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Old 04-11-2005, 08:40 AM
steebo777 steebo777 is offline
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Oil pressure mechanical gauge how-to

Long time lurker/MINI2 nut/Michigan MINI nut. Thought I'd share my experiences with everyone. Please note two different methods for this in my post.



Oil pressure mechanical gauge how-to
ON-Block Mount Method:

Time:
-A little less than two hours your first time

Tools needed:
-18mm wrench
-11mm wrench (or whatever size is needed for your gauge crush fitting bits)
-1 1/16”, 6point, deep-well socket OR 27MM, 6point, deep-well socket (bought at local hardware store, but is very hard to find)

Items needed:
-Mechanical oil pressure gauge (I used an AutoMeter Pro Comp UltraLite)
-Teflon pipe tape; Blue or Yellow container (bought at Home Depot)
-3/8” brass T-fitting with all female ends (bought at Home Depot)
-3/8” brass pipe thread male-to-male extender that is 2”long (bought at Home Depot)
-Gauge bits

Note a few things before beginning:

-I read countless other threads with bits of information here and there, but there was never a definitive write-up of how to install the gauge, thus I did it.

-This write up is based on the fact that you already installed the gauge into your cabin, and ran the line through the firewall. The following pic shows where you can access a grommet to put lines through it.



-The method I used is for AutoMeter Pro-Comp UltraLite mechanical gauges, and thus your gauge hardware may be different in terms of sizes. All of the crush fittings and remaining hardware will be the same.

-This is all done by touch and memory of what is down there. You do not need to jack the MINI up at all or remove a wheel or fender.

-Real estate is limited in the engine compartment of the MINI (as if you didn’t know that). So, you will not be seeing what you are doing as you are hooking up various items. However, if you have a friend along with you, that person can get on the ground right behind the passenger tire (US spec MCS) and look up to see what is happening. That person will not be able to reach up there or help out at all since space is too tight.

-Since space is so tight, I couldn’t really take any pics as it is hard to get a camera down there for anything. I did borrow a few pics from other threads, and will describe in detail as best as I can. I also took a few final pics.

-I used a 6 foot copper line (made by AutoMeter) to run the oil from the T-fitting to the cabin. It just seems safest to cover anywhere where oil my be able to spring a leak, so I threw that nylon wire in the trash, and used copper instead. It was a little difficult to run the copper wire from the cabin to the oil-sending unit, but use your imagination on places to run it. Look at the last pic to see where I ran mine. Please note: DO NOT BEND THE COPPER LINE TO MUCH OR ELSE YOU WILL KINK OR BREAK IT. Please use your head.

-Total cost for this method is about $10 not including tools or the guage itself.


First thing to do is to remove your stock oil-sending unit. This is an electrical switch plugged into a mechanical plug which is screwed into your engine so it reads your oil pressure and alerts the computer (and your dummy light on the dash) saying if the engine is low on oil. So, the following picture shows where the unit is, and basically where you will be working the entire time. To find it yourself, go to the passenger fender (US spec MCS) and look down where the oil canister is. Directly underneath and a bit more towards the middle is the green plug you are looking for. The red tab slides across and then you can push the green tab to pull the top of the switch off.



Once that unplugs, you will need to put your 1 1/16” or 27mm socket on the place where you just unplugged. I had to use an angle bit that attaches to the socket and wrench so I could get my ½” drive socket in there. As I stated, real estate is tight, so it will be frustrating. As ColorodoMark stated “I could not get my socket wrench on there, even with assorted adaptors. So, I resorted to the vise grip method also: but I had to go buy a shorter one then what I had to fit in there.” That is possible to do, but if you work your socket wrench enough, you’ll get it. A little oil may drip out, depending on the angle of your car on the driveway or garage. Clean that up so you can see later when everything is done if you have any leaks.

If you can believe it, that was the hard part. Put any adapter needed for your gauge bits included with the gauge into the end (not top) of the brass T-fitting with Teflon tape around the male end. To wrap Teflon tape, make sure you are wrapping with the way it will screw on (clockwise) for about two or three passes. The end of the T-fitting means that part that will be pointing towards the cabin of the car. Now put your Teflon tape onto both male ends of your 2” long 3/8” brass fitting. Screw that puppy into the hole you just took the mechanical oil-sending unit out of. Don’t worry about it being all the way tight as the brass T-fitting will tighten it more.

Now screw the brass T-fitting into the male brass fitting you just screwed in. Watch your hands on the piece of metal right next to the T-fitting. Make sure that bad boy is tight (but not too tight where you may strip the female end in your engine block, as that will cause major problems). Also make sure the opening with nothing screwed into it is pointing up towards you after tightening that, as you will need to access it easily.

