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Thread: Temp & Oil Press Gauge Install S-54

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    01 Z3M Coupe

    Temp & Oil Press Gauge Install S-54

    Installed oil & press gauges in A pillar.
    Not favorite location but no other options to preserve factory clock & outside temp gauge in console.

    Parts list

    Autometer:
    20204 A pillar gauge pod

    Prosport:
    psofsa-bmw-23 Oil Filter adaptor with two 1/8 NPT ports
    psropkit Remote oil press sender mtg kit
    216bfwaop270psi Oil press gauge
    216fwawt270f Water temp gauge

    1 each
    Pkg JB Weld
    1/8 NPT Nipple
    1/8 NPT female coupler

    Gauges mounted in A pillar along with DPDT switch to mannually turn on aux fan and two indicator lights, one comes when fan is on LS both come on when fan comes on HS

    Gauges are dark when car is off




    Gauges light up white when car is running




    Gauges light up amber at night when lights are on





    Underhood install, the round circle on the thermostate housing is JB weld that I used to increase the thread area for the temp sender before tapping it with a 1/8 npt tap



    The remotely mounted oil press sender



    The engine bay showing plumbing and wiring




  2. #2
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    1999 BMW M Coupe
    This looks really good. Thanks for posting the photos and parts list. BTW, how much did the whole project cost you in terms of time and money?
    Last edited by lyonsden; 06-28-2012 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    parts about $250 for everthing,
    Wiring was the most time consuming all said I spent about 6 hours

  4. #4
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    sweet. looks great. Ive been wanting those two pieces of info... just not sure I like the AP mount, but not a lot of other choices...hmmm...

    what strut bar is that? me likie...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bcar View Post
    sweet. looks great. Ive been wanting those two pieces of info... just not sure I like the AP mount, but not a lot of other choices...hmmm...

    what strut bar is that? me likie...
    As mentioned I'm Not real crazy about the pillar mount either, but after driving around with it for a while it's grown on me and I think it doesn't look all that bad at all. Besides the only other options I could come up with were;
    a. Get a pod that would sit on the center of the dash, but I think it looks a lot more like an add on and the wiring becomes more comlicated.
    b. kiss the clock and outside temp gauge in the console goodbye, a lot more work, could upset the ob2 wiring gremlims, and harder to return to stock.
    c. Somehow mount on the steering coloum, again more comlicated, I don't like the idea of anything that could potentially get in the way of my hands when steering and again harder to return to stock.

    The strut bar is made by mason engineering
    Last edited by CMM3; 06-28-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    I did the gauge install on my M52 E36, entirely different configuration, but when I tapped a brass insert for the temp sender to go in the upper radiator hose I found that you don't a lot of 'meat' for the threads to hold. I did however re-install it in the TB coolant hose. The pressure sender went into the banjo bolt for the Vanos oil line.

    Gave away my BMWs, driving a VW and an Audi now.

  7. #7
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    I'm am a huge fan of this. Personally I think the outside temp is useless, I tell people it's either less than 32, between 32 and 60, or greater than 60. And I think it's an awkward place for a clock. Never had to change it for daylight savings time.

    On a scale of mechanical difficulty where you rate this (0-10)?
    Sold: 1998 Cosmos Black 328i Sedan
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  8. #8
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    Not hard at all mechanically, 2 out of 10 on my scale.
    I didn't even have to remove the thermostat housing to add the JB weld and then tap it. I just used and old braided hose cover I had lying around cut it down to about 1/2 inch high to use it as a mold. You could use anything as a mold as long as it's smooth and has a straight bore. Just Coat it with and seal the bottom edge against the housing with vasoline so the JB would't stick and leak out, then pour the JB in and allowed to cure 24 hours. Then drill and tapp it, I bought a 1/8 NPT tap and drill at a local industrial supply store for ~$10. The water in the system will keep the chips from entering with a little squeeze of the radiatior hose providing a steady outflow. You'll lose maybe a cup of coolant in the process. The mechanical stuff is easy, the wiring took more time. I always solder and heat shrink all my connections so it's time consuming but IMO the ony way to do it right. I never use those plastic splice clamps.
    Last edited by CMM3; 06-29-2012 at 12:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Here's a steering wheel mount for those looking:
    http://rallyroad.net/content/e36-ste...ted-gauge-pods

    Fits on our cars, comes a little bit close to the wheel.

