FAQs about Gauges

  • Adding gauges, what are the options?
  • Hooking up gauges.
  • Tips on general gauge cluster work and wiring.
  • You don't need to replace the entire speedo odometer gear.
  • What are the two instruments blanks for next to the radio?

  • Adding gauges, what are the options?

    Date: Wed, 26 Feb 92 13:55:11 -0500
    From: emf@coos.dartmouth.edu (Eric Friets)
    To: tech@cs.athabascau.ca, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Adding gauges, what are the options?

    When I added an oil pressure guage, I went with a Volvo unit. Cost was high at just over $100 (I forget the exact amount), but the kit was great- sending unit with two terminals, so the idiot light still works, wiring harness with connectors, clear instructions, etc. I cannot afford to do more guages at those prices, so ipd is a good alternative. I bought a couple of VDO guages from them for my motorcycle, which were about $35 each, plus senders ($10 or so). No wiring included.

    I would like to add more guages to my car, and recently noticed an unused volvo in my neighborhood with the full set...time to intruduce myself. If that does not pan out, perhaps a junkyard tour would work. Unfortunately, only a couple in this area still let us vultures out into the lot with a toolbox. Most have stopped that ("insurance"), and just deal in expensive items (engines,trannies) and easily removed parts (master cylinders, calipers, doors). Prices are higher since someone is paid to remove the parts, and for guages a whole dash would have to be purchased, and the senders would be long gone.

    Eric Friets

    PS-I heard that the oil pressure guage on the new Ford Explorer is really just an idiot light in disguise- it is either at 0 or 3/4 scale. What a rip...Quality is Job #1?????

    Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 00:28:09 -0800
    To: Damon Goforth , Swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    From: iisiman@nwlink.com (John H. Laughlin)
    Subject: Re: Gauge package

    >I own a 1984 244 GL 4-spd w/OD. I've been thinking of installing a trio
    >of gauges in space that is currently an empty spot in my dash just above
    >the center air vents... ala turbo style gauge package. Alas, my car is
    >not a turbo, so I was planning to install an oil pressure gauge, oil temp
    >gauge and an ammeter (at least I think thats what they call the battery
    >charge gauge thing) so anyhow, my question is, what exactly is entailed
    >in the installation of the above gauges? I am going to purchase OEM
    >gauges from volvo or some other parts place so.... How does one hook up
    >the senders? Does the oil pressure sender allow you to still have a
    >functional oil pressure warning light in the dash? Where does the oil
    >temp sender go? If anyone has performed the above operation on their cars
    >please tell me about it... tips, trouble, prices, etc.

    The oil pressure gauge sender replaces the old oil sender and has two terminals instead of the single terminal. I don't know where the oil temp. sender goes. The Voltmeter probably hooks up into the alternator warning light. You will need the mounting bracket from Volvo, and the gauges can either be the Volvo branded gauges, or the VDO gauges from IPD at 1-800-444-6473.

    '84 245GL wagon AT w/192,200 miles.
    + John H. Laughlin 1981 Honda Accord sedan +
    + Email: Internet: iisiman@nwlink.com 5-speed; Kenwood, Sony, +
    + AOL: IIsiMAN@aol.com and Rockford Fosgate. +
    + Yakima Rack on top +
    + Macintosh IIsi 5/80 +
    + 1994 Trek 930 MTB +

    Date: Fri, 24 Nov 95 11:11 MST
    From: tech@cs.athabascau.ca (Richard Loken)
    To: dmgoforth@ucdavis.edu
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Gauge package

    I can give you some details on this (in Canadian dollars ca 1993):

    3 gauge bezel for over centre vents	    $46.60
    oil pressure gauge			    128.61
    oil pressure sender			     89.00
    voltmeter				     99.69

    The sender is a two terminal sender which replaces the stock sender. The wiring for the sender is already in place and the gauges come with any additional wiring you may require. Since the 240 is out of production, I would act fast before Volvo stops supplying accessories for it.

    I purchased VDO gauges from iPd instead (VDO manufactured all the 240 gauges) which fit without modification to anything. These are US dollars circa 1993:

        332-041 voltmeter			      $35.85
        350-040 electric oil pressure gauge	       38.25
        360-009 sender			       34.75
                mechanical oil pressure gauge      80.40

    volvo does not offer an ammeter and I did not ask about one with VDO, an ammeter is harder to install since you need to put a special resistor in series with the battery lead (in the right place) and bridge it with the leads to the ammeter. I opted for the mechanical op gauge which comes with a fitting kit and a plastic capillary tube, I then got a tee fitting and put the old sender in one leg of the tee so the idiot light still works. A voltmeter tells you at least as much as an ammeter.

