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I have a 1980 El Camino that I think originally had a V6 engine and when I bought it it had no engine. I had a 350 put in and the Tachometer and guages are working (original equipment installed from factory). Only problem is that the Tachometer reads a lot higher than it should. I have taken the Tach out of the cluster and looked everywhere for a V6/V8 selection and can't find anything. There is a Tach fliter between the Distributor and ??? I do know that this filter is mounted on the firewall and one end goes to the Distributor and not sure where and IF the other end is connected. (Finally the question) How do I adjust the Tachometer for the V8 installed now from the possible V6 originally installed? HELP!
 

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80Royal...

I'm really waiting for John to chime in here as I'm not the electical system expert....

But, in the mean time give us your VIN number so we can confirm that your RK was originally a V6...
 

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You're going to need to get a tach for an eight cylinder. The 6 and 8 tachs are not interchangeable, nor are they adjustable. I'm sure if I were forced to, I could come up with a circuit to translate eight pulses to six pulses to make one work.
 

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Still can't get on at work for some reason so it's early morning or a late night reply. If you haven't got access to another tach, I'll dig up a name of a site that may be able to mod and calibrate that for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1980 El Camino Tachometer Not Working Properly

The VIN #1W80HAD418310. Now for my next QUESTION... How do you tell the difference between a 6 and 8 cylinder Tachometer for this El Camino?
 

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I looked for a 'thread' or anything that might be used to switch, and did not find anything. I have a 1980 Cutlass that has a Tachometer and it does have a "jumper" (a thin wire that you snip if V6 or leave solder inplace for V8) to switch between V6 and V8. I also have another Tachometer from a mid 80's Cutlass and it has a similar moveable "jumper" between V6 and V8. I wish the Tachometer from the Cutlass was able to fit in the El Camino, but it plugs in the dash differently and doesn't line-up in the holes for the electrical connections.

Anybody else have any advise? HELP!!!

As far as the Pictures go, I hope to get something soon. I don't have a Digital Camera to take any Pictures.

Thanks to all who have replied, Richard.
 

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The thread I refered to was on another site. I wander around. I wasn't sure on the answer for the year so I just crossed my fingers that it was there. Try asking these guys. There's a toll free number. If that don't find you an answer, I've got some other names.
http://www.autoinstruments.com/
 

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Tach Filter

My '78 came factory with the guage package and someone added a factory tach later. They just connected a wire from the terminal on the back of the tach to the distributor connection. It seemed to work ok.
However, I had noticed on the schematic wiring diagram it shows a "Tach Filter ASM" near the distributor. The schematic looks like a couple of resistors and maybe a capacitor.
What does the filter do? Is it important?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am not sure what the filter actually does. I thought maybe it was a filter to keep out EMI interference??? The only other thing I have knowledge of is that there are electric 'pulses' from the distributor and these pulses are sent to the Tachometer. Maybe the Tach filter has something to do with these 'pulses'???
 

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Tach Filter

I was talking to an electrical draftsman today. He's also a licenced mechanic. He said the tach filter just reduces the flutter in the tach needle as it gets the pulses.
I came across this after aftermarket tach installation in a Monte Carlo dash that looks pretty good.
http://jeffd.50megs.com/tach_pictures.htm
 

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That is an interesting picture, I wonder what had to be done to put that tach in there, almost looks like it was made as a direct replacement. I am considering replacing all my gauges with Autometer gauges. I have seen a digital dash cluster that is made for Elkys in Summit magazine, which if I remember correctly runs around $380, I don't know who makes it. I've also talked to Dakota Digital, which although they don't make a replacment digital cluster for Elkys, said they could custom mount their gauges into the stock dash gauge cluster if I shipped mine to them. Said they have done 3 or 4 already. The cost though was to high in my opinion, almost $700. I do like the look of their gauges though. I wonder if any of our members are the ones who had the custom jobs made by Dakota? As it turns out, I am going to attempt to custom make a gauge cluster using the Autometer gauges and try to retain the stock appearance as much as possible. I bought a gauge bezel off of Ebay to use as a template. I know a lot of you must be thinking "Why does this guy want to replace the stock gauges with aftermarket ones, and ruin the original look." Your right, the custom job is for the 85 prostreeter I'm building which is a radical Elky, my 84 Elky will retain it's stock dash. The 85 needs too much work to restore it to its original condition, plus all it had was the idiot light setup. Everything is trashed in the 85 Elky so I just look at it as though I'm saving it from the crusher. Its a long term project my son and I are doing. Would like to see pics of members who have a custom gauge setup in their Elkys, I'm sure a lot of members would also so they can get some ideas too...wonder what that guy with that 83 Seafoam Green ELT1 did to get those gauges in there? Mike

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Tach for Elky

Now you guys got me worried. I bought a tach off of Ebay a couple weeks ago to put in my 87 Elky. Mine has all guages except a tach. I just looked at the tach and can't see anything to indicate v6 or v8 so don't really know which it is. Only thing I can see is on the back of the circuit board are 3 terminals, one says ground, one says 12v and the other says coil. So, can someone help me on these. The ground of course can just go to any good ground, where does the 12v go, just to anything hot from the ignition? And the one that says coil, I assume that would be to coil positive, right? 8O
 

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When my v8 tach stopped working I searched for a v8 one but only found a v6 one. I put the v8 guts in the v6 one so it would read correctly. It's worked fine for several years now.
 

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I'm with a couple others here, got a car with the gage package but no tach. Got a factory tach and it just dropped right into the gage cluster. It even picked up 12V and Ground connections from the printed circuit on the instrument cluster. My car also has the HEI distributor with the coil in the cap and a tach connection on the cap, so it was just a matter of running one wire from the distrubutor cap to the connection on the wiring harness plug under the dash. I didn't bother with the filter and the tach works fine (my thought was to add the filter if the tach needed it).

If you have a separate coil run the tach signal from the negative, not positive terminal of the coil.
 
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