: The Dead Space Solution

06-30-10, 02:37 AM
Ever since I've gotten my Cadillac, I’ve wondered why they put that blank square on the right of the ECC. Many of you have also voiced dislike of it. But no one has seemed to have any idea of what to do about it. The space in the early '80's was home to the Trip Computer, when Cadillacs were fuel injected. In 1986, when the rear wheel drive Cadillac, the (Fleetwood) Brougham went to carbureted, the Trip Computer was deleted and a fašade was placed over the hole.


For a while, I've wanted to do something with the spot. I've wanted to put a gauge or something there and make it look factory. I settled on a coolant gauge. The idea to have the new gauge look like a factory install is the reason I went with digital. There aren’t many companies who make digital gauges that come in orange, to match the other instruments in the car. The only gauge I found was made by Cyberdyne (Part number A020E260N) (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CYB-A020E260N/). Also pictured is the sending unit; part number SEN-SS6E (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CYB-SENSS6E/).


As you can see, the Cyberdyne gauge is round, and will not fit well with the Cadillac’s square interior design. To reconcile this issue, I went to the junkyard and found a Trip Computer out of 1983 Fleetwood Brougham.


The next step is to disassemble the trip computer so the digital coolant gauge can be installed in its place.


Unfortunately the Trip Computer housing is too small for the gauge. The back of the housing needs to be cut off. I used a hacksaw and diagonal cutters.


With the back cut out, the gauge can fit into the housing. NOTE: Leave a little bit of a lip in the housing so the raised edge of the gauge can hang on.


The words “FUEL DATA” can be gently scarped off with a sharp knife, and the remaining residue rubbed off with isopropyl alcohol. Use the tinted piece of clear plastic from the remains of the Trip Computer to hide the empty space. The bottoms can be put in, but because of clearance issues, they are pushed all the way out and look crooked.


06-30-10, 02:53 AM
After you’ve built a suitable gauge, you need to install it. The first step is removing the factory coolant sensor. On the 307, it’s located on the front driver’s side of the engine. The car has two; one for the idiot light and one for the ECM. The one for the idiot light is the one you want, and in this case has a single green wire.


The sensor is removed using a 13/16 spark plug socket. As you can see from the picture, the aftermarket sender is significantly smaller than the factory sensor.


To get it to screw into the block, I had to go to the hardware store and get some pluming parts. The threads for the block ar 3/8 inch and the threads for the sender are an 1/8 inch. It’s a tight fit, and the one fitting is rounded off, but it’s in the hole.


Next you need to connect the long white wire (supplied by Cyberdyne) to the sender. Being that this connection is exposed to the harsh climate of the engine, I used a heat shrink Butt Splice (shown on fan shroud), and wrapped it in a triple layer of electrical tape.


I routed the wire through the existing wiring harness, starting at the cruise control. Underneath the brake booster is a rubber grommet, wedged in the firewall (trace the large vacuum line to it), which if pulled out, will give you access to the cabin (image courtesy of csbuckn).


Once you have the wire routed to the firewall, go inside the car and drop the driver’s side sound insulator. Toward the very back or the dash, up by the top of the brake pedal will be that large vacuum line. Feel around the base until your finger goes trough the hole and into the engine bay. You can then push the white wire trough and pull it all the way into the cabin.


Now you can start installing the actual gauge. Remove the center trim panel (just two screws on the sides and two in the air ducts). You can see that the mounting holes for the Trip Computer are still there.


The wires on the gauge are too short to be routed anywhere, so I took a scrap computer harness and plugged the stripped ends of the gauge wires into the computer connectors (I previously tested the connectors with a test light to see if they would supply power and ground).


06-30-10, 03:05 AM
Finding a good ground can be tricky. One place that is always ground is the “A” terminal of the Assembly Line Data Link (ALDL).


Power can come from any of the fuses in the fuse block. I used the Rear Defogger fuse because it was closest.

NOTE: The yellow wire is connected to the gauge’s purple wire, which is the dimmer wire. Cadillac doesn’t dim the instrument panel or radio lights, so the wire does not need to be connected. However, to calibrate the gauge (set the warning light temperature) you need to supply 12 volts to the dimmer wire, so you should have a connection available. I did not calibrate the gauge because the warning is already set at 260*, which is the temperature Cadillac has the idiot light come on. But if you want to set it for a lower temperature, I would recommend doing it on the battery (connecting the purple and red wires to the positive terminal on the fender and grounding the gauge's black wire), as you need to turn a screw in the back of it.


