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How To: Change Factory Clock into Voltage Meter

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Southern01Taco, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM
    #1
    Southern01Taco

    Southern01Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've been wanting a digital voltmeter in my truck for a while to keep and eye on my voltage while I was winching. So I decided that I was going to put one in place of the factory clock. I originally planned to make a simple panel to replace the clock but when I received the voltage display, I realized that the one I had ordered had no easy way to mount it. So after some pondering I decided to take the clock apart to see if it was possible to stick the voltage display inside of it somehow. Well I figured it out and this is how I did it. I don't have pictures to every step because I decided to do the write up after I had already installed it. I'll try to describe the steps not pictured the best that I can. If you have any questions, just ask and I'll be happy to help.

    Tools/Supplies Needed:

    Phillips screwdriver
    Silicone
    Superglue
    Soldering Iron and Solder

    And THIS is the voltage display that I ordered.
    I've seen them in different colors. I personally wanted red so that is why I ordered this one. Just make sure and take measurements before you order a different one so that you know for sure that it will fit.

    Steps:

    First, you want to pull the clock out of the dash. I had to pop the center bezel loose to get it out. If you don't know how to do that, first pull the A/C control knobs off, then pop the A/C panel off. That will reveal a couple of screws. Once you remove those, the bezel will pop loose. You don't have to take it completely off or at least I didn't have to. The clock is held it by clips, so it just pops out.

    26ABC990-C563-4A54-8044-2DBC593B78AE-675_37729ad45d7b0d477cd992253f56cc2b6b247ba7.jpg


    Once you get the clock loose, pull the plug out of the back of the clock and if you have the illumination ring around your key then there should be a plug to remove from that, as well.

    Next, you want to take the two screws out of the back of the clock. Also take note of the labeling on the back of the clock, you will need that later.

    C654D8B7-B029-4A8E-860C-6D8A60FF4FF7-675_bb2d998808a2c92499d7c99d1a39b2ae278f97f7.jpg

    Once the clock is loose from the bezel, then you need to pry up the four clips holding the face of the clock on. There are two on each side and it is easiest to pry up two on one side and get it started off then do the other side. WARNING: Those clips break very easily, so be careful. I actually broke one off but it still holds fine with one missing.

    9BF40590-B721-496C-828E-A5362CA070C6-675_6537c76a2af76f1581fdfc1732da0f2142964a39.jpg

    Once that face is loose, take it off and set it to the side. The buttons will probably fall out but that's fine. They do not have a specific place to go back in. If they don't fall out then go ahead and pop them out and take the little rubber bumpers off of the buttons.

    Here is a picture of the rubber bumpers.

    1D433428-8C2A-4801-92C4-20CCEDF09956-675_fe12db71164cdf7fea11df1a42ac5a79c996c94a.jpg

    If you want, you can go ahead a glue the buttons back in their place. I used a very small dab a super glue on them so, hopefully, can break them loose if I ever want to put the clock back in. I already hated pushing those little buttons, so I'm not worried about accidentally pushing them and breaking them loose. I put the glue in the small groove on the bottom of the button hole.

    888D11D7-1CD0-41CC-A920-8CAE5DEB397D-675_b91f8e80f3dd7b806e3d6e65f936b3556cf558f5.jpg

    While that is drying, you can start removing the clock display. There are two small screws holding it in. I don't have a picture of the clock display in place but I have a picture of the screws that I am referring to and also of the clock display once it is removed.

    The two screws holding the display in place.

    038EF425-8B44-4079-837B-888A6BE5A93A-675_45ed2b02289885841037ca5cb6a0b289a2baf115.jpg

    The clock display removed.

    90D5D73A-AB6B-4AE4-8A44-76812898E938-675_bef32b11543a2f53d889447643beac494f6fe0a8.jpg

    After you remove the display there will be four very small springs left on the prongs. Remove those.

    B75A302C-A753-4087-A652-25E1A304A20F-675_0b917505d030b7cc4ffad03d03eadc6bd31d20f5.jpg

    Now to hook up the wires. My display has three wires coming off of it. A red wire, black wire, and green wire. The red is power, the black is ground, and the green is the voltage input. Going back to the labeling on the back of the clock, there are four places. The ones that I used are the B (+), E (-), and ACC (+). Here is how the wires need to be soldered onto the prongs.

    B (+) = Green

    E (-) = Black

    ACC (+) = Red

    You can refer to a couple of the previous pictures to see how to hook up the wires if you need to. Also, I didn't shorten any of the wires, I just curled them up inside. You can shorten them if you would like, just to clean things up better.

    Once that is done, I would go plug it up and check to see if it works correctly. It should come on with the key just as the clock did. And it should read around 12 volts with the engine off and around 14 volts with the engine running.

    91209FEB-F29F-4C79-88A9-793D1669D9BE-675_a4097c5a238a065e923feee13dae2b64db437015.jpg

    If everything works correctly then it is time to silicone the display in. Put some silicone on the back of the display and stick it to the housing like this.

