How-To: Install a trans temp gauge in a 95+ GMT400 with a 4L60e

Discussion in 'OEM and Custom Interiors' started by thunderstruck, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Babuinos Móviles

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    Hey guys, you probably already have a write-up for this, but one more can't hurt. This past weekend I installed an AutoMeter GM Factory-Match transmission temperature gauge along with an AutoMeter single-gauge pillar pod in my 1995 Chevy C1500 Silverado with a 4L60e. I bought both the gauge and pod from JEGS. Here's a few pics and how to do it:

    First I painted the gauge pod with SEM Color Coat. Saddle Tan was the closest match I could find to my 95's tan interior. This stuff is great, it adheres well and dries fast.
    1paint.jpg

    Next I ran the wire for the temp sensor. I popped a hole in the shift cable grommet that's underneath the carpet just below the front of the drivers seat. Then I ran the wire alongside the shift cable from the bottom of the dash all the way to the shifter linkage on the transmission. I covered the wire that's exposed outside in wire loom.
    2transwire.jpg

    Next I installed the gauge sensor in the pressure test port that's on the driver side of the 4L60e. The Autometer sensor has the exact kind of threading as the plug (1/4 NPT), so it fits right in without an adapter. The plug was really easy to access, I didn't even have to jack up the truck to do all this. However, I've heard that the shift linkage will be in the way on the pre-93 TH400 transmissions. Also, I've seen that some other brands use a longer sensor than the Autometer ones, so make sure that you don't bottom out the sensor on the internals of the transmission.
    3sensor.jpg

    Here's the pod attached to the pillar. The pod is attached with four 3/16" plastic "christmas-tree" push-in rivets that are included with the pod. I also drilled a 1/2" hole in the pillar for the wires to pass through.
    4pillar.jpg

    That's where I messed up. I wanted the gauge pod to be as low as possible so it wouldn't create a blindspot. Unfortunately, to engage the bottom clip for the pillar, I had to insert the pillar at an angle... and of course the pod wouldn't clear the dash. It was so ' close!! I tried to back out the push-in rivets, but I was barely able to budge them before it felt like I was going to break the old and brittle pillar plastic. Plus, it would've been a royal pain to remove the pillar later on, had that did work. Frustrated, I ended up just breaking the tab off. Oh well, nothing this truck hasn't seen many times before. The pillar still stays in place and doesn't rattle without it anyways. TLDR... put your pod higher than mine or be prepared to remove the bottom pillar clip.

    Anyways, I ran the wiring up the pillar. I used some leftover 16/4 wire I had for the gauge's power and lighting. It's overkill, but it was the best option I had on hand
    5gaugewire.jpg

    Next I found ignition and lighting outputs for the gauge. If you've removed the warning chime box from your GMT400 like I did many moons ago, you have the perfect location to grab power. The top right terminal is powered thru the Gages fuse, which is only hot with the key forward. The bottom left terminal is powered thru the Illum fuse, which draws power from the dimmer switch, so your gauge will dim with the rest of the dash lights. You can tap these terminals simply using 1/4" blade-style connectors. Also, the 2nd-from-the-bottom terminal on the right side is a ground, but I elected to ground the gauge to a nearby bolt instead.
    6dashwire.jpg

    The finished product...
    7day.jpg

    Another day pic with some heat built-up
    8day.jpg

    This is the disappointing part. I expected the gauge to have a twist-lock bulb in the back that I could replace with a blue LED so it would match my Esky cluster. Nope. The lighting is completely internal. I might one day see if I can take apart the gauge and replace the internal lighting, otherwise, I might trade the gauge for an Autometer Z-series gauge, which does have a replaceable twist-lock light.
    9dashnight.jpg

    Close up night pic.
    10gaugenight.jpg
     
    1997, DRAGGIN95, Blue95 and 1 other person like this.
  2. ChrisAU

    ChrisAU War Damn Eagle

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    Looks good to me, I want to add one to my 92 badly.
     
  3. Black an tan Z71

    Black an tan Z71 OBS Enthusiast

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    Good write up, I did the same myself but I put a mag hytec pan on mine an put the sensor in there. Used a autometer c2 gauge which matches my blue dash that is like yours but it is so brite I had to tint the lense cause it would literally light my whole interior up an gave me a blind spot
     
  4. TruckinAin4Sissies

    TruckinAin4Sissies L.E.D. Whisperer

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    Excellent job Sir!

    I text Deven and recommended he Sticky this :thumbup:



    TA4S
     
  5. ///RAGMC

    ///RAGMC I'm Awesome

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    nice write up
     
  6. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Babuinos Móviles

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    That's how I would've preferred to do mine, but the pressure port was just way too easy. Maybe whenever I drop the pan, I'll weld in a fitting for the sensor then.
     
  7. Wstrnsky

    Wstrnsky Big Sky Country

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    Looks Great !!! I love my Tran Temp Gauge

    224.jpg
     
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  8. Half Assed

    Half Assed WINNERS NEVER LIFT

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    Sweet writeup man. I didn't know it was so easy. A trans temp gauge is pretty handy if you want the 4L60 to live. :lol:
     
  9. RyanR

    RyanR BAD REPUTATION

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    Nice write up... I also have a trans temp gauge that I installed in my ac vent... already had my triple pillar pod full. Some times I wonder if mine is working properly though, it never gets over 120*

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Babuinos Móviles

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    Neither has mine. I did verify the temp with an infrared thermometer, it's dead on where the sensor is located, but it's about 10 degrees lower than my trans cooler.
     

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