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Old 04-03-2005, 01:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Car: 1986 Camaro
Engine: 2.8 V6 MPFI
Transmission: 700R4

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4th gen dash in my 3rd gen Q's

I have a stock '86 camaro, and i wanted to put a good looking 4th gen dash in my car, now the only problem arises is how to get all the gauges working, now i understand that i have to change all the wiring from 3rd to 4th gen under the dash, then i have to get the speed sensor(that is the little yellow box correct?) and wire that in so my speedometer will work, but what bout the other gauges? aren't they also mechanically driven(i thought i read that somewhere here)... will i need to buy a dakota box? or will i be fine without one and what exactly does it do and how much will it cost me if i have to buy it... and another, is about the HVAC, will i have to get the entire HVAC system from a 4th gen and put it into my 3rg gen?? and i think i also read something about i need to switch the Steering Colum or something, not sure.. any input would be great!!

What are the best looking 4th gen dashs, i also want to do the manual console, but i was looking into a 2002 TA dash & console, anyone have some other pictures i might be able to see..
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:25 PM   #2
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does anyone have any feedback... i have the yellow box, but i take it i need a 4th gen yellow bow? or what...

any input would be great, see'n as i'm going to buy it tomorrow, and i dunno if it'll be worth it
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
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u might wanna do a search on this topic, its been covered over and over..... alot of people do it on this site... good luck
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:48 PM   #4
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Car: '86 Berlinetta
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There's also a bunch of stickies at the top of this page covering this topic.

I'll give a little piece of information though.

You wont need to re-wire the car to the 4th gen wiring, you'll keep your 3rd wiring, and hook it up to the 4th gen gauges (you'll just need the 4th gen pigtail).

You'll need the dakota digital box as well. One for the speedometer, and one for the tachometer more than likely. But you'll find out what you really need once you get that all set up correctly first.

I have my 4th gen dash mocked up on my Camaro right now, I need to start doing the wiring though...

The Camaro dash/center console year changes / fitment go like this.


Camaro:93-96 Squarish Dash, Squarish Center Console
Camaro:97-02 Round Dash, 4 cup-holder round Center Console
Firebird: 93-02 Round Dash
Firebird: 93-97 2 cup-holder round Center Console
Firebird: 98-02 4 cup-holder round Center Console


Now, The squares wont match up with the rounds (or vice-versa obviously).

The 97-02 Camaro, and 98-02 round 4 cup-holder Center Consoles are the exact same.

I have a '96 Firebird Dash, and 02 Camaro Center Console. These match up fine. You'll need a manual center console though, the automatic wont fit. The stock shifter is too far up, and it would require relocating the shifter, and tightening the shifter locations to work properly I believe.

Click the image to open in full size.
This is what my interior looks like currently
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:52 PM   #5
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thank you so much sellmanb, that has been the best advice i have got since i've been interested in this... i have read the stickys but i'm kinda left confused.. okay so i need the dakota box.. i need 2 separate boxes then? one for the speedometer, then one also for the rpm? or do they have a single box for both?

one more question, how about that yellow little speed sensor behind the dash? after looking i kinda wanna go with a dash like yours.. will that speed sensor be needed or do i getta check that one off?
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:58 PM   #6
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right now i think you have the cable driven vss... you will need to switch to an electronic setup signal from your tranny and then the little yellow box your talking about that will pump it out to i forget but its for the 90-92 dash signal.. you should be able to get both items from the dealer or outta a wreaker.. you might also be able to skip the yellow box if the dakota sgi-5 will take the raw signal from the vss and convert it into the ls1 signal the speedo wants..

for the tach you will need the convertor as the ls1 dash takes a 4 cyl input and the sbc pumps out a 8 cyl one... for oil pressure you might need a ls1 sendor, same goes for coolant and just convert them where the sbc senders go.. alternator is just voltage.. and the gas guage is just the 90 ohm one

with the hvac you will have to chop up the dash to match the 3rd gen heater blower box and then match the vacuum lines so you have use the 4th gen switches.. quite a bit of work there but doable if you wanna bleed alot.. a/c same thing, more wiring

i cheated and am using the entire setup from my 99.. dash.. panels, console, engine, wiring, column, rear, gas tank.. so its pretty plug and play...

i also threw out the hvac cause i just dont have the time to make it work properly and its a weekend car... its very nice once you get it done tho

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:40 AM   #7
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okay so when i go pick up a 96 firebird dash.. i need...
a VSS which is on the tranny?? i need a electrical one, not a mechanical... i'll neeed the yellow box behind the dash, the dakota digital box... and i kinda lost ya on the oil and coolant, but i get the picture..

thanks for the input guys.
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:59 AM   #8
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pretty much...

btw, all year firebird dash's will look the same, V6, V8, Firebird, Formula, Trans Am, Firehawk, they all look the same.

The difference is in color though. from 93-99 they have the grey color (charcoal I think is the factory name). From 00-02 they added black (ebony is the factory name), but they're rarer since black wasnt standard IIRC, and because of the limited years.


Good luck hunting
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:59 AM   #9
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that picture is a firebird dash correct? but as of that, wow that sucks because i need to find a black dash, so i'll be searching for an 00-02 firebird eh? alrighty.. well thanks alot for your help... would i just be best off... getting the fuel tank and pump, or try'n to convert the signal, what am i gonna use to convert the signal, i'm not sure what i'll have to buy...


theres alot more to this dash swap than i ever expected.
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Old 04-08-2005, 01:43 AM   #10
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This is the 93-96 Camaro dash in my Firebird.

Click the image to open in full size.

It has the 98+ console there though, and as you can see.. they don't line up to well. I've been trying to find a correct console, but they're never black and in good condition.
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Old 04-08-2005, 01:43 AM
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