Installing Oil Gauges - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 05-17-2004   #1
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Post Installing Oil Gauges

After 4 days of crawling around my car... I am writing this DIY to hopefully remove the guess work from doing this. It is not an easy job, but it doesn't require a degree in particle physics either. I did it by myself. The real problem lies in clearances. Yet again the tiny engine bay in our cars comes back to bite you in the ***. And thanks to that space saving design, this becomes far more complicated than it has to be.... so here we go.

You need the following tools:
  • Flashlight
  • 15/16" Box or open end wrench
  • Pliers
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • A knife or wire stripper
  • Several Phillips and Flat Screwdrivers
  • A wire hanger

You need the following materials:
  • Autometer Oil Pressure Gauge
  • 1 Color of 14 Gauge Wire
  • 4 Colors of 18 Gauge Wire
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • Tap Splices
  • Ring Terminals
  • Disconnect Terminals (Spade and socket)
  • Electrical Tape
  • 1/8" NPT to -4 AN Adapter -- Straight
  • 1/8" NPT to -4 AN Adapter -- 45 Degree
  • 4 AN Stainless Steel Braided Hose
  • 2x -4 AN Hose Sockets
  • 90 Degree 1/8" Brass elbow (1 male, 1 Female end)
  • 1/8" Brass Tee (3 Female ends)
  • Teflon Thread sealing tape or paste
  1. Jack up the car and put it on stands. Open the hood.

    Go under the right side of the car and look for a rubber boot approximately 3" in diameter on the firewall. It is very tight in there so you may have to move around to find it. It is behind the transmission and above the frame rail. You should see a large bundle of wires coming out of it. When you find it, you should see that there is a "nipple" on one side of the boot. Take a sharp knife and cut the nipple open. Now go into the car and peel back the passenger side footwell carpet. When you get to the center console you should see the back of the boot that you just cut. Go back under the car, tape the 14 Gauge wire and 2 18 Gauge wires to a straightened hangar and push it through the hole in the boot. When you think you have the hangar through, go inside the car and pull the wires through. Make sure you have enough wire to reach the gauges inside, and the sensors outside. Don't forget to account for the fact that if you run the wires through the dash, the path they take may not be straight. Leave extra wire. Once you have the wire through, just tape over the hole you cut in the boot from the outside.


  2. Now you have a choice... you can do the sensors or the gauges. I did the gauges first. I wanted to make sure I had all the wiring right so I didn't waste time looking for shorts once the sensors were hooked up. (FYI: I have no idea where you are putting your gauges, so all the references I'm going to use are related to my personal placement of the gauges in the lower center panel of the dash.)

    Take the wires that you have just run through the firewall and tuck them under the edge of the center console. This way they are hidden. A better option is to remove the console and tape the wires to an existing bundle of wires. I took the console off.

    I then ran the wires up into the area behind the panel where the gauges are mounted.


  3. Time to hook up some wires. Disconnect the negative battery cable. (All wires have some kind of terminal on the end. Use heat shrink tubing to attach the terminals then cover it in electrical tape)

    Go back into the engine bay and get your 14 gauge wire. This is the Ground wire. I routed it around the perimeter of the right side of the engine bay and fastened it using a ring terminal to the engine block ground. This is on the front right corner, you will see the grounding strap going to the frame. Undo the bolt (10 mm) and attach your ground wire.

    You need to find 2 more power sources. One for the dash lights and you need a 12V source that only works when the car is on.

    For the dashlights... Remove the gauge cluster. See the Indiglo Gauges DIY for that. You don't need to disconnect anything. Once you have the gauges out to the point where you can see the connectors on top, look at the middle of the blue connector. You should see a red/black stripe wire. Cut back the tape around the wire bundle to give yourself some room to work with and put a tap splice on that wire. That will give you a source for dash lights. Take your new wire and run it to where ever your gauges are. Tape the tap splice to the rest of the wire bundle and put the gauges back in the console.

    For a 12V source, I used the Accessory Plug (Lighter). Put a tap splice on the yellow/green stripe wire. There's your 12 V source. Run your new wire to your gauges.

    You now have all the wires you need... Ground, 12 V, Dash lights, and a sender wire for each gauge.


  4. You now need to give yourself enough terminals to hook up all these wires too. On the back of the gauge you should see 5 connections. 2 for the light and 3 posts to hook up the 12V, Sender and ground wires to.

    So split your wires. Here's what I did....

    Cut yourself some small lengths of wire.

