Instrument cluster conversion

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by Andyjman83, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    Hey guys quick question,
    Has anyone taken their standard instrument cluster, and just stuck aftermarket gauges in it on a 72. I have seen a few different setups on the newer styles like the 79's with all the small gauges on the lower right of the steering wheel, but the cluster on my setup is very plain, and I have the idiot light option as opposed to the tach and clock. I'm thinking that id like to convert the cluster to a newer style ranchy cluster so I have the holes for all the other gauges, or cut the holes myself and add the oil press, water temp, and other gauges.
    I definitely wanna replace the speedo, and Ill add a tach up by the A pillar. What have you guys done, and what has worked?

    As far as a wiring conversion. I have looked at the thread that had the differences on the PCB and wiring explained, and I plan to pretty much rewire the whole car so I dont end up chasing gremlins, so Ill be able to wire it how I want when i get the new harness in and after market gauges.

    I REALLY dont want to get one of those stupid aftermarket pods and have to attach that to the dash.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  2. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    mine is this style, which I havent seen in any of the conversions, or even listed in the cluster ID article. lol where the heck did mine come from.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    heres exactly what I have.

    How hard is it to install the type with the multiple small gauges.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,863
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    That is the panel cover for the standard cluster - and yes, it is covered superficially in post 6 of the gauge/cluster thread here: http://www.ranchero.us/forum/index.php?threads/72-79-gauge-clusters-and-wiring.5005/

    As you are changing out the complete wiring and fabricating your own perhaps the answer to the question you asked in the OP is to make up what you want from scratch - none of the originally installed wiring is going to work with the aftermarket gauges. We have a member that used a GT cluster as the base to build aftermarket gauge group in his '78:

    [​IMG]

    Post 12 in this thread is where some of the discussion is posted: http://www.ranchero.us/forum/index.php?threads/tachometer-to-replace-clock.10587/#post-124386

    Others have come up with changes in their cars and posted the results here on the site, perhaps a few that are fond of their upgrades can provide a link. There is always the option of the four-in-one gauge groups as well such as this one (representative of what is available, not advocating this product specifically nor endorsing the website): http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/4-in-1-Multi-Gauges_117581458.html
     
  5. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    those 4 in ones are soo cool. Back in the day I was wondering when they were gonna start making those.
    Im going to remove all the stock wires and do the painless harness. I called them a few weeks ago and they said they had no solution for the ranchero, but I was looking on their website today, and low and behold, they have a listing for one. The wiring in this car is HAMMERED and butt connectored and spliced all over, so I want to start from scratch. id love to install the type of cluster you have in the picture. Would it fit my car? asnd if so what do I have to remove, is there like a blanking plate there now? im having a hard time picturing the inside of mine.

    Sorry for the dumb questions, my cars in rough shape, and was abused by multiple teen agers before I got a hold of it, so shes pretty thrashed but not beyond hope.
     
    tony o likes this.
  6. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    im half wondering if I could remove the bezel, then remove the gauges themselves and replace them with all autometer fullsize units and get one of the multi ones that you and I were talking about, and ditch the entire rear assembly, and just support the gauges with the bezel alone but then I wouldnt have a provision for my turn signal lights and what not.
     
  7. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,863
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    That is what Spence (Fomoco8) did with his, removed the stock gauges, installed the autometer gauges and then IIRC used an expanding foam to provide support, and finished it off with the factory GT gauge bezel. Yes a GT gauge support will attach in the same area and using the same arrangement as the current cluster in the car.
     
  8. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    Well I kinda scored today. I found a guy here locally selling some ranchero parts, and I ended up picking up some parts from him. WHAT A SCORE!! I got 2 new old stock door panels, 5 instrument clusters, and 2 bezel assys for about 250. I think im going to attempt the cluster conversion to new style gauges.
     
    Kane likes this.
  9. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    heres some pics
     

    Attached Files:

    Kane likes this.
  10. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,133
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Oh, good that middle one has the 120MPH speedo like mine has. Definitely make sure that ends up in your truck. And I thought I read somewhere that '72/'73 tachs were 2-wire; can someone clarify that? It seems to me the 2-wire is used on points ignition, and the 3-wire ones go with Duraspark, so clarification would be cool.
     
  11. Andyjman83

    Andyjman83 In Second Gear

    Messages:
    38
    im probably going to do the autometer gauge conversion on one of them, im just going to use the one thats in the worst shape. whatever parts i dont use i might sell to members on here at a super good price if someone needs one.
     
  12. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,863
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    '72 through '76 used a serial tach (two wire) and if the tach fails leaving an open the car will not run. In some late '76 and '77 and up they changed it to a parallel (signal) tach. Carl (5.0 Chero) has converted his to use the parallel tach in connection with his late model 5.0 EFI conversion.
     
  13. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,133
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    OK, that's good to know. If I had gone ahead and kept my '74, I would've done the cluster conversion, and I would've needed to know that. And as for the parts, I need a couple, but I don't have the money right now. Another member offered me a tach for a good price, but if he had to sell it, I'll contact you. And somewhere, I have a box of GT cluster parts myself, but I lost track of it after I moved my stuff out of my old shop last year.
     
  14. Kane

    Kane In First Gear

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Sothern California
    I have a 79 Ranchero and the instrument cluster is crumbling. do you have any of the clusters in good shape for sale?
     

Share This Page