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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys -

Well, once again I decided to embark upon doing something to my car. And once again I have learned some lessons that I hope many of you will appreciate. These are the steps I took in installing my Oil Pressure Gauge, along with some thoughts on how I might do it again.

First, my infinite thanks to WarmPepsi. Most of the information that's in here I got from his posts about his gauge install that are scattered around the board. Also thanks to Aznbeayst. Him and I learned together. :) And I stole some of his information for this too. Also, Coyote hooked up a lot of info too. Thanks guys.

**NOTE** - I'm still working on this a little bit, so if you have anything to add, let me know, and I'll edit the original post. The same goes if you see anything that's wrong. If you're seeing this and the pictures don't work, I'm working on it. :p

Concept of Installation
Alright, let's just do a quick rundown of what we're trying to accomplish here. Basically, the only Oil Pressure monitoring that the RSX has in its stock form comes in the form of an idiot light. There is a small sender unit that goes into the block that will cause the Oil light to come on in the gauge cluster if the oil pressure is too low.

Stock sender:


Basically, we are going to take that stock sender out of its hole in the block, and install a pipe in its place. From that pipe, we're going to install a splitter, which we will connect the stock sender to (to keep the idiot light functional), and also the aftermarket sender (to give us the information for the gauge).

Aftermarket sender (Autometer unit, Part #1):


Concept of Installation Shitty Paint Drawing:


A Word of Warning
Whenever you have parts out of your engine that are meant to keep in anywhere from 20-100psi of oil, it is important that you do not start the engine. It is important that if you go to Pep Boys with your roommate to get parts, then come back, that you REMEMBER what parts are taken out of your car before you start it. Even if you're just going to start the car "real quick" and drive it up onto ramps. Because if you have the stock sender out, and nothing to hold in the oil, this will happen:

My Stupidity:



Things You Need, and Where to Get Them...

Fittings... This is the most confusing part probably.

Part #1: A Brass Tee. You're gonna need one with 2 female sides, and one male side. I couldn't find one like this, so I got a 3-way female fitting (huhuhhuhh... female 3-way... kewl...) and just used a male to male adapter inside of it. I had to go to a True Value hardware store to find one of these.


Part #2: A length of high-pressure hose. You'll want this rated at least 150psi. Our engines get around 100psi when you're really on the throttle. I used nylon tubing I got from a gauge installation kit for this guide, but I have some braided stainless hose that I'll put in at my first opportunity. That nylon just doesn't instill any confidence for me. I ran it pretty hard with the nylon in, and it held up OK. But SS looks so much cooler. :) Anyway, I got the nylon hose in a kit with some of the fittings I needed from Pep Boys. It was sold as a SunPro gauge connector kit, or something like that.


Or, you can get some Stainless Steel hose, with 1/8th brass fittings on both ends. I couldn't find any in a local shop, but I found some here: http://www.longacreracing.com/catalog/catlist.asp?catid=11 Look towards the bottom, under "Gauge Lines." I'll be a lot more confident with that in.


Part #3: A Brass 1/8" Compression connection. The big end will go into your block and the small end connects to the nylon hose.


Part #4: A Brass 1/8" Compression Nut. This screws over Part #3 above with Part #5 from below inside of it, in order to tighten the fitting around the nylon hose.


Part #5: These are what actually compress inside the Compression Connection and the Compression Nut, in order to hold the Nylon Tubing in place. Mine were only tapered on one side, these are tapered on both sides.


Teflon Tape or Liquid Gasket. Helm's recommends Liquid Gasket when replacing the stock sender. That's what I used for the block. I used teflon tape on the rest of the fittings. It's available from the plumbing section of any hardware store. Liquid Gasket is probably the better thing to use.

NOTE: Parts 3, 4, and 5 are not needed if you use the Stainless Steel line with fittings on the end of them. Parts 3, 4, 5, and some nylon tubing come in the SunPro gauge kit, which I got from Pep Boys, but can also be had from Summit Racing Here: http://store.summitracing.com/product.asp?d=10&s=116&p=1858&searchtype=ecat

Also, the images of all the fittings are thieved from http://www.cornerhardware.com . Go there, into their Plumbing Section, and Water & Gas Pipe Fittings to find any parts that you need for this install.

How to do it... Mechanical
First things first... removing the old sender. It's hard to get a good picture of where it is. The best I can hope to do is describe how to get to it. The first thing to do is remove the Strut bar from the engine compartment. It just makes things a lot easier. Here's a picture of where in the engine compartment the sender actually is though:


Basically, it's about 6 inches underneath the top of the valve cover. Here's a shot looking from underneath the motor, up past the oil filter. This is a picture with the sender removed. Use the white wire loop as a reference if you're looking down from the top.


*Update*... I just found a picture of someone's destroyed block. So thanks to mroby, Here is a detailed picture of where the stock sender location is. Ignore the completely fucked motor. ;)


The easiest way for me to find it was to just close my eyes and use my hands. You can feel those two 10mm (or 12mm) bolts that are in the picture above. Keep on going down, and you'll find a wire. It's a single wire (I can't remember the color right now and have no access to me Helm's- Can someone w/ a Helm's find this for me?) with a little rubber boot at the end of it. Take the little boot off, and it will expose the connector. You can just pull the connector straight off. (Don't pull the wire directly... like unplugging an electrical plug.)

