Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby jdeitch [OP] » November 17th 2010, 3:15pm

Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge.

A previous owner changed the stock cluster (idiot lights only) to a newer (blue grid) instrument cluster with gauges in my 1988 Astrovan. All of the gauges seem to work except the oil pressure gauge which is constantly pegged. What I have found so far is that the oil pressure sender in my van currently is a two wire sender, and what I think I need is a three wire sender and the additional wiring to the instrument cluster. Someone must have done this before? Is there a DIY? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby Phantom » November 17th 2010, 3:37pm

Yea you need the sender that has 3 wire , when I replaced mine on a blazer it cost about $45 for the sender , maybe Jim can give you a wiring diagram for your van , if not i can but I have to boot up a different computer to get to it,
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby Phantom » November 17th 2010, 4:40pm

I have not had to do this on your vehicle so I am not positive that you need a 3 wire sender , but that is typically what is needed , Here are wiring diagrams that show the circuit, you may have to run additional wiring and the pigtail connector if you need a 3 wire and only have 2 wire .
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88 Astro Instrument Panel.pdf
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88 Astro Engine Compartment & Headlights.pdf
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby jdeitch [OP] » November 17th 2010, 5:12pm

Thanks for the quick responses! The PDF schematics were a BIG help. I will need to get a 3-wire sender and the matching connector/plug. Do you know the part numbers for these items? My gauge reads 0 - 40 - 80. I want to make sure I get the correct sender. Do you know what years of van would have these items installed orignally?
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby jdeitch [OP] » November 17th 2010, 5:41pm

After looking at the wiring diagram provided by a previous post, I'm a little worrined about the wiring in my van. From what I can tell from the partial schematic that was posted, the fuel pump relay must be energized through the oil pressure switch. (No oil pressure = No fuel pump. Makes sense to me.) During my research I removed the connector/plug from the oil pressure switch while the engine was running... This should have killed the engine. It did not. Any thoughts?
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby paintdrying » November 17th 2010, 6:04pm

I am more of a fan of the oil gauges that you actually run an oil line to.
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby jdeitch [OP] » November 17th 2010, 6:07pm

paintdrying wrote:I am more of a fan of the oil gauges that you actually run an oil line to.


I agree that a mechanical gauge removes the 'electrical gremlins' issue, and is potentially more accurate, however I still want to get the OEM oil pressure gauge working in the dash.
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby jtetrowes » November 18th 2010, 4:44am

I know you said you wanted to get the stock oil pressure sending unit working—In my 89 I got really sick of not knowing the actual coolant temp and oil pressure so for close to the price of a new oil sending unit i installed mechanical gauges. I removed the factory sending unit, but you could also tee it off and run both mechanical and electric gauges (i wasn't sure that this solution would not effect a true reading or not). i have adjusted to their location and wired them to the head light illumination behind the stereo so the back light comes on when the parking lights or headlights are on. the temp gauge is very quick to react and it is really nice to know what the engine actually makes for oil pressure.
btw i took the picture on my laptop so the image is mirrored.
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Re: Please help with adding a oil pressure gauge

Postby doyoulikeithere » November 18th 2010, 7:08am

I put a very similar gauge set in the exact same location in my first 87 a long time ago.
both My 87s had an actual gauge in the dash, stock. And both had a multi wire sender near the distributor, as well as a 1 wire sender down by the oil filter.
I always assumed the 1 wire sender near the oil filter, was for the dash gauge, and the multi wire sender near the distributor was for the computer.
I have a wiring diagram in my Haynes manual, but I haven't looked it up recently.
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