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ISSPRO Performax Gauges installed in a 3rd Gen Dodge 2500 Cummins - PRODUCT REVIEW
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August 22, 2017, 12:44:10 PM


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ISSPRO Performax Gauges
Made in the USA

PRODUCT REVIEW
 
Introduction
When you start modifying your truck you probably have a list of things you'd like to install. Hopefully gauges are on that list. It seems that most people spend money adding better suspension, more horsepower, lights, winches, etc. and sometimes forget about one of the most important area's of protecting your investment, gauges! It's fun adding all that horsepower to your engine but without gauges to monitor critical levels your driving in the dark. Most cars don't come with much more than the basic gauge clusters from the factory like battery voltage, engine temperature, oil pressure and fuel level. That's ok for the minimum but you should really have additional gauges to monitor other pressures and temperatures that could cause expensive and unnecessary repairs. For example, lets say your towing your Jeep or Off-Road Toys over a mountain pass and the truck seems to be pulling the grade ok. What you don't realize is that your transmission or exhaust temperatures could be climbing past there operating levels causing severe damage to either your transmission or engine, both of which will leave you on the side of the road with a big fat repair bill not to mention ruin your vacation. How can prevent this from happening? Pony up a few hundred bucks and install some quality gauges like ISSPRO's so you can monitor those critical temperature levels. We wanted to add some gauges to Project Big Horn so we contacted ISSPRO to pick up some of there Performax series gauges. ISSPRO is one of the top names in aftermarket gauges and the Performax series is just one of many available. See below as we install some of there most popular gauges on our Cummins powered Dodge 2500.

"No Need to Run Individual Wires to Each Gauge!"

Easy Install with the Performax Series
A lot
of us get discouraged by the thought of installing gauges with all the wiring involved, running several wires to each gauge, hooking up sensors, etc. I know because I'm one of them. Well the folks at ISSPRO have made that process much simpler with the Performax series gauges. They feature an Electronic Signal Processor (ESP, aka: Computer) that handles all the sensor information transferring that data to the gauges through three total wires (Power, Ground & Data) connected in series to as many as 17 gauges. No need to run individual wires for each gauge, three wires total connected from one gauge to the next is all you need. And if you ever decide to add another gauge or change an existing gauge its a piece of cake, just clip it onto those wires and its ready to go. Below are some features about the Performax Series gauges.

Performax Features
 
 - Stepper Motor
  - LED Lighting
  - Programable Warning Light
  - Heavy Duty Electronic Signal Processor
  - High Accuracy Sensors



Deciding on Gauges
Project Big Horn is a 5.9L Cummins powered 3/4 ton truck equipped with the 48re automatic transmission. The most popular three gauges for this particular
truck for towing are Transmission Temperature so we don't unknowingly overheat the transmission and cause thousands in repairs. Second is the Pyrometer which monitors exhaust manifold temperature which again could unknowingly cause severe damage to the engine and turbo. And Third we chose a Boost gauge which tells us how much boost the turbo is producing and if monitored correctly can help increase fuel mileage as well as protect our engine. Below is a list of parts used on our install along with some pictures.

What we ordered for our Truck

  - Boost Gauge 0-40psi (Part# R68333)
  - Pyrometer Gauge 0-1600ºF (
Part# R68022)
  - Trans. Temp Gauge 100-280ºF (
Part# R68599)
  - ESP Computer (
Part# R8200)
  - Dodge A-Pillar Mount 3-gauge (
Part# R77011)

Click on images for large view

   

   





Installation Part 1 - Mounting the gauges and A-Pillar mount
First thing we did was remove the factory A-Pillar so that we can install the ISSPRO 3-gauge unit. Each gauge was mounted in the ISSPRO A-Pillar by simply pushing them into position. The gauges fit into the mount snug and therfor did not require an further mounting. Next step was attaching the three designated wires to each gauge (Orange/White/Black). ISSPRO made this a simple task by using tap in style connectors on each gauge. No cutting, soldering or splicing. The A-Pillar mount then simply bolts into the factory location with one bolt. The texture and color of the mount is an exact match from the factory unit. See pictures below

Click on images for large view

     


Installation Part 2 - Installing The Computer Module
Next we found a place to mount the ESP under the hood. The ESP is a weather sealed and temperature resistant unit much like your cars factory computer. We chose to install ours on the driverside near the battery. We mounted it facing down so no water will pool onto it nor will the plugs be drenched with water.

Installation Part 3 - Installing Gauge Sensors
1. Transmission Temperature Sensor - The sensor for the trans temp was installed on the passenger side at one of the existing 1/8 NPT thread plugs which is a common size on most automatic transmissions. We removed the plug and installed the sensor with teflon tape along with a 1/8 NPT to 1/8 NPT extender we picked up from the hardware store. This was necessary on the Dodge 48re Transmission because without it the sensor would be inserted to far into the transmission. The wires were then carefully routed to the ESP.

