Author Topic: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working  (Read 563 times)

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« on: November 28, 2017, 03:58:39 PM »

I have the stock 78 TA gauges  and the shops either are not able to to it to work, or flat out tell me they do not know how to get it to work with this new LS3 engine & tans installed:

Chevrolet Performance Connect and Cruise LS 376/430 HP Engine and Automatic Transmission Packages CPSLS34L65E

I also have the 2 Dakota Digital converters:  for the Tach and the Speedo. 

Is it really that hard to get them to work?
Can anyone here walk me through it if I post up video and picture of me trying it myself?
Am I better of just getting new gauges? (I really rather have it looking stock and I really do not want the hassle of TRYING to return product that I purchased months ago).

PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

jonathonar89

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1498
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 05:29:32 PM »
For what you spent on that engine and trans, I’d say just return the stuff and flip coin on the complete Dakota kit.
1979 Trans Am 400 T-top - Platinum Silver, Carmine Interior
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=61460.0

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
I thought it was easy... I have the stock 98 PCM so I found a diagram that showed me the tach signal wire and the VSS wire. That is all you need from the PCM. You wire those to the converters. The converters come with instructions I found easy to follow. The tach wire on the car is one of the wires that attaches or attached to the old distributor. Pretty easy. You just need to know where to get the tach and VSS signals from and you'll need to know that with any gauge set other than a GPS speedo...
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 08:15:57 PM »
I thought it was easy... I have the stock 98 PCM so I found a diagram that showed me the tach signal wire and the VSS wire. That is all you need from the PCM. You wire those to the converters. The converters come with instructions I found easy to follow. The tach wire on the car is one of the wires that attaches or attached to the old distributor. Pretty easy. You just need to know where to get the tach and VSS signals from and you'll need to know that with any gauge set other than a GPS speedo...

I thought it would be easy too.  Maybe not for me to do it myself, but for the shop that took in my car.   
I thought especially easy since the engine and trans is all new from GM/Summit, and it came as a connect & cruise kit with the PCM. 
BTW, I think I found information on the DD converters from you.

I think many shops, and even car hobbyists, don't like electrical work.  Even if they are top notch mechanics.  I got a bachelors degree in electronics but that was back in 94 and I never used it in my profession (computer programming) so I forgot a lot.   But I should remember enough to hook them up with instructions.  I mean, I'm not going to be creating circuit boards.

So I'll try to research it online....
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 08:23:17 PM »
For what you spent on that engine and trans, I’d say just return the stuff and flip coin on the complete Dakota kit.

To me, yes, i did spend a LOT in labor.  Unfortunately, the shop went out of business and my car is not done.  I don't want to say much, because lawyer are involved.  But I did find a potentially new mechanic that has a great reputation and has been in business for decades.  My friend recommended him and the shop owner knows him well.  Speaking to him, he really seems to know his stuff. 
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 08:23:17 PM »

70RAIV455

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3005
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 08:29:04 PM »
Look at the Signal Waveform outputs with a Digital storage oscilloscope.
Modern Techronics or Fluke.
Or a Vintage Techronics Cathode Ray Tube oscilloscope will work.
VSS is a Sawtooth AC waveform output.

Vintage Pontiac Tachometers are a Hexadecimal Counter Circuit.

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 09:02:35 PM »
If  buy aftermarket, what size gauges do I need in order not to cut up the bezel?
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 09:14:43 PM »
After doing some research,  I am HATING photo F-it more and more.... :(
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 10:03:31 PM »
If  buy aftermarket, what size gauges do I need in order not to cut up the bezel?

Speedhut.  I cannot recommend them more.  Their CANBUS setup will run directly off your dianostic port using two wires.  You can design you own font and layout for no fee.



My design is a little on the plain side...  I wish I had copied the stock "ring" around the numbers.

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 11:10:34 PM »
That looks pretty cool, Scarebird!  And extremely simple to wire up!

