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Boost Gauge for CRD


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I'd ordered a Dyno Tune boost gauge (square boost pressure Gauge) to complement my Dyno Tune EGT gauge. I'd bought a cheap mechanical dial boost gauge a while back to assist in tuning, but it was really a PITA in many ways, so I decided to get another Dyno Tune gauge and make a set with the EGT gauge.

Like the EGT gauge, the boost gauge is simply a top quality product. It comes with a high quality transducer for pressure measurement, a digital readout and simply plenty of cable for routing things in the engine bay. Normally, I'm a big fan of analogue gauges (ie dials), but they are best used for information that doesn't change significantly ie oil pressure, water temperature, speed etc, readings that remain fairly static and only require you to glance at and know are OK.

With EGTs and boost, the readings change constantly and in this regard, I think that clear digital readouts are a lot better. That's why I chose digital gauges for both EGT and boost. The benefit of the Dyno Tune gauges is that the display unit is relatively small, but the readout is quite large, and so easy to see at a glance. And because you can order various colour readouts, there's no confusion as to what output you're reading. I chose red for EGT and blue for boost.

I'm going to use the clamp fitting that came with the EGT gauge for the boost gauge, as I no longer need the ETG gauge as it's now attached to a proper nipple on my 3" exhaust, and as it uses the same 1/8" NPT fitting, all that I have to do is route the cabling through the firewall and connect a few wires. I also want to make a housing for the two gauges, or try and incorporate them in the dash if possible, as they are quite small compared to dial gauges.

OK, here's a rundown of the install.

First off, here's a photo of the kit that you get:

boost01.jpg

It looks pretty simple, but the entire setup is fairly sophisticated and well thought out. The transducer is the object underneath the rectangular gauge and is what sends the pressure signal to the gauge. Transducers are used in all sorts of applications and come in all sorts of configurations, and are very accurate and durable. It also comes with a quick disconnect, to make it easier to remove if say attached directly to the intercooler.

The wiring doesn't need any explanation and the gauge itself is very much like the EGT gauge from the same company, a digital readout and very easy to read. The transducer and gauge are calibrated for each other and provides for an accuracy of 0.1 PSI.

The first thing I did was install the transducer and, as I had already drilled a hole and installed the clamp that came with the EGT gauge (for use with the rather poor mechanical gauge), it was easy as to install the transducer. This is where I'd installed the clamp and nipple:

boost02.jpg

This is the installed tranducer, a bit of a tight fit, but not as bad as it looks (this was before I'd fully screwed in the transducer):

boost03.jpg

I always like to protect wiring in the engine bay, so I installed corrugated cable protection and then zip tied it to existing points:

boost04.jpg

With the engine cover back in place, the transducer is almost invisible. You will also notice that I changed the position of the wire to a point that had a little more flex to accommodate engine movement:

boost05.jpg

That's the engine bay side completed, now for the internal cabling.

The second part was a little more difficult, involving drawing the wire through the firewall and inside the console. There's nothing really to show here and very difficult to provide photos anyway, especially for those with ABS. Suffice to say that a coathanger straighted out first and then bent slightly at one end makes for an easy way to pull cable through the grommet in the passenger floorwell.

Once The main cable was through, I then threaded it behind the console and then, in accordance with the instructions, connected the four wires from the transducer with the four from the gauge. That was very easy, simply connect and solder the same coloured wires first off, seal the ends of two wires (black and white), add a ring terminal on one wire (blue) for earth and then connect the remaining wire (brown) to an ignition on power source. This was really easy as I just used the same sources as I'd used for the EGT gauge. This is how the ends looked:

boost06.jpg

Whilst the gauges are quite small, the hardest part was still finding a suitable location for the gauges. The size and style allows you to place these gauges almost anywhere, but visibility is a priority and I always like neatness (hidden cables, mounts and the like and being able to return the vehicle to factory standard without leaving holes etc all over the place). So this was the most difficult part of the install.

I wanted the gauges to sit roughly where the EGT was originally placed, but there was no room for a second gauge. After lots of pondering and trying out various options, one position finally revealed itself. On this note, even though my wife hates it, I never, ever, throw anything out if there's any possible way of storing it. To this end, I was thankful, as I was able to rummage though my various boxes and find exactly what I needed to make a suitable bracket. If I'd thrown away this piece of metal, that I had no previous use for, I'd have had to go out and buy another one.

After a few measurements and then some cutting, I was able to fabricate a simple bracket that attached to the underside of the console, next to the UHF, which would hold both gauges with some double-sided tape. I'm going to have to get some slightly thicker double sided tape, as the boost gauge looks like it's not going to stay put because the plate isn't completely flat and the wire is adding some stress to the tape. A minor issue that's easily fixed.

This is what the final setup looks like and both gauges are easily visible from the driving position. You do have to glance down to see the readings, but I've ben doing this with the EGT gauge now for some time and it's very easy to read. The colour of the boost gauge isn't shown accurately in the photo, as it's actually blue backlit, but the lighting took that away:

boost07.jpg

Here's a less cluttered view of the gauges and showing the colour of the boost gauge as well:

boost08.jpg

While the Dyno Tune gauges aren't cheap (but not all that expensive either), they are of very high quality and as I said in the introduction, I much prefer digital readouts for some gauges and analogue for others. Where you're trying to determine highly variable engine parameters, digital gauges are usually better.

So there you have it, boost and EGT in a simple and easy to read setup.

Cheers

Ray

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