about the tach working with the diode mod. It works up to 4000rpms, then it goes all wonky.

I'm going to try the subaru ECU tach signal and see if that works. I know it works with pre '85 vans, and since this tach is from that same era hopefully it will work.


You can easily mod the '86+ stock tach to take the ECU signal, so if the Fox tach doesn't work with the ECU you can try this. Here is what I posted to the subaruvanagon group 6 years ago:

presslab wrote:
To modify the stock tachometer to work with the 12V tach wire from the Subaru ECU perform the following modifications: 1) Remove the 3.32k resistor colored Orange, Orange, Red, Brown, Brown. This is near the connector pins. 2) Replace the 1.0k resistor colored Brown, Black, Red, Gold that is over the round hole in the PCB with a 220k resistor. You can find this at Radio Shack.

The adjustment (potentiometer) on the tach circuit board can be used to adjust for a 7k tachometer face. You'll really need a function generator to perform this calibration though.

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edgood1
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

during my lunch break I wired the tach up to the subaru ECU tach and it works perfectly. I like this better than the diode hack.

the cluster is now 100% functional. I really like this mod. cheap cheap cheap. A correct speedo is nice too. It looks very stock I'll take some pics of it soon..
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. Would have been nice to put the time in on that as opposed to modding my air cooled cluster for my engine swap. Works, and I wanted to keep the analogue clock, but a cleaner look would be nice.

Neil.

Modded air cooled:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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edgood1
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heres some pics of the gauges in the dash

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The new speedo reads between 1-2 mph slow, which is about what i noticed from the stock speedo with stock tires.

The odometer now reads 3-4 miles short per 100. now everything is a little more accurate.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting?? I looked through my parts and located a cluster I still have from my '87 GTi 16v. The speedo is the same"1540" calibration but goes to 140MPH!, the tach yellows at 6800 and reds at 7200, might be a good keeper for my project Syncro. Perhaps all front drive drive VW's are good donors with the higher speedo calibration
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the trick to installing the speedo, at least the version I had, was to use washers to space the speedo unit away from the original backing plate. I think I used 3 small washers and longer screws. they were m4 or m5 screws. That puts the speedo face flush with the cluster housing.

Since the backing plate doesn't line up with the holes in the vanagon cluster, I had to drill a hole just below the top right hole (looking at the back of the cluster), made the lower right hole more of a slot and used a big washer.

Then on the left side it doesn't even come close so I made a small bracket out of thin aluminum. I cut 4 holes, two so that it can be screwed into the vanagon cluster housing, and then tapped the other two holes such that the speedo backing plate can be secured to the aluminum piece with threaded screws. Works nicely.

Even without the aluminum bracket I made it was pretty stable and you could get away with out it.

The low oil pressure buzzer from the fox looks almost identical to the vanagon, and will fit in place with the vanagon foil using my method.

The speedo cable fits right in.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1993 EJ22 in my Multivan

I have a 7K tach that looks the same as above and is from some A2. So it is pre 1993. I am using the the diode mod as shown below. I can get NO tachs to work in my van even those from another converted van. I asked this question some time ago on the Subaru Vangon Yahoo Group with no luck.

Funny thing is, if I use one diode hooked up, I get half RPMs. I hook the other diode up, I get half RPMs. I use both and I get nothing. This is for any tach I try. I have tried 4, including the tach that works from another converted Vanagon.

What could I be doing wrong? Or what's the preferred way to have a working tach?
.
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o,

that is exactly the problem I had. I could not get the stock vanagon tach to read correctly with the diode method. it always read half the RPMs that it should.

My solution was to use the ECU tach signal which worked with the tach in the above posts.


The subaru ECU signal will not work with the later vanagon tachs but it works with earlier vanagon tachs and the one I used from the fox. I suspect most late 70's and early 80's VW tachs will work with the subaru ECU tach signal.

in any event, when I replaced the vanagon tach with the vw fox tach it was much easier to just wire it to the subaru ECU tach signal... much cleaner that splicing the ignitor and soldering in diodes.

This gauge swap was also one of the more satisfying parts of the subaru conversion . I really like how they match the stock look . The tach is suited perfectly for the subaru engine and the speedo is more accurate with my big tires. The best part is they are super cheap and easy to find.
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FrankenSubySyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at the circuit board in the 85 tachs it is a dark brown color and I have seen this same one in some 80s jettas. This is probably the one you got from the fox.

The 86+ tach have a light brown / beige circuit board and need to be modified to work with the subaru ecu signal. I did not do the diode method, instead I changed resisters on the tach circuit board and it works great.

See here for directions:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/subaruvanagon/...ach%20Mod/
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the calibration on the speedo. I have done some different tire sizes on my Golfs and I able to get the speedo right on.

What you have to do is take the speedo out. Move the needs so it does not rest on the pin so it floats freely between the bottom of the speedo and the resting pin. Then pri the needle off with your fingers, its a bitch. The place it back on by the error that you had before. Then rest the needle back on the pin, put it back together and you should be good. If not repeat.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some NOS fox speedo heads if this helps someone out. PM Me.
They are speedo heads only. in the VW box with 800 miles on one and 1600 miles on the other. They both read 1575 for ratio.

Not many Foxes left, so I hope a fellow vanagon owner can use them.

I also have a few Rabbit speedos from the 80's same condition in the box. These were most likely dealer takeoffs, or warranty parts worth keeping. Got them from a old dealer tech. Lots of other weird gauges too......
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my tach for my conversion was a 87 or 89 jetta tach. not diodes needed. works perfect and is right on according to the b12 scan software.

just a simple ecu wire run - I used the Hi pressure oil wire from the black box.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey edgood1

Thanks for posting the details.

In hindsight, was it worth modding the Vanagon cluster to accept the Fox Speedometer?

I may be able to lay my hands on a NEW Fox speedometer for relatively little money so would consider making it fit if the mod didn't hack up the Vanagon cluster too much

It's likely I'm misunderstanding your comments on adapting the speedo, but would the backing plate from a Vanagon speedometer fit the Fox guts? I bet you thought of that though.

I doubt this new part will c/w a dynamic oil pressure "L" board but would be nice if it did.

Thanks!

Neil.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fox speedo is geared very differently than a 2wd Vanagon speedo. It is close to Syncro speedo cable rotational speed requirements. Some other VW car speedos are similar. None are close to what is needed for a 2wd Vanagon. The number on the face tells the cable speed the speedo is built to work with in revs/mile or revs/km.

Mark

Vanagon Nut wrote:
Hey edgood1

Thanks for posting the details.

In hindsight, was it worth modding the Vanagon cluster to accept the Fox Speedometer?

I may be able to lay my hands on a NEW Fox speedometer for relatively little money so would consider making it fit if the mod didn't hack up the Vanagon cluster too much...
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Mark. I saw the comment on Syncro but didn't put 2+2 together; the front axle must make threading a 2wd speedo cable pretty tough. Wink

The Fox speedometer I can get is a "clearance" item from VW. $35 Cnd but don't know what number it will have.

PN 307 957 033 23

Would preloaded the needle away from the white preload mark work or would doing this simply correct the displayed speed within a certain speed range?

Neil.
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50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

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https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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