After all of the connections have been made, the gauge can be bolted in. The papers stuffed under mine are there to keep it level because the one I have only has one mounting point.


Then you need to make a hole for it in the trim panel. The fašade is just held on with push tabs that can easily be pried off.


After that, the trim panel can be reattached.


And it's done.


06-30-10, 09:43 AM
looks good!

water walkin warrior
06-30-10, 09:55 AM
Wow. Nice.

06-30-10, 10:11 AM
Personally, I would have just gotten a small piece of clear plastic to use in place of the original one with writing and holes in it. But that's just a little cosmetic thing, I like how it turned out!

06-30-10, 10:11 AM
Looking good. Nice size display too

06-30-10, 10:15 AM
That is a really cool idea! I would much prefer an actual temp gauge instead of the idiot light. Props to you!

06-30-10, 10:20 AM
nice work man. I think I would have gone with a new peice of plexy glass so there weren't any button holes or words or scratches, but this looks good too!

That was a pretty good idea.

06-30-10, 10:30 AM
Very good idea. I would have put in something like outside temp or a digital compass or a combo of the two. Also a new dark Plexiglas would really make it look nicer.

06-30-10, 10:37 AM
Kudos to you , that's a colossal job and brilliantly done :)

06-30-10, 12:08 PM
Too cool! Brilliant customization - plus amber LEDs to match. Solid.

06-30-10, 02:44 PM
I'd have just gotten a bit of plexiglass myself, but it looks great. matched perfectly.

That is where the wig-wag switch is/was on my car, but like much of my electronics, it is currently disconnected.

Cyberdyne? REALLY?

Oh well, robots are hardly a threat to the world...now Zombies...that's another story.

06-30-10, 03:53 PM
I might get a new lens for it.

But this was just a budget thing really; $70 in gauge parts and a free trip computer. My original intention was not to hide the fact it was a trip computer; I was going to disassemble the Cyberdyne gauge and just swap the digital displays with the trip computer. When I got the gauge, I found out that of was a sealed unit and wouldn't work that way. The scratches aren't as noticeable when the gauge is light up, or at least not as noticeable as they are in the pictures (the light has the hit the right way for you to see them).

06-30-10, 04:01 PM
yeah it's definately still nice looking.

06-30-10, 06:04 PM
Yeah it looks great. Aside from that lens, I'd never question it being stock. Tempted to do it with my own.

06-30-10, 11:48 PM
Just to make sure the gauge is functioning properly... Does anyone know how hot the engine is supposed to run at? The gauge levels out between 208 and 220, but I don't know if that's hot, cold, or normal.

06-30-10, 11:54 PM
What temp thermastat do you have?

07-01-10, 12:07 AM
Stock. I believe it opens at 195.

07-01-10, 12:12 AM
Maybe you should have tested the gauge beforehand?

07-01-10, 12:22 AM
It can be easily removed if there's a problem with it; the gauge itself isn't held in place with anything and the bare ends of the wires (which were already stripped) are just stuck into a connector.

But 220 is the highest it reaches, then it starts dropping to around 208. Then it fluctuates between that and 215.

07-01-10, 01:13 AM
That is right about where it should be. The olds I have settles around 212. Your temp light is set to go off at 258 I believe.

07-01-10, 12:08 PM
I'm not sure about the brougham since it does not have an actual temp gauge (except for yours now!) But my brother in law's 94 grand am, the temp gauge hovers around 220║. That is normal for his car. So I would assume it will be fine to fun it at that temp like CsBuckn Said.

07-01-10, 12:19 PM
That temperature sounds about right, as it would theoretically be above boiling in all sense, hence the reason for the pressurized radiator cap.

07-01-10, 02:49 PM
That is right about where it should be. The olds I have settles around 212. Your temp light is set to go off at 258 I believe.

260 according to the service manual.

I was pretty sure that it was in the correct range, but it's always good to be sure. Thanks for your replies.

08-23-10, 07:18 PM
Apparently Cyberdyne is not the name for longevity...


I got a new one, free, from Summit, so we'll see how long it lasts, but if the Governator was built anything like this, we have nothing to worry about.

08-23-10, 07:40 PM
You coulda have always just transplanted the lcd screen to make it look even better hehe.

08-23-10, 08:22 PM
That was my original plan, but the gauge is sealed and I didn't want to damage it. I really wanted to have the LCD in the corner (where the original one was), so it would look just like a real trip computer. But after paying $70 in parts, and finding it with no screws, I decided not to experiment in dismantling it.