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Adding coolant temp gauge?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Rookie2, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Rookie2

    Rookie2

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    Ran a search on this, but many of the pics. etc appear to have been dumped from the threads. I'm looking to install a temp. gauage to more accurately monitor coolant temps. Looking for something reasonable.

    Thanks for any help, suggestions and pics.

    :beer:
    Rookie2
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    I am doing this exact thing tomorrow. Ben at Slee had a 270 Degree sweep Isspro electric gauge that reads from 100 to 240. He sent me that and an Acura 2 gauge pod that I will modify to fit. I already have a boost gauge so I will have to off that single pod.
    I will be mounting the sender in the upper water neck in the circular "boss" on the neck. I have a new neck that I will drill and tap and then break into the system to install it. Swapping the neck will require removal of the distributor and the upper alternator mount. Since I have to go in that deep I plan to pull the alternator and install a new brush pack in it at the same time. It is original and at 132,000 miles so I'm sure the brushes are getting short. Since I will be that close it is a no-brainer.
     
  3. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I have been toying with the idea of simply gluing a thermocouple with conductive epoxy to some suitable metal surface to avoid having to drill /tap/open etc. May still do that. But the OBD approach seems more appealing all the time (for those of us who don't drive antiques... :D ). The disadvantage of the latter is that you would not have a display in front of you all the time...
     
  4. Cobra Jet

    Cobra Jet

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    Here's another way of tapping into your coolant to get the temp for a temp gauge:

    Pick one of the radiator hoses (upper preferred), splice it, then insert a section metal pipe that is the same outer diameter as the inner diameter of the radiator hose. The pipe would be drilled & tapped already so that a temp sensor can be screwed into it. I have also seen some weld a "boss" to the pipe so that the temp sensor can be screwed into the boss on the pipe. Before inserting the temp sensor into the pipe, apply silicone or liquid teflon to the threads on the pipe (or temp sensor). Screw the sensor into the section of metal pipe. Reinsert the small section of metal pipe between the splice on the chosen radiator hose and use (2) clamps to secure the hose & pipe.

    Sometimes doing the above is easier than tapping a thermostat housing, especially if it's quite a bit of work just to remove the thermostat housing (or trying to access some other area to tap into the cooling system).

    The most accurate reading will be that of a temp sensor that makes contact with the coolant fluid, rather than one that is attached to exterior metal surfaces (or sandwhiched into a radiator's fins).

    Maybe the above is helpful to some, but that method is used by many folks in racing (drag, auto crossing, road racing, etc) and does not cause any detrimental affects at all.

    :) :beer:
     
  5. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    I installed a W/T sending unit the same place Dan speaks of a year ago. Depending on how anal you are :flipoff2: you dont need to remove anything. I used 2 cordless drills for the job (1 with the proper size bit, 1 with the tap) didnt even remove the radiator cap lost maybe 2 oz of coolant. Once you have everything together less then 1 minute to install the sensor. Drill, tap, and screw the sensor in = done.
     
  6. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    How about the shavings Phil?
     
  7. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    true that gluing a sensor is not as accurate but if it's metal and not exposed to the fan air flow, should be fine, especially if you use special epoxy and insulate the sensor.
    As far as the hose coupling approach, they sell these things.
     
  8. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    I felt that the combination of the grease on the bits and the coolant on the inside pushing out that nothing was left behind inside. And even if a few shavings found there way in what adverse affect could it have? I feel I'm pretty anal but this didn’t bother me at all.
     
  9. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Hmmm,

    Well I'll look at that tomorrow. I do kinda want to put brushes in the alternator anyway So I'll just drink a beer and ponder it......:D
     
  10. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    If that neck is made of aluminum you shopuld use Isopropyl Alcohol to lubricate the tap and not grease or oil. The alcohol evaporates at a faster rate keeping the chips cooler which is where the issue with clogging the bit comes in.
     
  11. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Thats good to know Rick. Thanks for the tip I will use it next time.

    Dan if you drink beer prior the chips wont bother you at all. :D
     
  12. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    corn chips and salsa are nicer than the regular potato chips, they don't bother me at all... :)
     
  13. clownmidget

    clownmidget

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    Dan, I tapped that boss for the coolant line to the turbo following LandCruiserPhil's method. I did add a shop vac with a small hose sucking up as much crap as it could directly where I was drilling/tapping as well. I used grease to "grab" any aluminum and methodically cleaned the tap several times during the process. The boss is thicker than I suspected, plenty of threads there. Even going slow it didn't take very long at all, maybe 15 mins. The good news is that once you've got it tapped for the coolant temp sender it'll be a piece of cake to just plumb in the line over to the "new turbo" ;)

    Special note to Dan - That Acura dual gauge pod takes some MAJOR surgery to fit right! I laughed and called Slee just to check what "a little trimming" meant in CO...

    The dremel was priceless for this procedure. Good luck!
     
  14. Cube Dweller

    Cube Dweller Moderator

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    Kerosene or Rapid Tap for aluminum is preferred for tapping and cutting Al. I've never heard of using alcohol.

    I spent quite a bit of time in machine shops.
     
  15. Rookie2

    Rookie2

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    So yall recommend any sites that have some product options to look at. I went to Slee's site, but didn't see anything like this shown in his products section. The dual gauge A-pillar setups I recall seeing looked nice (not sure what should go in the other slot for a non-superchargered setup), but that setup seemed to get a little to pricey. I just want something that better informs me on engine temps, and don't want to drop 500 bills for that.

    :beer:
    Rookie2
     
  16. MH_Stevens

    MH_Stevens

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    e9999 has told us several times that a PDA with software connected to the OBDII port is the best route and after much research I belive him to be right. I'm asking him again here what software will do this job.
     
  17. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Dan, please take careful notes on how you modify the A pillar pod. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time now. The only pods I could find were singles. I know you can "stack" them but I'd rather modify a full length.

    I'm going to use the "Defi-D" series temp. gauge but the one you have selected is excellent also.

    What color is the pod? I can paint to match...but I'd have to locate a plastics/vinyl paint that was pretty close in color to the grey I have.

    Please post back when you're done...I am very interested to do this also.
     
  18. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    VDO makes a "head temp." gauge for those interested. I'm going to put a water temp. and an hour meter in mine.

    I'd like to keep track of engine hours vs. miles driven for purposes of maintenance.
     
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    already answered that I think, and a quick googling will give you various options, just tried the other day myself.
    The cheapest one I've seen is this BR-3 thing IIRC but that is probably only RS232. There are several PDA options out there too. I didn't look at those. Prices seem to range from $99 to $300 for reasonable looking combos.
    Obviously, having a laptop in the cab is not the best way to keep an eye on the temp while driving, but the versatility of these packages is very tempting, can display and plot all sorts of numbers.
     
  20. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    flintknapper, what is the single pod model you have?. I tried a couple of acrua pods and the local place and they were nowhere near fitting.