DIY Installation: Supplementary Water Temperature Gauge
A roadworthy vehicle is neither defined by engine and transmission specifications nor dependent on safety features as well as braking and steering response. Even the small and seemingly less important parts make a great difference. The water temperature gauge, for instance, can make or break the vehicle's engine performance and lifespan. When water temperature reading is accurate, drivers will have a reliable monitor of the engine's temperature, especially of high-performance engines in sports cars, wherein heat can spike to extreme levels while high-speeding. But if broken, there is no way to know if the engine is nearing a boil-over.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- 2 1/16 or 2 5/8-inch hole saw
- Drill and 7/8-inch drill bit
- 7/8-inch grommet
- Open-ended or adjustable wrench
- Self-tapping screws
- Teflon tape
- Wire tap-splice
Step 1: Carefully choose a good location for a supplementary water temperature gauge. This is vital in order to avoid damaging any wires or hoses when drilling the mounting hole. Vehicles with customized engines particularly need such a gauge.
Step 2: Drill a 2 1/16 or 2 5/8 inch hole in the chosen location on the dash. Refer on the gauge model to determine the size of mounting hole that has to be made. Also drill a hole on the firewall of 7/8 inches for the grommet.
Step 3: Install the grommet in the drilled firewall hole. But before you can do that, you have to cut first a slit in the side portion of the grommet, and slide it over the temperature sensor tube. Make sure to also place the sensor through the mounting hole as well as the firewall's.
Step 4: Install the gauge by sliding it into the dashboard's mounting hole with the bracket securely holding it over the mounting post on its back portion. A lock washer and knurled thumb nut should make the installation more stable onto the post. Remember not to over-tighten the nut.
Step 5: Now that the gauge has been installed, tap from a power source through a key switch ignition in order to function.
Step 6: For accuracy, ground one wire from the gauge light to the engine or chassis, while the other wire is connected to a positive 12-volt wire of the dashboard lighting circuit. Use the existing bolt or self-tapping screw for grounding and a wire tap-splice for the power source. And then, install the gauge light into a slot at the back of the gauge.
Step 7: Route the temperature probe to the existing temperature sending unit mounting location by running it through the engine compartment where no moving parts would affect it. After which, carefully remove the existing temperature sending unit with the aid of an open-ended or adjustable wrench.
Step 8: Wrap around the threads of the mounting nut two layers of Teflon tape clockwise. Screw it into the mounting hole and tighten with a wrench. Insert the probe into the nut and tighten again.
Step 9: Check for leaks and determine proper gauge operation by starting the engine. If leaks occur, recheck and tighten as necessary.
Installation may vary depending on whether the temperature gauge is mechanical or electrical. Furthermore, original sensor and gauge sensor in some cars may need to be connected depending on the owner's preference.