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Thread: Install aftermarket coolant temp/oil pressure gauges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    5

    Install aftermarket coolant temp/oil pressure gauges

    Has anyone installed any aftermarket coolant/oil temp and oil pressure gauges?
    Im building up an overland RRC and looking to install gauges so I can monitor the engine accurately and not with the dummy gauges.

    This setup seems to be pretty interesting but i would like a real time coolant temp and not a metal surface temp
    http://www.enginewatchdog.com/tm2-Land%20Rover.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kelseyville, Ca.
    Posts
    2,408
    That looks like an interesting unit but it's something I'd consider installing in addition to gauges, not instead of.

    There are a couple of challenges to installing gauges in an RRC. First of all, I prefer mechanical gauges to electronic ones, so you need to find places to mount the pickups. For the oil pressure you have a couple of options. There are several plugs in the oil passages in the timing cover near the oil pressure sensor, you could remove one and use it to try to match up the threads for a screw-in adapter. Rover generally used straight thread plugs with copper washers to seal these, and most oil pressure line fittings are tapered thread so it can be a little tricky to find an adapter. Another option is to remove the oil pressure sending unit and install a Tee in that spot to then install the sensor for the light as well as the gauge fitting. Again, you're dealing with a mix of NPT and straight thread fittings, but several of the LR parts suppliers in England have kits for this. Here's one example:

    http://www.mattlewisracing.co.uk/pro...t_lewis_racing


    For oil temp. I think I'd want to tap into one of the hard lines going to the oil cooler in the radiator, something could be fabbed up by a hose shop. There are also some adapters available the fit under the oil filter with several ports on them so you can use one for oil pressure and another for oil temp. I'm not sure I like the idea of those but it sure makes installation simple. You didn't say what year your RRC is, if it's a '94 or older then it has V-belts and already has an adapter under the the oil filter for the cooler lines, not sure I like the idea of stacking another adapter on there.



    Installing a coolant temp. gauge is probably even more of a challenge. The easiest way would be to buy a Tee that fits in the radiator hose and allows you to install the probe for the gauge right into the coolant stream, something like this:



    Otherwise you're looking at trying to find a place in the manifold to mount the probe. On a '95 serpentine belt engine there's a plug in the manifold down low behind the distributor that might be a good place for the probe provided you can come up with the correct fittings or drill and tap the plug itself. If you have a pre-'95 truck, then that option is out as there's a coolant hose attached to that port so you're probably looking at replacing the stock sensor with the probe and coming up with a Tee for the sensor if you want to keep the stock gauge functional, or drilling and tapping the manifold.
    '91 RRC-4.2, R380, LT230, GDE bumper with Smittybuilt 8K winch, Custom 3" lift, 33's, Equipe trailing arms, Rock Ware sliders, Custom diff guards, Maxyedor HD steering, TT/Detroit, Rovertracks axles
    '61 Series II 88"
    '95 D90
    '94 RRC County LWB

    "There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." -Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for your time and the info. Sorry i left out the year, its a 1991 3.9 GDE so has 1990 specs.

    I will have to get the Matt Lewis Racing adapter for the oil pressure, that sounds like the best setup.

    Im not so concerned with the oil temp, i believe water temp and oil pressure is all i really need to monitor. If my oil temp is abnormal it will most likely show in the water temp or oil pressure that there is a problem.

    I have read about someone drilling and taping the flat spot behind the factory water temp sensor which sounds pretty good but i will need to pull the intake manifold. One question, I have heard the factory sensor on the intake is for the ECU not the dash gauge, is that correct? Will it effect the ECU if i pull it and install the aftermarket probe? I have no need for the dash temp gauge if i am installing a more accurate remote gauge. I would rather not split the upper radiator hose because then you have to rely on a working thermostat for an accurate temp if i am not mistaken.

    Why do you prefer mechanical over electronic gauges? I like the idea of electronic better so i do not have lines with fluid running in them from the engine to inside the cab.
    Last edited by Corbinwelter; 07-25-2016 at 11:19 AM.
    1990 Range Rover Classic GDE #343

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kelseyville, Ca.
    Posts
    2,408
    There are two coolant temp sensors on the manifold, one is for the ECU and the other is for the gauge. the gauge sensor is mounted horizontally, down low on the passenger side front of the manifold and has a single wire on a spade connector going to it. Looking from the front you can see it just to the left of the water neck, between it and the heater tubes. The ECU sensor is mounted vertically up on top of the manifold on the driver's side and has the same two of two-wire connector used on the injectors and fuel temp sensor.

    As for my preference for mechanical gauges, it's just because they are independent of the electrical system and therefore a bit more reliable.
    '91 RRC-4.2, R380, LT230, GDE bumper with Smittybuilt 8K winch, Custom 3" lift, 33's, Equipe trailing arms, Rock Ware sliders, Custom diff guards, Maxyedor HD steering, TT/Detroit, Rovertracks axles
    '61 Series II 88"
    '95 D90
    '94 RRC County LWB

    "There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." -Will Rogers

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