    Attach a male disconnect terminal to each end. Take a knife and strip out a small section of insulation from the middle. Using heat shrink tubing, attach the short wire in the middle to the source wire.

    You need to split 1 time for the dash lights and 12 V (2 connections) and twice for the ground (4 connections).

    I set it up so that if I needed to remove the panel, I could remove the gauges without unscrewing them. That is why I used the disconnect terminals. If you want to just wire them in permanently or have to unscrew the terminals to get them out, don't use the disconnect terminals.

    Now....Take the light out of the back of the gauge. Attach a female disconnect to each wire. You will need to cut a short length of wire for the other terminal posts too. I directly attached the sender wire from the gauge to the sender (no terminals in between), so I had 4 short wires with a ring terminal on 1 end and a female disconnect on the other.

    Now, attach the short wires to the gauge. Match up the disconnects coming from the gauge to their associated source wires (that's why you should color code or label the wires). Hook up the Dash Lights and Ground to the light bulb. Hook up the sender, 12V and Ground to the back of the gauge. Make sure the live 12 V does not touch the sender wire. You will fry the sending unit.

    Go hook up the battery and make sure it works. The lights should come on when you turn on your headlights. Put the key in and turn it so all the warning lights on the dash come on. The gauges should twitch when you do this.


  5. Back under the hood... Now that you have working gauges, its time to hook up the senders.

    Jack the car up again. Remove the oil filter. Above the filter you should see a wire running into a shroud. This is the oil pressure idiot light sender. Peel back the shroud to reveal the wire connection. Take a pair of pliers and pull the connector off. BE CAREFUL. That black thing above it is your intake manifold. Once the wire is off take your 15/16" open end wrench and remove the sender. Now that you've noticed that the sender is in a recess up there, you'll wonder how the hell the autometer pressure unit is going to fit. It isn't! That's where your Stainless line will come in handy. The only problem... You can't go straight out because the manifold is in the way. Same goes for left and right. Try down... oops... oil filter is there. So this is what I did.

    USE TEFLON SEALING TAPE OR PASTE ON ALL THREADS



THIS IS THE REVISED PART [revised by DerekCEO]

You will need a few specialty tools to get the stainless hose assembled. The directions might say you can use a hacksaw, don't... it isn't going to happen. What you need is an air powered abrasive disc, a hose clamp and a bench grinder. I had a shop put the hose ends on to the stainless braided hose for me, but if you've got those tools, you can pull it off yourself. Put electrical tape over the spot on the hose you want to cut, then put the hose clamp on over 1/2 the tape. Using the cut off tool, cut right along the edge of the clamp. This keeps the braids from expanding. Remove the clamp and tape, and deburr the end of the hose on the bench grinder. Then put the end fittings on as the instructions that come with it say. I used Earl's (Holley) Hose and fittings, but you can use any brand you like (Aeroquip, Russell, etc...), just make sure that you can run motor oil through it and that you buy end fittings that are the same brand as the hose (some companies make end fittings that only will work with their hose). Screw the 45 Degree Adapter fitting into the oil pressure port in the engine block. A short handle wrench helps a lot as it is very tight. Get it on as tight as you can... This is where mine leaked when I used the brass tubing. orient the fitting so that it is pointing down and towards the right side of the car. Once it is on tight, screw the stainless line to it. I ran mine to a bracket I made myself from sheet aluminium, a 90 Degree bracket and some U bolts to hold the T fitting on. You can mount the senders anywhere you want, I bolted the bracket to where the stock airbox was mounted. it sits under my Injen CAI and does not interfere with anything at all.

[pics no longer exist ]

I don't have a pic of the other end, but there isn't much to see. I had to add the 90 Degree brass elbow to the T fitting to get the hose on, depending on your orientation of the T fitting, you may or may not need it. Screw in the Stock Idiot light sender and the Autometer sender to the fitting. You may have to splice extra wire into the idiot light wire, it's pretty short. Wire them both up.

Once the filter is back on, that's the end of the pressure one. Start the car, make sure the gauge registers something. I am currently getting readings of 25-30 PSI at idle, 65-75 while driving, and 90-95 on the redline. Note that when the oil is cold, the readings will not seem right. When the car first starts, the needle should jump to about 75. It's cuz the oil is thicker when its cold. Once it warms up, the gauge pressures will start to look more reasonable.
END EDIT

Theres my DIY... I know it's alot. Give yourself some time and a lot of patience. GOOD LUCK!

