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Thread: Adding diagnostics to an older vehicle

  1. #21
    Newbie MatneyX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Layton, Utah, United States
    @Vitality and @OldSpark, do you have any links to stuff like this? I'm having a hard time with the right combination of terms to actually find anything in Google.

  2. #22
    Constant Bitrate MindDrive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Shorewood IL
    im with those that said it would be cheaper to buy a different car for the obdII integration... if you were to say find a body totalled new caddy, rip all the wires out of it and sensors with the computer etc, there would be several things that you could "hack" into the older engine and setup, but you would have LOTS of modifications and there would be so much "extra" sensors and data lines not connected to anything, i highly doubt the OBDII would actually work in the sence of you would always have a HUGE list of error codes being thrown into the memory. hell on my 97 seville i had, i made the mistake of unplugging something under the hood and it spammed the code reader with everything short of "hey stupid... plug that back in" LOL

    for their time, the 60's caddys were definately in front of the crowd but they had simple "idiot" lights which all poured into "Check Engine" ~_~ On my 69 theres a pile of "sensors" for coolant temp, oil pressure, engine temp, and something that goes to the transmission. with all that, they are nothing more than temperature/pressure related ON/OFF switches. since i started my resto, ive upgraded the distributor to one from a '74 472ci which is solid state and has a lead for a tach (130 bucks from autozone) from my understanding, any and all those 'sensors' can be replaced with updated ones that actually relay some form of information that could be plugged into a basic simple OBD type dashboard configuration but you would have to find a donor car that has somewhat of a digital dashboard instead of a mechanical one. (rolls eyes at the mid 80's cadillacs) which you could probably find dozens of in a junkyard. I still wouldnt be able to say for sure if you could integrate that into a carPC as i havnt actually even plugged mine into OBDII yet (which i will be exploring once i get my 98 astro up n running)

    for the challenge (if thats what youre looking for) make a list of all the stuff you would want to monitor under the hood, research the capabilities of OBDI or the computers of the mid 80's caddys and see if a local junkyard would let you poke around their inventory and if they have something you could probably get it for less than 100 bucks if you pulled it yourself. I had an 87 seville that had quite the digital display console that even had a sensor for the washer fluid level (which is something you could pull from the donor vehicle and just find a way to mount the whole tank etc into your older ride)

    IF you do decide to take a plunge like that, definately check ebay for SHOP SERVICE manuals for ANY donor car you are looking at just for the wire schematics alone


  3. #23
    VENDOR - ScanTool Vitaliy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by MatneyX View Post
    @Vitality and @OldSpark, do you have any links to stuff like this? I'm having a hard time with the right combination of terms to actually find anything in Google.
    Try "fluid level sensor" or "floater sensor", or perhaps "fuel level sensor". You can probably rig one up yourself, imagine a toilet floater connected to a rotary type potentiometer. As floater goes down, resistance drops. As floater goes up, resistance increases.

    Sometimes pressure sensor are used, you would put one on the bottom of the reservoir (more liquid = more pressure).

    OBDLink MX: world's smallest, fastest, most advanced OBD/Bluetooth adapter with SW and MS CAN support. Read the review to learn more.
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  4. #24
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I like the pressure sensor idea (differential of course).

    Apart from capacitive, they all have problems with inclines and slosh (as in fuel sloshing around, though in particular, slosh can be filtered).

    And sorry - I missed the request for sources...
    I'll have a search later. There is a fluid detection chip (National; but maybe not for water?).
    Remind me if I forget....

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Nice Projects! (both of them) It would be interesting to see how the mixture is tuned on an old vehicle like this (adding O2 sensor(s)). I understand they use some old device called carbarater (or something like that) This would be more or less gee whizz information, not too practical for driving purpose, maybe to help tune it for better economy/performance. You may need two sensors, or if the manifolds combine into a single pipe then only one. You would want the wide band certainly. There are kits which have the sensor, controller and gauge (though not cheap) there are 2-sensor versions too with a dual readout, this is really nice. I expect the mixture is tuned on the RICH side on this vehicle. If you fiddle with the mixture, be careful of course not to go too lean, it will run hot and burn valves, these engines aren't designed for lean. But running at stoich is a good target. Just a few ideas I'm writing from my point of interest, this would be the instrumentation I'd want to upgrade considering gas prices, you may have other goals though. Keep us informed on the progress!

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