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1981 el Camino
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m swapping to digital and all wiring harness diagrams I’ve seen don’t match the colored wires I just wanna find power and ground so I can atleast see how fast I’m going haha
 

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Hi Ungrateful, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. I don't know the answer to your question but others here will have answers. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your 81. Where abouts are you located? Have fun with your 81 and the community.
 

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1981 el Camino
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ungrateful, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. I don't know the answer to your question but others here will have answers. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your 81. Where abouts are you located? Have fun with your 81 and the community.
Appreciate it g located in Las Vegas just trying to get my dash all good so I can go pass smog and tune up
 

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Ungrateful, the best advice I can suggest is to get a hold of a copy of Chevrolet's Electrical Diagnosis Service Manual Supplement for your year which is 1981. I say for your year because, although most 5th Gens are supposed to be same, many times there are variations. Below is the closest copy that I've been able to find.

 

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At what stage are you in the switch to digital? Do you have access and can see the multi-pin connector in the right lower corner of the dash gauge pod? That connector provides both power and ground connections that you seek. Let me look for pin information which I have somewhere.
 

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That connector referenced by 57handyman has almost everything you need but the sending unit wiring which comes with the system and what ever you are doing about a vss signal for the speedo.
 

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That connector referenced by 57handyman has almost everything you need but the sending unit wiring which comes with the system and what ever you are doing about a vss signal for the speedo.
Yes,what he said. The dash comes with an adapter to turn your speedo cable into a VSS signal, just drive a mile after setting the speedo learn mode, hit a button and it won't matter what gear you have! As for the sender from the fuel tank I ran an entire new line and added a full length ground back with it as mentioned in the DD instructions to get a better reading. Used a harness grommet and went straight forward through the smugglers box at the rear and ran it under the sill plate on the drivers side. Good luck!

Joe
 

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1981 el Camino
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’ve already removed everything exposed the pins and just need to know which color wires are which because I get no power I am currently using pink/black for 12v power and black for ground but no go but I by passed it and connected it to the battery directly and it lights up perfectly so I believe ima have to fuse tap the acc terminal?
At what stage are you in the switch to digital? Do you have access and can see the multi-pin connector in the right lower corner of the dash gauge pod? That connector provides both power and ground connections that you seek. Let me look for pin information which I have somewhere.
 

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Just remember - I think that fuse panel ACC terminal only has maybe 5 amps available there for current. This should be plenty as long as little else is using power there.

A big, 11 x 17 paper, color printed wiring diagram would help you here. Unless your wiring harness is totally trashed, there should be plenty of other wires available with more ACC current capacity.

Rick

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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I’ve already removed everything exposed the pins and just need to know which color wires are which because I get no power I am currently using pink/black for 12v power and black for ground but no go but I by passed it and connected it to the battery directly and it lights up perfectly so I believe ima have to fuse tap the acc terminal?
I'm not any help on wire colors here but can say ANYTHING with pink is KEY hot and only supplies power when the ignition is in start or run positions. Good luck!

Joe
 

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I'm in the process of installing the Dakota Digital VHX in my '81, have the dash cluster pulled, cleaned up, and fitted with the new gauge panel. Working on wiring the control boxes (got the shift indicator GSS-3000 as well) hopefully next week.

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I have wanted a Dakota digital cluster but installing it is above my pay grade and to have it installed seems to be VERY expensive. Good luck with the install.
 

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R/T, it's really pretty straight forward, they send instructions specific to your year/make/model vehicle, and my one call to customer service found them to be very helpful and user friendly. I haven't worked on cars since the 60s and 70s, and this is only somewhat challenging. Go for it!
 

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I used to think I had brain damage because I couldn't do electrical things very well. But then I learned to do one thing at a time, one circuit at a time. You can't tackle it all in one bite. Those DD instructions really are well written and their tech support is top notch as advised above.

Rick
 

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I used to think I had brain damage because I couldn't do electrical things very well. But then I learned to do one thing at a time, one circuit at a time. You can't tackle it all in one bite. Those DD instructions really are well written and their tech support is top notch as advised above.

Rick
Easiest part of my LS swap was the DD dash! The best part is the programable speedo when you swap rearend gears!

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