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Old 01-25-2016, 04:11 PM   #1
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Please help! Replacement temperature gauge

When I bought my bus, the previous owner said that he removed the dashboard temperature gauge because it needed to be replaced. I thought it would be a simple analog display and that it would be easy to find an aftermarket part to replace it.

Even if the new gauge wasn't calibrated perfectly, it would be enough to get me going, I just need to know if there is something horrible about to happen, because it is really scary driving a new bus without this gauge.

I called the CAT supply store, and they said try the manufacturer. I went to the Thomas website, and their affiliates, but I can't find a temperature gauge. I called local autoparts stores, but all their gauges have a thermocouple built in.

I fear that I am not asking for the right thing, like I'm using the wrong terminology or missing something obvious. As I google search, it makes me more confused, because they are talking about water temperature gauges, and oil temperature gauges, and transmission temperature gauges, and engine housing temperature gauges.

Now I'm not sure exactly what I need. I just know there is a empty round hole on the dash with 3 wires with o-ring connectors (red, white, black).

Can someone please chime in and point me in the right direction?
Thanks!


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Old 01-25-2016, 04:28 PM   #2
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Just call the Thomas bus dealer parts dept.
Quote:
Thomas Bus Gulf Coast GP, Inc.
8806 Mississippi
Houston, TX 77029
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800-481-6564

Fax: 713-580-8699
Email: busbids@thomasbusgulfcoast.com
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
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Any Freightshaker dealership can help you with this. They're authorized by Thomas. When you come in, bring the engine code and the VIN with you. It's located on the data sheet above the driver's seat.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:12 PM   #4
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Should be simple stuff to figure out with a little work. It sounds like you have an electric gauge. So that means the white wire goes to the sender. Go on ebay-look for electric water temp gauges. Theres millions. Look on you engine-somewhere in the water system-in the head or on the block probably - will be a small sending unit. (with hopefully a white wire.) Hook up the new gauge to the r-w-b wires. Try it. If the gauge reads odd, change the sender with the one that came with the gauge. But betting you may be ok without changing it.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:32 PM   #5
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If all else fails go to a local auto parts store. They should be able to help you. They sell aftermarket gauges. They come with instructions. Someone at the store should be able to help you.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:39 PM   #6
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How big is your hole?
3 wires is power, ground and signal.
VDO is popular in older buses.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vd...BBEaAsWA8P8HAQ
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
Any Freightshaker dealership can help you with this. They're authorized by Thomas. When you come in, bring the engine code and the VIN with you. It's located on the data sheet above the driver's seat.

I couldn't find any Freightshaker dealerships. Did you mean Freightliner perhaps? At freightlinertrucks.com they linked to Premier Truck Group of Dallas. I will try calling them later today.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36 View Post
Should be simple stuff to figure out with a little work. It sounds like you have an electric gauge. So that means the white wire goes to the sender. Go on ebay-look for electric water temp gauges. Theres millions. Look on you engine-somewhere in the water system-in the head or on the block probably - will be a small sending unit. (with hopefully a white wire.) Hook up the new gauge to the r-w-b wires. Try it. If the gauge reads odd, change the sender with the one that came with the gauge. But betting you may be ok without changing it.

I think you are right about the gauge being analog. So I have a question about the sending unit. I'm guessing it is some sort of thermocouple, is that correct? If so, it should have two wires, unless it's using the chassis as ground. At two of my local auto parts store, the temperature gauges came with 3 wires. There was a black and white pair for the indictor LED, and one metal shielded wire going to the thermocouple. I could not tell if there were a pair of wires inside the shielding, or if there was one wire inside the shielding and the wire mesh was the ground wire, or if the wire inside the metal shielding was the signal wire and the chassis functioned as the ground wire.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunderhut View Post
How big is your hole?
3 wires is power, ground and signal.
VDO is popular in older buses.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vd...BBEaAsWA8P8HAQ
I can measure the hole later today, but 2 1/16in looks exactly right.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
If all else fails go to a local auto parts store. They should be able to help you. They sell aftermarket gauges. They come with instructions. Someone at the store should be able to help you.
I went to two local auto parts stores, but all the temperature gauges they sold had a brass looking temperature probe firmly attached to them. The indicator wires were black and white and went to an LED. But the employees didn't know how the probe functioned or whether I would be able to cut it off successfully. I will try to find a auto parts store which focuses more on racing, I think they may have a better selection.
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