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lyd 09-26-2008 11:01 PM

vac-n-tach... diy custom pod suggestions?
So, I picked up a couple of gauges for the metro today.

3 1/2" tach. (yes, it is too big, but I didn't want to bother with modding the 2" for 3 cyl.)

2" vac.

Not a lot of good places to put them in this car. If I had found a 2" tach that didn't require hacking to work with the G10 I would have put them both on the column, but now that isn't going to work. Well... it would, but it starts to really obscure the OEM panel.

I think I want to go up on the dash with them, to the left of the wheel by the base of the A-pillar.

In the short term I'll industrial velcro the foot of the tach to the dash, and then either velcro the vac guage to the tach on one side and the A-piller on the other, or get a $3 mount for it and velcro that to the dash.

In the long term, I think I have ruled out trying to do anything with an A-pillar pod. (In the longer long term I may in fact chuck the tach out altogether once I get a laptop chassis and decent daylight-viewable LCD installed in the car and hooked up to the OBDII, but that's very many days and several soldering projects away.)

What I'd like to find is either a material or some hackable ready-made whatsit that I could use to fashion a 2-guage pod that would sit in the same location as my temp solution, but enclose the the backsides and generally clean things up a bit.

Anyone tread similar ground before and have suggestions? I don't really want to spend very much more on these gauges, they're intended to get me going right now (well, and I am a sucker for analog gauges --- I just had to have at least a couple! ;-) but it would be nice to make the install look a bit more integrated if I can do it on the cheap.

I'll soon be applying funds and energy toward building the AVR-based instantaneous mpg device and an OBDII/CAN (I know CAN is useless to me with the Geo, but someday I might own a vehicle produced in this century ;-) interface, and then the aforementioned carputer, but in the meantime...

TomO 09-27-2008 09:49 AM

For the 2" vacuum gauge...go to your local home improvement store and pick up a two foot length of 2" PVC (usually only $2). That gauge will slid in nice and snug, then you can cut the tube to any angle and attach it to any surface in the car. Paint the PVC to the color of your choice, and BAM!, done and clean looking. I did that for my three gauges that are now mounted in the center console on my VX. You could even look into using the 90 pieces and other angles to make a really neat custom mount. Heck, bring in the tach with you too and see if there are some 3" PVC pipes that can house it as well.

lyd 09-27-2008 02:18 PM

Thanks for the reply, TomO. I missed it before I left for the store a little while ago, but you nailed it. 2" PVC fits perfectly, with maybe a turn or two of electrical tape around the gauge body to snug it up.

As I was looking at that, however, and contemplating the PITA factor of cutting and painting the pipe I glanced down and saw the black rubber flex couplings. I grabbed a 1 1/4" to 1 1/2", took the pipe clamps off and the gauge slid right in, tight as can be.

I think this will be the perfect solution while I am in the temporary phase with the placement of stuff. It won't look as nice as your custom-painted PVC, but it should look pretty clean just the same.

I'll take a pic once I have everything hooked up and fastened down.

lyd 09-27-2008 11:58 PM

Everything is in and working but I don't think I'm too happy with the velcro solution after all. I really like the gauges in this location, though. I'm just going to have to figure out a better mount. Velcroing them separately like this was finicky and I couldn't get them aligned just right. It'll work for now, though, and they don't bounce around or anything.

It is irritating that all the aftermarket tachs seem to go to 10k. It would be nice to have a little more resolution on the dial.

lyd 09-28-2008 11:06 AM

Well... Something has gone wrong, but I can't determine what. Battery was dead this morning. I think I am going to start a new thread on that problem, as I could really use some suggestions.

Meanwhile, here's some pics of the V-n-T array.

The misalignment is all due to the velcro. I could rotate the tach in the mount, and/or do the same with the vac guage, or rotate the whole vac guage psuedopod, but I think I'll just leave it alone until I devise a better mounting method overall.

Dust 09-29-2008 09:44 AM

TomO, got any more info or pics of the pvc gauge mount? Need to mount a boost/vac gauge, but don't have alot of room where I want to put it.

TomO 09-29-2008 11:26 AM

I can get pics of my setup tonight.

Good find on the adapter, lyd! you might want to dabble in fiberglassing an enclosure for that setup. It's not expensive and fun to learn, but stinky.

Cutting/painting the pipe is very easy, especially if you have access to a sawzall. But even a hand saw makes a nice cut through PVC and a round file cleans up the burrs nicely.

Dust 09-30-2008 10:25 PM

Pics would be appreciated. Just don't follow how you are mounting it.

TomO 10-05-2008 08:37 PM

As promised, some pics of my PVC gauge pod:
I started by cutting an angle in the pipe with a SawzAll
Then I glued them to a piece of ABS plastic that I cut to fit the single DIN space in my center console and painted it black with the 96 spray paint from Home Depot:

Gauge View from Driver's seat, gauges off (the flash makes the tinted gauges light up a bit, otherwise they are dark when off):

Gauges On (Daytime):

Gauges On (Nighttime):

Hope this gives some ideas for lyd and Dust and anyone else looking to make some custom gauge pods.

Dust 10-05-2008 11:24 PM

I:m looking for way to get it mounted. PVC to plastic, plastic in DIN. I guess I should look for a 2.5 by 2.5 spot to put the gauge, or just buy a pod for $10. What kind of glue did you use for the PVC to ABS mount?

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