    Other alternatives are Stewart Warner gauges which will fit with minimum modification for US$20.00 each, and a cluster from a junk yard.

    Richard Loken VE6BSV, Systems Programmer - VMS : "...underneath those
    Athabasca University : tuques we wear, our heads
    Athabasca, Alberta Canada : are naked!"
    ** tech@cs.athabascau.ca ** : - Arthur Black

    Date: Fri, 24 Nov 95 11:37 PST
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    From: legato@comox.island.net (Simon C Hutchins)
    Subject: Re: Gauge package

    Damon asked about the accessory instrument package;

    >please tell me about it... tips, trouble, prices, etc.

    Hi Damon

    The Oil temp sender is a Oil drain plug that replaces the old oil drain plug, When installing the oil temp sender is a perfect time to change the oil, because you really don't have much choice. My oil temp sender is exposed slightly below to bottom of the car . So becarefull when crossing large speed bumps. You will see what I'm talking about once you have installed the sender.

    Have you considered going to a wreckers yard to find a package of instruments. The dealer price for a instrument pakage / mounting bracket must be quite high. And if they allow you to remove the old instruments youself you will see exactly how they are installed and where all the wires lead to. There is a Volvo only parts yard here on Vancouver Island and they sell instruments of this type with the wires,sender and hardware for $50.00 cdn. each.

    I haven't looked on my car to see how they are hooked up exactly, but once you have the wire harness in your hands it should be straight forward from there. The lights just hook up to the rest of the instrument lights (this way they dim when you dim the instrument lights) so you could just splice the wires for the lights in the new instruments to the wire for the light in the clock ( if that is the instrument you have already). They folding type plastic splices work great for a application like this.

    In the Haynes 240 manual (270 US) page 304 area K1-L1 there is a perfect schematic of the Volt , Ambiant temp, and Oil pressure guages

    Wire colour....Symbol....Function

    Brown wire.   BN          Positive 12 vdc instrument lighting
    black  wire     SB          Negative for Lights and Instruments
    Blue & Red   BL-R       Positive 12vdc for instruments
    Green           GN         Oil Pressure sender
    Yellow           Y           Ambiant Temp sender .

    The Oil temp indicator I installed myself. The wires were as follows

    Wire Colour.... .........Function

    Grey Positive 12 vdc Instrument lighting Blue-red Positive 12vdc Instrument supply Black negative ( Instrument and lighting combined in to one) Black Oil temp sender ( labled at sender terminal 1308544)

    Simon Hutchins
    81 242 GLT (with 5 accessory instruments )
    73 142 S
    Simon Hutchins legato@comox.island.net
    Vancouver Island Canada
    '73 142 S
    '81 242 GLT

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    Hooking up gauges.

    Date: Tue, 1 Dec 92 12:23:04 -0500
    To: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Gauge hookups
    Cc: corey@cthq.enet.dec.com
    Subject: Gauge hookups
    Netters and Volvo technoids:

    I recently received a couple of gauges from a junked 240 Turbo. Unfortunately the engine was removed from the car so the person who gave them to could not supply the sensors of any clue as to how to hook them up to the engine. The gauges are an oil pressure and oil temperature. I would guess that the pressure gauge sensor would replace the current one for the idiot light. My question is do turbo's retain the idiot light function when the are also fitted with a gauge? If so, would it be through some sort of "T" type fitting? On the oil temperature gauge, where would the sensor for this gauge go? I can think of a few possibilites for a Turbo (oil cooler lines, turbo oil feed lines) but not one for a non-turbo engine. Any input help is appreciated as I would like to use/install these gauges on my 245.




    Do's and Don'ts Chris...

    You will need an adapter for the pressure sender, which can be obtained from a dealer (best price I found was at Jaffarian, about $50-60). The adapter kit includes the sender, with a hookup for the gauge and the light, make sure you specify how high the gauge reads - there is a \ 3 bar gauge, a 5 bar gauge, and a 10 bar gauge.

    Do not use the adapter sold by VDO, it does not fit - I had to have one extracted from my block, and I am trying to get my money back for the labor from VDO (does not look good). VDO takes very little responsibility for this adapter, claiming that they don't make it, they buy and repackage it, and they don't know why it doesn't fit...

    If you can talk a dealer out of just the brass adapters, you can get the sender from Imparts for not much money, IF you have the 5 or 10 bar gauge. If you have the 3 bar, I think you have to buy the dealer sender (stress I think!).

