Hey everyone this is my first write up and im hoping it will help some that have thought about doing this or for ones that will search on this subject.
Ok so first let me say that this will work with any autometer 2 1/6" gauge and should be the same with other brands but as always double check your fitment.
Tools you will need:
*7mm socket and rachet
*pick tool or flathead screw driver
*phillips screw driver
*electric or cordless drill
*dremel with a round sanding bit or a round file
*2" hole saw with arbor
*1/8" drill bit
*sharpie, pen or pencil
*electrical wire: preferably black or green for ground, red or white for power and blue or purple for sending unit lead if using electric gauge
*three female blade terminals (electric gauge) sized for gage wire being used
Step one: apply parking brake or chuck the rear tire if parking brake is inoperable.
If equipped with manual transmission proceed to step two.
If equipped with a automatic transmission turn ignition on but do not start, drop shift lever into lowest position or 1st, turn ignition back off proceed to step two
Remove headlight switch knob by pulling out on the headlight switch turning on the headlights, locate the notch on the shaft of the knob and using a pick tool apply pressure to the spring tab while simultaneously pulling out on the knob, once knob is released set aside and push the headlight switch shaft in turning off the headlights
Remove the two trim pieces, one each on left and right of cluster using a pick tool or flathead prying up on the trim piece carefully and it should release from the tabs. Remove trim pieces and set aside
Using a 7mm socket and rachet remove the two hex screws, one on each side where the trim pieces were removed in the first step. Once removed lightly pull out on each lower corner closest to the column to release the clips, also pull out on the top arch of the cluster bezel to release the clips, once free pull cluster bezel back from dash a couple inches at the top.
While supporting the bezel and using a pick tool or flathead screw driver disconnect the rear window switch plug and disconnect the 4wd pushbutton/indicator plug. Once disconnected pull the gear selector towards you while keeping it at its lowest point or in 1st and simultaneously pull out and up on the bezel making sure the a/c vents are free from the ducts and that the bezel is not hung on the rear window defrost switch if equipped. Remove cluster bezel, remove the two phillips screws holding in the 4wd pushbutton switch on models with pushbutton 4wd or the block off panel on models with manual 4wd and remove then move to a suitable work area preferably a work bench.
Next find center of the area to the left of the pushbutton 4wd switch or block off plate. Tape will make finding center easier to mark but is not necessary. Put a piece of tape evenly, horizontally and across the top and bottom. Using a tape measure find the center left to right and mark on the upper and lower piece of tape. Put a piece of tape vertically lining it up with the upper and lower marks. Measure vertical center on the vertical piece of tape and using a center punch, center punch at the center mark on the vertical piece of tape. Your center is now found. Remove tape.
Using an electric or cordless drill insert the 1/8" drill bit and carefully line bit up with center punch mark and proceed with drilling the pilot hole, pay close attention as it is easy for the bit to walk on the plastic. Swap out to the 2" hole saw and proceeded with drilling making sure to keep drill center and straight.
Debur hole drilled in bezel, test fit gauge into the bezel, it may be required to slightly trim or file the hole to allow gauge to snuggly slide into the hole. Note the areas above and below the gauge, some minor triming or filing may be required to allow gauge to sit close against the bezel. Once triming is done and gauge is installed proceed to next step.
Depending on the brand of gauge this step may vary. The autometer gauges come with a plastic hold down bracket that tightens up the gauge to the mounting surface, however it is possible to fit the gauge tight enough into the bezel where the bracket isnt needed, if so proceed to wiring in step ten.
If using the hold down bracket with the autometer gauge you will need to trim a small area in the dash to the right of the cluster to allow clearance for one of the hold down bracket nuts.
Trimming may require multiple test fits to ensure the hold down bracket nut wont interfere with the dash, continue trimming until the bezel fits back into place with no issues. Once fitment is determined remove bezel and proceed with wiring.
Wiring in this step is used when also wiring the gauge light to come on with ignition, if you dont want the gauge light on constantly you will have to tap the power wire for the bulb into the headlight switch, however the ground for the bulb can be wired the same regardless.
If wiring the gauge light to be constant on strip the pos and neg wires on the bulb socket, twist the stripped ends of the pos wire on the bulb socket and the main pos wire together, slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wires, insert wires into a female blade connector and crimp. Strip the main neg wire and twist the stripped ends of the neg wire on the bulb socket and main neg wire together, slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wires, insert wires into a female blade connector and crimp. Strip the sending unit wire, slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wire, insert wire into a female blade connector and crimp. Slide all heat shrink over connectors and heat to shrink.
If wiring the gauge light to come on with the headlights strip the pos and neg wires on the bulb socket, twist the neg wire on the bulb socket and the main neg wire together, slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wires, insert wires into a female blade connector and crimp. Strip the main pos wire and slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wire, insert wire into a female blade connector and crimp. Strip the sending unit wire and slide a one inch piece of heat shrink over the wire, insert wire into a female blade connector and crimp. Strip another piece of pos wire, slide a two inch piece of heat shrink over the wire, insert the pos wire into one end of a butt connector then crimp, insert the pos wire for the bulb socket in the other end of butt connector then crimp. Slide all heat shrink over connectors and heat to shrink. Plug connectors onto according terminals on back of gauge. Reinstall pushbutton 4wd switch or block off plate. Fasten with two phillips screws.
With bezel resting on steering column feed wires through the hole behind the area where the gauge will be, its easiest to reach around the little recessed storage slot and grab the ends of the wires as you feed them through. Slide bezel back over column while guiding the wires for the gauge and hold the top a couple inches off the dash.
Reconnect the 4wd pushbutton switch plug and reconnect the rear window switch plug. Push bezel back into dash making sure to line up the a/c vents with the a/c ducts and the rear window defrost switch if equipped.
clip in upper and lower part of bezel, reinstall the two 7mm screws and tighten.
Reinstall the two trim pieces by applying light pressure and snapping them into position.
Line up headlight knob with headlight switch shaft, press in until headlight knob slides into place.
Finish wiring, for constant on gauge light, wire pos to a key on and engine on power source. Wire ground to a near by suitable grounding location, i use the ground right below the hood release. Wire sending unit wire to your trans temp sender, oil pressure sender, coolant temp sender etc.
For gauge light on with headlights on wire gauge same as above, tap the pos wire for the bulb into a hot wire for the headlight switch when headlights are on.
The finished result
Matches my other gauges very nicely