Autometer Ultra-Lite 30/20 Boost Gauge

I completed the installation of my new Autometer Ultra-Lite 30/20 boost guage last night, Wednesday 8/4/99, after work. The installation started on Tuesday night with the removal of the interior pillar, running the plastic tubing down to the floor, through the rubber covering around the steering column, and into the engine bay. I found that a wire coat hanger was very useful in pulling the plastic tubing around inside of the engine bay - definately recomended if you are like me and do not want to wait around for the engine to cool off before you start working. :)

I decided to tap the gauge into the throttle vacuum tube, per recommendation by the DSM VFAQ. After cutting the hose cleanly in half, I realized that I had completely underestimated the interior size of the tube when I purchased my plastic T connector from Pep Boys. The tube fits snug around a 1/8th inch plastic adapter, but I had purchased 1/4". Luckily I had the proper size parts and tubing to patch it together, as it was too late in the evening to head back to the store.

In the end, I used 1 1/8"-1/8"-1/8" plastic T connector, and 1 1/8th" vacuum tube (2" long). The T connector fits perfectly into the throttle vacuum line, but the plastic tube that came with the gauge would not fit over it. I had to run the 1/8" inch vacuum tube from the connector, and then run the plastic tubing inside of that vacuum tube (since it would stretch a bit). The connections seemed strong enough to hold it on. I will probably go back when I have more time and see if I can make the connection more air tight. Maybe just a layer of electrical tape will help secure it.

Attaching the gauge to the tubing on the otherside turned out to be even more complicated. A friend of mine and I stared at the assembly directions that came with the guage for atleast an hour, and we could not make heads or tails of it. None of the parts that come with the installation kit are marked, and I swear the pictures on the single sheet of instructions were drawn by Picasso - cause they did not look anything alike.

Eventually I threw up my hands and said forget it. I followed my own instructions. :) I slid one of the sealing nuts onto the tube, followed by one of the small metal ferrules. I glued the ferrule in place with epoxy, and then screwed the sealing nut into the back of the gauge. It is held in place by the epoxyed ferrule quite well. I slapped the gauge into the apillar and tested it out - worked great. We will see if it stops working in a few months. :) I need to go back and wrap silicone tape around the threads of the screw though.

Below is a picture of the gauge, mounted in my Lo-Tek data pillar.

Update 4/17/01

I ditched this boost gauge quite a while ago. It was definitely a good piece to start with. It was cheap, anyways. The reason for ditching the gauge was cosmetic, more than it was functionality. I wanted to have a matching set of gauges - EGT and Boost. But the Autometer EGT's only go up to 1600F, and I know that I can safely hit 1650F for short periods of time. The GReddy gauges ended up being the obvious choice at that point.