In the early years of my vehicle modification, I would buy the flashy $60 gauges from AutoZone and install them in an A-pillar pod. Back then it was more about how I wanted the car to "look", than about gauge accuracy or reliably. Then at some point I upgraded to Autometer gauges, I bought a mechanical oil pressure gauge from PepBoys for about $70. Install was easy and it lasted a long time, about 3 years. Until one day the oil line broke from heat in the engine bay and I had a massive oil leak. After that experience I went to ONLY electric gauges, still Autometer brand. In January of 2016 I did the 2ZRFE swap on the Yaris and Installed a NEW Electric air core oil pressure gauge for $80-$90. This gauge worked great and the install was not bad, except that they don't include wiring with the kit and you need to make your own. Not a big deal. We daily drove the 2zrVios for 6 months and raced it every month, putting 10,000 miles on the swap (and the gauge). In June the car was down again for the Cusco LSD/4.3 final drive. In January of 2017 the car was complete and out racing again in February, but it was no longer daily driven. Then in April the gauge started shutting down randomly, I assumed it was a loose connection some where and just forgot about it. A few races later the gauge was completely dead. I removed it and checked voltage and resistance, the wiring is all good so I call Autometer. They tell me to do a few tests but I can't because the gauge will not power up at all, so now I have to send it in for a "pro-rated repair cost". Um...how about no, Im done being cheap.
I Messaged my buddy Neal over at The Racers Line and he recommended the same thing John did....Defi Racer Gauge. I told him to send me everything I need for coolant temp, since I have watched the 2ZR have consistently great oil pressure for a while now. I received the gauge and the coolant hose adapter in 2 business days and got right into the install.
The wiring and sensor provided with kit are obviously high quality, color coded on the gauge end and using propriety connectors. The power supply harness is separate and has the same connector for all Racer Gauges, they even have their own fuse holders! There is a B+ power connection, a IGN on power connection, a ILL connection for lights, and a GND connection for the chassis. I used Mini-Add-A-Circuits to make the two 12V connections to the fusebox, then used a eyelet to make the ground connection. The kit also comes with a gauge mounting cup and bracket in case you don't have a pod already. Now its time to install the sensor and adapter. The Perrin hose adapter is pretty easy, remove the upper radiator hose, mark and cut it, install the adapter, then reinstall the hose. You want to apply a layer of teflon tape to the sensor then screw it into the adapter until it becomes "snug".
You can now connect the sensor and run the sensor harness into the cabin to make the connection at the gauge. Use zip ties to secure the harnesses and then top off your coolant, fire up the engine and bleed out the air. You will enjoy watching this gauge work, it has an opening/ending mode and is equipped with the latest STEP MASTER VS-2 stepper motor. It is extremely accurate and provides instant feedback to fan cycling and engine load changes in 2 degree increments. I can't wait to install more of these gauges, but first we have to test this one at Willow Springs later this month. Don't waste your time or money buying budget gauges, spend a bit extra and enjoy piece of mind.
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