Thursday, April 8, 2010

custom centre console

It has been a quiet few weeks here at GH, Kevs new shell is still being painted, and lack of money for me after Skiing 2.0 has slowed progress on things a little lol. However things are still ticking over behind the scenes.

I had two very nice sPa Design DG series dual gauges left over from my old project, and for a while now I have been wanting to install them in the Trueno so I could keep an eye on the temps and pressures of my trusty 4age.

First of all I spent a day making a new custom radio surround (it is my daily after all so the tunes are staying!) to fit the centre console. I measured and cut out a cardboard template first and then cut this shape out of the huge sheet of 0.85mm carbon fibre we have. Once this was done I roughly measured out a 1 DIN slot for my headunit faceplate, although I did have to extend this a bit to take into account the cd flip down. This was secured to the centre console from with some nice Toyota interior screws that I stole found in Kev's tool drawer, and we trimmed the edges neatly with some rubber beading trying to get it as tidy looking as possible. Not that Carbon Fibre will ever look stock in a hachi but hey...

I left it like this for a couple of days until I had the time to install my senders. The oil temp. sender lives in a nice adaptor that has replaced the sump plug, and the water temp. is located in the factory gauge sender location in the water outlet housing at the front of the engine. The oil pressure sender will replace the factory one in the same location, I say will because I will install the last piece at the weekend. Of course, the threads for the temp senders are 1/8 NPT and the sump and water temp ones are different, so adaptors were needed. I had bad luck with brass adaptors being weak due to small wall thickness, so I had a friend in a machine shop make me some high quality items from steel. You can guess where that little piece of broken brass ended up...

Anyway, the temp senders went in fine, the wires were neatly ran through from the engine bay into the dashboard via a grommet in the bulkhead, with everything being hidden/cabletied/insulated along the way. I tapped into the radio power lead which conveniently already had a terminal on it, and an unused earth I found in some random block connector buried back there.... and soon after the gauges blinked to life! Now that everything was working, it was out with the 52mm holesaw bit (thanks Kev) and some more itchy carbon dust was created. A few minutes later my new centre console & gauges were installed. I am very happy with how it looks now. Believe it or not that is the nonshiny side of the carbon (it is single layer) but the camera flash makes it look brighter than it is. I have purposely offset the gauges to the right so I can see them both no matter what gear I am in, and also I can fit a third gauge in there if I ever needed to. Brake bias gauge anyone? lol..

And here is the night time view. I can set the gauges to backlit red or green, and adjust the brightness, here they are only at setting 4 of 15. I chose green because for some reason I cant read black on red too easily and it is a little more subtle.

Oil pressure will keep reading a fault and flashing at me until I connect the sender, the warning light is very bright though which is a good thing should the worst ever happen. Finally the factory oil pressure and water temp gauges doing nothing now and me being me that will bug me big time, so in a few weeks I will run some external warning LEDs (another cool feature they have) from the gauges up to that spot to replace them. Thats it for now, hopefully we will get some more work done this weekend and have some news for the blog.

NCT for the Trueno next week so fingers crossed!!


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