What size are the gauges?  Did you need to cut the aluminum bezel? 
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

T/A Addict

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 628
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 04:36:07 AM »
Dayum..... I always thought I would really try and want to keep my stock gauges so it didn't look like every other generic out of place gauge swap but after seeing the speedhut product I may just have seen a different light!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 06:14:44 AM by T/A Addict »
Jeff
2016 Victory Cross Country
TATA '72 455 HO Auto
79 T/A 403 Solar Gold
2010 Challenger R/T  PCP

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 05:39:44 AM »
Not saying after market gages are no the way to go. I may even switch some day but just so you know, there is way more wiring to do when you install after market gages than making your stock ones work... The PCM should have come with some instructions that would lead you to the VSS and tach wires.. If nothing else call their tech line.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 01:41:59 PM »
That looks pretty cool, Scarebird!  And extremely simple to wire up!

What size are the gauges?  Did you need to cut the aluminum bezel?

I did not have to trim the bezel at all.  The dash pad/housing is another story...

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
That looks pretty cool, Scarebird!  And extremely simple to wire up!

What size are the gauges?  Did you need to cut the aluminum bezel?

I did not have to trim the bezel at all.  The dash pad/housing is another story...

That's great!

Which size gauge did you get? 
3 and 3/8"
4"
?
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 03:27:03 PM »
I missed the part where those run off the CANBUS. Now that pretty cool.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 03:27:03 PM »

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 05:58:15 PM »
That looks pretty cool, Scarebird!  And extremely simple to wire up!

What size are the gauges?  Did you need to cut the aluminum bezel?

I did not have to trim the bezel at all.  The dash pad/housing is another story...

That's great!

Which size gauge did you get? 
3 and 3/8"
4"
?

I believe it was 3-3/8"

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 08:12:10 PM »
That looks pretty cool, Scarebird!  And extremely simple to wire up!

What size are the gauges?  Did you need to cut the aluminum bezel?

I did not have to trim the bezel at all.  The dash pad/housing is another story...

That's great!

Which size gauge did you get? 
3 and 3/8"
4"
?

I believe it was 3-3/8"

Thanks!

I was about to ask if you could double-check when you get a chance and then I just remembered that I have my bezel here at home, removed because i didn't want the shop working on my car to scratch up the new lenses I installed.  Plus it would be easier/faster for them to put the new gauges in.  I measured the opening and it is 4, so I think that is what you got since their website writes:
"Fits into 3.875" (98mm) dash hole"
Just in case anyone else wanted to know.
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2017, 04:50:19 PM »
I think I'm gonna get the Speedhut CAN-BUS model.  With the integrated blinker and high beam indicators - the stock has this wired in the printed circuit board.  So how does that connect to the new gauges?  Not asking about where to connect it to the new gauges, but what do I connect to the new gauges?  I'm sure I am not to  solder the new gauges wires to the circuit board, lol.
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2017, 08:34:41 PM »
Best way is to make a sub harness to attached to the gauges.  Use two Molex  plugs to connect to the factory harness (you will need to mod that).

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2017, 09:47:43 PM »
Best way is to make a sub harness to attached to the gauges.  Use two Molex  plugs to connect to the factory harness (you will need to mod that).

Thanks.   I'll have to look at the harness once I get the car back.

I also just realized the stock gauge combines oil and water together in 1.  The CAN-BUS are separate, so I'll have an extra gauge over stock.  Seems people place them in 1 of the 2 AC vent areas, which means I'll only have 1 AC vent.  What other locations would be suggested and which gauge should I use there?
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2017, 09:01:06 AM »
I would put the temp gauge in the middle, the oil gauge outboard with fuel furthest out.
I would use one of the turn signal LEDs as an electrical idiot light and the other as the Check engine light.

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2017, 11:50:22 AM »
I meant that in the stock TA bezel, that has AC, there is not too to place the additional 6th gauge.

In a stock TA with stock gauges, there are 5 gauges plus 2 AC vent holes in the bezel. So the bezel has 7 holes all together.

Switching over to the Speedhut kit there are 6 gauges. And with 2 AC vents, that requires a bezel with 8 holes, but the stock only has 7 holes.