Now, you are going to hook up your crush fitting onto the end of the brass T-fitting where you placed the adapter for your bit with the Teflon tape. I’m sure if you are doing this, you already know how crush fittings work, so I will not be explaining this. If you don’t, please consult someone that has done it before, as it is crucial this connection is correct.

So now you have a copper line (or nylon if you decided to live dangerously) coming out from your cabin/firewall going into a crush fitting, which in turn is screwed into an adapter to fit the female end of the brass T-fitting. That, in turn, is screwed into a male-to-male 3/8” brass fitting that is in turn screwed into your engine hole where you originally unscrewed your oil-sending unit. There are only a few things left!

Take your mechanical oil-sending unit you unscrewed originally from the engine and remove the old Teflon tape. Put a new strip on the male end of the mechanical oil-sending unit. Screw that into the top of the remaining opening on the brass T-fitting, making sure it is tight. Watch out for the brass T-fitting and male-to-male brass fitting to not screw with you as you are screwing the mechanical oil-sending unit it, as the crush fitting on your copper line DOES NOT like to spin.

Once completed with that, plug in your little green electrical plug you first unplugged. Triple check all connections and make sure you tightened everything, as if you lose oil from here, you could really screw up your engine.

Now go towards the end of this FAQ for the Final Instructions.



Oil pressure mechanical gauge how-to
REMOTE Mount Method:

Time:
-A little less than two hours your first time

Tools needed:
-18mm wrench
-11mm wrench (or whatever size is needed for your gauge crush fitting bits)
-1 1/4" wrench (or whatever size your steel braided line ends are)
-1 1/16”, 6point, deep-well socket OR 27MM, 6point, deep-well socket (bought at local hardware store, but is very hard to find)
-Solder iron
-24" 18 guage wire

Items needed:
-18" Steel braided line with male 3/8" pipe thread ends (bought from Detroit Flexible Steel www.hosenow.com)
-Mechanical oil pressure gauge (I used an AutoMeter Pro Comp UltraLite)
-Teflon pipe tape; Blue or Yellow container (bought at Home Depot)
-3/8” brass T-fitting with all female ends (bought at Home Depot)
-Gauge bits

Note a few things before beginning:

-Make sure the Steel braided line has at least one end that swivels or rotates as you'll want that to be screwed into the block for an easy install.

-I read countless other threads with bits of information here and there, but there was never a definitive write-up of how to install the gauge, thus I did it.

-This write up is based on the fact that you already installed the gauge into your cabin, and ran the line through the firewall. The following pic shows where you can access a grommet to put lines through it.



-The method I used is for AutoMeter Pro-Comp UltraLite mechanical gauges, and thus your gauge hardware may be different in terms of sizes. All of the crush fittings and remaining hardware will be the same.

-This is all done by touch and memory of what is down there. You do not need to jack the MINI up at all or remove a wheel or fender.

-Real estate is limited in the engine compartment of the MINI (as if you didn’t know that). So, you will not be seeing what you are doing as you are hooking up various items. However, if you have a friend along with you, that person can get on the ground right behind the passenger tire (US spec MCS) and look up to see what is happening. That person will not be able to reach up there or help out at all since space is too tight.

-Since space is so tight, I couldn’t really take any pics as it is hard to get a camera down there for anything. I did borrow a few pics from other threads, and will describe in detail as best as I can. I alos took a few final pics.

-I used a 6 foot copper line (made by AutoMeter) to run the oil from the T-fitting to the cabin. It just seems safest to cover anywhere where oil my be able to spring a leak, so I threw that nylon wire in the trash, and used copper instead. It was a little difficult to run the copper wire from the cabin to the oil-sending unit, but use your imagination on places to run it. Look at the last pic to see where I ran mine (yes I need to tape the copper line down so it doesn’t rattle, but I just finished this yesterday). Please note: DO NOT BEND THE COPPER LINE TO MUCH OR ELSE YOU WILL KINK OR BREAK IT. Please use your head.

-Total cost for this method is about $40 not including tools or the guage itself.


First thing to do is to remove your stock oil-sending unit. This is an electrical switch plugged into a mechanical plug which is screwed into your engine so it reads your oil pressure and alerts the computer (and your dummy light on the dash) saying if the engine is low on oil. So, the following picture shows where the unit is, and basically where you will be working the entire time. To find it yourself, go to the passenger fender (US spec MCS) and look down where the oil canister is. Directly underneath and a bit more towards the middle is the green plug you are looking for. The red tab slides across and then you can push the green tab to pull the top of the switch off.



