Alternative instruments and switchgear

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icosahedron
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by icosahedron »

This is my customised solution, a work in progress. The design allows the back plate of the instrument cluster to go right up against the brake fluid reservoir. Construction is extremely simple: anti-reflective acrylic glass, blackened mdf cut out and inkjet printer artwork stuck to a back plate. Gauge needles are hand sawn from 0.6 mm sheet metal.

A digital voltage and oil pressure meter are also included. The microcontroller monitors oil pressure in relation to engine speed and will raise an audio and visual alarm accordingly so that a distracting analogue gauge is not required. Another nice feature of using a microcontroller is by implementing the Steinhart-Hart equation for the engine temperature sensor which makes accurate temperature measurements over a wide range possible compared to the VW Mickey Mouse temperature gauge.

The feature that appeals to me the most is the elimination of the wandering fuel gauge!

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Titus A Duxass
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by Titus A Duxass »

That's a really smart looking set-up, I take it that those are stepper motors?
Would you be prepared to share the build details?
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phil miller
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by phil miller »

Titus A Duxass wrote:That's a really smart looking set-up, I take it that those are stepper motors?
Would you be prepared to share the build details?

Thinking the same thing, or even build some and sell them on (one to me ofcourse :ok )
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icosahedron
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by icosahedron »

Thanks for the comments and yes, they are stepper motors.

It is not really feasible to share a project like this. My van is a '83 Aircooled model fitted with a DJ engine some 20 years ago. All this time I've been using an aftermarket VDO temperature gauge and sensor and I am going to keep the sensor. My electronics and software will only work correctly with this sensor. Then there is the oil pressure sensor as well. A different sensor will require hardware and software changes and I'm not prepared to do this as it involves a fair amount of work. For the temperature sensor you have to determine the Steinhart-Hart coefficients through experimentation. I haven't played around with my oil pressure sensor yet but that will also require a curve fitting equation.

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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by CovKid »

Would agree with all of that. Theres never going to be a plug n play alternative dash and even if one was developed using parts from other vehicles, the cost in both time and parts quickly mounts up. This applies to hard-wiring dashes too - its all very much 'one-off' stuff.
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by billy739 »

especially when there are plenty of oem dash setups about.

even at top money there still probably cheaper than what its costing to do a nice job!

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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by jaywerdane »

billy739 wrote:especially when there are plenty of oem dash setups about.

even at top money there still probably cheaper than what its costing to do a nice job!
I'm going to see if a radiator shop can shorten my 3 core Trooper T/diesel radiator to fit my P'up
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Titus A Duxass
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by Titus A Duxass »

I think I've got all the bits now.
Just need to find the time (moving house in 4 weeks).
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by CovKid »

Frank Grunthaler's mod. The prettiest possibly and not so far removed from the 80s dashes to look "cock"-eyed. Dash mods make an interesting hobby - certainly eat up the hours. I've been playing with the HUD app on the iphone - very useful at night and you remove it when you leave the vehicle. Buy a cheap iphone case shell and stick it on top of the dash pod or just behind using two-sided tape, alter the shell enough so its easy to unclip the phone and bobs your uncle. I get on really well with it - means I don't need to look down to check my speed. Was certainly the simplest solution, even if I need to gaze down to check other gauges which, after all, are not the ones you look at constantly.
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Titus A Duxass
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by Titus A Duxass »

I have a cheap Android Tablet (Archos 70) that can do this.
There is a Android Speedo which has the head up function, I have yet to try it.
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Titus A Duxass
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by Titus A Duxass »

The scribbling's of a madman.

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Titus A Duxass
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by Titus A Duxass »

A tiny bit of openplug surgery.
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by lloydy »

Sorry to jump back a few pages, but syncroandy NEEDS to start making a few of those tdi binnicales. One of the many parts monkeyboy didn't return with my engine conversion was the passat clocks....
Amazing work by everyone on here though :ok
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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by syncroandy »

My van projects have been on the backburner for a few months, but I've recently re-started one or two so thought it was time for a post on here. Firstly I'm impressed by the great work that's clearly going on, and looking forward to seeing further updates.

Latest stuff I've done, is to fit early-90's CE2 stalks from a T4 Transporter, they have a similar design to my classic old 90-spec Golf GTi. They include cruise-control and MFA switches, the cruise I'm using with my TDI, and the MFA is there for when I get the cluster upgrade sorted. Both these stalks are 'rare' as these option were very scarce on early T4's. I think MFA was only fitted to LHD vehicles, and cruise was a rare optional retro-fit.

To fit these stalks, I had to swap-out the old Mk1 Golf CE1 ignition lock housing for a later CE2-pattern. I used one from a mid 90's 6N Polo. I also used the Polo plastic housing and 6N prefix ignition switch which seems to have superceded the earlier 1H part number. I'm also using the 6N Polo immo ring, the 3B Passat immo ring will also fit in there should I end up using the Passat clocks. I tried to re-fit the T3 plastic covers, but there was interference with both the lock housing, which is fatter, and the immo ring. Rather than butcher the T3 covers I just fitted the Polo ones which only needed a very minor tweak for clearance with the T4 MFA stalk.

A bonus was the Polo lock housing had much less free play in the bearing, the old one had become distinctly rattly, I only realised how bad it was, by the contrast the first time I drove the van after the upgrade !

I also had to fit an early T4 steering wheel, as the stalks just fouled my Caravelle steering wheel when pulled forward. Early T4 shared the same 'small spline' as the T3's. I actually think this is a better wheel than the T3 one, as you get a clearer view of the dashboard. Which is useful, as I'm thinking of fitting the T4 lighting, hazard and window heater switches to replace the crappy T3 ones. Watch this space !

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Re: Alternative instruments and switchgear

Post by silverbullet »

An extra bonus from using the early T4 wheel is that the driver's fresh air vent can now actually blow air into your face, instead of the back of the T3 wheel!

I didn't appreciate that using the T4 stalks would be quite so involved though...
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