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Old 10-13-2003, 12:01 AM   #1
voam
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Default lighting the gauge....

I am planning to put in an autometer boost gauge in my WRX. The mechanical part on the install seems simple enough. But I am a total electrical newbie.

So far I have figured that I need some 18 gauge wire. I know I somehow connect the wire to the bulb and ground into the existing stereo. I have looked at the OEM boost gauge installation instructions.



I see how it is simple enough if you have the connector that comes with the OEM guage. But how do I do it without that wiring harness...? Do I just cut the wire and wrap it with electrical tape? Mhich wires do I cut? If you know how I should do this please help me out as I am hesitant to start without knowing this part.

Thanks in advance....
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Old 10-13-2003, 10:02 PM   #2
voam
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Still looking for some guidance.... Do I have to solder on connectors or anything?
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:31 AM   #3
mosfet
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I wired my gauges up this weekend. Connected them to the cigarette lighter instead of the stereo, but I stripped away the insulator and soldered the gauge wires on. I used electrical tape to cover the bare metal, but I suppose heat shrink would be a better choice.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:34 AM   #4
sdwrx
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I connected mine to the (wires of the) connector behind the stereo that is specified in the instructions for the stock boost gauge (so the gauge light dims with all the other lights). To tap in, I used some red "ScotchLock" connectors that I obtained at Radio Shack. With these connectors, the job is very easy. For wiring, I used 22-gauge speaker wire. Good Luck!
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Old 10-14-2003, 02:59 PM   #5
armand1
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In general sdwrx's is the way to go, BUT ONLY IF your gauge has TWO separate wires for its lighting.

There are two main types of gauges:
A) Has ground, switched +12V and perhaps signal wire input for gauge function. Also has *two extra* wires for gauge lighting. This means that gauge lighting (if connected) will work even if none of the main ground, +12V wires are connected. That is *gauge lighting does not depend on the main gauge ground wire.*
B) Has ground, switched +12V and perhaps signal wire input for gauge function. Also has *only one* wire for gauge lighting. This type of gauge uses the main gauge ground wire connection for gauge lighting, too.

Here are the types of supply you can access behind the dash:
1) Ground; easy to get by connecting/tapping into correct wire on radio harness.
2) Constant +12V (on even when car is off); again, easy to get to by connecting/tapping into correct wire on radio harness.
3) Switched +12V (only on when car is on); radio harness.
4) Illum+
5) Illum-
4 and 5 are available on radio harness, but are also just names for the two wires connected to each of the dash lights that dims. This is what sdwrx connected to.
The tricky thing is that in MY02 or later Imprezas, Illum+ and - act oppposite from "normal" cars as follows:
Dash lights off:
No power to Illum+.
Dash lights on, dimmer set to max brightness:
Illum+ at +12V, Illum- set close to ground.
Dash lights on, dimmer set to min brightness:
Illum+ at +12V, Illum- set close to +12V.

Always use (1) and (3) for your main gauge inputs (not 2), so your gauges don't suck power when the car is off (unless it's a clock or similar that needs power even when the car is off).

For lighting, if you have a type "A" gauge with the two separate wires for lighting, hook one up to Illum+ and one up to Illum- (shouldn't matter which). Your gauge lighting will come on and dim like other dash lights.
If you have a type "B" gauge with only one separate lighting wire, hook it up to Illum+. Your gauage lighting will come on with the other dash lights, but will NOT be dimmable.

When connecting wires, never just twist together -- always either solder or use good quality crimp connectors of the correct size for your wire gauge and a good quality (ratcheting) crimper. Be sure to insulate any visible metal with heatshrink, electrical tape & zip ties, etc, because you don't want an exposed conductor rubbing against metal and shorting out, causing you big headaches down the road.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:24 PM   #6
sdwrx
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Quote:
Originally posted by armand1
In general sdwrx's is the way to go, BUT ONLY IF your gauge has TWO separate wires for its lighting.
Yes, a good warning. I assumed this was the case since I have an Autometer gauge as well and its illumination is just a simple light bulb w/ two wires. I do, however, have the mechanical gauge and perhaps an Autometer electrical gauge has different wiring.

Anyway, if it's an Autometer mechanical boost gauge, you can install it pretty much using the instructions for the factory gauge.
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:26 AM   #7
voam
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A friend at worked rigged up something with male spade plugs that taps into the stereo where the OEM boost guage taps in. That worked pretty well. Then I used the scotchlock device ( thanks sdwrx) and tapped into the cigarette lighter for accessory power to run an electrical oil temp gauge.

I must say I didn't expect to get so much fun out of the boost gauge. It makes me drive more aggressively because now I know exactly when the turbo is kicking in. Before I thought I was in boost whenever the engine revved over a certain RPM but now I can see that it depends on RPM and load. I can also see the attraction of a MBC as the stock ECU does seem to slip it out of boost pretty easily. But I would probably go with a COBB reflash before I got an MBC.

Anyway thanks for the wiring help...
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