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Old 05-14-2006   #1
TripleTransAm
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Post your digital dash photos and info

Darrell's photo of his '88 GTA's digital dash along with that photo of a different style of electronic tachometer from some other year of T/A got me thinking of starting a thread with photos of the digital dash. By photos, I mean anything that might help demystify this option... lots of people still don't know what it looks like, or what it can do. So if anyone has any photos that might help, please post them here... even stuff like details on how to change one, what it looks like on the backside, what to do to maintain it or repair it, change bulbs, how to hack it to get free DirecTv, etc.

I'll start:
Here's a full-width shot of my metric dash:



Here's the unit at night with the lights on:



Daytime visibility is awesome thanks to the LCD nature of the indicators, instead of LED. The more sunlight shines on the dash, the more visible the LCD indicators! (obviously, the small camera had a hard time with the dramatic contrasts in this photo!)



At night, the internal lighting makes things just as visible.

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Old 05-14-2006   #2
TripleTransAm
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

From left to right, directly in front of the driver:
tachometer with the upshift indicator in the upper left corner (inoperative on automatic cars), speed indicator with turn signal and high beam indicators immediately underneath, the fuel level gauge, and three vertical gauges (oil pressure, coolant temperature, and voltage). Above these three gauges are the idiot lamps for SES, Brake, seatbelt and for some reason I can't remember the last one... I think it's a "choke" light left over from the 305 4Bbl (LG4) applications, if I recall correctly.



Only the markings will change between a US and Canadian car... I believe the indicators read the same positions in both cases, only the markings differ.



The speedometer can read metric or US, at the touch of a button. Ironically, the fixed '1' digit in the hundreds position means the metric readout is limited to a maximum of 199 km/h.



So how does one toggle between the two measurement systems? See next post...
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Old 05-14-2006   #3
TripleTransAm
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Above the center pod containing the climate controls and the radio lies the famous DIC (Driver Information Center). There is NO better pick up line for a GTA owner than to ask a girl if she wants to come have a seat in your T/A so you can show her your DIC.



The top area is a diagnostics center. If there is an area for concern, it shows an outline of the car with the area highlighted, and a short text on the display. If all is correct, the text display simply says "Pontiac".



For example, if the left door is ajar, the following would be displayed, accompanied by a panicked beep from the dash.



If a front lamp is burnt out...



And so on...
If something does occur (such as a burnt bulb) and you get tired of seeing the fault text displayed on the unit (possibly hurting your chances of impressing that girl you just got into your car anxious to see your DIC), you can hold the SYS CHK button on the left of the display for a few seconds and it resets the fault text back to "Pontiac". However, the fault area remains outlines in the hollow diagram of the car, and the "System / OK" will not light up, given away your secret that you've got urgent maintenance to deal with!

Immediately below that is the odometer area. The main display is the odometer, but toggling TRIP will display the trip odometer instead (in xxx.x resolution). The AVG button toggles a useless little display telling you your average speed since the last time you reset it. Pressing RESET (RES) for a few seconds in either of these modes will reset that particular mode back to 0. The E/m button is what toggles between metric and english measurements.

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Old 05-14-2006   #4
TripleTransAm
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Little known is the fact that ordering the digital dash forced you to get the electronic climate controls as well. The actual climate control is still vacuum operated, but instead of knobs and sliders you get pushbuttons and an electric potentiometer-based temperature slider.



I'm not sure if there was any radio-related dependency, at least for 1987.
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Old 05-15-2006   #5
ssean92
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

i have a question for ya. does the dash go through the computer? the reason i ask is i plan on going to a carb set up and eliminating the computer but want to keep the dash??????
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Old 05-15-2006   #6
LrdNexus
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

NO we had a carb in mine..it does take some wiring though. The dash actaully uses the same type of sensors that the analog one does, it just displays differant.
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Old 05-15-2006   #7
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleTransAm



At night, the internal lighting makes things just as visible.

Is your oil pressure gauge not functioning in these pics or is it just reading off the scale like mine does?
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Old 05-15-2006   #8
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Hey guys,

This is a cool thread. It's interesting to see the subtle differences between our cars. I'll post some more pictures of my dash later this week. My car is currently in the shop for a complete exhaust overhaul. My dash is of course the American version.

Darrell



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Old 05-15-2006   #9
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Quote:
Originally Posted by budfreak1
Is your oil pressure gauge not functioning in these pics or is it just reading off the scale like mine does?
Off the scale. You can see the oil pressure at hot idle, it usually sits somewhere around 30 psi for me. See here for the dash in action on two 3/4 throttle launches (in both cases, I think I opened it up to 7/8 immediately after the 1-2 shift). Stock 305 TPI with 3.23:1 rear and Goodyear GSCs. Note the need to correct the car's sideways move with a twist of the steering wheel... I'm pretty proud of this clip, even if it isn't WOT (I really don't go WOT with this car very often at all, come to think of it... )

http://www.tripletransam.com/gta/media/gtaspin.mpg



I don't believe the dash gets any info from the ECM. Even stuff like coolant temperature is taken from a separate sensor, completely apart from the sensor that feeds the ECM (which is why you can't trust the dash gauge when trying to guess what the ECM is reading as a coolant temp, and vice versa).
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Last edited by TripleTransAm; 05-15-2006 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 05-15-2006   #10
budfreak1
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleTransAm
Off the scale. You can see the oil pressure at hot idle, it usually sits somewhere around 30 psi for me. See here for the dash in action on two 3/4 throttle launches (in both cases, I think I opened it up to 7/8 immediately after the 1-2 shift). Stock 305 TPI with 3.23:1 rear and Goodyear GSCs. Note the need to correct the car's sideways move with a twist of the steering wheel... I'm pretty proud of this clip, even if it isn't WOT (I really don't go WOT with this car very often at all, come to think of it... )

http://www.tripletransam.com/gta/media/gtaspin.mpg



I don't believe the dash gets any info from the ECM. Even stuff like coolant temperature is taken from a separate sensor, completely apart from the sensor that feeds the ECM (which is why you can't trust the dash gauge when trying to guess what the ECM is reading as a coolant temp, and vice versa).
Yeah, Those launches look familiar. Just mine would have been spinning for friggin blocks if I launched at 3/4 and didn't let off a little. My oil pressure never dropped below 40 unless I ran the hell out of it for a while. Mine was 350 L98 dropped in from a 87 Vette with aluminum heads and some work done plus tons of bolt ons with 700R4(4 of them in one year!) and stock 9 bolt 3.27 with 245/50/16 Googyear Eagle GS-C's. The coolant temp sensor that feeds the gauge on the dash is the one on the driver side head. I believe the sensor for the ECU is on the intake manifold, But I'm not 100% on that.
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Old 05-16-2006   #11
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleTransAm
That car is soooo quiet
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Old 05-16-2006   #12
TripleTransAm
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Re: Post your digital dash photos and info

Still got the original exhaust on that car, too! But I like the tone... inside it's pretty quiet which goes well with the luxurious interior. But outside, it's got the most wonderful subsonic "boom boom boom boom boom" to the idle. I love the tone so much I have a spare original muffler sitting in my parents' shed, just in case the original one ever goes out on me. 19 years and counting...
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