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07-11-2012, 01:27 PM #1
Stepper motors, gauge overlays and needle kits?
I'm in need of a stepper motor, gauge overlay, and needle kit for my truck, as I'm going to try to add a transmission temp gauge to my existing gauge cluster. (@moogvo has indicated this is fairly simple, so why not give it a shot?) I am curious if anyone here has replaced stepper motors, the gauge overlay, and/or needles and has recommendations on where to buy/what to use. Tips/tricks are also appreciated...
07-11-2012, 01:31 PM #2
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Was an on dash transmission gauge ever an option?
I know some of the later models have it through the DIC.
07-11-2012, 01:47 PM #3
See @99'HEARTBEAT's comments in this thread:
Apparently our trucks are pre-wired for it.
So, one option is to replace the cluster, outright ... which I'm trying to avoid as that has title impacts (plus I don't feel like paying a stealership). The other option, per discussion with @moogvo during our recent NC mini-meet, is to solder into place a stepper motor, change the gauge overlay, and add a needle. That's much more appealing to me as I'm decent enough with a soldering iron and tasks that require patience... plus I can customize the dash a little bit and learn something in the process.
07-12-2012, 01:58 AM #4
I've looked into just installing the stepper motor for the gauge because I'd like the trans temp gauge and don't want to have to replace my whole cluster. It has been done, but the people I found who isntalled the stepper motor still had to go to the dealer because the instrument cluster itself wasn't programmed for that gauge to be active and it wouldn't work until the instrument cluster was reprogrammed.
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07-12-2012, 09:54 AM #5
There is a place near my home that will replace all the stepper motors and bulbs in the cluster for $210. I too have a bad stepper motor and may have them just do the entire thing. You could probably call them and ask them about adding a trans temp gauge. They seem to be very knowledgeable. The name is Specmo (248)307-2570 or (800)545-7910.
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07-12-2012, 10:27 AM #6
Last edited by SurrealOne; 07-12-2012 at 10:29 AM.
07-12-2012, 10:27 PM #7
Other than that, there are a bunch of different ways to install needles that people have used... I'm not sure which is best. For what parts to get though, If you're looking to go a bit custom while you're at it, I've heard US Speedo has some pretty good stuff. A lot of conversion companies use their products for gauges on their truck packages.
07-12-2012, 11:18 PM #8
I'm actually looking to keep it very stock (if I customize it might be by replacing LEDs). I'm currently endeavoring to find a donor cluster from a 2500HD on the cheap. That's not proving to be easy; for the cost of what people are asking I could get a fully rebuilt one with all new stepper motors. :(
07-13-2012, 08:15 AM #9
Ok, I'm committed. The parts breakdown was as follows:
$25.00 - 7pk of MCR stepper motors (I avoided the swiftecs as they have known issues)
$40.00 - 7pk of white gauge needles
$80.00 - New OEM 2500HD Instrument Cluster Overlay (Gasser, MPH)
$55.00 - New OEM 2500HD Instrument cluster Lens
$200.00 - Total (including tax and S&H)
I could have saved $25.00 by spending $15.00 on the standard orange OEM needle kit, but I wanted white needles as I may later choose to change the lights ... and white needles will carry whatever colour I elect to use.
By comparison, I used a locator service to find salvage 2500HD instrument clusters and the cheapest was $179.00 + tax + S&H. Note that if I swapped it in I'd have to take it to the dealership and have them program the mileage ... and pay whatever fee they wanted. OR I'd have to send it to a shadetree programmer (via fleabay) and pay a fee there. (And in either case I'd also have to make a statement about the odometer being adjusted if I ever transferred the title.)
Also note that I could have purchased a rebuilt cluster with programming (a la a shadetree programmer via ebay) for $240-$300 (depending on what I chose) ... conditional to coring my old cluster.
So -- IF this works out, I'll save a minimum of the stealership programming fees or a minimum of $40.00 if I'd bought a rebuilt unit that'd be programmed by a shadetree programmer ... and I will have white needles as I wanted. If it doesn't work then I may have to take it to a stealership to have the cluster programmed/enabled for the tranny gauge (presuming they can/will) ... which will eat up my savings but still leave me with the white needles I wanted ... and also leave me with a cluster that I don't have to make any special title declarations on. (This is in addition to a few spare stepper motors.)
I've already perused this guide (which is very thorough) in preparation for the work when the parts come in: http://z71tahoe-suburban.com/iboard/...howtopic=19909
Keep your fingers crossed, @pmf608!
Last edited by SurrealOne; 07-13-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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