    9EED0878-72E8-4DA8-B31C-341546C815AA-675_882fb47e1803248dd83351048953a2cc8683f767.jpg

    Now put everything back together and stick the clock back in the dash. Turn it on and check to see if it is straight and you can see it good. When I first did mine, I had the display a little too high and it didn't look right so I hurried up and took it back apart and was able to move it around some before the silicone set up.

    Once you're happy with the placement, then put it all back together and enjoy.

    4EAD6AA3-AED5-4426-83E2-854B9E9AA035-273_349b7e7080b1e44ad02a2b01fb70238ebdd25eb6.jpg

    ADE31E24-F18E-4D48-94F1-F30CEEA41886-273_c95f12d0ac2a96e0ce039628da8942466c1e7c48.jpg

    E8308041-A6E2-4B32-9865-ECB263999E96-273_fb817de5ba1885df9b48ad260b5bc642648533c3.jpg
     
  2. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM
    #2
    PcBuilder14

    PcBuilder14 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely doing this! Do you think there is room underneath the meter so I could cut out the buttons and put a switch there?
     
    FirstTimeFirstGen likes this.
  3. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    #3
    Large

    Large Red

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    Damn this is genius... Someone rep this guy for me
     
    FirstTimeFirstGen likes this.
  4. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM
    #4
    Mossy

    Mossy Mechanic for Honda

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    That's pretty slick
     
  5. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM
    #5
    BEEFY_CHEESY_TACO

    BEEFY_CHEESY_TACO DUDE MAN BRO

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  6. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM
    #6
    taco47001

    taco47001 Newborn

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    This is so B.A. +1 to you sir.
     
  7. Mar 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM
    #7
    Mossy

    Mossy Mechanic for Honda

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    Where else can you order this? Shipping is 2-4 weeks unless you wanna spend $25 for next day
     
  8. Mar 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM
    #8
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Nicely done, great write-up too!
     
  9. Mar 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM
    #9
    Southern01Taco

    Southern01Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Maybe a small switch. The clock housing isn't very deep but I guess you could cut out the back and let the switch protrude through.

    I imagine you can order them off of ebay. You could also probably find something that will work at radioshack or any electronic stores. Now that I think about it, mine took a while to get here also because it was shipped from japan.
     
  10. Mar 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM
    #10
    PcBuilder14

    PcBuilder14 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, I wouldn't like having the clock buttons there for no reason... I'd probably just run a switch for interior lights or run my bass gain knob there.
     
    ZrowGz likes this.
  11. Mar 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM
    #11
    Southern01Taco

    Southern01Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    If you wanted to get real creative, I'm sure you could buy some small push button switches and mount them in a way to be able to use the original buttons for lights and whatnot.
     
    ZrowGz likes this.
  12. Mar 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM
    #12
    PcBuilder14

    PcBuilder14 Well-Known Member

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    Haha that would be pretty cool, but too detailed for me!
     
  13. Mar 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM
    #13
    BigOly

    BigOly Well-Known Member

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    Very nice! Good clean mod OP!
     
  14. Mar 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM
    #14
    TacoDell

    TacoDell Truck ~n~ Tow

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    good stuff !

    it be even better... if the original clock set buttons
    could be used to control a dual voltage/battery set up

    I'd jump at that :)
     
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  15. Mar 26, 2013 at 1:00 PM
    #15
    Southern01Taco

    Southern01Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    That would be pretty awesome. I'm sure you could fit another display underneath the one that I already have in there and then put push buttons behind the original buttons like I said earlier. Or instead of having 2 displays, you could simply T the wire that gives the voltage reading with a switch and switch from one battery to the other. I don't plan on running dual batteries but I don't think that it would be very hard to figure out.
     
  16. Feb 17, 2014 at 10:04 PM
    #16
    TACOMABOSS

    TACOMABOSS Well-Known Member

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    Badass. Im assuming the clock didn't change from 96-01 other than color?
     
  17. Feb 18, 2014 at 12:02 AM
    #17
    Pakrat

    Pakrat Well-Known Member

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    Very good idea, nice detail on your write up, I suppose a guy could get another clock at a picknpull do your mod on that one and keep original if you wanted to go back to factory clock. Very well done!!
     
  18. Feb 18, 2014 at 5:28 AM
    #18
    Southern01Taco

    Southern01Taco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. As far as I know, they didn't but don't take my word on that.

    Thanks. Yea that is what I was trying to do. Keep the factory wiring harness untouched so that you could go back with the clock if you decided that you didn't like the voltmeter or it quit working.
     
  19. Feb 2, 2015 at 5:49 AM
    #19
    acidfly

    acidfly Well-Known Member

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    So doing this. Great mod


     
  20. Feb 2, 2015 at 5:57 AM
    #20
    hogeyphenogey

    hogeyphenogey Rotted frame = New Truck!

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    Makes me wish I still had my '04 just to do this. Very creative, very nice, and very OEM-looking. GREAT JOB!!!
     

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