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Ef Guage Cluster Swap


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#1
Rampage

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This information is most useful to people who want to swap in a VSS for a Blacktop D16 Swap.

If you want to keep your original cluster its up to you to find the right combination of speedo heads and VSS switches. 1G/3G's did not come with a VSS in the CDM market. Someone with the specific USDM information should leave a link here if you want the OE cluster solution. I've tried to adapt a VSS to a CDM cluster and it will not work. The VSS switch is only part of the problem, the Drums appear to be different from VSS to non-VSS clusters, in that the VSS drum had the four-point magnet to switch the reed switch, and the non-VSS has a dummy drum. To tell which you have, the VSS drum is round with a flat or curved washer on the end, where the non-VSS is just a round drum.

The reason for this swap for me was to get a working VSS cluster in my CDM 3G Civic for a D16 Blacktop swap with fully electronic ignition. This swap gives you a gauge cluster with a working VSS, no need to open the unit unless you are correcting mileage. The dash needs to be slightly cut to relocate the speedometer on the Civic, probably similar on the CRX. You'll need the small connector from the EF Cluster because it has two more pins.

*** an interesting note about this swap ***

My CDM 1G/3G's all have Denso clusters, with no VSS.
The CDM 2G/4G's have Senkei clusters, all with VSS.

Is this the fundamental difference between Denso and Senkei? The VSS?


Moving on...

This EF Cluster came from a 90-91 Civic, and is larger with the larger cluster hood. The 88-89 is much shorter and probably would not fit cleanly in the 1G/3G cluster hood. This swap relies on keeping the cluster stationary with nothing more than a shop rag and the pressure of the cluster hood. You have to cut out the old cluster mounts to make room for this cluster. I don't have a picture, just cut to fit.

I used a dremel with a cutting wheel to make all the modifications to the dash. Without it cutting the dash would have been a lot more sloppy.

First, Note the difference in the location of the Speedometer cable to speedo head:





A dremel will make short work of that piece of dashboard:





Newly Positioned Speedo Cable:




At this point all you need to do is re-pin the connectors and you're done!

Below is the small connector (8-pin) wired up to work with the EF Cluster. Remember, this is an EF plug!

Black: Ground
Yellow/Red: VSS
Green/Black: Trunk
Blue/Yellow: Belt
Yellow/White: Fuel Guage
Yellow: IG1+ 12V
Green/Yellow: Right Signal Indicator





Next is the large connector (12-pin) Again, position your wires this way. Both clusters use the same 12-pin connector here

Green/Blue: Left Signal Indicator
Red/Blue: High Beam Indicator
Yellow/Green: Coolant Temperature Gauge
Red/Black: Illumination
Red: Illumination
Green/Red: Brake Warning Light
Yellow/Red: Oil Pressure Warning Light
Green/Orange: Check Engine Light
Black/Yellow: Battery Light
White/Blue: Battery Light
Blue: Tach




And a couple of shots with the shop rag. Its just there to hold the cluster tight against the dash and cluster hood so it doesn't flop around.






And finally a few installed:






There are two very small gaps on the very outside edge of the cluster. Well its not perfect but its exactly what the computer wants. I was thinking of making some sort of plastic plate for the ends to hide it completely but I can live with it for now.


So I hope this helps anyone that wants to swap in a newer cluster that has a VSS already inside and will fit the cluster hood almost flawlessly, to easily get a VSS signal to the computer.

Cheers,
Mark

Edited by Rampage, 11 August 2009 - 08:40 PM.


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#2
ibcnya

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Never did lke the permanant orange glow of the stock cluster, great job.

#3
Old School REX

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I for one am a big fan of the amber ambient lighting! But I will say that it surprisingly enough seems to fit the car very well... nicely done!

#4
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QUOTE (Old School REX @ Aug 10 2009, 04:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I for one am a big fan of the amber ambient lighting! But I will say that it surprisingly enough seems to fit the car very well... nicely done!


same here.

and the 4g Si's kind of have a slight red glow..
1986 Civic Si; b16a is in.. just gotta get it running..
longest swap ever..... :(

#5
ChrisF-dude

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Looks good.

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#6
hatchbox

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Looks great and solves alot of problems. Keep up the good work. I'll make sure to keep my eyes peeled for these at the wrecking yard.
Get more bang 4 your buck.

#7
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AWESOME! thats a great find dude. there is nothing better than making a honda better with different factory honda parts. great find and needs to be in the wiki on junkyard parts compatability
QUOTE (kjeffery @ Apr 17 2009, 06:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yet again Scott, you have all the answers

QUOTE (cbstdscott @ Apr 17 2009, 07:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No. All the answers are in the Kakabox build thread.

QUOTE (Lymitliss @ May 26 2009, 08:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ohh yeah I guess that makes sense. King Kaymo has all the answers :lol:

#8
JEM MotorSports

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Great write up!
very informative for motor swap options..

..aside from doing the EF cluster swap to obtain VSS, how else do RPR members work around this issue?
There are plenty of motor swaped 1st/3rd gens on here...


#9
strudel

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QUOTE (Rampage @ Aug 9 2009, 11:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This information is most useful to people who want to swap in a VSS for a Blacktop D16 Swap.

