Autometer gauge install help. [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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BJPbrandon2448
06-20-2012, 12:45 PM
So I was looking up how other people ran their wires and such for the install and I noticed that in our mods section it gives a nice breakdown setup of how to install all the various gauges... I really loved the idea of using the fuze box for all of the wiring, so today I started with my fuel to ratio gauge and got the pigtail installed and ran the wire through the firewall and down in the foot area... I then popped off the fuze cover on the dash only to find that mine has a slightly different setup? First thing I noticed is that there is no ground bolt in there, I have a 2002 and im guessing the one pictured in our mods install section is a 99, did they relocate the ground bolt throughout the years? Second I really like how they bridged the 12v wire in with the 12v fuze for the source! I realize these are noobish issues and that I could easily run the wiring somewhere else... Its just that I thought this would be a very clean way of doing things? Anyway im open to other idea's if anyone would be willing to tutor! Thanks guys, really appreciate it!

AaronGTR
06-20-2012, 03:18 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't follow that. It's a very old tutorial, and isn't really a very good or professional way to do it. You shouldn't be jamming things into the fuse sockets along with the fuses. I've seen people do this and get bad contacts, blow fuses, burn up contacts, etc.


It would be better to find a wire that is hot on ignition only and use that to power your gauges. There are several under the dash or behind the glove box coming from the BCM that you could use. Just need a wiring diagram to tell what is what. I used the power wire going to the wiper controls for mine. It's a larger gauge yellow wire on the steering column under the cover. I figured it would better be able to handle some extra load since it's larger gauge wire and the circuit uses a larger fuse. I peeled some of the insulation back with a hobby knife then soldered my gauge power wire to that one and then wrapped it in electrical tape. You could also do a simple twist together and crimp connection if you don't mind cutting the original wire.

There are tons of places to put the ground. You just have to look around. My 2000 doesn't have that screw they show in the pic either. However if you look to the right of the fuse block, kind of behind the edge of the opening, you should see the tubing for the dash frame with a little tab welded on and a ground pack from the factory harness bolted to it with a 10mm bolt. You should be able to take that bolt out with a wrench and put a ground wire with a ring terminal crimped on under that. Since it's a factory ground point it should be the best place to use. :thumbs:

BJPbrandon2448
06-20-2012, 04:36 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't follow that. It's a very old tutorial, and isn't really a very good or professional way to do it. You shouldn't be jamming things into the fuse sockets along with the fuses. I've seen people do this and get bad contacts, blow fuses, burn up contacts, etc.


It would be better to find a wire that is hot on ignition only and use that to power your gauges. There are several under the dash or behind the glove box coming from the BCM that you could use. Just need a wiring diagram to tell what is what. I used the power wire going to the wiper controls for mine. It's a larger gauge yellow wire on the steering column under the cover. I figured it would better be able to handle some extra load since it's larger gauge wire and the circuit uses a larger fuse. I peeled some of the insulation back with a hobby knife then soldered my gauge power wire to that one and then wrapped it in electrical tape. You could also do a simple twist together and crimp connection if you don't mind cutting the original wire.

There are tons of places to put the ground. You just have to look around. My 2000 doesn't have that screw they show in the pic either. However if you look to the right of the fuse block, kind of behind the edge of the opening, you should see the tubing for the dash frame with a little tab welded on and a ground pack from the factory harness bolted to it with a 10mm bolt. You should be able to take that bolt out with a wrench and put a ground wire with a ring terminal crimped on under that. Since it's a factory ground point it should be the best place to use. :thumbs:

alright thanks a ton aaron, so is the yellow wire under the top cover on the steering column? Ive had that piece off before when I cleaned the multi-function switch, so that should be familiar territory for me... so otherwise all I need to do is splice the yellow wire and twist my 12v power wires in with it and tape it up? And I will have to look for that ground harness when I pull off the fuse panel cover again! I will go purchase some ring terminals at radio shack... have to pick up some red 194 bulbs anyway!

Malaclypse
06-20-2012, 06:53 PM
Rather than just twisting and taping your wires on to the column harness I'd reccomend a good scotch-lock and male spade terminals for your gauge wiring.

That's how I ran the setup in my Monte Carlo. Then I had a fuse holder in-line from the 12v source (Look in the HELP section of any parts store) and used a butt connector as a splice to separate my power and ground for three different gauges. BTW I used a 5 amp fuse and never had any problems. Gauges are low draw.

The wiring was pretty clean. I would probably do a better job now since that was years ago but it worked very well.

BJPbrandon2448
06-20-2012, 07:43 PM
I managed to find that yellow wire inside of the steeling column, also pulled the fuse cover off again and I think I managed to find that ground bolt that hold that harness on... Im gonna take a picture of it just to be 100% clear!

AaronGTR
06-20-2012, 09:35 PM
Yeah, as Scott said don't just twist the wires together. That won't make good enough contact or stay secure enough to be sure they keep working. Vibration in the car would probably work it loose after a while.

