Project Grey Mustang 5.0: Part 8 – Testing Auto Meter’s Elite Gauges

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The Warn function allows the driver to easily monitor his vehicle’s health while still keeping his eyes completely on the road.  The Warn function is also the basis for the coolest feature of the Elite gauges: what Auto Meter calls Pro-Control.

 

Taken from the Elite Gauges' instruction manual: These gauges are too manly for NASCAR.

Pro-Control allows the gauge to control external devices—such as lights, fans, pumps, or solenoids—based on user-configurable warning set points.  The Pro-Control functionality uses two output wires, orange for the low set point and blue for the high.  These two outputs are switched grounds that can be used to control relays based on the set points.  The user can even configure if the outputs are active state low or high.

For instance, this diagram shows how an Elite temperature gauge can be used to control an electric fan.

 

In this setup, the gauge will activate the fan once the high set point is reached and will continue to run the fan until the low set point is reached.  So you could set the gauge up to turn the fan on at 220°F and switch off at 190°F.  This is an extremely simple way to set up an electric fan in a vehicle that originally came with a belt-driven fan, such as a Fox Body Mustang.

Auto Meter makes an entire line of these Elite gauges, most of which have this Pro-Control functionality.  Using the Elite gauges allows some advanced functionality that normally requires an expensive stand-alone ECU:

  • An Elite boost gauge could activate a second (or third) fuel pump when under boost.
  • An Elite oil pressure gauge could trigger a relay to shut down the engine if oil pressure falls below a certain point.
  • An Elite oil temperature gauge could be used to activate a dedicated oil cooler fan, like in the diagram above.
  • An Elite fuel pressure gauge could cut power to the boost controller, forcing the turbo to run at the wastegate level if fuel pressure begins to fall.  It could also cut power to a nitrous system to avoid a lean condition.
  • An Elite boost gauge could activate a light labeled “Ludicrous Speed” when under boost.

It used to be that in order to get the most accurate readings of your engine’s health, you had to install a mechanical gauge that involved having hot, pressurized, flammable fluids entering the cabin.  Auto Meter’s Elite gauges are so accurate and have so many features that those mechanical gauges are simply obsolete.  In fact, the oil pressure gauge actually “bounces around” a bit at idle, because the oil pressure is not constant.  Most electric gauges are not accurate enough to display this, but the Elite gauges are.

The Elite gauges are far more accurate and sensitive to transient conditions than any other I’ve ever used.  In fact, the oil pressure gauge seems to be more responsive than the factory tachometer; I can almost shift by the oil pressure gauge instead!

Using Auto Meter’s Elite gauges provides the most accurate method of viewing engine parameters and allows you to control many other functions that would normally require much more expensive electronics. 

Do you have any other ideas for using Pro-Control?  Post them in the comments!

 

 

SOURCES

Auto Meter

Justin’s Performance Center

 

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