’61 Impala Dakota Digital Gauge & LED Taillight Install

Dakota Digital DIY

PRODUCT

Dakota Digital VHX

Speedometer, Tachometer, Oil Pressure, Water Temp, Fuel Level, Voltmeter

www.dakotadigital.com

You’ve spent countless amounts of hours boxing your frame, getting the body straight, chroming your engine bay, and making sure that your interior is spot on, but what happens when you fire up the car? Well, the first thing that comes to life after you hit the ignition is your instrument cluster.

With the twist of a key, we watch the rpms gather, check our fuel levels, and make sure that everything’s up to par, but with a boring, dated, dusty cluster it can kill the vibe, which is why Dakota Digital has long been the answer to the simple problem.

The new VHX Systems fit directly into the stock dash of a ’61-62 Chevy Impala without modification. The upper (speedometer/voltmeter/fuel level/message centers) display utilizes the stock trim ring, whereas the lower displays (tachometer/oil pressure/water temp) include machined aluminum/chromed new instrument housings.

Fully lit needles, backlit faces, and highly visible LCD message centers are a few of the things that you can see, which set the VHX Series apart from yesterday’s traditional approach to instrumentation. A few of the features you don’t normally see are the micro-controlled precision stepper motors, solid state sensors for unparalleled accuracy, and user-customizable display feedback, all supported by an unrivaled limited lifetime warranty.

By creating these modern clusters, Dakota Digital has given life to older, archaic technology, and they’ve been in business since 1986. Since then they’ve had tens of thousands of units shipped, installed, and running in sheer perfection. In this DIY segment we’ll be showing you a step-by-step article on just how easy it is to install this cluster into a ’61 Impala.

Additional Options For This Unit Are:

  • Fuel Level Sensor
  • ODB II/Can face interface module
  • Compass/Outside temp module
  • Universal Gear Position Sensor
  • Light Dimming Knob

1. Prior to install, unbox the package, lay out the parts, and make sure to check that the contents are complete.

2. Remove all gauges and your dashboard.

 

3A.-3B. Install the new gauges in your dashboard. Insert the three satellite cans from the front of the dash. From left to right: temp, tach, oil. Run the threaded nuts up finger tight to the back of the dash with the gauges off-center a quarter of a turn. Once you have the nut finger tight, hold the nut in place while you clock the gauge to center. This will help you torque the gauge properly. Repeat this step if necessary.

4. Install the speedometer cluster, aka main gauge, and use the two nuts provided to thread into the factory studs. Attach the ribbon cables to the matching ends.

5. Connect the CAT5 cable to the system and safely route the wires to the control box. Then re-mount the dash cluster. Mount your control box in an easily accessible space.

6. Install the water temperature sensor and oil pressure sending unit.

7. Follow the main manual to complete the installation. This manual also shows you how to program the gauges.

Dakota Digital LED Taillight Installation

Keep distracted eyes on your rearend by installing a set of Dakota Digital LED taillights. While you really don’t need a step-by-step on this topic, it’s a good way to emphasize just how easy it is to install an improved look.

1. Remove the original bulb connector from the back of the housing.. Remove the light bulbs.

2. Remove the taillight light lens. In this case, the screws for the ’61 are directly in the lens, but that didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out.

3. With the lenses removed take the time to clean out the lens and housing. Remove the screw and aluminum backplate from the new LED assembly.

4. Take your time and install the new lights making sure not to pinch any wires. Reinstall all lights, screws, and make sure your gaskets or seals are good.

5. Test your lights. Now that you’re done, light it up.