Thought I would put together a little thread for DYI'ers like myself on installing some gauges
on to the A-Pilar.
So, what I have are some ProParts - Spek Pro gauges, and a KT Performance - 6pos LED Switch for the Ts-Chip.
First you will need to remove the handle on the A-Pilar. Pop off the covers and remove the four bolts
that secure the handle to the main A-Pilar. Now once the bolts are out, the handle will still stay attached
to the A-Pilar cover. Thats because there are 2 screws that act as location mounts.
Now - what you will want to do next is on the door of the truck cab, pull the weather strip off a little bit. Believe it or not, this seal (once removed out of the way for minute)
will give you access to the A-Pilar cover. Once you have this access - it is just a simple tug down to pull the A-Pilar cover
out of the pressure slots holding it up. Once you have all the pressure connectors pulled down/out,
just gently work the A-pilar out by turning it clock wise and a little pulling up down by the window/dash.
2) Initial test fit.
So the AutoMeter Quad gauge pod holder does not come with any clips or brackets to mount it into place.
Also, it does not come with anything to mount it to your existing A-Pilar cover. With that said - it's not time to get a little creative on fitment.
First thing you will want to do is get your gauges into the pod locations.
Once in - you may also need to connect any wires so that you can check for fitment on these and binding.
Now in my case - I'm going to re-use my A-Pilar cover. In some areas, it causes it to not fit flush and a little hard to run wiring. So - I'm going to 'Modify'
my A-Pilar cover.
Meaning - I'm going to cut some areas out to make room. You may not have to do this on all gauge pods, but in my case - it's a necessary evil!
Once that is done - I used some clamps - and some small screws to 'bond' the gauge pod to the A-Pilar
Then I can also run (and separate) wiring through my access holes so that they can be run down the Pilar and down behind the dash.
3) Running leads/wiring - in cab/dash.
The nice thing about the diesels - there's a lot of room available on the drivers side dash to run
stuff through - I was pretty (and nicely) surprised! And I think I found out why, and this is spefically to Diesels. Because there is no vaccuum brake booster - this frees up some room!
So being able to neatly run your power leads and your sensor leads down behind is just as simple as tie'ing them together with a decent length of string and if you have a bendy grapler of somekind, or if have tiny enough hands - run the string down and pull the wires and leads carefully down behind the dash to the floor.
4) Running leads through the firewall!
So, at some point - these sensor leads need to get to the drive train components, which means something will have to go through the firewall to get into the engine bay. Well, there are 3 stock locations that have grommets with leads going to the engine bay. This isn't including the PCM mount -and don't even consider it.
But the 3 others, one is about 1 1/2 inch round wiring harness going into about a 2 1/2in. hole. Problem is this grommet is really stiff and hard to get any of your connectors through. Middle one - is smaller any you might be able to get 1, possibly 2 through, but it'll be a tight fit.
Then there's one more down below - in my case - couldn't use that one because that got my power lead to my additional stereo amplifier. So what to do. Do I drill another hole?
So I took a little extra time looking and found the perfect spot!
Again - the non-existent brake booster!!!! On the diesels - there is a cover that is pressure fit over the hole where the vaccuum booster would go (in the cab - it's right above the PCM.) From under dash - there is a little bit of a foam cover.
remove it to get access!
From inside - under the dash - and just above the PCM mount, you can feel for 2 pressure connector. Just push those little dudes and the cap that is in the engine bay will just come right off. This give you a the perfect spot as well as (with a little modification again) a grommet (of sorts) to use!
On the back side of this plate - drill! X Marks the spot!
And drill until you're able to fit your biggest connector through - then the smaller ones. Then - pull all the wires through, but not too snug yet.
Shot from under the dash
Sorry if you have the Vaccuum Booster (gas engine) - you will need to likely come with with another solution (ie, making another hole in the firewall) to get your leads into the engine bay!
Now that you have done all your test fitment, secure your pod to your A-Pilar.
If you want - and depending on your gauges, you can either run all your power leads down behind the dash, or
shorten them - and just crimp and connect them to only run 1 set of power/ground up the A-Pilar.
Me personally, I ran them all down. Just in case I ever need to pull them out and use them in another vehicle if/when I get rid of this truck. But connect them up and make sure they're facing the way that you want and tighten everything down. Make sure you're gauge pod is securely fastened to your 'modified' A-Pilar cover.
Again - pull the weather stripping out of the way for a moment - and then after your wires/leads are run down,
point the long end of the A-Pilar down at an angle and push down gently until you feel it down behind the dash.
Then carefully turn counter-clockwise and start to line up the pressure locks from your originally A-Pilar to fit back in in. Once that is done - push your weather stripping back into place.
From there - it's just a matter of hooking up your gauges to their proper sensory positions (per their manuals instructions,) and providing them with power!