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Replacing the clock but keeping factory appearance

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by MagtechPA, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. Dec 14, 2019 at 1:41 PM
    #1
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA [OP] Thor

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    Hey everybody,

    I got tired of my factory clock fading in and out due to the faulty circuit board, but I love the clock and wanted to upgrade it while keeping that same look. I love the way the clock hides behind a piece of smoked plastic, so I decided to upgrade it and keep it that way.

    I bought a digital clock off of an online auction site :anonymous: and chose the green option for illumination so it would match the rest of the dashboard at night.
    This particular clock also indicates inside/outside air temperature as well as system voltage. I know those are basically novelties, but I like the fact that it automatically scrolls through those readings on its own.
    It came with two wired temperature sensors - one of which has about 3' of extra wiring so you can route it to the exterior of the passenger compartment. You can see the new clock and wiring in the bottom right corner in the picture below.

    IMG_1471.jpg

    I started by cutting a piece of 1/8" smoked polycarbonate sheeting to fit the opening where the factory clock was. There was a protective film on both sides, so I kept that on until I was ready for final assembly.
    I cut it wider than the original and notched the sides so it would fit in snug with the screw posts, and it's held in place simply by pressure from the clock assembly once it's all screwed down.

    IMG_1472.jpg IMG_1474.jpg IMG_1475.jpg



    The clock assembly actually fit really well into the factory housing, so I simply approximated where it needed to be and epoxy'd that thing in there! :rofl:

    IMG_1476.jpg IMG_1478.jpg

    After marking where the two buttons would be on the other side, I drilled two holes in the polycarbonate so the clock could be adjusted without tearing the whole thing apart.

    IMG_1480.jpg IMG_1483.jpg

    Wiring was easy, for the most part. I simply reused two of the terminals from the factory harness and wired it up to the ACC feed so it wouldn't be on all the time. It must have an internal capacitor or battery because it still keeps time even when the ignition is off.

    Success!

    IMG_1484.jpg

    IMG_1486.jpg IMG_1492.jpg IMG_1490.jpg

    The only drawback is that the temperature readings are in celsius, so I had to figure out the conversion until I could figure out how to program it. :rofl: It came straight from China and had no instructions whatsoever.

    Just wanted to share in case anybody else likes the stock appearance of the clock but wants it to actually be reliable. :D
     
    ak97taco, CS_AR, SwampYota and 11 others like this.
  2. Dec 14, 2019 at 1:49 PM
    #2
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I like the OEM look with ability to see the temperature outside. After living half of my life in USA I'm "dual system" now - it means I "feel and see" values in both systems without converting co Celsius is no issue for me. Any details about the "digital clock off of an online auction site"?
     
    GQ7227 likes this.
  3. Dec 14, 2019 at 2:36 PM
    #3
    04TRDV6

    04TRDV6 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. I second the request for details about the clock. Were you able to figure out the programming to show F rather than C?
     
  4. Dec 14, 2019 at 3:39 PM
    #4
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA [OP] Thor

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    Thanks!

    I didn't know if I would be breaking any rules if I linked the site, but here is where I got it:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-3in1-V...tmeter-Clock-LED-Digital-Display/133220914367

    It's not exactly top-of-the-line so time will tell if this thing holds up or not. It might last only a month or two and then fizzle out. :notsure:

    I haven't gotten a chance to program it yet, but will noodle around with it tomorrow and report back!
     
    cruiserguy, 04TRDV6 and GQ7227 like this.
  5. Dec 14, 2019 at 5:22 PM
    #5
    4xdog

    4xdog Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done. Is the temperature indicating a realistic point outside the vehicle? Three feet of sensor cable doesn't sound like it would take it much beyond the firewall.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2019 at 6:09 PM
    #6
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA [OP] Thor

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    Well, you’re 100% right about that. I stuck the sensor through the grommet in the firewall near the gas pedal, and it gets a fairly accurate reading... as long as you’re moving. :rofl:

    I just discovered that as soon as I stop at a red light, the heat in the engine bay begins to build and that number shoots right up. It’s kind of funny, to be honest.
    I will have to find a solution for that.
     
    cruiserguy likes this.
  7. Dec 14, 2019 at 9:40 PM
    #7
    Area51Runner

    Area51Runner Well-Known Member

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    Nice job! Should be able to just extend the temp wire.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2019 at 11:05 PM
    #8
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Questions:
    1.Can that clock be set to stay on the one reading (for example clock only)? I don't like flashing things. I asked other people and nobody is bothered by flashing LED tail lights from some cars that use the same LED lamp for tail and stop (dual intensity LED with PWM). But me, they drive me crazy.

    2.If the answer for the first question is yes, will two units fit in the original clock opening? I don't care about the voltage display but knowing outside temperature is nice - all my other cars have a temperature display from the factory.
     
    CS_AR likes this.
  9. Dec 15, 2019 at 4:58 AM
    #9
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA [OP] Thor

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    1. Yes! You can push the top button once to cancel the scroll feature and it will simply display the time. You can push it once again to display the temperatures and system voltage, also without the scroll feature. For some reason the system voltage does not show up in the scroll.

    2. Possibly, but it would be tight and the two clocks would have to be stacked right on top of one another. I don’t want to tell you 100% yes and then you can’t fit them in there and get mad at me. :rofl:
     
  10. Dec 15, 2019 at 5:07 AM
    #10
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Me mad? Never. Thank you for the info. Surfing Ebay considering playing with these units. I have working clock so I'm in not immediate need but having a temp would be cool. These units may have potential maybe with custom 3d printed mounting case.
     
  11. Dec 15, 2019 at 7:24 AM
    #11
    MagtechPA

    MagtechPA [OP] Thor

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    Took a pic of the system voltage readout:

    0005A946-4026-4D4C-BAA4-E2752F89E6E2.jpg
     
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  12. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:05 AM
    #12
    Taco critter

    Taco critter #mall crawler , patw and ,ttc#0247

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    Looks good
     
  13. Dec 15, 2019 at 6:55 PM
    #13
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    That’s definitely a cool mod. But for me I can’t even see it because the steering wheel is in the way. Worst place for a clock EVER.

    If it were 2” to the right, I’d be all over this.
     
    JKU3000 likes this.
  14. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:33 PM
    #14
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    Anithet benefit of having first model of first gen.
     
  15. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:36 PM
    #15
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    I had a 97 5 lug and I'm pretty sure the clock was in the same place. Could be wrong, though, that was ages ago, lol

    I think it's just not an issue for some folks depending on seat position and height, etc...
     
  16. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:38 PM
    #16
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I thought it's a steering wheel style.
     
  17. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:45 PM
    #17
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    Yeah, that's part of it for sure. But I don't like how you have to look through the steering wheel to see it in the first place. Turn slightly, or move your hands and you can't see it.

    Wouldn't have killed Toyota to put it 2" to the right...
     
  18. Dec 15, 2019 at 8:45 PM
    #18
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    By the way I just ordered two units to be an organ donors ans see if I can Frankenstein some clock/temperature unit. They say these clocks can be dimmed by config so I will see if it is possible to have them dimmed by 12V input like the factory clock. That would be cool.
     
    cruiserguy likes this.
  19. Dec 15, 2019 at 9:05 PM
    #19
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I bet it was inherited from pickup (pre-Tacoma). With skinny steering wheels it was no issue then.

    DSC01951(2).jpg
     
  20. Dec 15, 2019 at 10:13 PM
    #20
    04Pre_Runner

    04Pre_Runner Well-Known Member

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    Or the 3rd gen 4Runner having it between climate vents (think it was changed to that for 99-02).
     

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