partial gauge to full gauge swap (patchwork)

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mouguluc
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partial gauge to full gauge swap (patchwork)

Postby mouguluc » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:54 pm

Hey guys, I am just putting up a few pics of a gauge swap I did a while ago to update the 'latest post' that shows up on the forum page, under the "electrical and wiring" heading. It is replacing a 2012 post as the most recent. I just don't want newcomers to think it is a ghost town here, :)

By posting these, I want to show that the job IS possible using patchwork, meaning you don't HAVE to swap harnesses. (but of course that would be the best way to do it)

So one of my trucks had a badly crumbling instrument cluster (basic cluster with dummy lights), that fell apart when I went to swap some bulbs out of it. I could have bought another one on craigslist, but I had a good usable 'deluxe' (full gauge unit) one here on the shelf that I liked better than the 'basic' version anyway. The problem with swapping the two, was that they each had a different plug connecting the main harness to the cluster, and the truck's wiring harnesses were a little different also. The basic cluster has a smaller plug containing less pins than the 'deluxe' cluster. They are not interchangeable. Here is a pic I had taken of the basic one with some scribbles on it for labeling purposes...
Attachments
IMG_6907.JPG
Last edited by mouguluc on Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I am Mouguluc. Why? Because I can't figure out how to change it.

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mouguluc
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Re: partial gauge to full gauge swap (patchwork)

Postby mouguluc » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:46 pm

As you can see, the basic electrical print circuit (above) was a bit rough, and the "deluxe" one (below) was not in such great shape either. And yes, I was able to solder to the printed circuit where necessary, without any problems, by just scuffing the area (all the soldering I did was in the bay where the plug went in), applying flux and 'tinning' the copper pathway before soldering a 'tinned' wire onto it. You can't see examples of this in this pic, those connections happened after, but you can see a couple of tinned pathway ends in the plug bay area of the printed circuit that I had wires soldered to, before realizing that I could just use a wire and round terminal end direct to the gauge, bypassing the printed circuit altogether (for that gauge), so I did. It just seemed like a stronger connection that way too, so I did it that way when I could.

So here is a pic of the 'deluxe' cluster about to go into the hole in the dash that the first one came out of. You can see the different printed circuit that was modified using wire, solder, and a re-purposed disconnect plug to be able to disconnect the cluster in the future while not disrupting the 'patch' connections that are on the factory 'smaller' connector.

Extra points for anyone who recognizes what the red ford factory plug that I utilized, is from!

I should mention a couple of things here, I did not hook up the ammeter gauge. From what I have read, it is not safe to do so, and if you look closely, you can see the burned circuit that shows what could happen (dash fire!). The burned circuit had nothing to do with me, it was like that when I pulled the cluster from the donor truck. I hate that stupid gauge anyway, it never moves, and tells me almost nothing. I would prefer a simple 'volts' gauge in its place. (which I may do in the future)

And the other thing I wanted to mention was that I hadn't hooked up the 2 blinkers and the high beams at this point, as I was still experimenting and just wanted to see if I could get the gauges to work, and if so, I would complete the rest later. I ended up finishing everything (except the ammeter) but I didn't take pictures of that part. (sorry)
Attachments
IMG_6908.JPG
Last edited by mouguluc on Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
I am Mouguluc. Why? Because I can't figure out how to change it.

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Re: partial gauge to full gauge swap (patchwork)

Postby mouguluc » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:10 pm

Ok, here is a pic where I was making the connections to the factory wiring plug in the dash.

You can figure out which wires go to what if you study both printed circuits and the plugs and corresponding wires that go with them on your trucks. I also verified the wiring using wiring diagrams in a haynes and/or chiltons manual. Note* there are several different printed circuits available for these trucks, so make sure you get the right one (if you are replacing one).

I tapped into the factory harness plug using very thin little wire terminals, they are much narrower than the ones that we are used to seeing, I found them on ebay, and they fit into the male plug holes quite snugly. (so there is no worry of them falling out) after that I wrapped the plug up with electrical tape and screwed the dash back together.

I'm sure I am probably forgetting a few details, but over all, it was a fun challenge, saved some money, upgraded my instrumentation, and taught me a little more about the wiring in our trucks. I labeled every wire I could identify, and left the labels on there to make make it easier for me to identify in the future. There may come a day when I put in a 'deluxe' wiring harness and ditch the basic one, but I don't want to dive that deep now. I just needed a cluster that wasn't disintegrating and that was the one I had as a spare.
Attachments
IMG_6915.JPG
I am Mouguluc. Why? Because I can't figure out how to change it.

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