So either I will have to remove 1 of the 2 AC vents to make room for the 6th gauge, or keep the 2 AC vents and install the 6th gauge somewhere else in the car.  Where else could I put it, and which gauge should I install that will not be on the bezel?
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2017, 12:59:20 PM »
I know, my point is to ditch the voltmeter; run temp, fuel, and oil and keep your two AC vents.

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2017, 01:33:13 PM »
I know, my point is to ditch the voltmeter; run temp, fuel, and oil and keep your two AC vents.

Yeah, I was thinking to leave off the Voltmeter too.  I missed that "outboard" part in your previously reply so now it makes sense.  First I thought outboard was a type of meter.

I'm going to see if they make a longer CAN-BUS pigtail cable so i can mount the voltmeter in the center console's armrest compartment, or maybe somewhere like this one, to the left of the car stereo:
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2017, 08:18:56 AM »
I decided to somewhat follow the original gauges pattern as best as I could.  I thought I had a pic of the plug I made up for the back to make it easier to install and remove, but might have lost it in the PB ransom.   Not sure if these pics will work.





The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2017, 08:25:13 AM »
Those look great!
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2017, 08:40:43 AM »
Those look great!

Thanks!  I constantly get asked questions about them.  I kind of followed the wording of the stock gauges.  If I could do it again, I'd have the numbers and bars reversed so that the number points were the farthest thing out from the needle.  Just like the factory.  Not sure how it'd look, but just another idea.

A buddy has a Cutlass and went with Speedhut gauges.  His look a bit busy and he constantly says he wishes he could clean them up a bit.  He had them put the Olds Rocket on the two main gauges-speedo and tach.  His have all the warning lights.  You can delete anything you want on your gauges.  Even the Speedhut writing on the bottom.

On another note, double check that you get the correct senders if you do order from them.  They sent a wrong one and it was a pain tracing down why one of the gauges didn't work.  They were right on top of it when the mistake was discovered.   
The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2017, 03:20:32 PM »
Updated71, that does look real great!!

What does "PB ransom" mean?   Never mind, figured it out.

I was thinking of using the CAN-BUS series for ease of connection, via OBDII.  But they only come in 6 gauge kits, not 5 like yours.
I was going to do it myself since it seems no one wants to take my money and do it. 

So how hard was it to do?

And which model line of Speedhut did you get?  I looked on their website and can't figure it out.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 03:35:42 PM by 78TA_In87 »
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2017, 04:56:00 PM »
Updated71, that does look real great!!

What does "PB ransom" mean?   Never mind, figured it out.

I was thinking of using the CAN-BUS series for ease of connection, via OBDII.  But they only come in 6 gauge kits, not 5 like yours.
I was going to do it myself since it seems no one wants to take my money and do it. 

So how hard was it to do?

And which model line of Speedhut did you get?  I looked on their website and can't figure it out.

I actually forgot a lot of how the ordering went with the gauges.  I will try and dig the receipt up as soon as I get some time.  I used a Speartech harness for engine management.  This is where the tach signal comes from.  The voltage gauge was tapped in at the lighter.  The temp gauge and oil pressure are sourced from the passenger side head and top rear of the block via a T that came from Australia.  This is not my pic, but one I used for reference:



My speedo is GPS, but I could've used the output from the Speartech harness.  Fuel gauge info is from my Rick's Tanks Inc tank which uses the same ohm resistance as any factory GM tank. 

All of the connections are made at 2 plugs that came with my American Auto Wire harness specifically used for aftermarket harnesses. 
The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1589
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2017, 06:37:20 PM »
Not that aftermarket gauges aren't great looking but still way more work than making what you have work. I'm sure some day I'll switch over but for now the original ones are good.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2017, 08:04:36 PM »
Updated71, can you also please check which bezel type you ordered?

I think you got the Stealth Black, which is what I picked out.
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2017, 08:36:21 PM »
For some reason, I don't have the receipt. The installation instructions refer to the gauges as Legacy/Revolution. Stealth black sounds correct though.
The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2017, 08:43:23 PM »
Here's an in progress pic from when it was going together:



Not sure if it'll help any.
The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 12:06:53 AM »
Here's an in progress pic from when it was going together:



Not sure if it'll help any.

