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Old 08-27-2007, 09:28 AM
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Instrument cluster ??

I have a 77 nova with the basic cluster. Basicly its just got the speedo and the fuel along with the dumy lights instead of gauges. My question is i found a cluster for my car that has the tach and all the gauges such as volt and oil pressure etc. If i were to get this other cluster can i use my stock wiring harness? Im thinking the wires are the same that they would just go to the gauges instead of the lights is this correct? The only other thing i am unsure of is how would the tach work? Is it possible the wires are there and not being used or would i have to find a way to some how wire it in? And if i have to wire it in how would i go about doing that if its even possible?
Sorry for all the questions i just want to make sure i cover everything.

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Old 08-27-2007, 10:11 AM
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Probably a different harness, or an auxiliary harness is used for the tach/gauges.

The sending units on the engine are also different.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:31 PM
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Doc here,

Is / Are both set up for wires or laminate cards?..both must be compatible , or you'll need to hardwire the cluster..

The wires will remain the same...What will change is the senders..the lamp senders won't work with the gauges. So the best bet is where you harvested the cluster, get the senders off the engine as well.

The Tach is simple, IF stock, 1 Piece GM, the White wire is Tach pickup..Hooks to the Coil -...

HOWEVER, being of that vintage, NOT all these were not compatible with HEI systems Directly, so they installed a buffer / wave shaper for the tach pickup wire to "Shape and Buffer " the wave into the calibration card of the tach..

Yours may require this also..The thing to do is check the harvested Vehicle for the buffer/Shaper..Looks like a Dizzy or alternator noise cap, (round , metal about 3 inches long) EXCEPT it has 2 white wires in (on most) and 1 white wire OUT to the HEI "TACH" plug..

If it Does have it...SNAG it..without it, the Tach will last a week or so, then at 5500 RPM read 500 RPM, then never move again..Corvette Central also sells these for $69.00 Fazools plus S&H...OR you may be lucky enough to have a compatible Tach..

The rest is straight up..Power usually RED, From a switched FUSED 12 volt source, Ground usually Case ground and BLACK, Illumination, blue or yellow?? or what ever someone installed (verify with a meter it's a dim line, or look on another dimmer bulb on the panel for wire color.) The white wire is the Coil - or buffer wire.








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Old 08-28-2007, 09:08 AM
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Hey Doc thanks for the info I have not purchsed the cluster yet i saw them on ebay. They only have the cluster and nothing else. Sounds like its not the direction i should probably go. Im thinking my best bet is to stick to the plan and put in after market gauges. Atleast they come with everything you need. My plan was to drill a hole in my cluster (YES I HAVE AN EXTRA ONE OR TWO) where the clock is and put in a tach this will keep it in the with original instrumentation. And as for the other gauges just mount them in the dash or in the floor shift console i was able to score from the yard. I just need to determine what size tach i need and try to find it with the face plate i like.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:12 PM
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Doc here,

Just my Nickel's Worth..

On a Nova, You Should have tons of room for 2 3/4 inch gauges ACROSS the dash divider in the center of the dash board to mount them..maybe make a back plate from that "Chrome Diamond plate" they sell to fit inbetween..for "look Good.."


Hell, I did one in Solid Brass...looks great if you leave all the sharp tools outside the car while installing it..one scratch and it's over!

As for the Tach, How about, Digital Readout, Bright BLUE, Rectangle , about 2 1/2 inches by 3 or 4 inches, with shift points..mounted next to or Below the rear view mirror..? Looks good and handy to use..




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Old 08-29-2007, 08:20 AM
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Ive never seen a tach like that. My goal is to have all the necesary gauges with out doing something that cant be undone. How ever i do have two dashes for the car the original had a vent cut into it for after market AC. So i suppose i could use that dash for that purpose and if i ever wanted to return it to original i have the other dash that is hole free. This sounds good for everything except the tach. I would bewillingto look at the digital tach but ithink it would be neat to put it in the cluster especially since those damn clocks never work anyway.
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