Wiring up our gauges was a simple affair with another trip to the hardware store and buying a couple of feet of 24-4 stranded wire, probably meant for network use. This was convenient because all of our sending units were in approximately the same space, our gauges were all mounted together, and the wire came pre-wrapped, reducing clutter under the hood, and effort on our part to tape and wrap it. Make sure to add a ground with a hoseclamp or other attachment method for any sending units that are isolated from ground.
|Because our factory tach was mostly obsured by the steering wheel, we installed this Autometer 5″ tach in its place. The shift light helps us keep our eyes on the road without banging into the rev limiter, and the tach itself was rotated so that the most important part of the rev range is visible through the steering wheel.|
Why go with a 5” tach when there’s a perfectly good one in the stock cluster? Our reasons for this were simple. One, due to our change in seating position (our seats are 4” inboard of stock) and smaller diameter Sparco steering wheel, the 5-8000rpm range (the most important for racing) of the tach are completely obscured. Two, we wanted a shift light because we didn’t want to stare at the tach all the time. Autometer’s 5” Ultra-Lite tach solved both problems for us simultaneously, and gave us the neat peak-hold feature that told the truth of Cole Trickle’s early engine failure after returning from his epic crash in Days of Thunder. Installation was a breeze: simply find power, illumination, and signal wires, connect, and mount to the car. Since we were no longer concerned about mutilating our dash (we had to clearance it more than a little to clear the front hoops of the roll cage), we simply bolted it to the dash so that it mounted inside the stock instrument panel, covering up the stock tach.
Remember, while all these gauges and flashing lights are cool, you don’t need to stare at them the whole way around the track. Generally, unless there’s an odd noise, we sweep the gauges every time we get onto a reasonably long straight. At Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, for example, this would be after we get onto the oval, and while we drive down the infield straight between turns 11 and 12.
By keeping our oil and water cool, we turned our pressure cooker into a reliable machine that we can abuse with impunity. Our oil temps never exceed 230*F, and our coolant temps stay below 210*F. Our G20 had zero issues even in the 116*F sauna that was Willow Springs International Raceway in July. Our transmission has proven to be hiccup-free (knock on wood), and thanks to Autometer, we can determine our engine’s health and status with a quick sweep of the eyes.
Stay tuned next time, as we discuss NA power mods.