: 6 VDO gauges fitted
06-02-2008, 10:40 AM
I uploaded some pics of the 6 VDO Vision gauges fitted to my Aero onto Flickr. Vision series gauges have a small squared-off bezel that fits flush into the DIN panels made by 42 Draft (a VW performance outfit in the States), which gives a factory-like appearance. The bulbs come with little green and red socks so the colour pretty closely matches the standard Saab green. Visions are not easily available here so I got most items via the web from the US - and saved quite a bit of money that way too. Some places here sell Cockpit Visions (and often leave the word Cockpit out); they're not the same thing.
Visions are also only available in psi/degrees F/old money, but I'm fine with that. Oil temp sensor sump plug isn't installed yet, hence the zero reading on that gauge.
I made an Excel spreadsheet with the all of the part numbers and sources - if anybody is interested I can send/upload that.
The car is a 93.5 Aero in Eucalyptus Green. The mileage in the night shot is correct - just under 39,400 miles!
And yes, I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid.
06-02-2008, 11:44 AM
06-02-2008, 05:06 PM
It transforms the inside of her, I do like that look
06-02-2008, 05:46 PM
the only thing that worries me is how far you have to take your eyes off the road to see them, though.
06-02-2008, 07:56 PM
the only thing that worries me is how far you have to take your eyes off the road to see them, though.[/b]
You are right, but because the three openings are DIN-sized the whole thing can be moved up - I pre-wired everything in a modular fashion. I decided to get them in to see how it all worked in practice. What I've found is that at some quiet moment (traffic light/uneventful motorway stretch etc) you just glance down at them. The car is in good enough condition that I shouldn't have to look at them that often. They are very useful as a general health check however, and like I said, it's partly about being a frustrated pilot. I admit it.
I have thought about re-engineering the dashboard/console and moving things around quite radically; it's just a thought at this point, but I will do it! Next stage is another three gauges - EGT, outside air temp and gear oil temp, but that will involve moving the radio or ACC controls elsewhere. It's a weird thing, but I just love lights and instruments.
I gave some thought to where each one goes, most useful at the top - that kind of thing.
06-03-2008, 03:11 AM
If you move the radio down to the bottom you won't be able to get a CD in or out when in 1st, 3rd or 5th.
06-03-2008, 02:12 PM
If you move the radio down to the bottom you won't be able to get a CD in or out when in 1st, 3rd or 5th.[/b]
Indeed! I was thinking of gauges top slot, radio middle and gauges bottom. Really I wish I had the manual A/C controls as the three round dials would match well! It would have the added benefit of being a simple method of heating the car up and cooling it down. You know, turn the dial and it gets warmer. Press the A/C button and it gets cooler. Hooray!
The 9-5 ACC system is a vast improvement.
06-05-2008, 12:35 AM
Good Stuff :) Did you have any issues fitting them?
06-05-2008, 03:56 PM
No, I planned and wired everything in advance with close reference to the Haynes manual wiring diagrams onto which I overlayed the additional wiring for lighting (via the instrument panel rheostat) and power (via the now spare cigarette lighter power connector). Everything is wired in parallel. The panels are a precise fit to the dash openings and they are made specifically for the Vision gauges. Main issue was sourcing them. Oh, that and fitting the oil pressure sender which lives in a difficult place under the intake plenum. It just took tools and patience!
06-07-2008, 07:43 AM
Looks great! How did you decide which gauges to fit? Now I've managed to get the Abbott upgrade, I would like an extra gauge or two to monitor the engine condition on the old 9k, would greatly appreciate your spreadsheet to see what you have installed. I'd probably go for just three gauges to fit into the spare slot in my dash, rather than six or nine as you have! Looking fantastic though.
06-07-2008, 05:05 PM
Thanks! I'll forward to you the e-mail I sent to someone else as I included sender installation, wiring instructions and other things I learned along the way. The spreadsheet is attached to that.
Voltage is handy/reassuring and the easiest to connest. Then it's a toss up between water and oil temp or vac/pressure.
The water temp gauge needs a radiator hose adapter installed - easy enough, but it involves more work and care (the adapter and sensor need to match and be watertight. Duh).
The oil temp sender is a replacement for the sump drain plug, which is not an ideal place to get the most accurate reading, I've found, although it definitely works - a properly useful location would involve drilling into the head or plumbing into the oil cooler line - not something I fancy at this point.
You didn't say whether you have a factory vac/pressure gauge. I fitted the calibrated one (tee'd into the Aero's vac line) and I would really use it for calibration purposes and passenger entertainment(!). It's obviously a more important item if you don't already have a vac/pressure gauge in the binnacle, but I couldn't say where to run the vac pipe. Somebody here will. The gauge will be especially useful after Abbottising! Abbottised cars go into the red quite easily.
The ammeter is by far the least useful and I confess mine isn't wired in yet - and may never be - wiring an ammeter is pretty serious stuff and can be a fire hazard if not done properly. To be quite honest, it's there to fill a hole for now. The voltmeter tells you all you need to know about the state of the electrics. Either Summit Racing or egauges.com has a FAQ on the subject.
I will be moving the top row up and the radio down one slot as in practice the radio can just as easily be operated from there and the gauges are just a bit too out of the line of sight as someone here has pointed out.
If it matters to you, the oil pressure and vac/pressure gauges are the most entertaining!
Anyway, the e-mail is on its way. Good luck and keep me posted.
06-07-2008, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the info Ti. Good to get feedback from someone who has done all the hard work for us!
