I recently picked up another GTX Sport 600 HO SDI and as is typical, Ski-Doo does not supply a temp gauge unless you can find a GTX Limited. The factory gauge has long since been discontinued so I ordered a used OEM temp gauge of eBay. Sadly it turned out to be FleeceBay and it was inoperable/DOA.
On my other machine I tried the tutorials posted here and went through multiple different digital gauges but none of them held up as these are really automotive grade gauges not marine or outdoor recreation grade. Being in the marine industry, and knowing what I know about the marine gauges, I decided to throw in a set of analog VDO Viewline Onyx series gauges.
For my old eyes I just need to see a general range and these gauges fit that bill. I am not a huge fan of idiot lights because by the time they come on it's often too late. I like to see a temp trend so I know when or if I need to drop the scratchers or hit some softer snow. I hate owning a liquid cooled machine with no visual temp guidance.
These machines are also pretty picky about batteries, and coming from the marine world where batteries are your lifeblood, I also don't like to be without a volt gauge.The VDO gauges are extremely well constructed, have a face gasket, are made in Switzerland not China, and survive in the salt water environs for years without issue.
I chose the VDO Viewline Onyx series because I knew the back lighting was a near perfect match for the OEM Ski-Doo gauges, and it was. There are many other good marine gauges such as Faria, Veethree, Dat-Con etc. but the VDO Viewline Onyx match the Ski-Doo gauges pretty darn well.
Under the hood factory plugs are already there for 12V+ and 12V negative/chassis. I just pulled a couple of Amp Multilock 070 housings and pins out of our inventory, built a harness for each gauge, and literally plugged them right in.
For the volt gauge I used VDO PN# A2C53191766-S
For the temp gauge I used VDO PN# A2C53413386-K1 (This is a kit that includes a 1/8" NPT nail-head temp sender, it threads right into the t-stat housing)
Bezels for these gauges are sold separately. I chose black VDO PN# A2C53186027-S
The factory plugs on this 2006 machine, for temp and fuel, are AMP Multilock 070 Series. Both are female three-position housings so you just need two male three position Multilock 070 housings and the male pins. Because I use these terminals in our business I already had the AMP crimp tooling. If you own a Ski-Doo with AMP Multilock connectors the least expensive tool I know of, that will do the job, in a somewhat decent manner, is the Molex 63811-1000 crimp tool. This tool runs about $50.00 +/-. For an inexpensive tool it does ok and is made in the USA. The Molex tool won't crimp the stripped wire and the wire insulations strain relief in one step, like the AMP tool will, but it also costs hundreds less. Making two crimps per terminal is really no big deal.
Be aware that AMP Multilocks can be a real PITA to dissemble if you mess up, and the extraction tool is pricey, so buy extra male pins, female terminals and male & female housings. A small screw driver can be usedd in a pinch but has a learning curve. I get my components from an electronics wholesaler but there are a few motorcycle guys out there selling AMP Multilocks in a onesey-twosey manner. This is a common terminal on motorcycles.
Once you have the terminals, housings and crimp tool you just make a couple of short harnesses. The volt gauge harness is quite simple as it only needs the red wire (+ switched 12V) and the blue wire with red trace (illumination) connected to 12V+ and then the black wire to negative/chassis. I used the fuel gauge plug for the voltmeter tapping into the red and black wires in the factory plug. For more accurate voltage sensing you could run direct to the battery with a fuse close to battery + but for what I wanted the accuracy at the fuel gauge plug is plenty sufficient.
The temp gauge is equally easy and uses the same colors as the volt gauge except for the addition of the green wire in the VDO harness. Leave the green wire long because it will go directly to the temp sender. I went a pin size larger in the AMP Multilock and paired the VDO's blue/red trace and red wires together into the same pin.
The harness that comes with each VDO gauge is "universal" and has a full set of wires capable of being used with any one of their gauges. I dislike taping them off as it is just not very professional. I chose to open the connector, it is two piece, and remove any wires I was not going to be using.
The last detail is the temp sender. Most VDO temp senders are proprietary, and the only one they offer for this gauge, in 1/8" NPT, is what is often referred to as a "nail head" style sender. This is a left-over design from the 50's but it works ok. To properly wire these a Packard terminal and slotted housing are used (can be seen in the image two above). These terminal housings are getting hard to find but they are out there. Alternatively, a lot of folks just opt to use a Fast-On type terminal. The Molex connector below simply had a piece of the insulation cut away and could be slid onto the nail-head sender. This is a decent alternative to a Packard nail-head terminal.
Installing the temp sender took all of two minutes. A bit of Hercules Real-Tuff pipe dope on the threads and it threaded right in. Be sure to drain the coolant tank below the t-stat housing. A turkey baster makes this pretty easy.
While I am not a huge fan of a temp sender in the top of the t-stat housing, for the purposes I wanted it for it suffices. I also keep up with maintenance, change coolant, replace t-stat etc.. The machine already has its own sender/alarm system, I just wanted a visual temp trend. There are also coolant hose sender inserts that can be used, cut the hose and insert the sender housing, but for what I wanted I decided it was overkill.
One last tip is to use your 2 1/16" or 52mm hole saw in reverse going through plastic. It will give a nice clean hole. I use a 1/4" brad point drill in the hole saw arbor so as to not have the drill wander. Oh and this dash panel did not have center dimples anywhere to be found so I had to create a centering jig.
All in all this job takes about 1 to 1.5 hours once you have all your tools ready. Both VDO gauges, with the temp sender, cost less than the single used OEM temp gauge I bought off eBay and did not work. While I was in there I also installed a Blue Sea Systems PN# 1011 12V outlet. The wires / terminals are also already behind the dash for this and you literally drill the hole and plug it in..
Hope this info can help someone..
Edited by CMS, 14 February 2019 - 11:00 PM.