Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Instrument Cluster

When I had first started up the car last week, I had plugged in the instrument console to see what I would get. As I mentioned before, the speedometer worked, which was a big relief. Obviously, the fuel gauge and the temperature gauge did not. Curiously, the fuel gauge was pegged at Empty and temperature sensor showed the car was over heating.

In addition to that, were numerous warning lights that simply wouldn't, and won't go out. There was the Traction Control warning, Low Fuel lamp, over heating warning, ABS light, and of course the Check Engine light. Most of those lights (with the exception of the Check Engine light) I simply removed from the back of the console. They'll never go out, so there's no point in having them there. Of course the other thing that didn't work was the tachometer.

Since I need to replace the tachometer, I want to try to get the new one to look as stock as possible. I realize that the Fates are not behind me on this, but I'm going to try anyway. I want to fit the new one where the old one is. I opened up the cluster to remove the existing tachometer. Here's a shot of the cluster; notice no needle for the tach:

I've ordered a replacement that should fit in the space, and match somewhat closely. The dial is 3 and 3/8" round, it has white numbers and markings that glow red at night; the stock glows orange, but orange wasn't an option. The needle will be white and remain white when illuminated. I'm going to have to carefully cut out the old dial so the new one will fit. So I took the assembly apart so I could get to it.

You can see the old tachometer at the bottom of this shot. It fit into that space just above it in the assembly. If you look at the dial area on the assembly, you'll see a raised piece of plastic that traces the perimeter of the dial at the top with a sort of staggered look to it. That is there simply to distribute light around the dial. I'll likely have to cut the dial out, leaving that light distributor, as well as leaving enough plastic on either side so as not to compromise the structural integrity of the whole assembly. It doesn't need to be too stout, but it does need to hold together while I put it all back together. You can also see in the picture that I've put some shrink tubing on the pins for temperature sensor to the left. I did the same for the gas gauge. This way, they'll just be dead in the console.

I mentioned that I didn't remove the light bulb for the Check Engine light. That's because I intend to use that for the Zilla controller. If the Zilla recognizes a fault situation, it will illuminate that warning light. I've soldered a wire to the circuit board on the back to route the signal to it.

The yellow wire will be connected to a lead that is already in place and runs to the Zilla. The red wire will provide power to the new tachometer for the back lighting. That wire is soldered to the board on a place that only has power when the dash lights are on. So far, so good. Now I just need to wait for the new gauge to show up.

Yesterday, I did one other thing. I thought I'd re-assemble the passenger side dashboard, glove box and all. But last week as I started to fit everything I realized that I'd placed the fuse for the Link 10 meter in a place that can only be accessed if I disassemble the dash. Well that won't do, so I moved it to the electrics bay for easier access.

This means I'll have to re-program the Link 10, which will be OK. Apparently I did something wrong with the first go at programing it. When I came out to look at the care Tuesday, the "Gas gauge" showed that there was only 34 % of the battery's capacity remaining. I know that's not true. While there is a draw on the batteries when the car is off, it's on the order of milliamps. In fact the meter showed that I'd only used 1/2 a kWh since I'd charged the car. That seemed about right with all the testing I've done. But if the meter thinks the batteries have only 34% capacity remaining after I've used 1/2 kWh, then it's set wrong. So, I'll have to sort that out.

1 comment:

kousalya said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Instrument Cluster