Adding AFR to cluster

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JeffM
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Adding AFR to cluster

Post by JeffM » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:47 pm

So here's another one of my crazy ideas spilling out into a thread. :lol:

Recently, my AEM AFR gauge started going crazy due to a fried harness. I took it apart, completely since it's the old style with the harness built into the gauge, and replaced the harness. While looking at the circuit boards, I wondered if you could remotely wire the 3 digital number blocks so that you could place them...somewhere else.

While searching up on SRTforums about it, I noticed a few other people have had the idea of adding AFR to the blank space below the tach (like the odometer under the speedo), but never went through with it because they were scared. :lol:

So, since I am that stupid to maybe try something like this, I have some questions:

- Is there room behind that plate to mount the number blocks
- Can you actually remotely mount these little things (they have like 6 pins in the back of each one connected to the board)
- Is there enough room to fit the whole board behind there? (so I don't need to go solder crazy)
- And how friggen stupid am I for thinking this? :lol:

I tried to do a google search to see if anyone else has remote mounted those little block thingies, but 'block thingies' doesn't really come up with...promising results. :shock:

For reference, this is what the circuit boards look like in the AEM UEGO gauge:
Image
And the space I'm looking to remodel (the plastic box just left of the odometer circuit board):
Image
Image

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Post by JeffM » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:26 pm

More info:

By just eye-balling the picture of the cluster above, and holding my thumb up to the AEM gauge, the AEM's circuit boards are just a little taller (if that) than the odometer board. They're only about 1/2" deep together, which makes me wonder if I could just mount the whole board in there...

*Also, not worried about the stupid sweeping LEDs in the gauge. I'm just focused on the digital numbers.
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Post by Johny » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:16 am

I was actually just reading up on this.. really want to do this as well. Honestly I think if you dremel out the empty space on the left of the board, you could fit it.

only problem I see is the length of the gauge poking out, and probably making a whole at the back of the cluster casing for the wires to go through.

GL though :D
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Post by Jenni » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:39 am

not easy to remove the digits but if you have them everything else is easy.
just use a ribbon cable (like from your old floppy disc drive)
you can hide the afr housing next to the speedo so the wires are not too long if you cannot hide it in the speedo...

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Post by JeffM » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:58 am

Jenni wrote:not easy to remove the digits but if you have them everything else is easy.
just use a ribbon cable (like from your old floppy disc drive)
you can hide the afr housing next to the speedo so the wires are not too long if you cannot hide it in the speedo...
Are you talking about a ribbon cable that would attach to each digit, or a ribbon cable that would go in-between the control board and the display board?

The latter seems very doable, as that would allow the display board to sit in the cluster, and allow me to put the control board somewhere else. Plus, already having a connector on each end would make it very easy. I would just run the ribbon connector along side the odometer ribbon cable and out the bottom of the cluster.

Otherwise, I'm not quite sure how you'd attach a ribbon cable to the digits. But you've had more time working with the digits than I have, Jenni.


More info:
I just measured the AEM boards. They are both 2" tall, and about 5/8" deep. Put together they are 1 1/8" deep.

Also, I'm not super educated on circuit board design, but the female connector on the control board (that hooks to the male connector on the display board) says "J12" next to it. Is this the type of pinout I need to look for when looking for a ribbon cable? The female connector is a 2x9 18pin, the male connector is a 2x8 16pin.

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Image

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Post by JeffM » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:26 pm

Alrighty, I guess I'll just keep dumping info into this thread. :lol:

For reference, this is the thread I'm using to get a feel for the cluster:

viewtopic.php?t=25480&start=0&postdays= ... highlight=

I was looking at the space behind the tach, and it looks like if I was to dremel this block down:

Image

Along with the block behind the tac:

Image

I could easily fit the display board AT LEAST. I could probably fit the whole thing behind there if I cut a hole in the white plastic board, but I would be very close to the main cluster board, and that's a little sketchy to me.

