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Beetle fan-addict
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I recently purchased some aftermarket gauges for my car and am looking for advice as to the best and/or easiest places to place the engine connections. The three I'm working with are water temp, oil pressure, and a boost gauge. Any help, especially with photos, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your knowledge. Toby
 

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The "traditional" areas are:

cluster "pods":

1. on top of the dash with new beetle specific
2. steering wheel column (mark iv vw: jetta, beetle, golf)
3. "a" pillar (mark iv vw: jetta, beetle, golf)

Others just make their own; to what they like or desire.

Here are some vendors; to check out the different options and get some ideas.

Volkswagen - MK4 1999-2006 - Gauges & Mounting - 42 Draft Designs

https://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-New_Beetle--1.8T/Interior/Gauges/

https://www.google.com/#q=new+beetle+cluster+pod

NewSouth Performance

NewSouth Performance

Another interesting option; are smart gauges that hook up to your obd II port and bridge the gap between a tablet and a analog gauge. This is also nice; as it doesn't require any drilling or tapping of the car and is pretty much, plug/play. This unique solution; is made by "P3CARS":

VW NEW BEETLE - P3 VENT GAUGE:
SKU: VW NB1

VW New Beetle - P3 Vent Gauge - P3 Cars

At this point; many are going to the ios/android tablets hooked up to a obd II wireless adapter. Tablets can do so many different things and the obd II apps; can act as a configurable electronic gauge cluster and even scan for trouble codes, do logging etc. Another option; to conidor.

Here is a cool thread; where a member made their own ipad dash holder:

http://newbeetle.org/forums/styling-modifications/116394-ipad-dash.html
 

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Beetle fan-addict
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the great suggestions, awesome pics and links for the gauge ideas! Some of those I hadn't seen before buying my dash pod and gauges.
I was, however, hoping for more technical assistance as to where to place the sending units for the water temp and oil pressure gauges, and attach the vacuum line for the boost gauge. I purchased a set of gauges that are not VW or Beetle specific. I was looking to hear about others experiences having to do with the wiring and vacuum line.
Thank you again for your responses, Toby
 

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squirreljuice
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391 Posts
For the boost gauge, just about any of the vacuum lines can be spliced into and ran into the cabin. I used the one that runs straight over the top of the engine that runs from the manifold back into the mess that has the vacuum routing for the DV. The best routing of the line I have found is to go in where the wiring harness for the ECU comes in and then rout it up into the dash from there (you may have to drill some holes in the plastic, and be careful of the insulation under the dash panels. it gets EVERYWHERE). The light wiring is super easy, and if you want it to dim with the dimmer switch, splice into the lead coming out from the dimmer switch (the top terminal, if memory serves. Double check that) with some quality wire, run that up to the positive terminal of the lamp in the gauge, and then run a ground off of the negative terminal to the body of the car. If you're lucky, you might be able to ground directly to the big support bar that runs through the dash, but I've found it easiest to pull the trim off of the A pillar. There are a couple of screws that go directly into the body there and if you use a ring terminal and sand away the paint that's under the screw, it makes an excellent and clean ground point that requires no additional holes to be drilled. The lights for all the gauges (should you be using analogue) should be able to be ran like this.

The only other gauge I have run for the NB is a stand alone wideband O2 sensor. That was routed into the cabin very similarly. The electrical wiring was a bit different on that one, but I won't go into detail on it since you only have boost, water, and oil at the moment.

Perhaps someone who has done the oil and water gauges on these cars can chime in on those. Definitely head over to the Vortex and search around there. 1.8T Passat's and Jetta's are pretty much the same under the hood as our beetles, just a little roomier. I bet someone over there has done it and you should be able to adapt their method to your car.
 

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Keep It Real
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The electrical connections will depend on the gauge brand that you chose, for instance, Autometer gauges are usually equipped with a stepper calibration motor, this calibrates the gauge every time power is applied/key is turned to the on position or the vehicle is started.

This type of gauge requires that there be no voltage interruption from the accessory position to the run position.

For standard gauges, you simply need to find a positive connection that is switched by the key, of course a good ground point will be required along with locating factory dimmer lead if you want the gauge back lighting to work as the factory dash lighting works.

For the boost vacuum: You can "T" / "Y" into the vacuum hose connecting to the FPR or access a hose/port coming from the intake manifold.

For the water temp.: You might purchase a radiator hose water temp. union, this fits into the upper radiator hose and it has a threaded 1/8" NPT port for the temp. sensor that should be included with the gauge (If it is an electric gauge).

For the oil pressure.: You can access a connection at the oil filter housing area, however, the more sanitary approach (although more work), you might want to do as I did for my oil temp. sensor, weld a bung onto your oil pan and attach the sensor there.

 
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