2. Boost Pressure Sensor - The Boost sensor on our truck was mounted to the S&B intake elbow we had previously installed in the truck which is equipped wih several threaded inputs. If your running the stock intake elbow you can purchase an optional "Boost Bolt" which replaces a factory bolt on the intake manifold with an adapter to mount the sensor. Again the wires were carefully routed with the factory harness to the ESP.

3. Pyrometer Temperature Sensor - This sensor is a little more involved to install but after I was done it really wasn't that bad. In order to install this sensor we had to drill a hole into the factory exhaust manifold and then tap the hole with a 1/8 NPT tap. I read numerous articles with different opinions on how this process should be done. In the end I went ahead and drilled the exhaust manifold about 1/8 - 3/16 of an inch deep, fired the truck up and continued the remaining 1/16 or so of an inch. Yes this is potentially dangerous but the theory behind this is that the exhaust pressure will push out any large metal shavings so that don't fall into the turbo. With the taping part you CAN'T use this method so we placed a magnet near the hole and slowly tap the threads. Once completed I used a straw and taped it onto a shop-vac and sucked out any remaining tiny metal shaving. The turbo will be fine if a few fine particles of metal pass through it. What you don't want is a large coiled shaving like your drill bit cuts to run through the turbo.

Click on images for large view

BOOST
The boost sensor was installed on one of the many available ports already stubbed out on our S&B Filters CNC Intake Elbow. Teflon tape was applied to the threads.
TRANS TEMP
The transmission temperature sensor was installed on one of available plugs on our 48RE transmission. In order to install the sensor on this trans we used an adapter from the hardware store to space the sensor back. See Picture
PYROMETER
Exhaust gas temperature sensor aka Pyrometer was installed on the factory exhaust manifold. Be sure to apply some Anti-Seize compound or they sensor will never come off later.

   

Part 4 - Wiring
ISSPRO includes factory looking wiring harnesses and plugs from each sensor to the ESP. The ESP has 4 factory style wiring plugs with 20 available wires for each plug. Some gauges have 2-wires while some have 3 or more. The instructions on each gauge are very clear in which wire goes where. For example the Pyrometer wires are ran to Plug A on the ESP in cavities 8 and 9.

We ran all the wires from the sensors to the indicated ESP ports. It wasn't necessary but on some of the gauges we cut and soildered the wires shorter to eliminate extra unused wiring.

The ESP itself is wired into some factory wires using tap connectors. 5 wires total are required. Ground, Constant Power, Ignition & Dimmer. We chose to route these wires inside the cab however some or all could be tapped into inside the engine compartment. On our automatic equipped dodge there is a plastic flange bolted to the firewall where the clutch pedal is on the manual transmission trucks. We drilled 2 small holes into this flange and routed our wires into the cab using a rubber grommet to seal it off.


More Pictures

Click on images for large view

     

ISSPRO Performax Gauge Illuminated



Night View:
The ISSPRO Performax gauges LED illumination looks great at night matching the factory gauges on our Dodge 2500 pretty much spot on. We attached the dimmer wire to match the brightness to the factory gauges. 

Note: The dimmer won't allow the lights to dim down as low as the factory lighting. They get to a about half way and then shut off all backlighting.

Programming
Another great feature about the ISSPRO gauges is there ability to be programmed with a red warning light on the gauge once it has reached a programmed temperature. We got the optional software which allows us to set the Pyrometer & Trans Temp gauge to our desrired temperature levels.

A second feature available on the ISSPRO gauges is the memory feature that records the maximum levels of each gauge to be downloaded later.


PHOTO GALLERY

Likes
The ISSPRO gauges are definitely high quality & accurate with a clean factory look. Installation was much simpler with the Performax series gauges. Adding additional gauges will be very easy later on. The warning light feature is a plus. Being able to monitor pressures and temperatures may save of thousands in repairs.
Dislikes
Upfront cost of the Performax series vs. V2 or other is a little more expensive because you have to buy the ESP.
Another thing I would like to note as minor as it may be is that the gauges makes a computer processor type sound when on. Similar to the sound a computer makes when its processing information but very faint.

Conclusion
Overall were very pleased with the factory look, LED color and ease of installation of the ISSPRO Performax gauges. These gauges are high quality and you can tell. I'm already looking forward to adding additional gauges in the near future.
With the ESP already mounted and the three wires ran it will be a breeze. Some may argue that the ISSPRO Performax gauges cost more than some competitors but your getting a high quality performance gauge with the latest technology. And if it means something to you there made right here in the good ol' USA!

For more information about ISSPRO products check out there website or give them a call.




Isspro Inc.
2515 NE Riverside Way
Portland, OR 97211
Phone: (503) 528-3400
Website: www.ISSPRO.com



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