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dustinbleh 04-27-2012 09:12 PM

HOW TO: Install Aftermarket Tachometer
So I know there is info on this scattered over the forum; bits and pieces here and there; but when I wanted to know how to do this I was unable to find a full write up. So, now that I know how to do this I figured I could write up how I did this in case anyone else wants to know.

Its really straight forward. For being my first install it only took me around an hour or so total to run the wires and hook everything up. The install location is totally up to you and kind of depends on what your tach comes with, but im sure you can figure that part out.

This applies to my 1993 D21 with a 2.4L engine and a 5 speed manual trans. Your vehicle may differ slightly or totally, so be sure to test the tach in the engine compartment before you run the wires and install the tach.

Here is the tach I will be installing:

I picked this up on craigslist for $10. Gotta love craigslist! It has 4 wires coming out of it:
Green: Tachometer lead
White: 12v Switched (Illumination lead)
Red: 12v Constant Positive
Black: Ground

Your Tach may be different. Read your manual!

This is where you will be tapping into the tach signal wire (directly off the ignition coil):

On my coil it is the BLUE wire coming from the plug on the bottom of the coil:

I used one of these type of electrical connectors to splice my own wire into the tach signal wire, as well as the power/illumination wires:

You can test the tach by connecting the signal wire to tach, and connecting the red and black wires to the battery and then starting the truck. The tach should be functioning.

Once you have your tach signal wire squared away and tested, you need to find a spot on the firewall to run your signal wire lead through:

For my install, I used the boot that the cable for the hood goes through. Mine was already ripped slightly so I ran the cable through that crack.

Now that the tach lead has been run to the cab of the truck and in/under the dash, you will want to run the other wires for your tachometer.

I removed the bezel around the ac/cigg lighter/ashtray and used power from under there to power my tach. Certain power sources may give interference so you may want to test everything before putting it all back together:

I connected the illumination (white) wire to the (+ Positive wire on the cigg lighter:

And then the Positive and Negative wires to the constant-on positive from the stereo and the ground from the stereo; but forgot to take a picture of this.. This is pretty straightforward though.

My tach came with one of these types of rounded mounts:

And rather than buying a new one, I took a hammer and flattened it out:

I am going to buy a proper mount when I find out where to permanently install the tach. In the meantime I ran a nut and bolt through the mounting hole for the tach and through the lefthand hole in the dash surround:

This works ok for now and the dash surround does still sit flat but it is not ideal because the gauge is'nt totally visible from behind the steering wheel:

So now you test the tach on the power sources you chose, and if everything is working properly you put everything back together!

I hope this helps someone with their installation. Obviously I did not do a perfect job or write up, but I think it gets the point across.. good luck!

minijdm95 04-27-2012 10:19 PM

great write up on this!

dustinbleh 04-27-2012 10:50 PM

thanks! just trying to spread the knowledge.. i know i had to spend a while researching before i fully understood what to put where..

so hopefully this helps!

Segundo 05-16-2012 06:00 AM

Good write up!! It'll definitely come in handy one day!!

OnAir88 08-27-2012 08:17 PM

So I had a tach like that except all black. I used all different wires except for the blue wire that connects to the green. This really helped me out, did a good job.

rawbeetz 01-05-2013 12:26 AM

Thanks man help alot!!!

jcbenoit 03-16-2013 08:21 PM

I followed every steps and adjusted my gauge for a 4cyl but I'm not getting a good signal. The signal is around 4000 RPMs. How could I fix this?

SleepyReaper2.o 04-06-2013 09:17 PM

Will be using this! Thanks!

cadillacdude1975 06-21-2013 12:18 AM

it would be nice if there was an aftermarket tach that would fit inside the cluster where the factory junk was.

PeteJM 07-15-2013 10:04 PM

I will be using this as soon as I re-tap my distributor! :P

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