How to Install an Auto Temperature Gauge

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The aftermarket coolant temperature gauge is a gas-tube type of unit. The normal temperature for most vehicles, which has been determined to be the most efficient, is 195 degrees F. In many cases, the temperature will rise slightly when the vehicle is sitting still since the fan is the only source of air passing the radiator. The normal temperature when hot is 215 degrees F. The engine should never be allowed to pass 220 degrees F. for any amount of time or damage could occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • ¼-inch drive ratchet and sockets
  • Wrenches
  • Roll of 16-gauge wire
  • Box of assorted wire terminal connectors
  • Wire crimper
  • Locate a good, visible position for the water-temperature gauge. Place the gauge bracket in place and mark the holes necessary to secure the gauge to the dash. Drill the holes for the securing bolts.

  • Install the gauge bracket and tighten the bolts with the appropriate socket. Carefully unwrap the line for the temperature gauge. Do not crimp the line in any way.

  • Pass the temperature-gauge line with the temperature bulb on the end through the bracket and the firewall at any spot practical near the power-brake booster.

  • Remove the plug in the driver's-side front of the intake manifold. This plug is just to the driver's side of the thermostat housing. There is also a plug on the driver's side of the block below the exhaust manifold that can be used. If using the plug on the side of the block, significant coolant loss will happen when the plug is removed.

  • Thread the water-temperature gauge line around all obstacles and insert the bulb into the hole vacated by the plug. Tighten with a wrench. Connect a wire from the fuse-panel instrument-light fuse to the red wire on the gauge, using a butt terminal at the gauge and the appropriate terminal to connect to the fuse. Crimp both terminals with the wire crimper.

  • Connect the black wire on the gauge to a good ground, using the appropriate wire-connector terminal.

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