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Thread: Digital Dash Retrofit

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Posts:    9

    Digital Dash Retrofit

    Hey everyone,

    I recently finished retrofitting a digital instrument cluster from a 1987 Opel Kadett into my DeLorean.

    IMG_20200906_180031260.jpg

    IMG_20200906_180051542_MP.jpg

    IMG_20200906_180133712.jpg

    I bought the instrument cluster off ebay from a guy in Lithuania. After bench testing the instrument cluster and verifying it worked, I began the retrofitting process...which took a while. I finally finished, though, and the gauges all work. The speedometer is GPS driven, I'm using this sender unit from Dakota Digital. The odometer is also accurate, it was relatively easy to disassemble it and put the correct mileage on it.

    As to why I did this, a couple reasons. One, I always liked the look of old digital instrument clusters from the 80s and 90s. Two, I got tired of the DeLorean speedometer constantly breaking, I must have fixed it at least five times. I replaced the angle drive at least twice, the dust shield at least twice, replaced the speedo cable more than once, etc. So I used that as an excuse to retrofit a different one in. I have some more photos of my build process if anyone's interested.

  2. #2
    Under Ron's watchful eye. Glory be to Ron! Michael's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Posts:    4,130

    My VIN:    None of your business you creepy psycho vin counter...get a life

    Now that's classy!

  3. #3
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Stevens Point,WI

    Posts:    2,192

    My VIN:    6125

    That's a really clean looking install and looks right at home with the rest of the gauge cluster. Great job on integrating everything so well. Looks like you also had to create a custom clear lens for the trip odometer reset? Seems like something that took a lot of time and patience to get right. Nice work

  4. #4
    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Location:  Houston, TX

    Posts:    747

    All I can say is WOW!

    ...and, it sort of reminds me of the old C4 Corvette dashes. Always loved them.

    Great work!

    ...
    Keeper of the DeLorean Owners Directory, at www.DeloreanOwnersDirectory.net

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  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Posts:    9

    Thanks for the kind words. I did indeed create a custom instrument cluster lens, the trip reset switch is in a different location and I didn't want an extraneous hole in my lens. I used this guide here. I'd like to say I got it in the first try, but it took few, lol. I kept having issues with the mounting/trip reset holes not lining up right or the acrylic cracking. I have to say, acrylic drill bits work very well, I had no more issues with drill holes cracking after I got a set.

    I the digital cluster to fit by extensively modifying the housing it came in, along with extensively modifying the DeLorean instrument cluster housing, here's a few build pics:

    First I cut the front lip off the digital cluster housing:
    IMG_20180626_184153_01.jpg

    IMG_20180626_185206.jpg

    I then ground it flat with a stationary belt sander, then used a router table to cut a recess in both edges:
    IMG_20180708_162656.jpg

    I cut the back out of the DeLorean instrument cluster case:
    IMG_20180819_220427.jpg

    I then glued two strips of aluminum sheet metal to the recesses I cut in the digital cluster case, then painted the whole thing matte black. I had to make a spacer to get the digital cluster to sit right inside the DeLorean case, then drilled holes for bolts and bolted it in from the bottom:
    IMG_20180917_201527.jpg

    Here it is with the new lens attached:
    IMG_20180930_002852.jpg

    Made a modified printed circuit by cutting the DeLorean printed circuit, putting the printed circuit from the new cluster in the middle and soldering the appropriate contacts together so all the dummy lights worked as well as the turn signals:
    IMG_20190922_145025037.jpg

    After that, I had to wire everything in, which was a big job. I had to swap all the wires from the old electrical connectors to the new ones as well as put new pins on them. Took a lot of studying the DeLorean wiring schematics and comparing them to the wiring schematics for the Opel Kadett to figure out which ones went where. In addition, I had to wire in a tach converter unit, as the Opel Kadett has a four cylinder engine, which is the type of signal the new cluster was expecting. The converter unit takes the V6 signal from the Delorean engine and converts it to a 4 cylinder signal. I also needed another converter unit for the fuel gauge, along with the GPS sender for the speedometer.

  6. #6
    DMC Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date:  Nov 2016

    Location:  SW FL

    Posts:    241

    Club(s):   (DCF) (DCO) (DCUK)

    That looks fantastic and 100% period. Kudos!
    ~LXA~
    Stuttgart | Leipzig | Tochigi | Fremont | Dunmurry | Crewe | Sindelfingen | Kansas City | Oakville | Coventry

  7. #7
    LS Swapper Josh's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Location:  SK, Canada

    Posts:    2,107

    My VIN:    11408

    Club(s):   (TXDMC) (DOI)

    Amazing work, looks very well suited to the car.

    5.3L LS4 + Subaru 6spd 314whp/348ft-lbs
    Getting it back on the road!
    LS Swap

  8. #8
    Junior Member orangecrrrush's Avatar
    Join Date:  Dec 2013

    Location:  Bethlehem PA

    Posts:    18

    My VIN:    Former owner of 10439 Currently own 06291

    Awesome. Love the 2 tone interior
    Adam Brandt
    Former owner of 10439 Stage II
    Owner of 06291 DMCH rebuild, Stage II, Eibach, SS Frame

  9. #9
    Aussie Member Tillsy's Avatar
    Join Date:  Feb 2012

    Location:  Adelaide

    Posts:    943

    My VIN:    6679

    That is freaking cool! 👍
    Chris

  10. #10
    Member Quinn's Avatar
    Join Date:  Mar 2019

    Location:  Rio Vista, CA

    Posts:    37

    My VIN:    5999

    That is most excellent!

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