How-To install a trans. temp gauge in a 95+ GMT400

thunderstruck

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Hey guys, 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 fWONking 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


:tmc:
 

Zembonez

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WOW. That came out really nice. Thanks for posting it.
 

dirtyoldman

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Nice job Kyle :thumbs: I've been wanting to do this and now I see how it's done.
 

Wyley87

The '96 and I have a LOVE/HATE Relationship
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I did a gauge install on mine too except it's digital. I was in a hurry when I did it so I have to go back and re do the wiring. Been about two years since I installed it. So you could say I've been procrastinating for a while.
 

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