I do have a boost gauge fitted, a Tim 2 bar unit that is proving most entertaining with the recent Abbott upgrade. I'm thinking I would most like oil pressure, oil temperature and coolant temperature, or else intake air temperature. Oil temperature sender in the sump will be a good thing, because that will ensure the engine oil is up to temperature before opening the taps. Not knowing where to get senders and the like has stopped me in the past from sorting out new gauges etc, so your spreadsheet will be invaluable.
06-11-2008, 04:20 PM
I sent a PM and e-mail with no response - I can't figure out how to attach a .xls file to the forum message/e-mail system. Maybe I'm missing an obvious trick. Is there a way to do this? Otherwise, please send a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send you the file.
06-24-2008, 07:55 AM
Very impressed. Could I please have the spreadsheet you mention as well - thinking of oil temp, water temp & oil pressure for my 9K. I already have a pillar mount boost gauge which is rather handy. I'll send you a PM with my email addy.
Going to Abbotts on Friday to get my ECU remapped & looking forward to the change in the car!
06-25-2008, 08:03 PM
Hope you got the info. Follow my instructions for the oil pressure switch removal/sender installation carefully. Get the all the right sockets and extenders before you actually commit to do it for real. That includes the stubby wrench to tighten the new sender.
I did a couple of dry runs over a couple of Saturday afternoons and went back and forth to Halfords for the right bits before I got the nerve up and took the plunge.
You cannot fudge this one with mole grips/adjustable wrenches/just-about-right socket and extender sizes etc. There are lots of opportunities to break things with this particular task.
You also have to do it by feel as you can't really see anything. Whatever you do, don't rush it. Do a few dry runs to get comfortable. Get everything lined up, have a nice cup of tea, make extra sure the socket is properly seated and go for it.
Most importantly, heed the stubby wrench advice. A normal one is just too big to clear the engine block webs/alternator/starter motor back there and you won't want to be driving around with a hand-tightened oil pressure sender!
I got a huge sense of acconplishment from this. Have fun!
06-28-2008, 09:24 AM
Yes I got the details, thank you very much & will certainly heed your advice when it comes to doing the job.
04-27-2009, 09:10 AM
Great job with the gauges, and if you can send me a copy of the spreadshhet it would be realy appreciated.
05-27-2009, 09:14 PM
Hi Ti 123,
Like all previously I'm extremely impressed with your gauge installation! Very professional. Your explanations regarding how you planned and carried out the work are also very helpful.
Would it be possible for you to send a copy of all the info to me please? I'm about to start tuning my '98 2.0 LPT and some extra gauges are a must for monitoring purposes.
I've sent a pm with my e-mail address.
Many thanks in advance.
12-24-2009, 08:55 AM
Like all the others, I think your gauge install is very impressive. Iíve done quite a lot of wiring on my own Aero, so I can appreciate how time consuming it can be, especially if you do everything properly with soldered joints, heat shrink tubing etc, but itís worth it and far preferable to scotch blocks and insulating tape.
I would appreciate a copy of any info you have on your project as Iím in the process of planning an install of 3 extra gauges in my car. I bought a set of the SAAB branded VDO gauges - oil pressure, oil temp and outside air temp. By coincidence Iím considering using the 42 draft bezzle as well so Iím glad you are impressed with it. Based on your comments about the bezzle being only suitable for VDO vision gauges, Iíd better check itíll fit mine.
The oil pressure is relatively easy to sort out once you have the correct sender. There are cheap senders around but they donít seem to have the correct measuring range of 0-5 bar to match the gauge. Also a lot of them donít have a low pressure warning circuit to operate the warning light. Iíve gone for a VDO one with adaptor to fit to the block. The thread in the block is M14 x 1.5 but there doesnít seem to be a VDO sensor available with low pressure warning and the M14 thread. Most of them have an 1/8 npt thread but thankfully, adaptors are available. Your comments about lack of easy access under the inlet manifold to tighten the sender are duly noted. I have some crows foot wrenches so Iím hoping one of them will work.
The oil temp sensor location is a bit more tricky for me. I note that youíve gone for the sump plug route but think itís not the best position. Iím not keen on this location either for a couple of reasons. Firstly Iíve been told that measuring the temp in the sump wouldnít give as high a reading as from other positions on the engine so you wouldnít know the max temp your oil was reaching. My two brothers have Mk1 Golf GTIís which came with oil temp sensing as standard. These have the temp sensor in the vicinity of the oil cooler supply and return pipes (not sure if measuring supply or return temp but supply would give max oil temp). The second thing is that I have a Fumoto drain valve fitted to the sump, rather than a standard plug, to facilitate oil changes and Iíd rather continue using that. I think the nearest Iím going to get to copying the Golf setup without tapping an extra hole somewhere, would be to fit an oil filter housing sandwich plate designed to take sensors for extra gauges. Has anyone else had experience of fitting one of these, hopefully that takes a sensor with an M14 thread, and how did they get on with it?
Regarding the third gauge, the outside air temp, I donít need that because it is already built into the EDU display so Iíve been mulling over what gauge to fit instead. The conclusion Iíve come to is to fit a fuel pressure gauge, with an electric sender like the one for the oil pressure Ė definitely donít want a mechanical one if it involves routing fuel into the car! Unfortunately VDO donít seem to do a fuel pressure gauge. Someone suggested I could use another oil pressure gauge so thatís a possibility but of course it wouldnít be labelled correctly. Alternatively Iím going to have to find another gauge that looks similar. I think Racetech do one but if anyone has any ideas, Iíd be grateful.