    The temp sender is easier, you can get it from Imparts for about $15-20, there are several listed, write me and I think I can tell you what the part number will be.

    Good luck,


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    Tips on general gauge cluster work and wiring.

    Date: 12 Oct 1992 09:43:24 -0400 (EDT)
    From: V087MXGB@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu
    Subject: DIY tech tip : gauge cluster and voltmeter hints (7x0)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The following is a procedure I went through to install an OEM voltmeter (battery/charge gauge) in a 7x0. This might provide some tips on general gauge cluster work and wiring for this particular gauge.

    Thanks to the many hints I received regarding the gauges, especially to "mmwork" (Mike, I think it was).

    Ok, step 1: find an amiable junkyard guy (good luck!) who gets even more amiable when you arrive with a six pack of Genesse beer - we have a certain "arrangement" :-)

    First I studied my Hayne's manual wiring diagrams for the voltmeter connections This caused a little confusion since the gauge appeared to be wired differently than the diagram suggested. (As a degreed engineer from the auto industry, I thought that I read these properly). My Hayne's manual showed the optional voltmeter measuring the resistance drop across the two pole fuel gauge. It also showed me how to remove the entire gauge cluster.

    To remove the gauge cluster (easiest on any car I ever owned) remove two plastic bezels which encapsulate the dashboard dimmer and clock set dials. These bezels are about 3/8" x 2" with a hole for the dials. They can be best removed with an eyeglass screwdriver, by prying them out carefully from the outside edge.

    This exposes a phillips-style screw behind each one. Remove these. Next, flip the turn signal and wiper switches down so they are a little more out of the way. The gauge cluster can now be removed most easily by grabbing the inside walls with your finger tips on the inside of the box (palms out) pressing lightly outward to grab the side walls and pulling straight toward you. Don't pull too far. You will have to reach behind and gently unplug the cables (all wiring harness sockets have a clip retainer except the speedomoter, which is a straight insertion). Pay attention to where the single wires (two on mine) are connected. The plugs only mate with their own sockets so no confusion there. The yellow wire in the center can plug into either of the two terminals by it, but the other single wire must be reconnected to the correct terminal.

    Now, on the junkyard 740T, the gauge cluster was built with all screw terminals and wires. The voltmeter was measuring the voltage drop across the speedometer (This I believe differed from the Hayne's manual) and the fuel gauges were three-pole.

    As you look *at* the back of the gauge cluster (bottom down, top up) the speedomoter has 3 connections. The positive voltmeter wire is attached to the 1st of these (connection nearest the temperature gauge), the negative to the 2nd (middle) connection.

    My cluster was a little different from the junkyard 740T's, in that the wiring was all done on flex-trace boards - much cleaner, but nowhere to connect my new gauge so I spliced the gauge into the wires themselves (including in-line plugs for future cluster removal).

    Physically removing/attaching the gauge was easy - remove the light bulb first (to clear the way) then remove two small phillips style screws. Be careful not to bump or bend the gauge itself.

    I won't even tell you the ridiculously low price I paid for this junkyard part (you wouldn't believe it!), and the whole job, including removal from the junkyard car and installation in the target car (excluding driving time to and from) should take no more than 30 minutes (really).

    So, all-in-all an excellent little add-on for super low-cost & super-easy procedure. I'd rate this a "must do" value.

    Good luck

    Shawn E. Thompson | Project Engineer/Mgr (716)891-3375

    v087mxgb@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu | Leica, Incorporated
    University @ Buffalo | PO Box 123
    Graduate School of Mechanical Engineering | Buffalo, NY 14240-0123
    "Nothin ever grows in this rotten old hole, and everthing is stunted and lost..and nothin really rocks n nothin really rolls and nothin's ever worth the cost"
    --- Meatloaf

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    You don't need to replace the entire speedo odometer gear

    Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1993 12:23:19 -0400 (EDT)
    From: STEVE (516) 282-3018 <GINELL@bnlsbc.nsls.bnl.gov>
    To: SWEDISHBRICKS@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: SPEEDO GEARS

    To all:

    The discussion on breaking speedo odometer gear wheels has indicated that the whole unit needs to be replaced. This is not true. If the problem is a broken odometer drive gear (at least for the 1976-1979 200 series) all that needs to be replaced is the drive gear cost ~$3-7 and 1-2hours labor and your unit will run for another 5-10 years with no problem. Relpacement of the gear will not effect the speed or milege calibration unless the wrong gear is used or you break something else. The problem usually is that the small drive gear has split and repairs usually do not last.

    good luck


    Date: Tue, 28 Sep 93 18:12:57 EDT
    From: Richard Stessel (CE) <stessel@sunburn.eng.usf.edu>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Bad Speedos

    I think the speedo head is the same as was on my Slaab, to which the same thing happened. Most shops will want you to replace the the $$$whole$$$ head. I found a fellow who rebuilds them, and takes the trouble to obtain the parts. The key, it was explained to me later, is _do_not_ reset your trip odometer frequently, and _never_ when the car is moving.


