El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's been years since I've been on the site but I still have my 86 SS and have taken it out of storage since ripping out the dash in pursuit of a dead stinking mouse. Nearly 10 years ago I decided I would rebuild the dash, and replace the gauges but did a lousy job of labelling everything and now I have a mess of wires to connect to my Autometer gauges and a faded memory. My question is; without the circuit boards for the gauges and connectors that won't fit the new ones, is it insane to install a new fuse block and run wires individually to operate each gauge- or is there a smarter way to get this done?
After this many years, I've never been more grateful for this forum:)
Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
Absolutely. Get a factory service manual. They have a entire electrical schematic of your car in them.
Ebay is a good place to find them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
788 Posts
Absolutely. Get a factory service manual. They have a entire electrical schematic of your car in them.
Ebay is a good place to find them.
Roger is right, the factory service manual is the best source for electrical schematics. That bein said, I will forever say that my decision to purchase a Dakota Digital VHX cluster was the best $800 bucks I spent on my car so far! And I'm rapidly getting into the 10K area!

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It's been years since I've been on the site but I still have my 86 SS and have taken it out of storage since ripping out the dash in pursuit of a dead stinking mouse. Nearly 10 years ago I decided I would rebuild the dash, and replace the gauges but did a lousy job of labelling everything and now I have a mess of wires to connect to my Autometer gauges and a faded memory. My question is; without the circuit boards for the gauges and connectors that won't fit the new ones, is it insane to install a new fuse block and run wires individually to operate each gauge- or is there a smarter way to get this done?
After this many years, I've never been more grateful for this forum:)
Bill
Thanks Roger- I will get one today! I started eating this elephant one bite at a time, trying not to kick myself too hard. Started with the MSD...the guy before me really made a mess which makes this job even harder, but no rush, one step at a time. Painless had a couple of good schematics for the MSD so I got that done yesterday. Wait...did you mean its "absolutely" insane? LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Roger is right, the factory service manual is the best source for electrical schematics. That bein said, I will forever say that my decision to purchase a Dakota Digital VHX cluster was the best $800 bucks I spent on my car so far! And I'm rapidly getting into the 10K area!

Joe
Thanks Joe- looking back, I should have just bought the dash from ElCamino Parts...i had to hack so much of the center section theres hardly any left. I went with Phantom Autometer gauges...hopefully i dont blow them up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
I also have the Dakota VHX and it's a very high quality piece and well worth the money. However, what you are doing with the Autometer is going to be a HUGE upgrade over stock. The stock setup was a just plain cheap design by GM. Very problematic and unreliable.
Really the wires aren't all that complicated. Looks very intimidating but it is very easy to sort out. Once you know all the colors, you can trim the wires up and make it a lot neater under there. Many of the wires are redundant and you can snip them short and get rid of the excess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
I scanned the schematic out of the manual for my '83. I wouldn't be surprised if it's identical for an '86 for all the underdash wiring. I'd be happy to email it to you if you give me your email address in a PM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I also have the Dakota VHX and it's a very high quality piece and well worth the money. However, what you are doing with the Autometer is going to be a HUGE upgrade over stock. The stock setup was a just plain cheap design by GM. Very problematic and unreliable.
Really the wires aren't all that complicated. Looks very intimidating but it is very easy to sort out. Once you know all the colors, you can trim the wires up and make it a lot neater under there. Many of the wires are redundant and you can snip them short and get rid of the excess.
I guess knowing the wires is the hard part, but because the harnesses terminate at large connectors I will have to pull them from the connectors right?- and then run them to the gauges? That intimidates me a little to be honest. Because the previous owner was sloppy, I started with the MSD and ran new wires to the distributor, battery, and pushed the tach signal wire thru the firewall. A little at a time :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I scanned the schematic out of the manual for my '83. I wouldn't be surprised if it's identical for an '86 for all the underdash wiring. I'd be happy to email it to you if you give me your email address in a PM.
Thanks Roger- I appreciate that. I will PM you now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
You're welcome, I'm not even sure how I stumbled across it, but it made things nice and easy for me. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
Thanks Roger- I appreciate that. I will PM you now.
Got them sent. Let me know if you don't receive. The attachments a large but I think gmail allows them that large.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
If you are not used to reading these, it can seem confusing. Once you get used to it, it's pretty easy to follow. Ask away if you get stuck trying to figure anything out.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top