It's kind of a bitch to get the thing out of there. AznBeayst said he used a 15/16" socket to get it out. I can't remember the size I used, but that sounds about right. Mine was metric though... like 26mm. (If someone finds out the size, please let me know.) It has to be pretty damned deep though. A shallow one won't work because it's got that whole sender to get inside of it. A good few inches of depth are gonna be needed. It's impossible to get a wrench in there (or at least really difficult), so a socket would be better. Anyway, take that puppy out. A little bit of oil is going to come out (more if you start the engine now - see above ;) ), so if you want to have some rags underneath, that would help keep things clean.

Once it's out, this is probably a good time to assemble the Tee fitting. Wrap the end of the stock sender in some teflon tape, and screw it into one of the female sides of the Brass Tee. Do the same with the aftermarket sender. Be sure they're tight. Here's a picture of Aznbeayst's setup:


NOTE - Do not attach the tubing to this fitting yet. One of the more difficult parts of the install is getting the male end of the tubing into the block. That should be done first, since twisting it in there is easier without the female end connected to anything.

In fact, now's probably a good time to install the tubing into the block.

If you're using a Stainless Steel Hose, coat the threads in liquid gasket, and screw it into the block. Make sure it's good and tight. It's a pain in the ass to get a wrench in there, but it's what you've got to do. I've seen specialty sockets with about an eighth of the side missing (used a lot for Oxygen Senders) that may fit for you. It'd be worth looking into, cuz a wrench is a bitch. But it is doable (despite what Aznbeayst says ;) ).

The kind of socket I'm talking about:


If you're using Nylon Tubing, you get to use those fun and exciting compression fittings. Time for another Paint Drawing of how these work:


Basically, you stick the nylon tubing through the top of Part #4, through Part #5 (with the tapered end going down if there's only one tapered end), and into Part #3. Make sure the nylon tubing is all the way in. Grab Part #3 with some pliers, and then tighten Part #4 with a wrench. My understanding of how this works, is as you tighten Part #4 down, Part #5 will sort of crush the nylon tubing in a death grip, so that you can't pull it out. Give it a tug to make sure it worked.

Anyway, the same advice applies as using the SS Hose. Coat it with liquid gasket, and tighten it in there.

Alright, now you've got some hose hanging out of your block. Decide where you're going to mount the monstrosity that is this new-sender-plus-old-sender tee fitting. Don't Mount it yet though. Here's a picture of where I mounted mine, using some hose clamps I got at Pep Boys. It's just on the inside of the wheel well, there are a couple of holes in there that were big enough to get the hose clamps through. You need to make sure the whole sender unit is grounded, and I guess the hose clamps grounded it for me, since i checked it, and it made a good ground. Either way, your best bet is to use some metal clamps onto a metal part of the engine bay. That will ensure you have a ground.


OK, now take the male end of the Brass Tee that you have, and connect it to the female end of the hose that is coming out of the block now. If you're using nylon, trim it to the appropriate level, and follow the same instructions as above. If you're using SS, you don't have to. Either way, tighten that puppy on there. NOW, you can mount it to your mounting spot. I showed you where mine was, here's Coyote's:



How to do it... Electrical

OK, now you've got the hard part done. All you need to do is wire it up. you need to reconnect the stock sender for the idiot light to still work. Where I installed my sender, the stock length was fine. For where Coyote's is, you'll have to extend the wire.

After that, you need to run a wire from the New sender to the gauge. I ran a wire through the giant "grommet" in the firewall where the ECU harness goes through. I just cut a little hole and stuck it through there. If you cut any holes, you'll want to put some silicone around it so no crap gets where it shouldn't. From there, I routed it through the center console, and then up into the A-Pillar. There's plenty of space to do this, and getting the wire up to the pillar isn't that hard. If you want, it might be easier to push something else down the console (like a hangar, or another length of wire), and then tie the wire to it, and fish it back up.

The reason I chose this routing was because I wanted to use some of the connections that are in the center console and run those up to the A-Pillar too. I tapped the Cigarette Lighter power wire for power to the gauges, since that's only on when your car's on. I also grounded the gauges in that area too. (AutoMeter suggests running a ground as close to possible to the new sender, so if you're that endeavouring, go for it. :) ) I then tapped the wire for the cup light to run the light in the gauge.

Anyway, run all those wires up into the A-Pillar, and the wiring is explained in the directions for the gauge. There's one for +12V, one for the Sender, and one for a ground. In addition, there's another pair of wires for the light. Don't forget the red condom over the light! :)

Here's a picture of all the wiring for my gauges:


After that, button up all the stuff, and you should be good to go!

As far as difficulty level goes, it's not all that difficult, just requires some patience. If it hadn't been for my imitation of the Exxon Valdez all over my garage, I may have thought it was much easier, but that took me a good half a day just to clean up. The bulk of the problems with this install just comes with the position of the sender. But I'll say that this positioning irritated me less than those stupid bolts under my intake manifold for the Hondata gasket, and irritated me more than the position for installing the AEM CAI. (But the CAI was pretty easy, so it's not really a fair comparison.)

