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Old 03-11-2019, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gauge sensor grounds help

I bought 11 gauges for replacing my cluster and Iím curious if I can ground each sensor on the engine or do I need to run the sensor grounds all the way to the gauges individually?
The gauges with sensors are water temp, trans temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure, boost, air pressure. Itís a diesel so no wideband or any special gauges.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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depending on the sensor/sender, some may ground themselves through the body where it threads into the port. for example a lot of oil pressure senders are this way, which is why they only have a single wire. otherwise, you should be able to ground at the engine somewhere. the engine block should be at the same ground as the rest of the vehicle.

how are you installing your water temp sender? when I used a radiator hose adapter for a water temp sender, i had to add a ground wire from the aluminum adapter to the vehicle ground because the water temp sender needed to ground itself through the threads. but since the threads were in an adapter that ONLY touched radiator hoses, it wasnt grounded on its own. however i now have my water pump drilled and tapped, so the temp sender grounds directly through that.

also depending on the fuel pressure sender, it may have the ground wire built into the harness that you run to the gauge. my autometer fuel pressure gauge uses a 3-wire sender, one of those wires is ground, and all 3 wires have their own harness that plugs directly into the gauge. no need to add a ground for the sender.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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All the pressure senders are 3 wire and the temp sensors are 2 wire. I thought I could ground them all to the engine when I built the harness
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Also forgot to run one 5v reference wire. I can combine it with one of the others can't I?
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In theory you could run all those gauge grounds to a small bus bar and run one ground to the engine.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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so the 3-wire senders shouldnt need any "extra" grounding or anything. there should be a black wire as one of the 3 wires, and that is your ground. Do the 3-wire senders have their own harness that just plugs directly into the back of the gauge?

for the 2-wire temp senders, one will be signal, one will be ground. where you ground it is pretty much your choice. if making a whole harness, i would run the ground wire into the harness and splice it with a "stock" ground wire, so that way it looks nice and you dont have a few random little wires sticking out all around the engine.

what is the 5v reference for?
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The 5v reference is the red wire on the 3wire sensors. They all plug directly into each respective gauge
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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what kind of gauges do you have? you are making it seem more complicated than it should be lol
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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what kind of gauges do you have? you are making it seem more complicated than it should be lol
I have Speedhut gauges, and youíre probably right haha
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i looked up your gauges online, I did the fuel pressure for example. it should include a long harness that connects to the pressure sensor on one end, and a 3 pin molex style connector on the other end, that should connect directly into the gauge. you DO NOT need to add any wires to this sender! that 3 pin harness includes your 5v, ground, and signal, all in one. just to make sure, you can pull back the black covering a little and see if there are in fact 3 wires in the sensor connector.

Now looking at a water temp gauge on their site, it should also include a long black harness that connects to the sender on one end, and a 3 pin molex style connector on the other end, that should connect directly into the gauge. you DO NOT need to add any wires to this sender! that 2 pin harness includes your ground and signal, all in one. just to make sure, you can pull back the black covering a little and see if there are in fact 2 wires in the sensor connector. If you want to verify this, plug the sender into the harness and leave the molex side unplugged. get a DMM and set it to continuity. put one test lead on the body of the sender, and the other lead to whatever pin the black wire goes into (as long as they use the "standard" ground wire color of black) and you should have continuity.

it seems like this brand of gauge has already done the "hard work" of grounding the sensors for you, which is pretty nice actually.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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They are very nice gauges. The reason i asked is because I have modified my oem dash harness to wire up all of the gauges in the oem bulkhead. That way there isnít 8 different wire bundles running through the firewall. But when doing this, I left out the individual sensor grounds. IE, I ran 2 wires for every 3 wire sensor.
I also missed one of the 5v red wires too.
The gauge sensor wires will be integrated into the oem engine harness on the other end.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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wait....what do you mean they will be integrated into the OEM wiring harness? you want to use the engines OEM sensors for your aftermarket gauges? yeah that isnt gonna work...

with the gauges you bought, each gauge should only need a power and ground wire ran to them, and then the sensors connect to the gauge.

if you have like a tachometer and speedometer, those should only require a single sensor wire each besides the power and ground.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No. Not using factory sensors. What I meant by integrating it was that I'm using the existing dash harness bulkhead connector to run all the sensor wires through. That way there isn't a rats nest of extra wires everywhere.
This pic is the finished harness. I pulled the factory dash harness apart, got rid of the airbag wiring, ABS, old gauge wiring, speaker wires and some other shit that won't be used.
I soldered and ran new wires from the bulkhead connector for the new gauges, alarm system wires, rocker switches and various warning lights.
Everything new uses Delphi GT series connectors and I wrapped it with PET braid and tesa tape and heat shrink.

On the engine side I'll be doing the same thing. Removing wires and pins not needed and replacing with new gauge sensor wires and hopefully making it look decent too.

Reason for the question is that I missed one of the 5v reference wires for one of the gauge sensors and was trying to avoid pulling the harness apart again.
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ahh, now I see the trouble you are running into. i would contact the manufacturer and ask them. I would think 5v is 5v, as long as each sender uses 5v as reference.
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