Tach install - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 00, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Burley, Idaho, USA
Posts: 496

What modifications need to be done to the instrument panel in order to replace the gas guage with a tach? And what is the best way to make those modifications?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 00, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Federalsburg Md USA
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It would be easier and cheaper to install a shift lite tack on the dash. They run about $70.00.
But if you insist on the authentic look it will cost $$$$.
If you have a console you can pick up a gauge set for about $400.00.This set includes Batt,Temp,Fuel,Oil,& wiring harness.
If you do not have a console you will have to get a center dash fuel gauge,they run about $140. You may have to remove your clock if applicable.A authentic tack for your car will probably cost around $200.00 Tack harness $20.00
You might find some of these items cheaper at swap meet's or salavge yard's, but be carefull and look part's over good before you purchase them.


[This message has been edited by Pat's 69's (edited 03-04-2000).]
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 00, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Burley, Idaho, USA
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I guess I should have said that the car had a console in it, when I bought the car a year ago, but only the oil pressure guage was functional. I picked up the wiring harness from Classic Industries and also found a tach at a local garage that restores Corvettes. I just haven't pulled the radio and looked at the rear of the instrument panel to see what the difference between the speedo and tach would be. I'm sure there is some and that modifications are necessary. Just wanted to know what I was getting myself into. Thanks for all the help.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 00, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,659

You will have to pull the dash out to add the dash tach. I did it in my car.

The hole in the back of the right guage pod is different depending on if it has a tach or gas guage. The tach hole is much larger and is oddly shaped. A tach will not fit into an unmodified gas guage pod.

On the back of the dash unit, you can just make out the outline of the tach hole. I think they used the same mold for both dashes and the plug for the tach hole left a small impression in the plastic.

I used a drill and drilled many holes around the perimeter of the tach cut-out area. I then used a small hobby saw to connect the holes to get most of the area out. I then used a Dremel with sanding drums to slowly grind out the remaining area of the hole.

This took several hours. I was very careful because at that time, repro dashes were unavailable and used replacements were expensive. Take your time and don't get in a hurry. Once out of the car, the dash unit is very flimsey. Lay it on a towel while you are working on it because the plastic scratches easily.

You may want to take the opportunity to sbrub it real good and replace the felt and rubber gaskets in the vent.

Hugger Orange & white 69 Camaro with supercharged 350, Tremec TKO, and 3.73 12-bolt
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 00, 08:52 AM
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Gheatly hit it right on the head,

I just finished modifying a dash cluster that originally had the gas gauge in the "right" hole. It took about three hours worth of work but his is how I did mine:

You can trace the outline of the back of the tach on to a piece of paper after you have CAREFULLY "stabbed" through the paper with the back of the tach. Don't be discouraged because you may have to make two or three templates before you get it right. After you have traced the outline of the back of the tach on to the paper, take a pair or scissors and carefully cut out the design using your trace marks. This probably will take two or three steps because the back of the tach is "higher" at the three prong connector than at the area where your three bolts are located that secure the tach to the dash carrier.

Once you are satisfied that the paper template lets the tach fit properly through it then it's time to transfer the paper template to a cardboard template. Here you simply trace your "perfected" paper template unto a piece of poster board or cardboard. You then cut out the design in the cardboard with an X-acto knife. Test fit the cardboard template unto the back of the tach and make any necessary adjustments.

From the FRONT of the dash cluster, put the cardboard template in the instrument hole and try to make it as straight as possible.

Carefully, mark where the three holes should be drilled for the three attachment screws. Then drill the three holes. Now flip the instrument cluster over and put the template in place using three nails through the holes in the template. Now you can trace the design of the cutout on to the BACK of the dash cluster with an X-acto knife (this is why you need the template to be cardboard). Now you can use a DREMMEL tool or xacto knife to actually cut out the design. Note that you will probably have to slot out the three holes for the three attachemnt screws on your tach unless you were able to get the exact center of the hole with your template.

I would suggest the you use a small washer on the three bolts that will protrude through the back of the cluster prior to running the nuts down.

[This message has been edited by sr71bb (edited 03-07-2000).]
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 00, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 296

Another tip. After removing the instrument panel, take a couple pieces of scrap wood slats (same length as the panel) and use wood screws to attach to the top and bottom mounting holes of the panel. This will make it more rigid and easier to handle. The panel is very flimsy and the last thing you want to do is crack it.
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