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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have a 1964 Nova that I just replaced the straight 6 with a 350 v8. The car has warning(idiot) lights in it now and I want to replace them with some new electric gauges. I don't think im capable of installing a whole new complete wiring harness in the car and was just going to buy 2 factory harnesses (front lights/alternator and engine/starter harness). The only two that i have seen are for warning lights or for factory gauges. Does anyone know which one i need? Also will i have to buy a new dash harness that hooks up to electrical gauges instead of warning lights or can i use the original dash harness? I hope someone knows!! Thanks

I was looking at getting these Dolphin gauges unless someone recommends something else: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/63-64-65-CHEVY-NOVA-3-GAUGE-CLUSTER-SHARK_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116QQhashZitem260339494434QQitemZ260339494434QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
 

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I don't think you will find a single ready-made harness to be able to just plug everything in and go. See what the instructions with the gauges say. I bet you will be looking at a mix and match situation.
 

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1974 Nova, 1977 Nova
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Hi 64chevydeuce,

Unless you're changing to factory gauges, you'd want to either stay with the wiring you have now or replace it with equivalent "warning light" style harnesses. Those wiring harnesses listed for factory gauges won't work with aftermarket gauges.

When adding aftermarket gauges, you can leave the factory warning lights hooked up and have the best of both ... the actual readout of a gauge plus the attention getting light if something goes wrong when you're not looking at the gauge. To do that, you'll need to transfer the oil and temp switches over from the old engine (or replace them with new ones meant for warning lights).

Then simply run some new wires for the aftermarket gauges. Most electric gauges only need 4 wires ... power, light, ground, and sending unit. For the oil pressure, you can install a Tee fitting to run the stock warning light switch and the aftermarket gauge sending unit together. For the water temp, it's best to find separate locations for each ... like placing the stock warning light switch in the cylinder head (between #1 & #3 spark plugs) and placing the gauge sending unit in the intake manifold (near the thermostat).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a lot everyone for all of the help. If i use the original dash harness can i cut the warning lights off and use that wire to connect to my new gauge?? What would i do with the ground wire that also is going to each warning light?
 

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Hi 64chevydeuce,

Yes, I suppose you could use the sending unit wires in the original harness and re-route them to the new gauges instead of the lights. Keep in mind that you'd probably have to cut off the sending unit end (in the engine compartment) and crimp on new ends. The existing ends for the warning light switches might not fit the new gauge sending units.

I still think it would be easier just to leave the existing wiring as-is and run some new wires for the gauges. With a typical volt, temp, oil gauge cluster you'll only need to run two sending unit wires (1 for temp, 1 for oil) through the firewall. And you can often run those wires through the speedometer cable grommet (or other existing grommet) rather than drilling an extra hole in the firewall. Running a ground wire directly from the engine block to the gauge's ground is a good idea too since there might be some resistance between the engine block & body sheetmetal (dash) that could give false readings on the gauges.
 
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