If you want to keep your original cluster its up to you to find the right combination of speedo heads and VSS switches. 1G/3G's did not come with a VSS in the CDM market. Someone with the specific USDM information should leave a link here if you want the OE cluster solution. I've tried to adapt a VSS to a CDM cluster and it will not work. The VSS switch is only part of the problem, the Drums appear to be different from VSS to non-VSS clusters, in that the VSS drum had the four-point magnet to switch the reed switch, and the non-VSS has a dummy drum. To tell which you have, the VSS drum is round with a flat or curved washer on the end, where the non-VSS is just a round drum.

Mark,
You are correct about the difference in drums in the rear of the speedo heads. It's a 50/50 chance that you will get one that works. READ this post
These are CRX CDM speedos. One on the left (silver or aluminum drum) is NON VSS, One on the right (brass color and flat thing sticking up) is a VSS capable unit. Both Denso. The USDM's are the same. I can't vouch for the 3G Civic as I only have one and it is a Non VSS unit.

QUOTE (Rampage @ Aug 9 2009, 11:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Moving on...

This EF Cluster came from a 90-91 Civic, and is larger with the larger cluster hood. The 88-89 is much shorter and probably would not fit cleanly in the 1G/3G cluster hood. This swap relies on keeping the cluster stationary with nothing more than a shop rag and the pressure of the cluster hood. You have to cut out the old cluster mounts to make room for this cluster. I don't have a picture, just cut to fit.

Good job on this alternative. So is the rag the final instal or is there a better method of solid mounting the new cluster? This works Civic to Civic. Do you think this will work EF Civic to 1G CRX? I haven't had time to play at the JY with a 1G cluster hood to see if something else will fit into it nicely. It is very tight behind the CRX cluster and depth may be an issue.

Wiring should be a relatively simple repin if all the components are the same. One just has to compare the wiring layout on the rear and adjust accordingly.

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#10
Rampage

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As a matter of fact I have a CRX Si wiring harness and dashboard harness in my Civic. I had also swapped the CRX cluster in my civic before the D16A1 to be compatible with my swapped D15A3. I had the same method for swapping the CRX cluster into my Civic, using a shop rag to steady the cluster. The plastic tabs on the bottom of the CRX cluster are in a slightly different position than the civic, so the hood has to go above them for a clean install, its enough for the cluster hood to flex in the middle at the bottom to sit over these tabs, and yet looks perfectly stock to the untrained eye! In other words, the CRX and Civic clusters are interchangeable with my super-secret mounting method.

Yes, the shop rag is the final install. The hood is perfectly in place and puts just enough pressure on the cluster to keep it all stuck in place. I haven't pulled the CRX cluster out of my 1G yet, but I imagine it would be a similar swap, cutting where necessary to fit, mainly the speedo location and cluster mounts. You can make some sort of custom fab option if your REALLY want the cluster to be bolted in, but i'm telling you now, its not necessary. The EF cluster is a bit larger and fits great under pressure of the cluster hood... you may have problems if swapping into a CRX as the cluster hood mounts up differently.

I have never seen a CDM VSS cluster but it does appear you have one! Yes, that flat washer dealy is the identifier for a VSS capable speedo.

Regardless of your vehicle, if you position the wires as shown above it will all work with that particular cluster. I'm unsure if there is any difference between CDM and USDM EF clusters, but as you said, carefully tracing the printed circuit on the back will give you your answers.

Lastly, this post is going to become a sticky in the swaps forum!

Cheers,
Mark

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#11
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OK so the factory plugs for the factory 3g Speedo cluster wont plug into the 88-91 CRX Cluster. Your car is already wired 88-91 CRX correct?
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#12
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QUOTE (DEIVIONCRX @ Aug 11 2009, 07:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK so the factory plugs for the factory 3g Speedo cluster wont plug into the 88-91 CRX Cluster. Your car is already wired 88-91 CRX correct?

I'm thinking he meant a 1G CRX cluster into his 3G but I will let Rampage answer this correctly. Since the pins come out fairly easily with a small pick they can be swapped into a different Honda connector. Hopefully the two connectors have similar wires or you may have to extend some to the correct connector. JS

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#13
Rampage

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You need the connectors from the EF cluster....

The small one is 8-pin and the large is 12-pin... I believe the 12-pin is the same.

Sorry its in the write-up but its easy to miss, I will bold a few things...


My car has the 1G CRX harness for the fuel-injection wiring when I did the D15A3 a long time ago, and the wires in the dashboard are also CRX, I only needed to extend the clock wires. Also I may have had to move some wires around, but stripping back all the tape and loom they plugged up without needing to cut and lengthen/shorten. The car is still my DD, so I do intend to do just that when I take it off the road at the end of the season. As it stands the wires are spaghetti'd in there!

Cheers,
Mark

Edited by Rampage, 11 August 2009 - 08:46 PM.


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#14
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Ok so the pins are the same, you just repinned your factory wiring into the 88-91 CRX Plugs.
Posted Image

#15
Rampage

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Now you've got it.

Almost.

It was a civic cluster, not sure if the 2G/4G had cluster differences though.

I don't really have much knowledge of the 2G CRX and I haven't really paid attention to the cluster design in relation to the 1G CRX. I'm willing to bet its easier to swap a 2G cluster into a 1G and a 4G cluster into a 3G.

And to be less vague,

1G = 84-87 CRX
2G = 88-91 CRX
3G = 84-87 Civic
4G = 88-91 Civic

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