Figured I’d do a full write up of the gauge project that was just completed for my 2007 F-350 Dually.
The purpose of this project is to install 2 AutoMeter Gauges on the A-Pillar without removing the grab handle or replacing the full pillar. I installed GS series gauges, Pyrometer and Transmission Temperature, vital to a daily driver and tow vehicle. I will caution this project is not the most cost effective method to get 2 gauges on the pillar, the two single pods alone run $30 a piece, and there’s still the epoxy, time and effort. If cost is the issue, sacrifice the handle and run a manufactured dual pod.
I will be mounting these via a Autometer single gauge pod wedged under the A-pillar handle. (I use this handle to get into and out of the rig, as I don't have any running boards/steps). To mount both gauges I have gotten a hold of a universal set of pods to fabricate and graph onto the Autometer SD pod.
Here’s the truck in question:
Other Parts and Pods:
I used two single gauge pods to get this project off the ground. The first is the fitted AutoMeter single pod, partial pillar for the '05-‘07 SuperDuty. The second was a generic ‘ricer’ pod. (dual pod was purchased in the event I messed the first one up royally and needed the second). This generic pod needed to be cut down an fabricated to the first pod gauge. Take care to measure the angle and clearances with the wind shield as you cut down this pod. I used the standard Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel. This is how mine mocked up. Also, as this was my first attempt at such a project, this is where I made my first mistake. When you work to mate these up, ensure that both gauge faces are squared off on the same plane. The upper gauge on my pod tilts a little high, and as such I do have a little glare, and at night reflection, from the windshield.
Mock-up of the 2 Gauge Pod:
Next stage is to get the two pieces epoxied together, this was accomplished with a standard, two-part epoxy. Next filling the gap and shaping the new two-gauge pod. For this I used a putty-style marine epoxy, kneaded and applied while following the curves. Note here, don't kneed more putty than you can apply quickly, this stuff tends to harden quickly and the more accurately you shape the pod, the less sanding you have to do latter.
The pod will then require sanding, and preparations to paint. This was all done by hand, with first 60 grit paper, then a 300 grit. Care needs to be taken not to sand the texture off the plastic, which I found was every easy to do when smoothing out the curves of this pod. For paint prep, once fully smoothed out, I used a alcohol prep wipes, paint used was the Dupli-Color Vinyl and Fabric coating spray can. HVP109 Medium Grey matched my trucks interior almost exactly.
The Painted Pod:
The wires laid out across the dash, and bound up for running. The pyrometer is already run at this point. (Manifold drilled and tapped during the head gasket/studs job at the dealership). Dropped the A-pillar down remove the grip handle, there is two screws along with the four 8mm bolts that hold the handle to the frame. Drill a 3/8” hold near the base of the A-pillar to run your wires through to your pod. Drop the wires down and put you’re A-pillar back up, ensuring you have not pinched anything.
Here what the painted pod, with the grip handle installed again.
This is how the pod looks from outside the truck, still pretty clean.
The GS series gauges have chrome rings around the gauge face. This looks really out of place in the XLT, so I eliminated the chrome from the gauge faces. This was completed using basic electrical tape, wrapped around the inner rim, and stretched and pulled outward. It’s a trick I’ve used before and it worked well here.
The probe was drilled and tapped with the cab off during the headstud job, therefore its a little further from the #8 cylinder than most. Normally the pyrometer is drilled 1.5” to 2” behind centerline of the #8 cylinder along the bottom of the manifold. Start small and work your way up to the correct drill bit, for the 1/8” NPT port, and carefully tap the hole. Use a shop-vac and a pencil magnet to get all the shaving out of the manifold. (These shavings will destroy a turbo.)
For the transmission, there is a 11mm bolt that is located near the transmission pan on the driver’s side. Prepare the transmission temp sender with two wraps of Teflon sealant tape, and the connector with the supplied dielectric grease. When you take the bolt out of the transmission, you will lose a few drops of ATF, take your time and carefully thread the sender into the transmission, to prevent damaging the threads. I ran the transmission sender with a 1/4” slit tubing to avoid the wires from damage. Also zip-tie this well out of the way up the frame and back up the driver’s side of the fire wall.
Now its just down to wiring the whole thing together. Before hooking up anything, I ran pin-pin checks for continuity along each wire in the system, and for the probe and sender the pins at the harness to the gauge against each other. These gauges do not ground to the probe/sender as I’ve seen others, but through the gauge wiring.
Power- Red with Yellow trace, recommended on other websites. Any 12v ignition source power will do. (NOTE: on my truck this wire is a headlight power, there is also a blue/pink trace that is recomended.)
Use a voltmeter to verify you have power with the ignition on, (in my case the lights on, until I can correct that) and 0v with the key off.
Lighting- Yellow (second from left on upper row of that connector, earlier trucks a Blue with Red trace)
Using the voltmeter again to verify that you have 12v with the dash illumination on, and it steps down as you dim the stock dash lighting.
Ground- the lower 8mm bolt to the left, use this same bolt as your ground as you check your voltages.
Here's the final product exactly as I had it planned.
The gauges at dusk: