Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Engine and transmission questions

Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:58 pm

This weekend I completed installation of a couple of additional gauges in the cockpit of our B190. The installation was not difficult but is fairly involved and was time consuming.

I installed a transmission temperature gauge. Purpose is to be able to monitor transmission temperature in the mountains and when towing. The transmission temperature sensor install is pretty straight forward and simply replaces a threaded plug that is in the transmission test port location.

I also installed an intake manifold vacuum gauge. The purpose is to use the gauge as engine feedback for optimizing fuel economy. This is achieved by driving in a manner that results in the highest vacuum level at all times. The vacuum gauge line installs with a T fitting inserted into an existing vacuum line on the engine intake manifold.

I selected Auto Meter's Z-series style gauges because both types of gauges were available in that series (both would match) and the white lettering style closely matches the appearance of the existing FORD factory instrument panel gauges. Unfortunately, Auto Meter did not have the gauges available with white needles. However, at night when the FORD gauge needles turn red, the gauges all look exactly the same.

I painted the black plastic pillar mount with a dark gray paint which is a perfect match for the dash color.

The gauges have night time illumination and are wired into the dash lights dimmer circuit. The gauges come with red or green illumination options. I installed the green lens covers which is a perfect match for the FORD green dash lights.

I’m really happy with the way the installation came out and am looking forward to using the new gauges soon!

Parts list:
Auto Meter 2640 Z-Series Electric Transmission Temperature Gauge
Auto Meter 2610 Z-Series Mechanical Vacuum Gauge
Auto Meter 17315 Gauge Works Dual Pillar mount (fits my 1993 E350)

Here is a photo of the cockpit from the driver’s point of view.
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Pillar Gauges Drivers POV.jpg
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:59 pm

Here is a side view of the pillar mount gauge installation.
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Pillar Gauges Passenger POV 2.jpg
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby lido14co » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:28 am

Nice job on the install.


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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Tucsonan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:11 pm

Great post, I have been wanting to add a transmission temperature gauge.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Leigh » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:46 pm

Sweet, good post
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby 190-b-651 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:38 pm

Thanks for the information Kentuckian!
Great job sharing your knowledge guys it is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Dennis

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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:36 pm

I've now taken a few trips after installing the new gauges including one pulling my Geo Tracker.

Things I've learned about my transmission temp...
1. Without pulling anything the transmission seems to run about 180 degrees. Good
2. Transmission temp held 180 - 190 degrees even when outside temps varied between 60 degrees and 90 degrees. Good
3. Pulling my Tracker (four wheels down) not much change hills versus flat road. Good
4. Pulling the Tracker with the AC on Max setting and stop and go traffic in town resulted in temperatures approaching 220 degrees. The same kind of driving with the AC set on normal mode resulted in temperatures around 200. Lesson learned : Don't us AC Max setting when pulling the Tracker in stop and go traffic.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby usachris » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:42 pm

Great information!

Thanks for being so detailed in your post. This is something I'd like to try as well.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby skater » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:38 pm

Kentuckian wrote: Pulling the Tracker with the AC on Max setting and stop and go traffic in town resulted in temperatures approaching 220 degrees. The same kind of driving with the AC set on normal mode resulted in temperatures around 200. Lesson learned : Don't us AC Max setting when pulling the Tracker in stop and go traffic.


I wonder why that would be. The engine fan should be running when the AC is on, and all the Max setting does (I thought) is recirculate air from inside the van - I thought the AC system would be working the same whether you're on Max or regular AC.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:14 pm

Skater -

Yes, now that I have measured a difference, I'm trying to find out why myself.

You are correct that the AC system recirculates cabin air when set to Max AC. Additionally, I have found some online comments stating that the interior heater control valve (hot water valve) closes, cutting off hot coolant flow through the heater core. If you cut the interior heater core out of the circuit, one would expect system water temperature to rise a little bit. But the difference that I measured seems large for that to be the sole explanation.

The article went on to state that while on normal AC, Ford mixes hot air with cool air to control cabin temperature. However, on max AC the hot water valve closes to assure maximum cold air.

Still investigating...

One of the things I plan to measure is the duty cycle of the compressor while on normal versus max AC.
Last edited by Kentuckian on Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby skater » Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:13 pm

Kentuckian wrote:Your are correct that the AC system recirculates cabin air when set to Max AC. Additionally, I have found some online comments stating that the interior heater control valve (hot water valve) closes, cutting off hot coolant flow through the heater core. If you cut the interior heater core out of the circuit, one would expect system water temperature to rise a little bit. But the difference that I measured seems large for that to be the sole explanation.


Also, that's the coolant, not the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid doesn't run through the heater core...

Very strange!
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:59 pm

True, the transmission fluid does not run through the heater core. But the transmission fluid does run through a portion of the radiator. So if the radiator temp raises when the interior heater core is out of the circuit, it would make sense that the transmission fluid temperature would also increase.

Unfortunately, I didn't take note of the engine coolant temperature. Next longer trip I take, I'll have to note both the coolant temperature and the transmission temperature during normal AC and also Max AC. That might be enlightening. I need to re-run the test anyway, just to make sure that it is a repeatable phenomena.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby 190-b-651 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:57 pm

Do you have a auxiliary transmission cooler.

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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby Kentuckian » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:26 am

No, mine is the stock factory configuration. Part of the reason to install the tranny temp gauge was to assess if I needed to install additional cooling for the transmission.
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Re: Transmission Temp & Vacuum gauge install

Postby 190-b-651 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:09 pm

The temperature seems to be fine without one on normal AC. Mine has a huge transmission cooler but every tow vehicle I've ever owned has had being the temperature can get a little on the warm side out here. But now I've convinced myself I need a gauge to.
After just spending a few bucks for a rebuild.

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