Anyway, that's it! Feel free to post if you have any questions, comments, corrections, or updates. I'll try to keep this post updated with whatever comments people have.

Have fun!
-Andy
 

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It tastes like BURNING!!!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Grrr... my clubrsx site isn't working for me... so the pictures are being little bastards... I'll e-mail Chris about it. And for some reason I can't delete the post either! Grrrr...
 

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///M
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:D finally, an official how to on the oil psi gauge... :D good job
 

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It tastes like BURNING!!!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Who0t! It finally works!

Alright, if anyone has any comments on the guide, and anything that needs to be fixed, please let me know.

Thanks you guys for your help on this!

-Andy
 

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just one comment, use enough nylon line to make a loop ( for engine movement and such, since a circle can expand and contract with the engine's movement ) but don't use the whole thing, if so, you're gonna need to be addin some more oil, just to fill that whole span of line! :laughing:
 

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Very nice post! Good job!
 

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good work... looks good... thanks for the info!

how log did it take ya to get all the oil out of your garage?

--Josh
 

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It tastes like BURNING!!!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Santsys - Heh, that really sucked. It took me a good 4-5 hour or so to clean it all up. A big bag of that kitty litter stuff, plus about half a gallon of industrial driveway cleaner.... And there are still stains there. I think I'll get a powerwasher and maybe give that a shot, but oh well. It was all very amusing to my roommates. :)

Reverand - The wire that goes through the firewall goes to the top of the sender, and then there's a connection on the back of the gauge for it. The rest are all power. I'll see if I remember it well enough to do another crappy paint drawing of a connection diagram. :)
 

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Pressure Washer should get a lot of it off... just dont chip the cement... i made a hole in my garage with mine on accident.

Get Visio... can make some nice drawings real quick...

--josh
 

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It tastes like BURNING!!!
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yeah, I have visio... there's just something ghetto fab about using paint, ya know? :)

But you know what's even better than that? Bastardizing Autometer's instructions and using them. Hehehe... (Please don't sue me Autometer! ;) )

So see if this makes sense. As I recall, there was some discrepancy between the instructions I got from autometer, and how the gauge actually looked. Either way, the "GND" "S" and "I" indicators should be wired according to how they look on the gauge. That's how I did mine anyway.

The wires coming off the light are white and black, and I don't think it makes a difference as to which goes where. It's just a 12V light. According to the instructions, the ground for the gauge (not the ground for the light) should be as close to the sender as possible, though I just used the same ground as I used for the light. My theory is that the gauge uses sender as a variable resistor of sorts, and just measures the voltage drop using that ground as a reference, and the variable resisitance from the sender as the comparitor. So it would make sense that you'd want the ground for the gauge close to the sender. But I don't think it makes too big a difference anyway...

For the connection that says to go to the ignition, that's what I wired up to the cigarette lighter. I don't know what kind of power the gauge draws, but I can't imagine it's enough to pop the fuse for the ciggy lighter. And it was just easy to put a couple of wire splices in there... I spliced into the cigarette adapter for +12V, some random wire in there for the ground, and the cup Light for the light on the gauge.

Actually, now that I think about it, I may not have used the cigarette lighter. I think our car has wiring in there for the seat heaters, and I may have used that wire instead. (Since I have no seat heater.) Can't remember. Check your Helm's manual anyway...

Let me know what you think of this:
 

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Nice guide Motab, hope that it helps others achieve greatness as well. I never think of taking pictures while I am focussed on an install. But then I kick myself about it afterwards.
 

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If thats what you call a simple paint drawing.. i'm impressed.. i cant make a few circles and strait lines look good in paint if my life depended on it... And i work on a computer for almost 8 hours a day!

Good job all around motab.

Thanks.

--Josh
 

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does that walkthroughh only apply to the mechanical gauges only or the electric gauges only? Cause my friend gave me an electric oil pressure and an electric oil temp gauges from autometer ultralite series. Its here sitting in my garage and now im contemplating on installing them just to see what they look like at night.
 

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that is electrical.

mechanical = you'd run the other end of that T into the cabin and plug it into the back of your oil gauge.
 

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Motab said:

*Update*... I just found a picture of someone's destroyed block. So thanks to mroby, Here is a detailed picture of where the stock sender location is. Ignore the completely fucked motor. ;)


Have fun!
-Andy
No problem :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
LOL... I should have showed you that earlier. :) Seriously, that's the best picture out there for showing where that pain in the ass sender is. Many thanks. :)

How's your motor?
 

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The motor's great! I'm waiting for a JDM swaybar I ordered to come in so I can get rid of my downpipe/swaybar rattle.

I'm about to install my guages. Couldn't I just install the sender unit where the OEM sender unit is and not worry about the dummy light?
 

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no. you need to remote mount it, if not, the vibrations of a 4 banger @ 8k will kill it. feel free to try it, but i'll be waving the "itoldyouso" flag all over when it shreads the threads into the block.
 
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