So the gauges mounted directly into the bezel.  Do you feel the bezel is strong enough to hold them in place without warping?  What about waterproofing? Do you think they need to be in a casing?
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2017, 12:09:14 AM »
I know, my point is to ditch the voltmeter; run temp, fuel, and oil and keep your two AC vents.

Scarebird,

Did your fuel gauge have any issues?

"Not all ECU manufacturers include Fuel Level data output. Please verify that your vehicle's ECU supports CAN-BU"
PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Updated71

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1146
  • TA Addiction
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2017, 06:26:53 AM »
They are definitely in there securely. The gauges are threaded and held on by nuts. I can't see them getting wet in any way. I don't think a case would add any benefit. In my case, I wanted to use the original turn signals, so I cut up an original cluster and used that.
The surgeon general never said nuthin' 'bout smokin' the competition!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2017, 04:14:05 PM »
They are definitely in there securely. The gauges are threaded and held on by nuts. I can't see them getting wet in any way. I don't think a case would add any benefit. In my case, I wanted to use the original turn signals, so I cut up an original cluster and used that.

Thanks for the reply!   I saw some other photos where people put them in cases or added a sheet of plastic behind the bezel for added support. 

PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2017, 04:19:20 PM »
Does anyone know what these Shift, Span, LED and the other 2 bulbs are for and how they work.   I called Speedhut but they were not sure.

I have an automatic transmission (I know, boo-hoo) so wondering if that matters?   




PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

scarebird

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1035
  • Parts vender
      • Scarebird Classic Brakes
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2017, 05:05:11 PM »
None, though the process to set was not the best.

The gauges are very light - no issues mounting in the bezel.

78TA_In87

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2124
Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2017, 07:57:26 PM »
None, though the process to set was not the best.

The gauges are very light - no issues mounting in the bezel.


Thanks.

Before I buy, 1 last question Scarebird...

I believe you have the same engine I have.  The LS3 E-Rod.  We both purchased them brand spanking new (no junk-yard or used engines) with the ECU and all that other good stuff (mine was the connect and cruise kit with 4L65E transmission).  I 'm sure we have different transmissions.  Knowing this, is it safe to say that if the CAN-BUS gauges work for you then they will work for me, or do i need to do some research first?   

I ask because of what I see on the Speedhut webpage, most importantly the parts I coloredin red :



Freedom CAN-bus gauges will only work on vehicles that are 2008 or newer and manufactured for the USA, Canada, or the UK. Before you purchase a Freedom CAN-BUS gauge you will need to know if your vehicle supports the CAN protocol and your desired gauge type output. Freedom CAN-BUS gauges operate by receiving data from the ECU (Engine Control Unit) through the OBDII wiring. You can check your vehicle's ODBII connector to see if it supports the CAN protocol:
 
If the OBDII connector has wires that connect to pins '6' and '14' then the vehicle supports the CAN-BUS (J1979) protocol.*
OBDII CAN (J1979) protocol Pinout:
Pin 4 -- Chassis Ground
Pin 5 -- Signal Ground
Pin 6 -- CAN High (data)
Pin 14 -- CAN Low (data)
Pin 16 -- +12volt Battery power (not for use as gauge power)**
OBDII Connector pinout diagram


*NOTE: If there are wires connecting to pins '2' and '10' then the vehicle does NOT support the CAN protocol.
Freedom CAN-Bus gauges CANNOT be connected to a sender or anything that sends a raw signal.
**IMPORTANT: Additional wiring required for Gauge Power and Electroluminescent Dial Lighting
Typically, all vehicles 2008 and newer are required to be compatible with the CAN (J1979) protocol. Some manufacturers used the CAN protocol before 2008. Not all gauge types will be supported on your vehicle's ECU. For example, not all ECUs support fuel level output.
Check with your vehicle’s dealer or the manufacturer of the ECU for information about what types of output are supported.

PONTIAC - We (Did) Build EXCITEMENT!!

Re: Stock gauges with a new LS3 not working
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2017, 07:57:26 PM »
You can help support TAC!