Last edited by xRiCeBoYx; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:13 AM.
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Re: Installing Oil Gauges

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Re: Installing Oil Gauges

I reported the post to remind me to fix it tomorrow afternoon.
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Re: Installing Oil Gauges

Hopefully this helps a bit, it's not set in logical paragraphs yet, and the images are now missing.


After 4 days of crawling around my car... I am writing this DIY to hopefully remove the guess work from doing this. It is not an easy job, but it doesn't require a degree in particle physics either. I did it by myself. The real problem lies in clearances. Yet again the tiny engine bay in our cars comes back to bite you in the ***. And thanks to that space saving design, this becomes far more complicated than it has to be.... so here we go.

You need the following tools:
-Flashlight
-15/16" Box or open end wrench
-Needle Nose Pliers
-A knife or wire stripper
-Several Phillips and Flat Screwdrivers
-A wire hangar

You need the following materials:
-Autometer Oil Pressure Gauge
-1 color of 14 Gauge Wire
-4 Colors of 18 Gauge Wire
-Heat Shrink Tubing Tap Splices
-Ring Terminals Disconnect Terminals (Spade and socket)
-Electrical Tape
-1/8" NPT to -4 AN Adapter
-Straight 1/8" NPT to -4 AN Adapter
- 45 Degree 4 AN Stainless Steel Braided Hose 2x
-4 AN Hose Sockets 90 Degree 1/8" Brass elbow (1 male, 1 Female end)
-1/8" Brass Tee (3 Female ends)
-Teflon Thread sealing tape or paste


1. Jack up the car and put it on stands. Open the hood. Go under the right side of the car and look for a rubber boot approximately 3" in diameter on the firewall. It is very tight in there so you may have to move around to find it. It is behind the transmission and above the frame rail. You should see a large bundle of wires coming out of it. When you find it, you should see that there is a "nipple" on one side of the boot. Take a sharp knife and cut the nipple open. Now go into the car and peel back the passenger side footwell carpet. When you get to the center console you should see the back of the boot that you just cut. Go back under the car, tape the 14 Gauge wire and 2 18 Gauge wires to a straightened hangar and push it through the hole in the boot.

When you think you have the hangar through, go inside the car and pull the wires through. Make sure you have enough wire to reach the gauges inside, and the sensors outside. Don't forget to account for the fact that if you run the wires through the dash, the path they take may not be straight. Leave extra wire. Once you have the wire through, just tape over the hole you cut in the boot from the outside.


Now you have a choice... you can do the sensors or the gauges. I did the gauges first. I wanted to make sure I had all the wiring right so I didn't waste time looking for shorts once the sensors were hooked up. (FYI: I have no idea where you are putting your gauges, so all the references I'm going to use are related to my personal placement of the gauges in the lower center panel of the dash.)

Take the wires that you have just run through the firewall and tuck them under the edge of the center console. This way they are hidden. A better option is to remove the console and tape the wires to an existing bundle of wires. I took the console off. I then ran the wires up into the area behind the panel where the gauges are mounted. Time to hook up some wires. Disconnect the negative battery cable. (All wires have some kind of terminal on the end. Use heat shrink tubing to attach the terminals then cover it in electrical tape). Go back into the engine bay and get your 14 gauge wire. This is the Ground wire. I routed it around the perimeter of the right side of the engine bay and fastened it using a ring terminal to the engine block ground. This is on the front right corner, you will see the grounding strap going to the frame. Undo the bolt (10 mm) and attach your ground wire.

You need to find 2 more power sources. One for the dash lights and you need a 12V source that only works when the car is on. For the dashlights... Remove the gauge cluster. See the

"http://www.7thgencivic.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=30481"

for that. You don't need to disconnect anything. Once you have the gauges out to the point where you can see the connectors on top, look at the middle of the blue connector. You should see a red/black stripe wire. Cut back the tape around the wire bundle to give yourself some room to work with and put a tap splice on that wire. That will give you a source for dash lights. Take your new wire and run it to where ever your gauges are. Tape the tap splice to the rest of the wire bundle and put the gauges back in the console.

For a 12V source, I used the Accessory Plug (Lighter). Put a tap splice on the yellow/green stripe wire. There's your 12 V source. Run your new wire to your gauges. You now have all the wires you need... Ground, 12 V, Dash lights, and a sender wire for each gauge. You now need to give yourself enough terminals to hook up all these wires too. On the back of the gauge you should see 5 connections. 2 for the light and 3 posts to hook up the 12V, Sender and ground wires to.So split your wires. Here's what I did....Cut yourself some small lengths of wire. Attach a male disconnect terminal to each end. Take a knife and strip out a small section of insulation from the middle. Using heat shrink tubing, attach the short wire in the middle to the source wire. You need to split 1 time for the dash lights and 12 V (2 connections) and twice for the ground (4 connections). I set it up so that if I needed to remove the panel, I could remove the gauges without unscrewing them. That is why I used the disconnect terminals.