    Date: Wed, 29 Sep 93 11:14:28 EDT
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: Richard Stessel (CE) <stessel@sunburn.eng.usf.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Speedo repairs

    On Sep 29, 11:07am, Richard Stessel (CE) wrote:

    } Bricksters:


    } Several people have asked where I got work done on my Slaab speedo, } which I think is the same VDO unit as is on the bricks. Note } that this was four years ago, but the place is still in the } Yellow Pages: } } Argencor, Inc. } 813-870-3347 } }-- End of excerpt from Richard Stessel (CE)

    I can also recommend :

    Reynolds Speedometer Repair


    Danvers, Mas. 01923

    He advertises in the VCOA newsletter. He fixed my broken - 17000 mile R-Sport Speedometer. 20k miles later it's still working (officially can be "better than new").


    From: Dave Munroe <dmunroe@hpvclmun.vcd.hp.com>
    Subject: Re: VDO sender threads
    To: wiegman@orion
    Date: Tue, 26 Oct 93 11:39:07 PDT


    A while back you wrote to me about my proposed 10-gauge layout

    > do you have the dash gauge spots filled up? where do the rest of > the new gauges go?

    ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) () vac eng oil volts amps ,-. ,-. ,-. oil temp press ( / ) ( / ) (| |) `-' `-' `-' ( ) tach speedo eng temp tran & fuel oil temp

    This is my planned gauge layout. The vacuum gauge is mounted on the A-pillar and the radio in the upper console has to be removed. A different radio has to be used in the lower part of the console, which is less convenient, but in my case is worth the sacrifice.

    When I bought the car, the only gauges it had were the speedo and temp/fuel ones. :-)


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    What are the two instruments blanks for next to the radio?

    Subject: Re: additional gauges
    Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 21:08:34 -0700 (MST)
    From: Joe Rosse
    To: Peter Dunbar
    CC: swedish bricks

    On Sat, 9 Dec 1995, Peter Dunbar wrote:

    > While rummaging around under the dashboard in my new 1990 240, I
    > realized that there were two instrument blanks up high, next to the radio,
    > all set up for some sort of 2 inch diameter gauges. I discovered that one
    > of them was for a smaller diameter clock in the event that your main panel
    > had a tach instead of the usual larger clock. But what is the second panel
    > for and can you buy the big tach and little clock somewhere?

    > A more general question is where is a good parts place for
    > gauges (Volvo type) I could install and would fit into those neat
    > little spaces. Like an oil temp gauge or ammeter or some other gadget
    > that old engineers like me enjoy looking at occasionally just to see if
    > the damn thing is still running...

    > And does anyone have a chime relay they aren't using?

    > Pete D
    > 90 240
    > 95 945


    You're right--those two blanks are perfect for 2" gauges. I installed VDO oil pressure and voltmeter gauges and they look great. I simply took a hole saw (1 7/8") and cut a centered hole, and then gradually expanded it until the gauges were a nice "press-fit." BTW, I ordered the gauges from Imparts, and also got the green-tinted covers for the light bulbs, so they would better match the rest of the instrumentation. I'd suggest passing on the optional wiring kit--they're easy to wire yourself.

    Joe Rosse
    College of Business
    University of Colorado at Boulder

    Subject: Re: additional gauges
    Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 12:41:50 -0800
    From: "Paul Armijo"
    To: "SESTRAIT" , Peter Dunbar , swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    On my turbo there is also a oil temp. gauge in degrees F. This is really helpful in hot weather, since the coolant temperature doesn't always correspond to oil temp.

    84 244 Turbo Intercooler 87K

    Subject: Re: additional gauges
    Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 16:53:53 PST
    From: glenn@alldata.com (Glenn Thompson)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The ambient temp gauge is pretty neat, it has a sending unit that mounts at the front bumper and a gauge with a sweeping round dial that has an indicator needle painted on it instead of just a sweeping needle. This dial has a window cut in it and when the outside sender reaches 32 degrees F the window uncovers a red LED light. This is to indicate that the outside temp has reached the freezing point and black road ice is a possibility, I like this feature and it works pretty good.


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