Dash-top gauges

Dash-top gauges

Postby DriveDog [OP] » September 11th 2019, 6:13am

I've seen a few pix here of individual gauges mounted atop the middle area of the dash, but no clusters. Has anyone crafted or found a module to sit on top and house 3 or so gauges? I'm thinking I could route a flat cable painted dash color out the back and down through the defrost opening somehow. Thoughts, ideas?
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby Sailing_Faith » September 11th 2019, 7:45am

What specifically are you wanting to monitor? The factory instruments are not calibrated accurately, but they are fine for monitoring temp, voltage, and oil pressure...
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby ericstg » September 11th 2019, 7:48am

2003 AWD Astro Cargo, 3+1(plus a shackle) lift, LT245/75R16, it's badass!

Update 12/31/20: It's dead!

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.p ... 7&t=129113
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby DriveDog [OP] » September 11th 2019, 12:34pm

I'd like a tach, for one. I've seen others mention where to get that signal. If I can extract the trans temp from the system serial bus, that would be useful (towing). I'm going to try to control a stepper motor gauge with some home-made electronics. Oil temp would be good. I guess I'll need to set up a sensor for that.

That module is the right idea, thanks. Perhaps some plasticky paint to match the dash's brown. Please post if you know of other shapes of dash-top housings.
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby MmusicmanMmusicman is online! » September 11th 2019, 2:07pm

Pillar gauges are pretty popular and maybe a good solution?

pillar gauges.jpg

Here are plenty more:
https://www.google.com/search?q=pillar+ ... 70&bih=635

DriveDog wrote:If I can extract the trans temp from the system serial bus, that would be useful (towing).

This is something I've been curious about too recently... but don't see it in my OBDII readings
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby DriveDog [OP] » September 11th 2019, 10:52pm

Pillar mounts look nice and are certainly functional. I just am not warming to that for mine so much.

That generic dashtop housing is close. I guess I could paint it to match the brown, maybe even cover it with something with similar grain pattern.

I also noticed a truck housing module that fits between the front end of the overhead console and the rear view mirror and holds 2 or 3 gauges. I'll look again, but I don't think Astros really have enough space there for much. I also want a little rear cam monitor somewhere and haven't decided on where or what.

Does anyone use the rear view mirror replacements that have built-in video monitors? How well do they work?

How about homemade HUDs? Anyone try that (on any vehicle)?
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby markmitch » September 11th 2019, 11:06pm

I installed a trans temp gauge but I had to buy a aluminum block that the coolant lines run into and out of for the sending unit. AutoMeter Transmission Temperature Gauge Manifolds 2286 from Summit racing.
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby Sparkydog » September 11th 2019, 11:07pm

Hi - I'm sort of trying to help and also ask a question related to this: have you considered using one of the phone apps like Torque and the bluetooth or usb adapter that plugs into the OBD2 connector?
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby DriveDog [OP] » September 12th 2019, 6:08am

Good to know there's a ready made trans temp sender unit to buy if I have to.

I ordered a Bluetooth OBDII plug and will get Torque Pro on a tablet when it arrives. I think that will be entertaining. But I still like the real needle swinging around, even if its electronically controlled behind the scenes...

The first time I navigated with Google Maps (preloaded area) on a 10" tablet I fell in love with it. It's amazing how much easier it is to keep your eyes on the road when your map's on a relatively big screen.
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby stent » September 14th 2019, 6:27pm

i've been looking into gauge mounts too - pods, pedestals, etc.

auto meter makes fitted a-pillar pods for the 1995 - 2000 astro/safari (for 2-1/16" gauges).
single gauge pod # 15123 & dual gauge pod # 15122 : https://www.autometer.com/mounting-solu ... e=products

they also make a universal fit 3-gauge dash-top pod # 5288 (for 2-1/16" gauges) : https://www.autometer.com/universal-tri ... h-pod.html
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Re: Dash-top gauges

Postby DriveDog [OP] » September 20th 2019, 5:03pm

Received the BT adapter and tried it out on several vehicles (not the Astro yet) with several Bluetooth Android devices. Neither of two phones could find any "OBD2" Bluetooth to link when I plugged it in to several different cars. My Samsung 10" Tab S4 did find it and I loaded Torque Lite (the free version) to try it out and it seems to work well.

This is the one I got, I think for around $13. It wasn't the cheapest though still cheap. I wanted a short one so it won't stick out and get kicked if I leave it connected. I'm not recommending it because of the flaky Bluetooth performance, but it seems to work with my tablet. I'll be trying Torque Pro ($5 from the Google Play Store) and see if I can find a smaller device as the tablet is a bit unwieldy in the Astro.

OBDII_BT.jpg
OBDII_BT.jpg (24.1 KiB) Viewed 683 times
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