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Old 12-14-2006, 01:19 AM   #1
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How to retrofit tachometer on Cummins 5.9?

Boy, this Cummins 5.9 sure runs sweetly. But I would like to know my RPMs, and there is no tach. I have searched this and a couple other sites, and all I find is that it may be possible to buy a tach that runs off the alternator. That does not sound real accurate. Anybody know a way to run a tach off the flywheel or off the front pulley or some other place...?Maybe the injection pump -- I have the "P" style inline pump.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:25 PM   #2
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The alternator tachs are accurate--semis used them for decades. I thought the TC's had tachometers, though?
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:07 PM   #3
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I don't have a tach either. I thought about getting on but I just used this to figure out my RPM's at a given speed.

http://www.idavette.net/tech/ratioc.htm
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:13 PM   #4
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No tach in my TC2000. I guess I'll call a couple of the gauge manufacturers about an alternator tach.

The other gauges are commonly used by the Dodge pick'm'up crowd. You'll find them on http://www.cumminsforum.com/index.php.

Hey, WOW! That idavette calculator is fabulous! Seems I was only turning about 2200 RPM at 55 MPH. Now, what's a conservative safe redline for a 5.9? 2600? That would be 63 MPH with my new 39 inch tall tires -- maybe 65 if the tires are 39,5. I could make myself a little chart and tape on the dash. Thanks!!!!
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:36 AM   #5
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Engine tachometers

These units are available for every engine. The alternator type units are easy to connect and reliable. Most of the big diesel engines use a sensor that is screwed into a threaded hole in the bellhousing, that is in alignment with the teeth on the starter ring gear. Many tach makers will offer a diagram exactly where to drill a new hole and size of drills to use, and tell size of tap and thread pitch. After the hole for the sensor has been tapped, the sensor is screwed into new hole untill the sensor touches the ring gear teeth, then the sensor is unscrewed about 3/4 to 1 turn. This is a very good method of mounting the sendor. Another simple method for mounting the sendor is glue two small button magnets opposite each other on any rotating pulley, harmonic balancer, altenator, generator, or water pump. Mount the tach sensor near magnets very rigidly and the tach will work excellant.
Frank Crown buses are great...
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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Thanks Frank, that rings a bell. I've seen glued-on magnets used for aftermarket cruise control systems -- glued onto the driveshaft.

Drilling a hole in the bell housing sounds scary, but I'm also wondering what the sensor would "focus on". Or does it count the teeth somehow?
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:16 AM   #7
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If they are like other electronic speed sensors I've seen, they will use a tone ring that will count the number of magnetic pulses over a given time. It also very well could be optical.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:30 AM   #8
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Here we go: A company called ISSPRO has all kinds of tachs for diesels; glue-on magnets, alternator drive.... I'll study their web site for a while now.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:59 AM   #9
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This might work for me:
http://www.isspro.com/installation/IS236A.pdf
The dial is only 2", but it would serve.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:52 AM   #10
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Auto Meter has one that uses an inductive sensor strapped to the alternator, but it must be calibrated with another tach. And, being me, I would have trouble trusting such a calibration. Part numbers 2888 (black), 3788 (silver/white). 2 5/8 diameter, goes to 5000 RPM.
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