73 Dart Swinger Instrument Cluster

Discussion in 'Electrical and Ignition' started by Joshua Suehs, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Joshua Suehs

    Joshua Suehs Member

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    Hey Everyone!

    I'm new here and just recently came into being the owner of a very solid 73 Dart with a 360 swap, 727, and 8 3/4 rear end. It is really fun to drive but the gauges are crap. I have seen that you can buy a instrument cluster for aftermarket gauges but haven't ever seen anyone running them and don't want to be "that guy". Any suggestions for whether I just by old used parts and try to make this think work or do I do the custom route? Just wanted all of your sage wisdom! Let me know what you guys think!

    Also, I have been a mechanic for 10 years and am very good with working on things myself so anything that you would suggest would be a better investment to the car would be helpful. other than the drivetrain and tires every things else is pretty stock... again... give me some of that sage wisdom!

    -josh
     
  2. Mike69cuda

    Mike69cuda 63 is the new 17 FABO Gold Member

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    I put some aftermarket gauges under the dash. Much easier and more accurate than the OEM. I think it has that vintage “day 2” look as this was done a lot back in the day. Mine is a driver , not a show car. Just depends on how much $$ you have in your pocket & how much effort you are in for.
     
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    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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      Doesn't the 73 have the "more Valiant" style cluster? If so you can easily make that into a custom gauge mounting. The older Darts are a PITA to do that

      There are hundreds of threads on here to fix the originals. You might as well yank the cluster out and "go through" it

      You need three resistors to duplicate the factory test jig.
      Download yourself a free shop manual from MyMopar, some of which over there came from the guys on here

      MyMopar - Mopar Forums & Information - MyMopar Tools/Reference

      Gauge tester resistances:

      c-3826-jpg-jpg-jpg.jpg


      Read this stuff:

      How to test unknown fuel gauge.

      Printed circuit pins repair

      "Stuff" that can go wrong and was wrong with my cluster:

      Circuit board pins broken or loose
      IVR bad
      IVR contacts not making contact with PC board traces
      Gauge studs not making contact with board. "Work" nuts loosen/ tighten and replace nuts

      External wiring can have problems, the fuel goes through the left kick panel connector, the oil and temp goes through the bulkhead connector
      The sender connectors can be bad/ loose / corroded
      The fuel sender might not be grounded
       
      Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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      This is what you have here, right?

       
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      • Joshua Suehs

        Joshua Suehs Member

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        I looked into those gauges and really feel that would be a good route. Downside is that I get frustrated when things don’t work and my speedo bounces... but maybe I just u plug it and enjoy the ride!
         
      • Joshua Suehs

        Joshua Suehs Member

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        Yes... I saw I can do a custom gauge panel or add it, but don’t want it to look like it was a hack job if I am ever forced to sell it. What do you mean about the resistors?
         
      • toolmanmike

        toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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        Thread moved to electrical forum
         
      • 67Dart273

        67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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        Look at my earlier post, the gauge tester photo. The yellow print was added by someone to show the resistance numbers. That is what's inside the box..........three resistors. You hook the resistor up in place of a sender, and for either oil (ralley), temp, or fuel, the gauge reads low point, mid point or high point depending on resistor you connect, if the gauges are accurate, the connections good, supply voltage good,and the IVR properly operating
         
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        • Joshua Suehs

          Joshua Suehs Member

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          Thanks!!! I’ll pull it out and test it! Also, thanks for all the great info!
           
        • dartfreak75

          dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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          Awesome video! Thanks that answers alot of my questions lol. One was how to get the light switch knob out. Lol i couldn't figure that out. And 2 why my amp gauge has no needle. I need to get me a spare cluster or two so i can put one good one together.
          Is that your video?
           
        • 67Dart273

          67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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          No. not mine. I would consider NOT fixing the ammeter. If you add accessories to your build, EFI, electric fans, whatever, and install a larger alternator, you need to consider the bulkhead/ ammeter bypass. This is because the factory wiring is marginal, the ammeter poorly designed, and the bulkhead connector is the top of the class for "poor."

          Crackedback on here sells a bypass kit, and here is an article. Even if you don't perform this particular method, it is a good overview on the problem

          Catalog

          ............and then some of us have converted ammeters to voltmeters, via this thread here Read the thread, it covers different clusters

          Ammeter to Voltmeter...who does it?
           
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          • RedFish

            RedFish Well-Known Member

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            Bouncing speedo needle could be as simply as faulty cable. Most owners will attempt cable lube service first. A new cable is about 20 dollars.
             
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            • Joshua Suehs

              Joshua Suehs Member

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              I’ll check that out. I also heard somewhere that it could just be the speedo going. I can hear a bit so subtle noice as it spins I maybe the lube in the actual speedo is worn out.
               
            • Joshua Suehs

              Joshua Suehs Member

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              I too was wondering where my amp needle went! Excited to see what I can find tearing mine apart. It’s also good to know I can throw aftermarketa on for most of the gauges. I was planning too anyway since we dropped a bigger engine and trans in it.
               
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              • Mike69cuda

                Mike69cuda 63 is the new 17 FABO Gold Member

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                I replaced my speedometer cable as suggested by Redfish & that solved most of my needle bounce. Lubricating didn’t help. Seemed like it was about as much work to lubricate it as to just replace it. Working on a speedometer is pretty tricky, best to have it professionally reconditioned if the bouncing bothers you.
                 
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                • Scott's dart

                  Scott's dart Well-Known Member

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                  I just finished cutting up my original dash and put in some speedhut gauges, I'm far from an expert but I thought it turned out great! A voltage gauge is way more useful than a ammeter anyway and I prefer guages with actual numbers! That and the GPS speedometer to simplify things made the decision easy. Plus the 100 dollars off for labour day didn't hurt either! IMG_20181201_142812.jpg
                   
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                  • dartfreak75

                    dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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                    I really want to leave my gauges original i like original appearance interior. But i also dont wont to pay 120 bucks for each replacement gauge and i wont my engine displays to work currently and accurately. I also dont wont one of those ugle triple aftermarket gauges under the dash. God i hate those lol. So i may end up doing Scott did and making one and just doing my best to make it look classic! Do my own take on what a rally dash would have looked like in 75 had they made one. Lol
                     
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                    • Joshua Suehs

                      Joshua Suehs Member

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                      That looks really good! Did you purchase the layout from an online site or did you just measure and cut your own out of plexiglass? Also, where did you relocate your wiper switch and did you eliminate the oil light or swap it to led? It looks like you may have eliminated a few things...
                       
                    • Scott's dart

                      Scott's dart Well-Known Member

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                      I bought a piece of acrylic and cut my own out of that, and yeah I need to make an extra switch board for my dimmer for the gauges so I'll just put the windshield wiper switch in there, and I have an actual oil pressure gauge now so I just got rid of the oil light.