  10. #10
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    Get something like this and you can simplify the install to just one gauge. http://www.spatechnique.com/product_...ils.cfm?id=366

    2001 S54 LSB/NAPA. 1 of 7.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by felonious monk View Post
    Get something like this and you can simplify the install to just one gauge. http://www.spatechnique.com/product_...ils.cfm?id=366
    Hmmm $346.75 just for the gauge, ugly green color, digital display doesn't match still have to install two senders and wiring.

    The two gauges I installed just push into the autometer A-pillar pod so it doesn't take any longer to install two versus one gauge. And the wiring is going to be pretty much the same.

    The gauges I bought cost $43.99 for the Oil pressure and $39.50 for the water temp total = $83.49

    I don't see it worth spending another $263.26 no real benifit unless you only want one ugly gauge for some reason.


  12. #12
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    It's just a suggestion, no need to whine about it.

    SPA gauges are of much higher quality and you can get the faces in either black or white. You can also change the illumination color.

    2001 S54 LSB/NAPA. 1 of 7.

  13. #13
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    http://gutenparts.goodsie.com/pvg-e30-custom

    This is a spend part but really nice for what it is. My buddy has one I his race car.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by moonvan View Post
    http://gutenparts.goodsie.com/pvg-e30-custom

    This is a spend part but really nice for what it is. My buddy has one I his race car.
    Very cool.

    2001 S54 LSB/NAPA. 1 of 7.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonvan View Post
    http://gutenparts.goodsie.com/pvg-e30-custom

    This is a spend part but really nice for what it is. My buddy has one I his race car.
    That's nice, best solution I've seen yet, and what I'll want when the TS goes on the black car...

    Thanks for the link!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Forbes View Post
    That's nice, best solution I've seen yet, and what I'll want when the TS goes on the black car...

    Thanks for the link!
    Fitting it might be a problem. The e30 center vents are wider.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by felonious monk View Post
    It's just a suggestion, no need to whine about it.

    SPA gauges are of much higher quality and you can get the faces in either black or white. You can also change the illumination color.
    Not whinning just expressing an opinion, not sure about the quality statement I know SPA gauges are high quality but the prosport gauges I intalled look to be the same as well, in operation they are very steady even in my car which had all urethane mounts with some induced noise and vibrations.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonvan View Post
    http://gutenparts.goodsie.com/pvg-e30-custom

    This is a spend part but really nice for what it is. My buddy has one I his race car.
    Very slick,
    Wonder how much it affects the AC output.
    Driving home from the track the other day after sweltering in 95 F heat all day I was really glad that I haven't ripped out my AC or stereo, it was really nice to enjoy a cool ride home listening to my favorite Jerry Garcia CD.
    Last edited by CMM3; 07-08-2012 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMM3 View Post
    ... Very slick,
    Wonder how much it affects the AC output.
    Driving home from the track the other day after sweltering in 95 F heat all day I was really glad that I haven't ripped out my AC or stereo, it was really nice to enjoy a cool ride home listening to my favorite Jerry Garcia CD.
    You're a Class Act, Dan!

  19. #19
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    I've been wanting that vent gauge for my E30, but can't justify it until it gets an S52. Guten Parts is the shit too, great customer service & quality parts.
    Cloudbase aka Alex
    Life on the Lee-Side BLOG, Hang Gliding YouTube Channel

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    1998 BMW Z3 2.8L
    I'm short on cash lately and I can't afford expensive gauges at this time, so I'm thinking about chucking up the PLASTIC lid to my oil filter housing in my lathe and drilling a 1/16 inch hole through the center of it, then drill at the top deep enough for a 1/8 NPT then screwing this 0-60 psi oil liquid filled, shock resistant, stainless, gauge (see link) in the top of the lid. being careful not to overtighten. I think/hope I will be measuring the oil pressure down stream of the oil filter which is what I want to do. I'm not sure this will work because I'm guessing at the oil flow path and hope I don't screw up the plastic $26.45 oil filter housing lid. If someone knows this wont work please let me know???

    FLOW PATH? I think the oil comes up into the filter housing near the outer edge then travels through the filter, then down the tube in the center of the lid, then out to the engine between the two O-rings at the bottom of the down tube.

