Autometer Gauges

When I ordered my 2001 Super Duty 7.3L Powerstroke, this was to be my first diesel powered vehicle.  I knew there was some additional maintenance needed for long life in these power plants.  Another top priority with a diesel is to know how well it's running so not to do permanent damage to the engine or transmission.  Three of the most popular gauges I have found in Boost, Pyrometer, and Transmission Temperature.

Below is a brief description of the install of these gauges.

Supplier:  Innovative Truck Products

Parts List:

  • 3 Gauge Pillar Pod
  • Paint to match interior
  • Autometer Z-Series gauges
    • Pyrometer
    • Transmission Temp
    • Boost
  • Map Sensor Tap Kit
Tools needed:
  • Misc combo wrenches, standard and metric
  • Soldering iron
  • Heat shrink
  • Misc solderless connectors
  • Wire loom
  • Zip ties
  • Drill and bits
  • Magnet

 

The first thing I did was visit Dennis at Innovative Truck Products.  While picking up the gauges, he was nice enough to show me his install and to give me some tips and tricks for the install of the different components.  Armed with this information and the forum at www.thedieselstop.com I was ready to tackle this project.

I started by prepping the pillar pod for paint.  I took a lint free cloth and lightly wiped lacquer thinner all over the pod to knock the glaze off.  You could lightly sand the pod, but I like the full textured look and didn't want to remove and surface characteristics.

 

I did three light coats of paint to ensure an even application.  The lacquer paint supplied by ITG went on very smooth.  Next I opened all the gauge packages to do a complete inventory of the parts.

I couldn't help myself..... I had to do a quick test fit of the gauges to see how it looked!
I linked all the back light wires together and soldered them first.... I left a decent leader of wire for the final install.  I mounted all the possible connections to the back of the gauges at this time.  Leaving some slack incase I need to slide a gauge out for repair.  Once the wire was completed, I went out to the truck and removed the A-pillar.  To do that just remove the black rubber seal, un snap the pillar and tilt towards the steering wheel to get it free from the dash.

I then drilled a hole in the lower section to route the wires through it.  Then I mated the two pieces together and used the supplied rivets to hold them together.  Drill the holes close to the edge so the rubber molding will hide the rivets.

Be careful not to scratch the paint on the pillar pod during installation.  Maybe put a towel on the dash first.  It's a bit of a fight, but not too bad!  Once it's snapped back into place, the rubber molding goes back to the stock position.  Very clean!!  I love it!

Now it's time to land all the wiring.

As you are installing the pillar pod, you have to route the wiring down the back of the dash.  There is a nice hole for it all to go.  I asked my son to assist with his little hands to grab the wire as I pushed it through!  What a great help!

I had the area well lit and had my laptop there for moral support.  I bounced around the The Diesel Stop for tips and hints on where to land the Keyed Hot and Dash Lights wires, the Pyrometer probe, the MAP tap, and Tranny Temp port..

Keyed hot, remove the "fuse panel" cover located under your steering wheel. Look to the right of the steering column at the bottom of the opening and you will see a round 4-pin connector. The red wire with yellow tracer is the keyed on hot.

For Gauge lights, remove the "fuse panel" cover located under your steering wheel. Look to the right of the steering column and you will see a brown 6-wire connector. The top center wire in that connector is a light blue wire with a red tracer. This is the wire you want to tap for the gauge lights as it is controlled by the dimmer switch. If your truck is a 2002, the connector may be gray instead of brown and the wire yellow. Regardless of color, it is always the top center wire in the connector.

I decided to start with the easy one first.  I tapped into the MAP line with a "T" and ran the tube back to the gauge with the factory wiring harness so you could not see it!  The part I did is in the blue loom.  Very easy!

The next sensor on the list was the Transmission Temperature.  Ford was nice enough to put a tap in the housing on my 2001 to install the sensor.  I was told by Dennis(ITP) do not use Teflon tape and do not over tighten.  You could break off the sensor in the transmission.  Just ask Dennis what you would have to do then! 

I ran the wire from the gauge to the sensor.  Do not do a slice in this wire.  I dropped the wire through a rubber grommet right behind the gas pedal.

Ok, last but not least..... the Pyrometer gauge.  There are so many different configurations possible for this install.  You could install the probe pre-turbo, post-turbo, or exhaust manifold.  You could weld a bung on, you could drill and tap for a threaded bung, or drill a hole, insert probe and use a stainless clamp to hold.  I chose to do the latter and install pre-turbo.  This was the easiest for me without removing any factory hardware to do it!
This pic shows the location of the probe and the penetration through the floorboard.  The new wiring is contained in the blue loom.  I started with a small drill bit and worked my way up to 1/4" hole to keep the shavings smaller.  I tried to get the probe in but I needed to go to 9/32" bit to get it to fit.  I then used a magnet to get the little metal pieces out.  The clamp goes around the pipe, tighten as required.  DO NOT adjust the length of the supplied wire for the Pyrometer.  It has a predetermined length, related to resistance.  Make sure you let the truck idle for awhile to allow the misc pieces of metal to pass and not harm the turbo.

All in all it was alot easier then I thought it would be..... It took me about 3-4 hours total working very slow and meticulous.  Today was the first day driving with the gauges and I have a better feel for what my truck is doing!  Should have done this the first day out of the factory!  Below are a picture of the gauges provided by ITP for range illustration.  Depending on your modification and set up of your truck you will see different readings.  These are the recommended ranges that I found on The Diesel Stop forum.

Try to keep EGTs under 1250 Try to keep tranny temps under 200 The higher the better for boost!

Technical article and photos are copyright 1999-2003, Motoman's Madness.  Do not duplicate without express permission from Greg Banfield aka Motoman!

 

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