How to install an oil temperature gauge

Install an oil temperature gauge

Here you can get step-by-step instructions to install an oil temperature gauge.

The oil temperature gauge monitors transmission oil temperatures and warns you before the oil get too hot. If the oil temperature gets too hot it can ruin your transmission fluid or possibly cause transmission damage. The normal temperature should be between 150 degrees F and 250 degrees F. The oil temperature gauge works with all 12 volt negative ground systems. to put in a new oil temperature gauge, you’ll need the tools and step-by-step guide below.

Install an oil temperature gauge

Battery Disconnect

Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Mounting the Temperature Gauge

You can mount the temperature gauge during a few different ways. you’ll use a mounting panel by installing the panel in position and using 2 sheet metal screws. If you’re installing it on the dashboard, you’ll drill a 2-1/16” hole into the spot on the dashboard you’d wish to mount it. Use a gauge pod which can allow the gauge to press into a 2-1/16” gauge pod. you’ll not need the mounting bracket if you employ the gauge pod.

Running the Wire

Connect a wire to the gauge stud to the sender unit. Secure the end of the wire with a nut and a lockring or an eyelet terminal. Install the terminal on the sender unit stud. Tape the wire in position so it’ll not touch any hot engine parts. Run wire from the temperature gauge to the switch. Install an eyelet terminal on the end of the wire and press it with the pliers tightly.

Install terminal on the stud and place lock washer and nut. Tighten the nut securely. don’t over-tighten. Tighten the lockring and therefore the nut that’s on center terminal. Lastly, run wire from the temperature gauge to the terminal board. Leave open 1/4” of the end of the wire at the temperature gauge. you’ll install the feminine spade connector and tighten it with a pair of pliers.

Reconnecting Battery

Next, it’s time to reconnect the battery cable. turn on the ignition. The gauge should read the oil temperature. Turn engine on and check for any leaks. The oil temperature gauge should adjust because the temperatures warm up.

Oil gauge kit

Special gauge

While a water temperature gauge gives a fairly accurate reading of the engine temperature via the cooling system, it doesn’t directly tell you much about the temperature of the engine oil. For this you would like a special oil temperature gauge.

These gauges measure the oil temperature with a sender unit, almost like that used for water gauges, which inserts directly into the sump pan to offer an accurate reading of the temperature. The gauges are available from accessory shops and are either mechanically or electrically operated.

Fitting an oil pressure gauge

The gauges are mounted either directly into the dashboard or during a bracket suspended under the dash. How the sender unit is fitted into the sump pan depends on the sort of gauge you’ve got and therefore the model of your car. In some cases the sump pan will need to be removed and a hole drilled and tapped with a thread to simply accept an adapter.

Other types use the drain plug in the sump because the fitting position for the sender unit. Again you’ll need an adapter to suit the sender.

1. Position gauge

  • Find a suitable position on the dash to mount the gauge where you can easily see it when driving. If you mount it in the dashboard, make sure no wiring behind will be disturbed. Mark the circumference of the gauge with a felt-tip pen. Alternatively you can mount the gauge on a bracket under the dash.

2. Drill out

  • Carefully drill a series of holes round the inside your felt-tip pen mark. Remove the centre drilled section and, using a file, file down the sting of the opening for a neat finish. If you’re fitting a bracket, drill out the mounting holes and secure it with self-tapping screws.

3. Fit gauge

  • Fit the gauge into the opening and secure it. Most gauges have a securing bracket which inserts on to the rear of the gauge over two studs. Tighten the bracket securing nuts therefore the gauge is held firmly. Some gauges are simply stuck to the surface of the dashboard with an adhesive pad.

4. Wire up

  • If you are using an electric gauge refer to the wiring instructions. Connect the acceptable wires to a fused ignition-controlled circuit, the sidelight circuit (for gauge illumination) and an earth point. Pass the sender unit wire through a convenient grommet within the bulkhead and into the engine compartment.

5. Capilary tube

  • If you’re fitting a mechanical gauge the capillary tube must be routed from the rear of the gauge, through the bulkhead and into the engine compartment. Drill a hole within the bulkhead and fit a grommet for the tube to pass through. confirm the tube is faraway from any hot or rotating parts of the engine.

6. Sump plug adaptor

  • Drain the engine oil. Fit the plug adapter in place of the plug. Screw the temperature sender unit into the adapter and join the wire to the terminal on the sender unit. Refill the engine with oil and test the system. If you need to drill an additional hole within the sump for the sender.

Reading an oil gauge

How you should interpret the readings on an oil temperature gauge depends to a point on the model of your car. But, as a rough guide for a 2-litre engine when it’s been running for a few time, the following holds true:

  • 80-95°C – this is often a traditional oil temperature for an engine under not an excessive amount of load.
  • 100-110°C this is often a normal reading if the engine is working particularly hard, for instance when towing. Above 110°C The oil starts to thin out seriously and lose its ability to lubricate the engine and dissipate heat from components. Check the extent of the engine oil and inspect the sump pan to form sure it’s not covered with heavy deposits of dirt.
  • Below 70°C it’s rare for the oil to run too cold, but this will happen with cars fitted with an oil cooler . If the temperature drops below 70°C suspect a faulty oil cooler thermostat.

Note that each one engines, whether or not they’re fitted with an oil cooler, are susceptible to low oil temperature in cold weather, albeit the water temperature reads normal.

Drilling a sump hole

With some kits you’ve got to drill an extra hole within the sump casing to fit the temperature sender unit. check with your dealer first, or the gauge manufacturers, to find out where such a hole can safely be drilled. Drain the engine oil and take away the sump casing from the engine.

Mark and drill the opening within the required position. Solder the adapter provided within the kit into position within the hole. make sure all metal flakes from the drilling are removed before refitting the sump.


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