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Old 04-16-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Oil warning light FROM HELL!!!

So based on the failed oil pump pressure relief valve incident, that could have easily killed my brand-new built motor (but did not), I decided to take action and correct the completely lame stock oil gauge setup in my '99 NB.

First I bought one of these for a warning light. It is a bright SMT LED cluster set up for 12V:
]

Then I ditched the lame-o stock oil sending unit and replaced it with one of these from VDO. It has a variable output and a 7 psi switch. The variable output is connected to the stock pressure gauge. The 7 psi switched outlet is connected to the ground side of the LED cluster. The positive side of the LED cluster is connected to switched 12V.
VDO 360009 - VDO Pressure Senders
I installed it like this:


I removed the gauge bezel and cut out a hole for the LED. I glued it in place using a hot-temp glue gun and backed the edges with electrical tape.



Here is what the finished installation looks like:


Here are two exposures showing the relative brightness of the LED cluster; both exposures are in a dark garage. The first is the dash gauges at full brightness. The second is with the LED on at the same exposure settings:



As one can see, the oil pressure gauge basically lights up the whole gauge cluster, and in particular the oil pressure gauge. Though I have not tested it as such, this should be bright enough to get one's attention even in daylight with the top off.

I also did the linearization mod to the stock temp gauge while I had the cluster out.

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 04-16-2009 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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and will it give you a seizure?
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Get that brass BSP tee off the side of your motor ASAP. It's going to break.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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and will it give you a seizure?
If it comes on when the revs are high, it will. I like the mod.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Get that brass BSP tee off the side of your motor ASAP. It's going to break.

ftw.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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^^ Yeah I was warned by Corky that it could break. But he seemed to think it was when the sending unit was put on the end of the tee (more leverage). I considered doing what Hustler shows above.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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hopefully you'll somehow know what's happened before the turbo goes dry and before you run out of oil. Hopefully.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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dose the light dim with the rest of the lights or are u set at 1 brightness level.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
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No, one brightness level. It is not tied into the dash light power, but on a separate circuit. I want it to be as bright as possible whenever it is on.

The idea is to indicate HEY YOU HAVE NO OIL PRESSURE!!! Normally it will only be on during that brief interval between ignition on and when the engine is started and running.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
^^ Yeah I was warned by Corky that it could break. But he seemed to think it was when the sending unit was put on the end of the tee (more leverage). I considered doing what Hustler shows above.
I'm going to grab a 1ft section of -4AN line, get a couple of adapters, and get the entire apparatus off the side of the motor. Bring that oil port out a little bit, and then hook up everything off of it and attach it all to the firewall or something. Makes installation a lot easier, too.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:09 PM   #11
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^^ Good idea.
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
No, one brightness level. It is not tied into the dash light power, but on a separate circuit. I want it to be as bright as possible whenever it is on.

The idea is to indicate HEY YOU HAVE NO OIL PRESSURE!!! Normally it will only be on during that brief interval between ignition on and when the engine is started and running.
ya i got it now makes more sence that way. nice mod.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:20 AM   #13
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trying to do the same here. Got an oil pressure switch with 1/8NPT threads. Is the fitting on the block the same? It's nearly impossible to find a female NPT tee piece over here
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:52 AM   #14
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No the fitting on the block is BPT. It is very close to NPT but not exactly the same. You need a BPT to 1/8" NPT adapter bung. I got mine from BEGI. Get a steel one.

http://www.bellengineering.net/produ...products_id=86

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 04-20-2009 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:22 AM   #15
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The VDO sending unit fits right into the block, no adapter needed. (Yes I know it is a little different but seems like it's not different enough to matter.

It fits, reads, doesn't leak, doesn't fall out. For like 9 years now.

Greets
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #16
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Yeah I have a 1/8" NPT fitting in a 1/8" BPT hole for my dash gauge coolant temperature sensor and it is not leaking. But a small coolant leak is not as big a deal as an oil leak. Personally I prefer to use the BPT->NPT adapter for a high-pressure oil fitting. It is a relatively cheap part. And a small oil leak could turn into a very expensive problem.

At the very least if you are sourcing your turbo oil elsewhere, and just screw the sender right into the block, keep a very close eye on it.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #17
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cool, so I need a 1/8 BPT to 1/8 NPT adapter, a 1/8 NPT female tee and I'm good? Is the stock sender NPT or BPT?

I'll do block->BPT to NPT adapter-> NPT tee-> stock sender and pressure switch on tee
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:45 PM   #18
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Are you running a turbo? I don't see one in your sig. If not, or you are sourcing the turbo oil elsewhere, then just go block->BPT to NPT adapter-> female/female NPT bung -> VDO sender. Use steel if you can for everything for strength.

Blow off the stock sender since it is just a switch and is redundant with the VDO unit, so no tee needed. Make an adapter wire to go from the spade lug on the stock sending unit connector to the VDO variable output gauge lug (that is what I am doing). You will still need to run another wire from the cab to the VDO sending unit (pressure switch lug) for the warning light.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:42 PM   #19
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I don't run a turbo (yet). My oil pressure gauge is a fully functioning one. I got a $5 oil pressure switch to tee inline with the stock (full sweep) sender so I can use a warning light as described in your first post.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:27 PM   #20
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Ahh OK got it. That will work.
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