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Old 09-05-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
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Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

I currently bought a 84 Camaro that I had been wanting since I saw it when I was around 16, it was my Aunt and she drove it like she stole it. So it's going to need a complete restore in a way, which I have all planned out. So knowing she had alot of problems with her digital dash (she'd replace the whole panel 2 times that I can remember), I was curious if I could totally get away from the digital and go to gauges but not quite sure if I could go out and get a gauge cluster from another Camaro with the same dash set up and just hook it up. If anyone could provide some information on swapping I would highly appreciate it.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Please anyone with information on this swap or if they could point me to a thread with much the same problem I would highly appreciate it. It's about the only thing I have left to figure out on the car.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:27 AM   #3
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Well unfortunately its not quite a strait forward swap. The digital dash set up is very different from the analog gauge cluster of other years. The digital dash has different connectors no speedometer cable ect. Now thats not to say you cant swap to analog gauges but you might be better off getting aftermarket gauges and wiring them in unless you could find a parts car you could take a fair share of parts from cheap. Even then factory gauges are not exactly precision instruments where quality aftermarket gauges are a bit more accurate.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

I just did this in my 85 camaro. It was/still is a mess. none of my berlinetta instrumentation worked right. The actual dashboard and center console are both different in a berlinetta than any other camaro. I swapped out everything. You will need a complete (including modules, fuse blocksetc.) wiring harness(both dash side and engine side) from an 84 camaro. (I say 84 because that way you know the wiper motor, junction blocks in the car etc are all the same. 83 85 and 86 may work. You will need a steering column, dash board, center console out of the same car, you will need the hvac controls, and the vaccuum lines for it. you will need to get a speedo cable, and the adapter for the trans where the cable connects, as your car has a VSS on it.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

your other option would be to try and make a custom dash panel to fit where your digital one is. you would have to then figure out what to use for turn signal indicators (I used leds from radio shack), and find what wires in that gauge cluster connector are for the turn signals in order to wire them up. The common problem with your car is that the light control module goes bad. They are very hard to find. If your cluster goes black when you turn the lights on, the module is bad. Confused yet?

Last edited by 75nova; 09-13-2009 at 07:02 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

If you did want to do it though i happen to be parting out a 85 birlinetta and could sell you everything you wanted for the swap but its a lot of work and expencive as alot of these parts are pretty rare aka expencive.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Well I know what I would like to do, but then of course the more I hear about switching to analog from digital. Knowing this car has had a lot of problems in the long run with the digital. Course having the money to do this switch from what it sounds like is going to be a bit pricey even thou I already have gauges to make the dash and of course being a little acknowledged in doing a bit of metal fabrication for the panel itself. Course knowing the history of the car in the long run I think personally it would probably be cheaper to do the switch now while I have the car apart then later on once everything is put back on it.

With a little experience of going junk yard diving, I found that there's not many third gen camaros out there that aren't already dang near stripped of all such things. Personally I'm not one to mess with electric stuff on cars, reason I have a friend I go to for such things, give me a motor and I can do my magic. I plan to take out all the power windows and locks from the car just because I like things old school.

Last edited by MamaBear's 84; 09-13-2009 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

I got everything for $150 to swap mine. that includes from firewall back to center console. Heating ducts, dash, wiring, radio, hvac controls, steering column, everything except the actual gauges seeing I went with autometers. It was more time consuming than expensive.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

This car honestly will not have a radio there will be no point in it unless I need it for some reason. Honestly like to hear the sound of the engine while I drive.

But it's good to hear I won't have to pay an arm and a leg. Already giving an arm and a leg for my rebuild on my engine and my paint job lol, need the other ones to finish it. I'll probably see about hitting up a few of the junk yards I haven't hit yet and see what I can dig up honestly. As for the time and work put into it, there's nothing wrong with that, I like when I can put my blood, sweat, tears, and headaches into something I picture in my head for my car.
Most people are like honestly why bother with this car.. Why did you buy it... I simply tell them how it is for me.. it's like I don't see what it is today, I see in my mind what is possible and just do it. Much like a blank canvas and an artist.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:27 AM   #10
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

(I lost what I wrote previously.)