If you want to just wire them in permanently or have to unscrew the terminals to get them out, don't use the disconnect terminals. Now....Take the light out of the back of the gauge. Attach a female disconnect to each wire. You will need to cut a short length of wire for the other terminal posts too. I directly attached the sender wire from the gauge to the sender (no terminals in between), so I had 4 short wires with a ring terminal on 1 end and a female disconnect on the other. Now, attach the short wires to the gauge. Match up the disconnects coming from the gauge to their associated source wires (that's why you should color code or label the wires). Hook up the Dash Lights and Ground to the light bulb. Hook up the sender, 12V and Ground to the back of the gauge. Make sure the live 12 V does not touch the sender wire. You will fry the sending unit. Go hook up the battery and make sure it works. The lights should come on when you turn on your headlights. Put the key in and turn it so all the warning lights on the dash come on. The gauges should twitch when you do this.

Back under the hood... Now that you have working gauges, its time to hook up the senders. Jack the car up again. Remove the oil filter. Above the filter you should see a wire running into a shroud. This is the oil pressure idiot light sender. Peel back the shroud to reveal the wire connection. Take a pair of pliers and pull the connector off. BE CAREFUL. That black thing above it is your intake manifold. Once the wire is off take your 15/16" open end wrench and remove the sender. Now that you've noticed that the sender is in a recess up there, you'll wonder how the hell the autometer pressure unit is going to fit. It isn't! That's where your Stainless line will come in handy. The only problem... You can't go straight out because the manifold is in the way. Same goes for left and right. Try down... oops... oil filter is there. So this is what I did. USE TEFLON SEALING TAPE OR PASTE ON ALL THREADS THIS IS THE REVISED PART. You will need a few specialty tools to get the stainless hose assembled. The directions might say you can use a hacksaw, don't... it isn't going to happen. What you need is an air powered abrasive disc, a hose clamp and a bench grinder. I had a shop put the hose ends on to the stainless braided hose for me, but if you've got those tools, you can pull it off yourself. Put electrical tape over the spot on the hose you want to cut, then put the hose clamp on over 1/2 the tape. Using the cut off tool, cut right along the edge of the clamp. This keeps the braids from expanding. Remove the clamp and tape, and deburr the end of the hose on the bench grinder. Then put the end fittings on as the instructions that come with it say. I used Earl's (Holley) Hose and fittings, but you can use any brand you like (Aeroquip, Russell, etc...), just make sure that you can run motor oil through it and that you buy end fittings that are the same brand as the hose (some companies make end fittings that only will work with their hose). Screw the 45 Degree Adapter fitting into the oil pressure port in the engine block. A short handle wrench helps a lot as it is very tight. Get it on as tight as you can... This is where mine leaked when I used the brass tubing.

orient the fitting so that it is pointing down and towards the right side of the car. Once it is on tight, screw the stainless line to it. I ran mine to a bracket I made myself from sheet aluminium, a 90 Degree bracket and some U bolts to hold the T fitting on. You can mount the senders anywhere you want, I bolted the bracket to where the stock airbox was mounted. it sits under my Injen CAI and does not interfere with anything at all. These pics are a little big, but here is the bracket...

I don't have a pic of the other end, but there isn't much to see. I had to add the 90 Degree brass elbow to the T fitting to get the hose on, depending on your orientation of the T fitting, you may or may not need it. Screw in the Stock Idiot light sender and the Autometer sender to the fitting. You may have to splice extra wire into the idiot light wire, it's pretty short. Wire them both up. Once the filter is back on, that's the end of the pressure one. Start the car, make sure the gauge registers something. I am currently getting readings of 25-30 PSI at idle, 65-75 while driving, and 90-95 on the redline. Note that when the oil is cold, the readings will not seem right. When the car first starts, the needle should jump to about 75. It's cuz the oil is thicker when its cold. Once it warms up, the gauge pressures will start to look more reasonable.Theres my DIY... I know it's alot. Give yourself some time and a lot of patience. GOOD LUCK!
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Re: Installing Oil Gauges

updated first post.
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