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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone tell me where the instrument panel connector is on my 87 El Camino (305)? I'm troubleshooting the stock tachometer and the manual says to check the voltage at terminal 17 of the Instrument Panel connector. In the back of the manual (page 8A-202-11) I found a diagram of connector BLK 8911075; "To Instrument Panel", with 18 terminals, but I can't find a location. There is another diagram (Harness Routing Views) on page 8A-203-1 that shows item 4, INSTRUMENT PANEL, and refers me to diagram 201-7A but that diagram shows the Convenience Center.

Is connector BLK 8911075 the 'instrument panel connector' that I should check voltage for the tach and can someone tell me where to find it? Maybe post a picture?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Tony,

I don't know what you know, so please forgive me if I sound simplistic. Also, someone may have a better solution.
I have had the dash panel/pod off quite a few times and there is a wiring connector that supplies the instrument panel behind the pod.
Hope that helps.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Dave. Can you tell me what that harness behind the pod connects to? I'm wondering now if the manual expects me to remove the pod to access the connector...
There is a flat connector next to the fuse block but it is not the one I need to access.
 

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the 2nd connector is the gauge pod, its built into the back of the pod..
heres a write up,, but its kinda porked due to the new update..
gauge2.jpg
TEXAS SALUTE1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks JJ. Looks like I'll need to access the back of the gage panel. 20 years ago I replaced the dash pad in my 1985 Monte Carlo SS due to vandalism, which should be very similar to my El Camino, so I have done this before.

Thanks for the pic!
 

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is the Tach dead, as in doesn't move at all with the key on/off ??
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do you have a TicToc Tach??
the 12v I think is the key-on power for the Tach
Batt will be all the time power for the clock..

gauge tach 78-85 tictok tach.jpg
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im not sure if you can see or do anything from the top with the pad removed,
I guess it will be nice to find out.. normally everyone just pulls the pod..
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TEXAS SALUTE1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just to be clear, what I meant was in order to replace the pad I needed to remove the gage pod, so that should be the same.

No clock in the tach; in 87 if you ordered a radio the clock was a digital display on the radio face.

When I start the car the tach needle rotates past full scale and stays there. Its been like this for a year or more. I'm just trying to follow the instructions in the manual where the first step is to check the voltage on pin 17 in the instrument panel connector. From your responses its looking like I should remove the bezel at least to access the gages and pull the tach. From there I should be able to get to the power source and then check it there.

BTW my fuel gage quit working recently that I'm also troubleshooting. With the key on/running, it reads past full which I think means its not getting power. The gages fuse is OK. While I have the bezel off I'll remove the gage assembly and check for power at the fuel gage.
 

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Hi Dave. Can you tell me what that harness behind the pod connects to? I'm wondering now if the manual expects me to remove the pod to access the connector...
There is a flat connector next to the fuse block but it is not the one I need to access.
Tony,
Like JJLT1 stated and showed in the pic, remove the gauge pod and the harness will be behind it. The multi-pin connector will be obvious at that point because the green ribbon circuit connects to it. Here are some instructions for the job...
 

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both your problems still could be the pod connector,
but if the tach and fuel gage move, then id start with the signal wire testing..
I don't think they will move without power and ground,
but bad grounds do really weird things sometimes,
things start back feeding from other circuits on the ground...
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the fuel gage going past full is normal with no signal wire connection,
the gage reads the open connection as hi ohms,
fuel, temp, oil press gage is just a ohm meter..
normal is 90-120 ohms at full, 0 ohms at empty..
check the ground at the tank fuel sender and to the frame too..
as a test, if you ground the sender wire the gage should read empty..
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tach is different, it reads a square wave signal, not ohms..
that is just the negative ground signal opening and closing to fire the coil..
but the fact that it moves may mean it has the normal power/ground too..
the Elky runs so the signal is there at the distributor,,
as a test bypass the tach filter on the fire wall with the signal wire..
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when you get the gage pod loose on the lower right corner,
wiggle the pod in and out, that will move the connector,
check the fuel gage while doing the wiggle...
TEXAS SALUTE1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips and instructions, Dave and JJ. It will be a couple weeks before I can get back to the car (not my daily driver!) but I am making a list of what to do and check.

I have noticed the fuel gage needle will move from the gage face to overfull while the car is cranking to start, so I'll start with the signal wire as you suggest.

I'll let you know what I find.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update - Since my last post I was studying the manual procedure and, for my fuel gage issue, made up a test lead consisting of a spade connector, resistor and alligator clips. I connected a 10 ohm resistor between the fuel sender power lead at the rear bumper (pink wire) and ground and the gage read near empty. I then used a 47 ohm resistor and the gage read near half. I could not find a 90 ohm to simulate full scale, (the 100 ohm (5%) resistor caused the gage to read past full - bad test), so that told me the sender was bad. BUT when I hooked everything back up and started the car the gage worked! So I must have just had a bad ground!
I didn't have time to dig into the tach issue, but I'm hoping its a similar (simple!) problem. I purchased a new tach filter that I will install and see what effect that will have. I'll post an update later.
 
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