want to swap instrument panel

want to swap instrument panel

Postby jeff's93astro [OP] » August 9th 2009, 3:59pm

i have an 87 safari and i want to put newer guages in it (anything but the hockey sticks) and i need to know the best way to go about doing that
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby Matrixx » August 9th 2009, 4:14pm

Hi jeff's87astro

I don't know how new you want to go, but with the later 95s (OBD II) and up, it's a completely different set-up compared to the 87 model (OBD I).

The whole structure in how it's mounted and the amount of pins with the plug-in in behind the cluster is completely different with the speedometer being electronic as well (no cable).

I don't know what years had the Hockey Stick design, but I'm sure if you stayed within the ODB I era, it would be more do able than the newer versions (later 95+).

I'm sure others will chime in if they can.:)
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby evil_motors » August 9th 2009, 8:15pm

there are only 3 or 4 options that i know of. if you have the hockey stick guages you can go to the regular guages very easily just go find a cluster and swap it out. and from what people have told me on here you can go to the digital cluster if you grab the wiring harness for it. i have the digital one in mine and i am just changing how it looks . but i do believe there are 2 other style guage clusters besides the hockey and the digital ones. if you do a search you will run across it.
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby jeff's93astro [OP] » August 9th 2009, 11:06pm

i would be fine with just the 94 model that has the needle gauges would be fine but its electronic not cable driven i need to know about how to get around that cause my 88 silverado has a 700r4 with electronic speedo and i have an extra sending unit that goes in the trans but does both wires go from that sending straight to the cluster or do they take a route through alot of other components
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby xequar » August 10th 2009, 6:36pm

'85-'88 clusters had a cable-driven speedometer. This powerpoint www.gmcmotorhomeworld.com/How%20To%20Do ... ometer.ppt was made by a guy that put a '92-'94-era Suburban cluster into his cable-driven Astro. (If this info exists on this site, I apologize for not finding it and having to go "outside"). Even if you choose to not go with a Suburban cluster, you should theoretically be able to make use of the bits on converting from cable-driven to electronic.
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby jeff's93astro [OP] » August 11th 2009, 4:16am

thanks for the information i'm willing to do just about anything to get rid of the hockey sticks they are no where near accurate
95 Astro 5.3L RWD 3/3 drop
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby Casey » November 14th 2009, 8:13pm

xequar wrote:'85-'88 clusters had a cable-driven speedometer. This powerpoint http://www.gmcmotorhomeworld.com/How%20 ... ometer.ppt was made by a guy that put a '92-'94-era Suburban cluster into his cable-driven Astro. (If this info exists on this site, I apologize for not finding it and having to go "outside"). Even if you choose to not go with a Suburban cluster, you should theoretically be able to make use of the bits on converting from cable-driven to electronic.



Wow, that is a great link. Thank you! :clap:
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Re: want to swap instrument panel

Postby Casey » November 20th 2009, 5:50am

xequar wrote:'85-'88 clusters had a cable-driven speedometer. This powerpoint http://www.gmcmotorhomeworld.com/How%20 ... ometer.ppt was made by a guy that put a '92-'94-era Suburban cluster into his cable-driven Astro. (If this info exists on this site, I apologize for not finding it and having to go "outside"). Even if you choose to not go with a Suburban cluster, you should theoretically be able to make use of the bits on converting from cable-driven to electronic.



After reading the linked PP show, I was thinking factory-appearing gauges (the tachometer is a the real bonus) would be nice to have in my '95 once I get the T5 5-speed installed, so off to the salvage yard I went. I found a '92 C-series pickup cluster (minus the lens) with the full gauges and found a '95 Astro in which I could test fit the pickup cluster.

The C-series cluster physically fits quite well in the Astro's dash base, with the obvious difference being the plug locations and numbers of plug- the Astro had two vertically-oriented plugs more centrally located while the pickup cluster's plug is toward the bottom left corner. The overall width and height of both clusters is very close, so some trimming will be required for a perfect fit (especially around the plug area), but I saw no reason for major clearancing.

The housing on the pickup cluster has a longer 'hood' at the top (compared to the Astro's), but that could be trimmed without much trouble. I removed the Astro's lens and inner bezel (the one sandwiched between the lens and the cluster housing) and placed them on the pickup cluster (which had no inner bezel nor lens on it) and it was a very good fit. It looked like the semi-circular 'notch' around the steering column is very slightly offset on the pickup cluster, but the Astro's inner bezel hides the very minimal offset and fits flat against the pickup's cluster face. The Astro's and pickup's trip odometer reset stem are in different locations, so a new hole would need to be drilled on the Astro's lens, or you could remove the stem or fabricate an offset stem to locate in the Astro's lens.

When I had the pickup cluster in the Astro's dash base, I placed the Astro's inner bezel and lens in place, then tried to install the Astro's outer bezel on the dash. I got all of the screws in place, but I could 'feel' the longer hood of the pickup's cluster was in need of some minor trimming, and since the Astro's inner bezel and lens were just resting in place, I didn't force it.

Another issue I noticed was the speedometer/odometer on the pickup's cluster was the pre-'93 style (with no 40-tooth reluctor ring/4L60E trans), so I suspect a '93+ pickup cluster would solve that issue.

Once I get the 5-speed in and everything working, I may just tackle this project some weekend. :banana:
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