Many of you know about my project of implementing a Digital Dash in my 88 GT that is directly connect to my MS ECU. I thought it would be helpful to those in the section of the forum as it related to the Megasquirt system a lot of us use. Figured it would be best to put together a thread for everyone to share there setup/installation, dashboards, etc.
I had an extra instrument cluster that the gauges didn't work in, so I decided to strip the cluster to nothing. I probably could have ran the LCD Screen cables through the Speedometer cable hole, but went with just cutting the entire back of the instrument cluster out instead. I then made a template of the front face of the instrument cluster out of cardboard to a piece of .20" plexiglass that will be used to mount the LCD Screen too.
I wanted to have my screen recessed inside the plexiglass, so I cut the plexiglass to the outside diameter of the screen mounting it with the (4) mounting tabs on the screen. I then cut out a piece of abs plastic as the front face with the hole in the center cut to the size of the display part of the screen. Lastly, I installed a set of LED Turn Signals to either side of the screen.
There were a lot of reasons I went with this setup:
1. Removal of the 3 pod gauge pillar with Water Temperature, Oil Pressure, and Transmission Temperature. These were added due to the crap stock ones, and I wanted to always see what the ECU is reading not what a secondary electric/mechanical gauge is reading
2. Removal of the stock instrument cluster that only has 4 working gauges (Tach, Speedometer, Fuel Level, and Battery) disabled the Water Temp and Oil Pressure for the above gauges
3. Removal of the tuning laptop in the passenger seat for the need of datalogging
4. Increase the amount gauges to show all the vitals of the engine
5. Ability to add/change/delete any of the gauges I want, but also what the ability to have multiple dashboard to flip through if desired to make special ones for certain readings
6. Ability to make tuning changes as needed directly through the dash
7. Removal of bouncing speedometer due to the cable, removal of the transmission kick-down cable
Ok so I only have one complaint from this install so far, the screen is HUGE. Why is that a problem Steve? well let me say this the bottom center of the screen is cut off due to the bump in the 89-93 instrument cluster. I may be able to alter it but that would require that i also alter the pod that the light switches sit in and I dont think that it will look correct if i do so.
In the grand scheme its not that big of a deal, I simply have to alter the gauge cluster on the screen that is what this was built for. The only time it may get in the way is if I am not in "dash mode" but its a simple work around.
Tools used for cutting the lexan, it is not as brittle as plexi so this makes it easy to cut.
After sizing it up and cutting for a tight fit I installed it over the screen and placed some lines I will use to tape it off.
After taping and cutting with a razor for a clean edge I painted the lexan black. I used regular rustoleum black.
While i was waiting for it to dry I used some foam tape to get the screen to fit tightly in its housing and then secured it in place using double sided tape.
After the paint dried I placed some duct tape over the painted surface so it does not get marred on installation and i can drill through it without damaging the paint for the turn signals.
Finished the final assembly of the 12.3" Dash replacing the whole instrument cluster with this drop-in one. I tried to keep the factory look while bringing it a little under and inch forward closer to you.
It fits perfectly side-to-side with the larger display. Solo much larger than the original 7" that I had in place.