Once that unplugs, you will need to extend the oil pressure sending unit. First cut the wire about an inch from the green connection head. Strip back the black wire cover on the wire attached to the engine area, then strip back some of the exposed wire. Strip about a 1/2" of wire cover back from the green head you just disconnected. Strip each end of the extended 18 guage wire as well. Now comes one of the most difficult parts. Solder the extended wire onto each end of engine block exposed wire and the green connection head end. It is difficult as there is no way to look as you're doing it, so make sure your soldering skills are really good. Electrical tape then heat shrink wire wrap around those connections to seal them up.

Next, you will need to put your 1 1/16” or 27mm socket on the place where you just unplugged. I had to use an angle bit that attaches to the socket and wrench so I could get my ½” drive socket in there. As I stated, real estate is tight, so it will be frustrating. As ColorodoMark stated “I could not get my socket wrench on there, even with assorted adaptors. So, I resorted to the vise grip method also: but I had to go buy a shorter one then what I had to fit in there.” That is possible to do, but if you work your socket wrench enough, you’ll get it. A little oil may drip out, depending on the angle of your car on the driveway or garage. Clean that up so you can see later when everything is done if you have any leaks.

If you can believe it, that was the hard part. The way the brass T will be mounted is onto the plastic casing housing the brake items (located on the passenger side US spec) on the outside of it (engine block side). One end will point towards the driver side where the copper line is originating from, one end will point towards the passenger side (US spec) wheel well and one will point down towards where the oil sending use to be. I will put up a pic here soon that will show what I mean.

Wrap the male swivel/rotating end from the steel braided line with Teflon tape then screw it into the hole you just took the mechanical oil-sending unit out of, making sure it is tight. To wrap Teflon tape, make sure you are wrapping with the way it will screw on (clockwise) for about two or three passes. Watch your hands on the piece of metal right next to the T-fitting. Now wrap the other male end of the steel braided line with Teflon tape then screw that into the brass T-fitting bottom (pointing down towards the floor).

Put any adapter needed for your gauge bits included with the gauge into the end (pointing towards the drivers side (US spec) of the brass T-fitting with Teflon tape around the male end. Now, you are going to hook up your crush fitting onto the end of the brass T-fitting where you placed the adapter for your bit with the Teflon tape. I’m sure if you are doing this, you already know how crush fittings work, so I will not be explaining this. If you don’t, please consult someone that has done it before, as it is crucial this connection is correct.

Take your mechanical oil-sending unit you unscrewed originally from the engine and remove the old Teflon tape. Wrap new Teflon tape around the male end of the oil pressure sending unit and screw that into the end of the brass T-fitting pointing towards the passenger side (US spec) wheel well. Make sure all connections are tight (but not too tight where you may strip an end, as that will cause major problems).

So now you have a copper line (or nylon if you decided to live dangerously) coming out from your cabin/firewall going into a crush fitting, which in turn is screwed into an adapter to fit the female end of the brass T-fitting. That, in turn, is screwed into an 18" steel braided line that has male ends on each end which is in turn screwed into your engine hole where you originally unscrewed your oil-sending unit. There are only a few things left!

Once completed with that, plug in your little green electrical plug you first unplugged. Triple check all connections and make sure you tightened everything, as if you lose oil from here, you could really screw up your engine.


Final Instructions:

Now comes the fun part! Have someone next to the engine watching for leaks from all of your new connections, ready to yell “Cut the engine!” if need be. Bring a towel into your cabin in case your crush fittings to your gauge on the inside were not completed correctly, and place that next to your gauge (in case oil leaks). Start your MINI, watch the gauge and be mindful of any leaks. Assuming everything is fine (and it should be, as you triple checked everything), your gauge will give you readings (look at the last reference link for what your reading swill be). Let the engine warm up for a few minutes parked, watching for any leaks at all. Once it is warmed up, take it around the block, working the engine to run some PSI to the gauge. Bring it back and park it. Immediately go to your new fittings you hooked up, and make sure everything is tightened still (as heat will cause some expanding, you probably will be able to tighten a few things a little). The most important part is to make sure your crush fitting is tight, as that may be a bit loose. Oh yeah, and your exhaust manifold will be hot, so watch out for that.