You can buy replacements but many times what you get is just as bad as what you're replacing. I've got a lot of money invested in Burly parts that are no better than what I already have. Yes the parts are rare, but is a digital Camaro going to be worth anything? Could be, but not as popular/desirable as an IROC or much of anything else for that matter and the car would have to be mint to be considered collector status. But still the difficulty of keeping one up and running may mean that even less will be around later on.

I've been questioning my effort to keep mine stock and I'm still not sure which way to go with it. I ran with a standard console for a while and you do have to do some trimming on the upper drivers side. You do get an extra spot for something where the HVAC used to be. There's no where to attach the upper part of the console but mine was fine without it anyways. I also considered modifying the radio pod as part of a swivel carputer system but haven't looked into it too much.

I would check into making a custom gauge cluster and take advantage of the electronic output from the transmission for an aftermarket speedo. The rest should be fairly straight forward. You can take a triple autometer set up apart and use those gauges pretty cheap, but the speeedo and tach will prob set you back $100-$200 but also more accurate than stock. You could leave the pods when doing this. It is possible to re-solder the buttons if they become difficult to use.

I know some people that did complete dash swaps and they turned out good, but you might want to look into a 4th gen dash as well.

It's late, long day but thought I'd throw some thoughts and ideas your way.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas all of you. With some thoughts I do believe I will be making a custom dash panel, after all I've got a piece of sheet metal doing nothing in my boyfriend's garage that I can fab to fit the dash panel. It's just figuring out what I need to get to make the swap do-able. But I do have a set of American Muscle gauges I got from a friend for cheap, they decided they no longer needed them and stayed stock.

Also any ideas and thoughts won't be turned down, always having extra advice helps.

My third gen won't be kept at stock, I do know that much. Specially since I have a nice 350 that I'm going to bore 30 over, along with a few other things that I've had that I've pulled from other friend's camaro's (which they have wreaked) wish I would have grabbed more of the electronics in the cars but I was more interested in rear axles, transmissions, and the like. Made some good money pulling parts from friend's cars that were just going to go to the junk yard. Course you never know what kinda of car your going to get until you get it. Only reason I got my third gen is because it was needing to be move due to a divorce, so instead of letting it go to the junk car I snagged it up from my aunt for 100 bucks. No reason in letting another third gen go to the junk car due to a blown motor, when I had one. But it's a work in progress, haven't been able to do much just yet, besides get it ready for sanding and prep work for primer and paint.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #12
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

do you have any photos of the digital dash?
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:06 PM   #13
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Not at the moment but I can always go and take pictures of the digital dash tomorrow, course I won't be able to turn it on to actually show the lights and such since I have to replace the tumbler for the ignition.

Actually planned to go take more pictures of the camaro today but other things got in the way.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:16 AM   #14
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Here's a pic of the dash:
Click the image to open in full size.

One of the pods was giving me trouble so I disassembled it and re-soldered the buttons. not a fun job.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I didn't get any pics of when it was apart, but this shows another one I have. I had to pull up each of the foil buttons and add a little to the center contact. It works great now. No more fighting with it all of the time.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:08 AM   #15
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpner View Post
Here's a pic of the dash:
Click the image to open in full size.

One of the pods was giving me trouble so I disassembled it and re-soldered the buttons. not a fun job.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I didn't get any pics of when it was apart, but this shows another one I have. I had to pull up each of the foil buttons and add a little to the center contact. It works great now. No more fighting with it all of the time.
awesome dash dude very knight rider
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:58 PM   #16
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Re: Digital to Gauge Swap on Instrumental Panel on 84 Camaro

This is a major undertaking. Contact this guy before you get in over your head.
http://www.berlinetta.info/
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