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Full Mod and rebuild of Instrument Cluster with GPS Speedo
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0cean
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Full Mod and rebuild of Instrument Cluster with GPS Speedo Reply with quote

For years now I have been unhappy with the instrument cluster and all its problems due to age. Blinking water lights, fuel gauge never going to full, speedometer always off due to tire size changes. It was one of the most frustrating, costly, and time consuming issues I have had with the vanagon.
Well after countless times replacing sensors and adding speed correction devices (broke after 8 months) I decided to find a permanent fix that was as close to stock looking as possible, yet with lots of modern conveniences and functionality. My Ebay searches ended up here http://www.speedhut.com/gauges/GPS-Speedometers-Dual-4-inch/37:4%7C1:10
Perfect! because GPS eliminates the speedometer cable for a bullet proof system and provides a nifty little trip computer. It also has a fuel gauge build in. Sweet!! The tach is also from them and can be programed to work with the Subaru 2.2 tach sig. It is too good for me to pass up so I pulled the costly trigger.
When I order the gauges I did some modifying. I requested no turn siginals inside the gauge and that saved me some money. I also requested KM on the inside of the gauge because I often travel sown to Mexico for surfing and sometimes wine tasting. Speedhut was every easy going and accommodating to all the requests. Nice people over there.

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The first thing to do was carefully pop out the glass because it was not needed and in the way. From here itís all or nothing!!!

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The glass is out and the gauges donít fit perfectly in the case, so a lot of drummeling was done to cut out about a 1/8 of the side walls for each gauge.

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Little painters tape to create a barrier between the foam and the gauge. Note: the foam will spread under the front of the gauge, so leave a gap for the foam to expand. Learned this the hard way.

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All foamed up. The gauge can be removed if needed, yet itís really tight.

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Coming along

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I took some advice from others here on Samba and bought the card adapter for $50ish. It was a life saver. This is my first attempt at a board to replace the blue ribbon. The only thing that worked was the oil light and turn signal... I have never had electronics training, can u tell?

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Attempt #2 I went all out. Even created a board and etched it myself! the only problem was now the battery light worked and nothing else.... Grrrr.. Iím about to through this peace of [email protected]% out the window!!!

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Thatís when I found out about San Diego Electronics www.sdelectronicssupply.com [email protected] I went in there to get a couple of resistors and the owner (Manny) told me he could work on it if I needed some help, so I jumped at the chance and handed over everything I had. From there he reverse engineered the foil and created a new board. He also replaced some LED'S and adjusted there voltage so the new LEDs werenít blinding. It took him some time because the guy is crazy busy, but said he enjoyed working on the project. Everything worked great when I got it back.

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Night time without the center light fixed yet.

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The last thing was to create a new center symbol peace that I did with Corel draw and internet pictures. The final version was printed on transparency paper and glued to the original plastic symbol sheet that was cleaned with a solvent to strip the old printing. I added a water faucet because Iím hoping to have the low coolant level warning light there. Two more 2 1/16 gauges are on the way for coolant temp and battery voltage. The coolent temp gauge has a programble warning light; along with the low water light on the instrument cluster, it should be enough for me to know if there are issues in the cooling system.

The only issue I have with this mod is the fuel gauge moves like crazy when driving. It reads correctly when still or flat, but the new gauges do not like the original VW fuel sending unit and at some point Iím going to have to replace it for a Speed hut sender. Anyone know what the depth of a 2WD fuel cell is and if the bolt pattern Standard 5 bolt SAE pattern?

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New toys from the trip computer. My 0-60 is 14.5 secs for a Subaru 2.2

So Mann at www.sdelectronicssupply.com [email protected] said he was interested in creating a dash foil replacements if people were interested. At the time I asked him about it, Gowesty had not posted their intentions to create one and I thought this was a good chance for him and all the vanagon owners because no one was doing it. Manny said heís interested in making clean easy to install harnesses with a new board like the one he did for me,so drop him an email to find out more. Iím confident in recommending him because of his crazy electronics skills, good attitude and I like supporting small businesses like his. (There is not a lot around anymore)
Thatís about it. Thanks for reading.

Ocean
Sometimes my ideas are bigger then my abilities


Last edited by 0cean on Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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SL12572
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Gauges Reply with quote

Fantastic! This is something I have been contemplating doing. It will either be this, or I will be configuring an Android tablet to replace all of my gauges and add some.


Really nice work...Looks very clean!
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greebly
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice.
For the fuel sender, you might be able to add a capacitor on the signal line to eliminate the transients and smooth out the needle response. Your electronics guy should know how to do it and the appropriate value.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really cool. What I'd like to do is tie in a PWM controller so that the oil level/temp sending unit in my TDI oil pan can be read for the idiot light and temp readings.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speechless.

Bravo!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa! Shocked

DO WANT!!!!
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Farfrumwork
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

BAD ASS
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the printed circuit board, These guys will make three boards for you at a cost of $51.

http://www.expresspcb.com/

I used them to make my Subie ECU daughterboard. Download their software, design it, submit. 1 week later you have your boards.

Paul
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Nimbus'87
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:50 pm    Post subject: Cluster... Reply with quote

Well done! Now to wire in the Subie engine OBD like an Evoscan etc.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X2 on the . . .
greebly wrote:
Very nice.
For the fuel sender, you might be able to add a capacitor on the signal line to eliminate the transients and smooth out the needle response. Your electronics guy should know how to do it and the appropriate value.


Great job - congrats on tackling everyone's nightmare Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool and your van held together at close to 100 MPH! (158Km/h) Shocked Congats!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Whoa! Nicely done. Love the water temp symbol. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NICE!!!
I agree, the signal is just varrying too fast to the fuel guage. There are ways to slow that down.
There isn't a "bolt pattern" on the vanagon sender, it simply is held in place by putting it in and giving it a quarter turn compressing an O ring under a tapered sleeve.
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big swifty
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Where are you going to put the smaller gauges?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: Oh My Reply with quote

This is exactly what I was thinking about doing...Glad you were able to see it through to completion! Speedhut in UT are nice folks. I called them about a month ago asking about their gauges...I'll be using this write up for sure when I pull the trigger. WELL DONE!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome upgrade and well documented.

I looked at the website for the gauges quickly. I would assume the gauge has an internal GPS receiver based on the price. Correct?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Applause
Wow, on my wish list.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen that cluster in a vanagon before. It is driving me crazy- anybody?

It looks like a clean solution for those not wanting to deal with regearing the speedo due to tire size changes.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think CV Bill .


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
I have seen that cluster in a vanagon before. It is driving me crazy- anybody?

It looks like a clean solution for those not wanting to deal with regearing the speedo due to tire size changes.


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