So the main thing stopping me right now is finding a harness/ribbon cable that could connect the display board to the control board. If anyone has any knowledge on how to identify the type of connectors these are on the AEM boards, and can point me to a cable, I'd greatly appreciate it. :D

Also, just so we're clear: The black space is transparent, right? :lol: that would be quite the waste of time if it was a solid piece.
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Post by JeffM » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:33 pm

MORE INFO!

These kind of look like they would mate to the display board's 2x8 16pin male connector.

Image

I was thinking, I could buy one of these connectors, and 16 pre-crimped wires. This would allow me to plug 1 side of the pre-crimped wires into the control board's female connector, and the other side into this new connector, which would then plug into the male connector on the display board.

Soooo like this:

Image

This is, of course, only if this is a similar size to the male connector.
Image

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Post by sidepipe87 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:07 pm

looks like you're on the right track, now just continue working through your research and get this done! I want to see it a reality! :lol:
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Post by JeffM » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:18 pm

Oh believe me, I do too. :lol:

As soon as I find the correct connector, it'll basically be all set to go.

One thing I've been wondering though is if I can remove the gauge cluster 'face' from that black backing piece. That'd make it a little easier to dremel the backing piece, so I don't accidentally cut through the face. :lol:
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Post by JeffM » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:33 pm

Alrighty. so I talked to LSP about the cluster, since I know she has swapped gauge faces before, and she said the face is just glued onto the black backing and she thinks the little black area under the tac is transparent also. This is good news. :D

Also, I'm updating this thread over on SRTforums as I find out more too: Gauge Cluster Mod. I put it out there that I was looking for a ribbon cable for a 2x8 16pin connector and two people pointed me to a couple different ones. Soooo as soon as I get my hands on one of these ribbon cables, I'll be able to update this further.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to mount the display board inside the cluster. I don't want to use tape, and I'm not sure how circuit boards react to glue. If anyone has any ideas, lemme know.
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Post by freelancer1988 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:36 pm

Hot glue would work to mount the boards, but may not last a while. I would use a neutral cure silicone rubber adhesive. It is said to last 20+ years.


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Post by occasional demons » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:49 pm

Holy shit, don't reach for that, instead of the :ky: !

Seems like it would do the trick.

I was going to suggest something like a good 5 minute epoxy, that will cure before it has a chance to eat/melt anything.
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Post by JeffM » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:34 pm

freelancer1988 wrote:Hot glue would work to mount the boards, but may not last a while. I would use a neutral cure silicone rubber adhesive. It is said to last 20+ years.
:-k Hmmm good thinking, and thanks for the link. I was almost thinking of fabbing up some kind of metal and foam bracket system, but this would be much, much, much easier. Thanks. :thumbup:
occasional demons wrote:Holy shit, don't reach for that, instead of the :ky: !
:rofl:

Ordered a 12" 2x8 16pin ribbon cable. Less than $5 shipped. Can't beat that.
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Post by mrsixstrings12 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:45 pm

:happy1: cant wait to see some results!
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Post by freelancer1988 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:59 pm

mrsixstrings12 wrote::happy1: cant wait to see some results!
Same here. lol. If I could find my old cluster, I would tear into it and see just how much room is over in that tach area.
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Post by JeffM » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:52 pm

freelancer1988 wrote:Same here. lol. If I could find my old cluster, I would tear into it and see just how much room is over in that tach area.
Judging from the pictures, I'd guess there's roughly half an inch between the white cluster board and the black gauge backing. Not enough room for crazy things, but enough to fit a small circuit board.
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Post by Jenni » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:49 am

whole board is naturally way easier than just the digits...

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Post by sidepipe87 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:37 am

Well this is potentially bad news, but it could be dealt with. I have an SRT cluster at home that was apart and the overlay was already pulled off so I looked at the black area under the tach and... it's not transparent. I did some light sanding to test and you can get the black off but you will be able to see where you sanded it.