That’s it… you’re done! As a side note, either method isn't bad. I thought about remote mounting this at first, since many people posted this whole unit may vibrate a lot, especially during hard motoring while auto-crossing or the such. I initially did not go this route as this is a solid piece, screwed into a solid hole, and is not all that heavy. The only reason why I remote mounted it later was because I jacked up the engine to do a pulley swap and thought everything was fine, but I kinked the line a bit, so I lost the connection to the line. I had some time to re-do it, so I decided to remote mount it.

Any questions, feel free to ask. Motor On!


Oh yeah, and you’ll notice I did a mechanical boost gauge as well. I didn’t do a write up of this, as the threads in here are more than helpful of what to do (it’s easy). This thread and this thread are the best to use as a reference for your boost gauge install.





References:
First one.
Second one.
Thrid one.
Final one.










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  #2  
Old 04-11-2005, 10:01 AM
mmMatt mmMatt is offline
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All around great how-to, awesome job :smile:
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:39 AM
MyPocketRocket MyPocketRocket is offline
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you're the man!
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:45 AM
steebo777 steebo777 is offline
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Thanks guys. I put in the boost gauge nearly a month ago, but have put this off to figure out exactly what to do. I'm just glad it is completed, and done right.
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:51 AM
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I was thinking about doing the same thing but didn't know how to and was going to pay someone to do it. Now I may try to do it myself but just in case better save some money for install. Being if I can't get it to work. Click the image to open in full size.
Thank you for the cool info.. Good job steebo777: thumbsup:
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Old 04-11-2005, 08:07 PM
cabmeister cabmeister is offline
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Thanks so much steebo ,real good how to .
I guess the same set up could be used to do the sender in an eletrical oil pressure gauge set up as well. ??
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Old 04-11-2005, 11:51 PM
steebo777 steebo777 is offline
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Yes it could as I'm pretty sure it would be the same thing. You'd just run an electrical wire into the cabin.
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Old 06-11-2005, 09:09 PM
HAIGHTD HAIGHTD is offline
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Alta Gauge Pod and AutoMeter Electric Gauges...

Very nice thread. I'm embarking on the installation of an AutoMeter "UltraLight" electric boost and oil pressure gauge set placed in the Alta pod. I understand that ProMini makes a triple adaptor for the various electrical sending units that might share the same oil pressure port on the block. I have not been able to find any reference of this part on the ProMini web site, so a call is in order. Otherwise I'll make a trip to HomeDepot as you suggest for some brass plumbing parts. I was wondering how difficult it would be to get into the engine bay...you have been good to illuminate us all...thanks!
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:20 AM
steebo777 steebo777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAIGHTD
Very nice thread. I'm embarking on the installation of an AutoMeter "UltraLight" electric boost and oil pressure gauge set placed in the Alta pod. I understand that ProMini makes a triple adaptor for the various electrical sending units that might share the same oil pressure port on the block. I have not been able to find any reference of this part on the ProMini web site, so a call is in order. Otherwise I'll make a trip to HomeDepot as you suggest for some brass plumbing parts. I was wondering how difficult it would be to get into the engine bay...you have been good to illuminate us all...thanks!
No problem, and thanks for the kind words. Yes Promini does sell that part if you call them and ask for it. It was $50 though, and the HD way was under $15
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Old 07-03-2005, 06:36 PM
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Sending unit pic

I found this article very helpful. Thanks. I added a more detailed photo of the sending unit.
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File Type: jpg Oil_press_sndg_unit3.jpg (58.2 KB, 384 views)
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2006, 10:35 AM
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I'm kind of afraid of this now, does it just sound harder then it is? Does someone want to add anything? Are there any other how-to's with more pictures?
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:48 AM
G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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It sounds harder than it is. If you can change your oil and make basic electrical/plumbing connections, you should be able to install aftermarket oil pressure and temperature senders and gauges.

I'll be installing gauges this weekend. The main difference between steebo's oil pressure writeup and my install is that I will be remote mounting an electric pressure sender on the plastic wall of the compartment where the DSC hydraulic unit sits, similar to lotus87's setup. I will also be relocating the stock pressure switch to the same location just as lotus87 did.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:45 PM
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Be careful

Great write up and information.

I just have to caution you NOT to use this method with a electric gauge if you are planning on mounting the sender directly onto the "T" !!!

The weight, vibration, extra length and, the fact that brass can fracture are a BAD combination.I did mine this way about 2 years ago.
I also question the use of copper lines (eventually there may be problems)

Well ... while on the Las Vegas Motor speedway during AMVIV mine decided to fracture !!!
The threads broke off at the housing. Had to remove the oil filter housing, have the threads removed, and reinstall everything (NOT FUN)

Now that I know better the REMOTE mounting of the sender is the way to go.

