LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 10, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: georgia
Posts: 10
Exclamation LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion

Now that I have installed a 96 z28 lt1 and t56 in my 68, it is time to get gauges and set up the dash but here is where I am running into problems.

I cannot find any manufacturer that makes a gauge set up that will operate using the 96 stock sending units and ECM that will function in the 68 Camaro. Any Suggestions?

I have already spoken to reps from VDO, Dakota Digital, Classic Instruments, Autometer, and a few resellers (Ricks, Summit, Jegs ) about using the 96 wiring and no one seems to have a ready made solution. In fact, most of the gentlemen I have spoken to have been really surprised that I want to use the stock sending unit signals(except for fuel which is common 0-90ohms type) in my project... so I am clueless at this point and I do not know what to do. I know that I do not want to rewire the engine or alter existing connectors for new sending units.

Through the stock (96) engine harness (c220,c230) I have the following wires available that I would like to use if I can find gauges that match...
c220-a-red Generator feed
c220-b-tan Oil Pressure Feed
c220-c-brown Oil Level Feed (optional but useful)
c220-g-green/wht VSS
c220-k-green coolant temp feed
c230-b-bro/wt MAL indicator
c230-d-white tac feed

Does anyone know of a nice looking gauge set (mint green on black) that will operate on the 96 stock signals?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 10, 12:49 AM
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Re: LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion

Ben, I don't know if you can find gauges for everything.

I've got a '68 with '95 LT1. I pulled the VSS from the PCM to a regular Autometer (and later VDO) electric speedo and it worked. I pulled the tach output from the PCM to a regular electric tach and it worked. For the voltmeter just connect somewhere close to the alternator output. But all the rest I was unsuccessful at making work. I eventually installed new senders in various places in the block. Good luck!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 10, 05:06 AM
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Post Re: LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion

Benjamin, are you planning on using the 96 dash cluster or going aftermarket/stock? If you are going after market, just use whatever flavor gauges you want and use the associated sending units that come with them. I guess you could still use the wiring, but as you found out the 96 sending units aren't compatible with aftermarket gauges. I used the factory 68 harness (for the gauge info) in my conversion, changed the sending units and put new ends on the wiring- works great.

Although, I don't know if they are compatible with the 96 stuff, here are some nice gagues to consider-!

Are you trying to use the 96 harness in the 68? If so, are you keeping it OBD-2 or just converting to OBD-1? The aftermarket harness are mostly OBD-1. You could send it to someone to remove all of the unwanted wiring/do it yourself or just get an aftermarket one like the Painless one. I used their #60502 and it was really easy. You will read that some people have had trouble with using their body harness, but the LT1 conversion harness was simple. Everything was clearly marked. It I was to do it over again, I would opt for the longer harness they make. It will give you more options on where to place the PCM. Street and performance also makes a nice harness. If you have anymore questions, just post them up, there are several of us that have done the LT conversion.

1968 Camaro SS coupe, Lemans Blue/medium blue interior
LS3/T56 Ridetech Suspension
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 16th, 10, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Location: georgia
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Re: LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion


I am looking at 2 styles of after market gauges. The 6 hole dash design or the stock 2 hole design. I like the 6, My son likes the 2.....

At the moment, I am researching every manufacturer that I can find on the internet. I have found the gauges in your link. these look allot like the Marshal Instruments SCX design. They are reasonably priced and are currently #3 on my list.

I need to refresh my memory a bit on how the 96 is wired but it is looking more and more likely that I too will use the 68 stock style wiring for the oil pressure and water temp.

I have already installed the stock 96 harness and I will be keeping the OBD-II CPU. The wiring is not a problem for me. I have already built all of my own harnesses using Delpi-Packard terminals and connectors. It takes a little more time but it is so easy to do and you really learn allot about your car while your at it.

I really appreciate your help 130fe.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 11, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: georgia
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Thumbs up Re: LT1 Instrument Cluster Conversion

Wanted to follow up and tell everyone what I ended up doing.

After weeks of searching, I found a very nice set up from New Vintage USA. Their new cluster is called a "3 on 1" set up and has the stock 2 bezel look combined with extra gauges and lamps.
I now have 6 gauges and 6 lamps total. Tach, Speedo, Oil, Water, Voltage, and fuel gauges.
as well as turn signals, Chk Eng, Hi Beam,Brake and an aux warning lamp that I may use for the cruise control...haven't decided yet.

Since I am keeping the car OBDII, this seems to be the best fit I can find. The only downside I see so far is that the lamps require +12v signal to operate and the 96 ECM supplies a ground signal so you have to add 4 relays to convert the signals. Not a big deal but it is the only issue preventing this set up from being a direct drop in for the LT1/LSX setup... I wonder how long it will last....
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