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Username Post: 89 to 92 guage swap        (Topic#356022)
Ab75Guy 
Poster
Posts: 3

Reg: 04-15-19
04-15-19 10:38 AM - Post#2764271    

My apologies to all for being the newbie as I know this has been covered several times, but any of the links I tried to open didn't work.

I'm looking for everything I need to know to perform this swap including the drac info, possibly notching the dash to get the connector out...etc.

I have the 89 and the 92 in my yard so parts sourcing shouldn't be an issue. TYIA



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 28909
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
04-15-19 11:08 AM - Post#2764274    
    In response to Ab75Guy

Welcome to Chevytalk,

There used to be a writeup on Fullsize Chevy. Can't remember the author's name. However the image files were lost years ago; I managed to dig them up and hosted them on my site, along with his original text, so you're in luck:

http://someotherplace.com/info/clusterswap/clus ter... - includes the DRAC tables, too, so the links in the article work.

As you can see the 88-91 connector physically plugs into pins on the back of the cluster with a fairly positive connection. 92-up clusters just have those flimsy "finger" contacts that push against flat pins on the harness connector. You might consider my approach to getting a good connection with the new cluster by marking both dashboards with a template to cut them exactly the same, creating a patch you can glue in so that you have the raised connector housing of the 92-up dash on your 89 model. Or if it's an option, just swap the dash shell complete. I'm sure many have just put the new connector hanging loose in there and smushed into the cluster but that doesn't seem too long-term durable to me.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
Ab75Guy 
Poster
Posts: 3

Reg: 04-15-19
04-16-19 04:24 PM - Post#2764356    
    In response to someotherguy

Great thanks for the info Richard! Truly appreciated. I'll read through this and come up with a gameplan. I've been told that the 91 gauge cluster is a much simpler swap, but I haven't had any luck trying to source one. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could find one?



 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 28909
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
04-16-19 04:31 PM - Post#2764357    
    In response to Ab75Guy

A 1991 cluster into a 1988-1990 truck is mostly as simple as moving 3 wires around in the connector as electronically it is very similar. You'd also still need to recalibrate the speedometer if the donor truck had a different original tire size or axle ratio as yours. A write-up on that is in our FAQ.

However, finding a needle gauge style 1991 cluster can be difficult. They were only in -some- 1991's...most were "moonie" gauges like the 1988-1990 trucks.

Another issue with any cluster you install that has a tach is the V6 vs. V8 issue; you need to stick to the same number of cylinders, so that makes finding the correct 1991 needle cluster a little bit tougher as well.

The 1992-1994 swap is some work, but in the long run might be easier than finding a good 1991 needle cluster!

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
bowtie44s 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4165
bowtie44s
Age: 36
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
04-16-19 06:13 PM - Post#2764360    
    In response to someotherguy

  • someotherguy Said:
However, finding a needle gauge style 1991 cluster can be difficult. They were only in -some- 1991's...most were "moonie" gauges like the 1988-1990 trucks.



The 91s that had a tach had needle gauges. If the truck didn't have the tach option, it had moonies. The needles with no tach didn't start until 92.

I did have to move the 3 wires Richard mentioned and I actually had to run a wire from the cluster to the coil for a tach in my 88. I guess 91 came pre wired for a tach even if it didn't have the tach/needle option.

Jeff

'88 Chevy K3500, aluminum head roller cam 511in³ stroker 10.5:1 compression, 96 NV 4500, 94-98 grille, 305/70-16 (33x12) BF Goodrich KM2s, 91 cluster swap


 
someotherguy 
Senior Moderator
Posts: 28909
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
04-17-19 08:20 AM - Post#2764389    
    In response to bowtie44s

Yes, if it's a 91 with tach, it's needle gauges, since the moonies don't have a tach. The last 91 I got needle gauges out of was a C1500 with a 5 speed, but I wouldn't bet money on every manual trans 91 having needle gauges. GM didn't hand out tachs the way you think they would have. The all-original 94 C1500 I had with the heavy 5 speed (rare option on a 1500) came with no tach. Very odd to me since it was super common by 94 to have a tach cluster...easy to remedy so I just swapped one in.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
Ab75Guy 
Poster
Posts: 3

Reg: 04-15-19
04-21-19 07:43 AM - Post#2764717    
    In response to someotherguy

Interesting information, thanks guys. Cutting up the dash and splicing in the female side of the harness from the 92 sounds like it could be problematic, and a source of long term issues for me. I’m handy, but no wizard. If the dash in my 92 didn’t have 3 cracks, I would have swapped the whole thing over. Plus I’m dreaming of an ls swap, so gauges may be an issue in the months to come anyways. I appreciate the insight!



 
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