Also the local speed shop highly recomends ALUM fittings (Russell makes them) You will not find brass on race fittings.

I have purchased the SS line and all necassary fittings and will attempt to take some photos during my re-install.

Gauge photos in my gallery and I'll post more this weekend
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:44 AM
steebo777 steebo777 is offline
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OK, I will be updating my original post within a week or so. About two months ago, I did my pulley swap with another Michigan MINI member. When jacking the engine up a bit, I was checking to make sure everything was cool including the oil pressure guage 'T' coming out from the engine block. Long story short, I did not watch carefully enough and I kinked the copper line just a bit. The caused some oil leakage but no problems since I caught it in time (the oil pressure light never went off, so I was good). I removed the 'T' from the block and capped the line going into the cabin until I had time to remote mount it.

I went to Detroit Flexible Steel (www.hosenow.com; awesome place) and got a custom stainless braided line with the correct fittings on both sides ordered today and will be picking up tomorrow. After the Dream Cruise this weekend, I'll be installing the hose and remote mounting the 'T' and sensor so this will not happen again. I do have to say though that nothing from the 'T' coming out from the block caused this to happen, just me not noticing the line getting kinked.

Original post updated now with both methods.
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Old 05-06-2007, 03:39 PM
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"To find it yourself, go to the passenger fender (US spec MCS) and look down where the oil canister is. Directly underneath and a bit more towards the middle is the green plug you are looking for. The red tab slides across and then you can push the green tab to pull the top of the switch off."

How do you "slide the red tab"?

Which way does it go? I can't figure out how this comes off....

Never mind... I just figured it out..

Last edited by supercliff; 05-06-2007 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for the How-To! I've finally got my Autometer Boost/Vacuum and Oil Pressure Gauges installed and mounted on my custom tach bracket. I'll post pics soon.

Jeremy
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:06 AM
MINIdriver85 MINIdriver85 is offline
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Will this how-to work for an electrical gauge too? I don't think it's so different, but just in case...
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINIdriver85 View Post
Will this how-to work for an electrical gauge too? I don't think it's so different, but just in case...
Should be similar. Ours includes the brass adapters for the block and gauge. But those items are available separately to work with other gauges. Let me know if I can help further!
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:11 PM
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Thanks Adam, although considering I'm in Italy I guess it will be cheaper for me to see if any local shop here has something of the right size first.

I was thinking, would it be possible to fit the gauge sender in the stock sender's place and not use a T to fit both of them? I mean, I expect this will have the oil light in the cabin go on but there's a way to fit the stock electrical switch on the gauge sender so that the light stays off?

That would make the install easier...
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:19 PM
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Are the threads on the oil press switch metric?
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINIdriver85 View Post
Thanks Adam, although considering I'm in Italy I guess it will be cheaper for me to see if any local shop here has something of the right size first.

I was thinking, would it be possible to fit the gauge sender in the stock sender's place and not use a T to fit both of them? I mean, I expect this will have the oil light in the cabin go on but there's a way to fit the stock electrical switch on the gauge sender so that the light stays off?

That would make the install easier...

It would work, but I don't know if the ECU might pull power etc. thinking that the oil pump has failed.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:15 PM
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Mmh, better to be safe and use the T. I am wondering why Cor doesn't recommend this method though. I mean, if one doesn't use brass parts, it should be resistant enough, right?
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:10 AM
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Well, I did it. I used the steel Craven Speed adapter for the pressure sender, so I could keep the stock sender too. I also fit an oil temp gauge, i put the sender in the place of the oil plug on the oil pan. I've read that the temp readings there will be lower though, so I might move it, but i'm not sure.

By the way, what would be a normal oil temp reading in the various conditions?
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:31 PM
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Just a little tidbit...

I would suggest mounting any mechanical gauges, such as oil or fuel pressure, on the exterior of the car. You don't want these fluids inside the car if a line was to break.


I have seen terrible fires in cars with fuel pressure gauges improperly mounted inside the car. The electrical gauge is a better alternative if you want the gauge inside the car.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by not-so-rednwhitecooper View Post
Just a little tidbit...

I would suggest mounting any mechanical gauges, such as oil or fuel pressure, on the exterior of the car. You don't want these fluids inside the car if a line was to break.


I have seen terrible fires in cars with fuel pressure gauges improperly mounted inside the car. The electrical gauge is a better alternative if you want the gauge inside the car.
I completely agree, in fact my oil pressure gauge is electrical
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