Installing Custom Gauge Faces on a GMC Syclone
The stock Syclone and Typhoon gauges are insufficiently lit by today's standards. After a few options became available, I decided that a set of indiglo gauges would be the most functional upgrade to the stock gauges.
The install is a little hairy, but I didn't have any real issues. Just go slowly and be very careful.
Now that they are in, it's impossible to say they are hard to read any more.
Remove Trim Panels
Start with the fuse panel cover, it has a single flat head or 8mm screw holding it in.
Unscrew the ALDL connector from the footwell trim. Set aside.
Unscrew the emergency brake handle from the trim panel.
Remove the foot well panel directly above the pedals. It has several screws along the bottom as well as on the front below the steering column (not to mention the ALDL and E-brake handle you just unscrewed).
Rotate the panel around the brake cable and move it out of the way.
Remove the Gauge Cluster Housing
Unscrew the fog light switch on the left side of the dash. It has two phillips head screws on the bottom. Disconnect the electrical connector and set aside.
For Typhoons, you'll need to unscrew the mirror controller on the right side of the dash. Disconnect the electrical connector and set aside.
Remove the light control panel on the left side of the dash. There should be two screws that were previously hidden by the fog light switch on the bottom. Remove any electrical connectors and set aside.
The heater controls on the right side are much more complex. Remove the two screws on the bottom and lightly pull the controls out enough to access the back.
There are 3 connectors, a metal push/pull cable, and a vacuum harness attached to the rear of the heater panel.
Unplug the 3 electrical connectors. They slide off, so a flat screw driver should be able to remove them.
Remove the metal heater control cable by pulling off the spring washer/retainer. I used a pair of small pliers to get it off.
Remove the two spring washer/retainers that hold the end of the rubber vacuum manifold to the controls. These can be difficult to reach with the limited space given. Take care not to puncture the vacuum hoses or connector.
You may be able to disconnect the other end of the vacuum harness if there is simply not enough space.
Remove the heater control panel.
Remove the 2 screws holding the gauge housing in place. There is one inside each pocket behind the controls you just removed.
Remove the Gauge Cluster
Remove the two screws at each bottom corner of the gauge cluster.
Remove the two nuts at each top corner of the gauge cluster.
Slowly and carefully pry the gauge cluster forward. I used a large flat screwdriver at each of the corner screws between the plastic and metal brackets.
There are no electrical connectors or anything to remove, it just pulls strait out of the dash.
Remove the Plastic Gauge Cover
Take the cluster out of the truck and find a comfortable place to work at the table or workbench.
There are a bunch of torx screws on the back of the cluster that hold the two halves together. Remove them and set the clear front aside.
Use a towel or soft surface to keep from scratching the lens.
Installing the New Gauge Faces
I've installed several set of these, but it is always nerve racking. My kit was installable without removing the needles, or I wouldn't have attempted it. Avoid moving the needles as much as possible.
Remove the small screws at the edges of the gauge faces. There should be 2 per face.
Remove any gauge stop pins required to fit the faces on. Some kits do not require you to remove the stop pins, but they will look better when finished if you do.
Use a pair of needle nose pliers wrapped with a paper towel to pull the pins out of the gauges. Just grab them and pull vertically away from the gauges.
Start with the speedometer, slide the new faces over the gauge needles. This will require some careful planning and a little cringing.
Align the needles so they all face in the same direction, slide them into the holes in the gauge face, and slowly slide the new face down the length of the needles until you can squeeze the face over the needle center.
Continue on with the tachometer and then the most difficult one, the 4 gauge face on the left side.
Re-install any stop pins and screws that you can. Do not install the oil pressure stop pin, this gauge will eventually spin 360 degrees, getting stuck under the pin. If you leave it out now, you won't have to pull the dash apart to fix it.
If the new gauges are electroluminescent (indiglo), then they will have new electrical connections you will have to route back through the cluster. I routed all of mine toward the passenger side of the cluster. They will exit the cluster through one of the light sockets previously used to light the old faces.
Place all needles where they were when you started and re-install the clear plastic gauge panel.
Installing the Power Inverter and Controls
The power inverter will fit right behind the gauge connector on the driver side of the housing. I backed it with 3m adhesive and zip tied it in place.
Route the gauge controller behind the dash and find a suitable place for the control panel. I never change the settings on my panel, so I just zip tied it behind the footwell panels.
Connect the inverter to power and ground. I got power from the brown wire in the light panel connector (powered when the parking lights are on). I grounded to one of the 4 large bolts on the bottom of steering column.
Install the Gauge Housing
Connect the new gauge face cables to the inverter, and slide the gauge housing back into place.
Test the gauges before you re-install the entire dash.
Install the 2 screws and 2 nuts at each corner of the gauge housing.
Install the Gauge Surround
There is a screw inside each side pocket.
Install Panels and Switches
Install the heater control panel. It has 3 electrical connectors, the vacuum harness, and the steel heater cable. Again, take care not to puncture the vacuum hoses or over-stress the steel cable.
Install the light control panel
Install the fog light panel and optional electrical side mirror controls.
Install the footwell panels, reattaching the ALDL connector and e-brake cable.