As I said, I twisted mine around and then I soldered them together, and by that made sure they won't come apart. You could also also cut the wire, strip both ends, twist one together with your gauge power wire, then insert both ends into a butt connector and crimp them. That would make a fairly sturdy connection, and I've used this method before.

If you use a "scotch lock" connector make sure you get the right kind. Many people use the inline splice kind, like these http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/560%20%28BOXED%29/920074-08-ND/287161. I really dislike those and would stay away from them. They don't work very well, and especially if you are splicing two different gauges of wire. The larger one will tend to get completely cut and have intermittent connection, or the smaller wire won't make connection at all.

Get this kind of splice connector, sized for the gauge of the yellow wire. http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/951K%20%28BULK%29/920074-01-ND/31391. I've used these before and they work much better. You crimp the round end around the wire you are taping into, then crimp a blade connector onto your other wire and the blade inserts into the end of the splice. This type tends to make more reliable connections. If the wire has thick insulation, I've found you can cut into the insulation a little on either side of the wire where you are making your splice, and that way when you clamp the splice onto it, it will cut through the insulation easier.

Nice thing about those splice connectors is, if you want to remove the splice later, you can unlock them and just pull them off. The original wire is still intact, and you can simply put some electrical tape around it to protect it if needed.

locoman99
06-20-2012, 10:19 PM
For top of the line splice connectors, look for 3m. They have a complete line of them. You will never use anything else. We are talking military spec and not that expensive.

BJPbrandon2448
06-24-2012, 07:03 PM
well I have all of the gauges hooked up but Im having major issues with the trans temp. For starters what is the avg. temp that it should run at? I have everything hooked up and when I touch the source wire onto the terminal it barely fluctuates from 100 degrees up to 110 or so? So im not 100% sure what the deal is, I would start it in my driveway thinking that it would rise a little bit and it didnt? I then thought that perhaps I should drive around the block thinking that minor shifter would perhaps cause it to rise and nada? So if someone could chime in I would greatly appreciate it.

Malaclypse
06-24-2012, 08:48 PM
Where did you install the sensor for the trans temp gauge?

If you used a block spliced into the trans cooler line, you need to run a ground from the block to an engine ground. There has to be a ground path on the side of the sensor threaded into the trans or adapter block for the gauge to function properly.

If you installed it into the fluid test port in the trans, you may need to run an additional ground as I just mentioned.

Also, transmission fluid doesn't really start to heat up until about five to ten minutes into a drive.

BJPbrandon2448
06-24-2012, 08:54 PM
Where did you install the sensor for the trans temp gauge?

If you used a block spliced into the trans cooler line, you need to run a ground from the block to an engine ground. There has to be a ground path on the side of the sensor threaded into the trans or adapter block for the gauge to function properly.

If you installed it into the fluid test port in the trans, you may need to run an additional ground as I just mentioned.

Also, transmission fluid doesn't really start to heat up until about five to ten minutes into a drive.

alright thanks, I will go for a longer drive tomorrow to see if I get any different results... I put the sensor in the test posrt just like the manuel said to do, also it says that you dont need a ground wire on the sensor thread?

Malaclypse
06-25-2012, 05:29 PM
alright thanks, I will go for a longer drive tomorrow to see if I get any different results... I put the sensor in the test posrt just like the manuel said to do, also it says that you dont need a ground wire on the sensor thread?

Not how you installed it, no. The sensor will ground through the transmission case.

BJPbrandon2448
06-25-2012, 08:59 PM
Ive got everything working now, trans temp gauge was wired properly, I wasnt giving it enough time to heat up! Im really surprised by how long it takes the tranny temp to warm up... its kinda shocking compared to how fast coolant temps heat up! Now ive just got to find some higher watt red 194 bulbs... I bought the ones from advance auto, and they produce hardly no light!

AaronGTR
06-26-2012, 07:18 PM
Yeah, coolant warms up fastest, then oil, then trans temp. That's part of why they run the trans fluid coil through the radiator. It helps cool the fluid if the trans over heats... but even more important it helps warm up the trans faster when it's cold out. ;)

BJPbrandon2448
06-26-2012, 07:33 PM
Yeah, coolant warms up fastest, then oil, then trans temp. That's part of why they run the trans fluid coil through the radiator. It helps cool the fluid if the trans over heats... but even more important it helps warm up the trans faster when it's cold out. ;)

Thanks for the Help Aaron, Im glad I didnt rip all the wiring back out... I do have one question though, since I ran the wires through the grommet in the firewall... are there 2 grommets down there? I seen the one with like a million wires running through it and then I seen another grommet that was higher up on the wall and to the left kind of... I choose to wire the gauges through that one and to my surprise it came up right behind the fuse box under the hood? I couldnt get any the wires through the one with everything going through it! lol. Hopefully it doesnt matter... for safety concerns?

Malaclypse
06-26-2012, 09:50 PM
Biggest issue you'd have would be a water leak, but with such small holes for wiring I doubt it'll be an issue.

AaronGTR
06-27-2012, 04:21 PM
Yeah, you should be fine. I've run wires through that one too.