    Oil filter housing lid link, see part 3 : http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...42&hg=11&fg=30

    Liquid filled, shock resistant oil pressure gauge link: http://www.amazon.com/Bikers-Choice-...+tune+0-80+psi

    I use a band type oil filter wrench and some thin inner-tube rubber to screw off the lid so I don't need to twist on the plastic 25 mm nut at the top of the lid.

    Oil pressure questions. The manual for my 1998 Z3 2.8L says my idle oil press should be 9 psi and reved should be 60 psi. What is the set-point for the oil pressure warning light to come on? If the warning light comes on below 9 psi it seems I could wipe out my bearings if I was running my engine hard at 10 psi of oil pressure?

    VDO adjustable oil pressure switch. I would set it at at around 5 psi below my reved oil pressure regulator set-point. Likely around 55 psi . http://www.airco.com.au/PDF/Adjustab...e_Switches.pdf

    Also I think I need an additional low oil pressure warning light that flashes at < 55 psi.

    I will leave the OEM LOP warning light and pressure SW as is. If both come on I'll cry before checking the oil pressure under the hood.

    BTW, BMP Desigh offers a low oil press switch, oil press sending unit combo in one unit that replaces the OEM switch:
    http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-exe...earch_model/64
    Last edited by DuWop; 08-03-2013 at 05:37 PM.

  21. #21
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    So you cant afford to do it properly but you want to risk cutting up critical engine components anyways?

    I dont see how this could possibly go wrong.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerBreaker View Post

    I dont see how this could possibly go wrong.
    I don't know how the plastic down tube is attached to the lid. I pulled on it a little to see if it would come loose so I could see the inside of the lid but no luck. I didn't pill hard because it might break. It doesn't screw on. It must be held by a clip. It seemed easy to break. if the clip is in the center I might ruin it when I drill through.

    The multiparameter gauge I want cost around $500 and I'll need several sensors. could run as much as $2,000 for everything so I'll have to wait on business to pick up.

  23. #23
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    The center tube is just snapped into place on the oil cap - pull straight out to separate. My $0.02 is that this is a bad idea (potential leak)....and a leak there will cause you to lose a lot of oil quickly!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedyZ3 View Post
    My $0.02 is that this is a bad idea (potential leak)....and a leak there will cause you to lose a lot of oil quickly!
    Yeh I thought about the possibility of a crack around the fitting if I over tighten it, but I use Teflon tape pipe joint sealer and in all cases finger tight is sufficient to prevent a leak at a small joint like this and I did this a many times over the years so I don't think I'll have a problem with cracking.

    It just now occurred to me that the 1/8 inch hole I drill all the way to the inside of the tube will likely result in some of the oil bypassing the filter. If so I'm canning this idea. Unfortunately I don't see a better place to locate the mechanical gauge to measure OP downstream of the oil filter, or an easier, less expensive way of doing it.

    Is the little tube hollow all the way to the top and is the place where it snaps on at the center of the lid. I already put the lid back on and would rather not risk breaking it while trying to pull the tube off. If you know plz let me know???? Save me some work, a little money and possible down time.

    This is the gauge I want. Maybe my time and money would be better spent on this gauge, but likely I will need mechanical gauges to calibrate it to the OP sensor and other sensors. I have no experience with this.

    Greddy Multi Gauge, 2.44 inch dia, hybrid digital-analog gauge. The large diameter may cause a problem with finding a place to put it. Does anyone have experience with this gauge?

    http://www.vividracing.com/catalog/g...-p-156895.html

    This pillar mount gauge, double mount, from BMP design might solve my gauge location problem if it will accommodate a 2.44 inch diameter gauge. They are closed today.
    http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-exe...earch_model/64

    Seems there are always problems

    Does anyone know if the oil pressure switch is located up or down stream of the oil filter? I can't find an oil flow diagram for my 2.8L.

  25. #25
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    I've always pulled one (1) of the factory sensors, situated on the rear face of the ///M filter housings__I'm not very familiar with the Z3 variants__fit one of my adapters that adds another port, and move on.

    Coinsidentally, I removed the VDO oil pressure sensor I put on my 01 ages ago (@ least 2 garages back) and fitted it to my 99 yesterday. I just didn't like the idea of an A-pillar gauge in my 01, so the sensor had been dormant for a decade (other than testing, never had a gauge connected to it). I decided that NOW was the time to put it on my 99, because with a twinscrew in the way, I sure won't want to do it later!


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