When it came to adding aftermarket gauges to our truck, we did a lot of research and found exactly what we were looking for in the VDO Vision series gauges. They are the closest match to our factory gauges that we’ve found. Most of the aftermarket gauges just have red metal needles and a backlit gauge face. What makes the VDO vision series so outstanding is the use of optic technology to fully illuminate the needle as well as the gauge face. This is exactly the way our factory instrument cluster is designed and the Vision gauges are the perfect compliment. Below is a list of the Vision gauges we have for our truck:
We decided to mount four of the gauges in our Consolidator console. These included the voltmeter, ammeter, engine vacuum and air pressure gauges. Even though there is a factory volt meter in the instrument cluster, we wanted to have a direct reading off of the battery without going through the vehicle’s electrical system. The ammeter was essential with all of the electrical accessories on the truck, we need to know how much current we’re drawing. Of course, with our American Armature high output alternator, the idle output of the alternator is greater than the highest reading of our ammeter. The ammeter measures the load using an external shunt. The shunt is mounted in the battery compartment and all of our accessory load wires and the vehicle wiring is connected to the shunt.
The vacuum gauge was also chosen for the console as a means of easily monitoring engine performance. Using a length of Spectre’s stainless braided vacuum hose, the connection was made from the carburetor’s base plate to the gauge inside the truck.
The air pressure gauge allows us to monitor the pressure in our on board compressed air system. Other than the use of air tools, the pressure should be steady around 150 most of the time.
It turns out that we ended up not needing the fuel gauges since we did not replace the front fuel tank. The goal was to be able to have a constant view of the fuel level in both the front and rear fuel tanks without having to switch between tanks just to check the fuel level.
The oil temperature gauges are for monitoring the temperature of the front and rear differentials since the Mag-Hytec covers come pre drilled and tapped for the sending units. We’ll be adding these gauges later on as time has caught up with us and we were not able to get them in place before our first outing. These will eventually be installed in a custom housing that will mount on the dash above the heater & a/c controls.
The transmission temperature gauge is pretty much self explanatory. Once we are able to find a replacement C6 transmission oil pan that will accommodate a sending unit, we’ll get this installed as well.
Thanks to VDO, our truck is fully monitored and easy to read. For the look
of factory oem equipment, the VDO Vision Series of gauges is the only choice
you should make.