KEEPING MY IDIOT LIGHTS - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 00, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, me again! Thanks to your suggestions I contacted M & H Fabricators and ordered a series of Harnesses to completly replace my non-guage engine bay to a factory installed guage style (no conversion harnesses) when I replace my engine. They were very helpful but I forgot to ask them a question. Is it possible to continue to use the "temp" and "oil" idiot lights as a "last chance/look at the guage indicator"? I don't know if anyone's noticed but the console guages are not exactly in your face (not a particularly practical design but definite cool factor). Though obviously the factory realized this, as M & H reminded me of the "low fuel" light that I'm gonna have to find/install (anyone know where that thing goes?).

So I'm thinking...the "GEN' light will work anyway, for the "OIL" I can get an adapter that will allow me to install the oil line and have a second threaded hole for the idiot light sender, and the "TEMP" it seems I could simply install a gauge sender on one head and a light sender on the other. Seem feasable? But with the "Factory gauge wiring" it seems I would have to power the "oil" and "temp" lights with some sort of seperate feeds. Am I on the right track? Anyone done this? Is it a desirable option? And what does anyone know about the "low fuel" dashlight? As always thanks for any help you can provide.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 00, 05:26 AM
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Sounds like you have thought it through pretty well. You will have to add the additional wiring to make it work.

Do you have the factory tic-toch-tach gauge pod or the standard fuel gauge? If you have the tic-toch-tach the only addition you should have to make is installing the low-fuel warning module that is available through the aftermarket. If you do not have the tic-tock-tach you will still need the module but can use a small light/led instead. Perhaps if you are mounting an aftermarket tach in the dash you could drill a small hole in the face and mount it there.

As a side note, the factory temp gauge is only a little better than an idiot light. There are no numbers to tell you what's happening. If you stick with the factory gauge you may want to calibrate it by removing the sensor and mounting it in a pan of water on a hot plate. Use a candy thermometer to monitor your progress. I ended up using an Autometer movement mounted to the factory silver face. It has the same sweep angle and has an orange needle. I took the Autometer face with the numbers and taped it to the inside of the glove compartment door for referance.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 00, 07:07 AM
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The idea of keeping the "idiot" lights is a good one to me!

You are correct about the mounting of the sending units. The wiring should be fairly straight forward for the basic functions.

There is one other thing that you will want to think about; (and I'm "fuzzy" about the specifics) when you first turn on the ignition, there is a wire from the ignition switch that should ground out the temp switch line so that the light will go on. This is so that you know that the bulb really works and hasn't burnt out. Otherwise, the light should never come on. Check out the function in another (stock) car.

I'd hate to have a bad bulb lead you to think that the temp hasn't gone to heck.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 00, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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I was planning on putting in a factory style 5500 Red line reproduction tach and not bothering with the clock that I understand should go between my Speedo on the left and my new tach on the right. Was the Tick Tock Tach available for '69? I thought it was a '68 option.

So anyway, I don't have the tach pod or the fuel pod or anything. I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me I need with a "plain" tach.

I know what you're saying about the lights coming on as a bulb check. Is that something that I could make happen depending on where my power feeds for the senders come from? Suggestions?

As an editorial aside...Does it seem madness that when I'm driving I have to move my left hand to see my speed and move my right hand to see my fuel gauge (soon to be tach). I love my Camaro and the dash is sure nice and symetrical... but driving, the only thing I can really have a quick easy glance at is the "Camaro" script in the center if there isn't a clock. Designers have figured a few of these things out over the years...but somehow they just don't seem to be able to match the appeal, for me, of the older style muscle cars...warts and all.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 00, 06:28 PM
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Sorry, I had '68 on the brain.

Several people on this board have modified '69 dashes to fit aft. tachs. They may have some suggestions.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 00, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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In case anyone wants to know...I looked in a '69 CAMARO, CHEVELLE, Chevy NOVA owners manual and it shows a picture of the "LOW FUEL INDICATOR" that looks like it's between the Left turn arrow and the Brake indicator. The text says "...at the bottom right of the instrument cluster..." but it sure looks lower left to me. Can't tell, and it doesn't say what color it should be. Looks like it MIGHT BE yellow. Anyone out there know?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 6th, 00, 06:57 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by POP D TOP:
In case anyone wants to know...I looked in a '69 CAMARO, CHEVELLE, Chevy NOVA owners manual and it shows a picture of the "LOW FUEL INDICATOR" that looks like it's between the Left turn arrow and the Brake indicator. The text says "...at the bottom right of the instrument cluster..." but it sure looks lower left to me. Can't tell, and it doesn't say what color it should be. Looks like it MIGHT BE yellow. Anyone out there know?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's red, and you got the rest correct, under speedo between left turn and brake. It comes on anytime the tank is down to half full and I jump on it!!!


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 00, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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I took a look at my dash this morning and there it was! Apparently all dashes were made with the same idiot lens inserts... Factory gauges or not. I thought it would be one of those little non-reproduced, dealer unavailable items I'd have to do without or scour the country and pay too much for. Do you lucky people with actual factory guages have these inserts? More important do your idiot lights work with gauges? THAT would sure save me a lot of trouble trying to configure my dash to use both if that's how it's designed anyway.

By the way TOPLESS...Nevada DMV has officially disallowed my request for a vanity plate "TOPLS69" or ANY variation on the theme whether it's going on a '69 Camaro Convertible or not. Hey it's Vegas...you'd think they'd lighten up!
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