When building a car, you need to plan ahead, as you don’t want your build to look like you added extra resto ideas at the last minute. You’ll want to encompass all of your ideas as smoothly as possible, so that your build looks like a concept design, rather than an afterthought. In this month’s tech, we looked at the interior of a 1957 Bel Air and decided to add Dakota Digital gauges to enhance the car’s look. The dash cluster was left in its bare metal state until we decided which direction the design of our car would go. After thinking it out, we decided that the exterior of this vehicle would be stock and we’d make subtle modern changes to the interior. The dash would receive Dakota’s analog style gauges, and an ididit column that would be painted to match and give the car a subtle look.
For 25 years, Dakota Digital has manufactured the highest quality instrumentation and specialty electronics for custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and many things in between. They are located in the heartland of the country, on the outskirts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This is where, nearly all of their products are designed, developed, and manufactured from start to finish, right here in the USA. When purchasing Dakota Digital products, you can be rest assured you are not only getting the best products, but also the best service and support available.
This month, Dakota Digital gave us an inside look at their newest style products that have people switching over to classic style gauges. These gauges might look like they are old style and traditional but they are modern day technology. Now follow along, as they set up the gauges on this custom ‘57 Bel Air.
1. Dakota Digital ready to go.
2. With the screws provided, the gauges were bolted on to the stock bezel.
3. After screwing in the main bezel, the oil and temperature would bolt up next.
4. The gauges were bolted to the bezel and were ready to be bolted on.
5. Here’s a look at the gauges ready to be bolted up to the dash. As you can see, the bezel was ready to be painted.
6. Mike Lopez at New Life Restorations had to see how much room the under dash had for the gauge computer.
7. The computer was bolted near the fuse box that was going to be replaced.
8. A new wiring harness was going to be used.
9. The computer was labeled to make the install easy.
10. Dakota Digital provided a chart which will help you to troubleshoot the install.
11. The new wiring harness for the car was also numbered, making the install easier.
12. The wiring tips were going to have to be removed.
13. The wiring ends were cut and stripped.
14. One wire at a time, the computer was wired up.
15. The engine will need to receive modern sensors to replace the stock ones that we are looking at.
16. This universal sensor will be bolted onto the stock location.
17. The new sensor will bolt in after using the right sized adaptor.
18. The harness was ready to be routed.
19. The oil pressure sensor was replaced as well.
20. The computer was wired up and ready to be bolted into the car.
21. The only thing left to be done was to power up the computer.
22. This dash was now ready to be restored.