Left side transparent:

Image

Right side is not:

Image
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Post by Danteneon » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:06 pm

I am having just the opposite problem. The Euro cluster I have is transparent on the right as well (ATX cluster). I need to find something more light restricting than a business card to keep the light from coming through :lol:

If that window could be removed, I would swap with you.
If I could just figure out how to meld the Outback and the Neon into one car...

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Post by mrsixstrings12 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:14 pm

couldn't you just tape off where the part will be shining through? Like if you just plan on using the number part of the AFR, you could just sand a rectangle the size of the screen.

...unless i didn't comprehend what you meant. if thats the case, ignore my comment lol
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Post by sidepipe87 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:56 pm

Nope, you are absolutely correct which is what I tried to allude to. You can do that but it will be clear there not transparent black like the rest unless you spray it with transparent black or put some tiny film over it.
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Post by JeffM » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:03 am

:-k Hmmm thanks for posting that, Ryan. That would have pissed me off later on down the road if I didn't know about that.

I have something that might remedy this though.
sidepipe87 wrote:or put some tiny film over it.
Exactly this. My AEM gauge came with a piece of tint that you put in the gauge (as I'm sure most do). I could possibly lay it in there to act as a tint. You said you could sand it down that spot slightly to make it transparent? Because then I could either place that tint piece in there, or spray it with tint spray to make it more 'professional'.
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Post by occasional demons » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:32 am

Yeah, if you clear over the sanded area, the sand marks will disappear. Or what ever translucent coating you want...
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Post by sidepipe87 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:04 pm

Oops that should've said tint film. Yes, I tried sanding a small area and it becomes transparent. Just like people were sanding the green off so that the light would shine through other colors brighter. if you use fine enough sand paper or something like Novus plastic polish you will get it to clear right up.
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Post by JeffM » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:21 pm

Well, after receiving my ribbon cable in the mail today, the project might have to be scrapped. There must be some kind of data loss when using the ribbon cable, since it only flashes random lines on the digits at start-up, and then blinks "." continuously afterwards. Obviously, this isn't acceptable, and I'm not sure if there is a way around this. Anyone got any ideas? :?
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Post by Caraudioholic24 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:29 pm

I did this with an old style voltmeter in my Dodge Avenger back in the day... Without having the gauge in front of me Im curious if you could just unsolder the numerical block and mount it in that spot on the dash and wire for wire solder it all back to the board.. Thats how I did the volt gauge....

** be sure to use low heat when doing so as you will hurt the display... If I can help feel free to text me... It will be a pain but rewarding in the end...
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Post by sidepipe87 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:33 pm

Mike, what do you mean wire for wire solder it all to the board? Do u mean the cluster board or the gauge board? If gauge board why would you unsolder? I thought you couldnt extend the wires because you will get data loss?
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Post by Caraudioholic24 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:41 pm

I cant really tell by the pics what the board/circuits look like... but on my voltage digital display there were 12 pins holding it onto the board.. I unsoldered the display, mounted it into a dash trim piece then I ran 12 individual wires and soldered them one by one back onto the board in the correct order....it was a bit of a pain but came out awesome... (if only I had a digital camera back then LOL)


I cant see why it wouldn't work for his gauge setup and what hes trying to do... not sure why the ribbon cable idea didn't work Im curious if something wasn't making contact right or if a pin was swapped or something....

Id have to experiment a bit before I can say any further
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Post by occasional demons » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:21 pm

Since there is a label "DISPLAY BOARD" blocking the view, I can't say for sure, but it looks like there are five pins on each side, total of 10. Would probably need a solder sucker to get the numerical display off of the board without damaging it.


I can see what your logic is, only the numerical display would need attached to the cluster, and "the stupid sweeping LEDs" mounted elsewhere.
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Post by Caraudioholic24 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:00 am

Yea.. that's basically how I did it... By carefully removing the digital display you can solder on your own cables and mount it wherever.. if you really want to get crafty mount each individual led on the bottom of the cluster in a row lol
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