Adding Gauges With
Jim Powell's Adapter
Some time ago I decided I wanted to add gauges to my M3. But I never liked the idea of having the oil temperature sender installed in place of my drain plug. It was a combination of the danger of having it
damaged and just the overall knowledge that this was a kludge. Clearly not something the factory would have done. But what to do? I couldn't realistically tap more oil ports into the engine. At first I
believed I could accomplish the level of install that I was looking for with Milos Klacko's oil cap. I bought one and had it tapped but it wasn't as clean an install as I wanted. Milos' oil cap is pretty cool and a great place to put a pair of lines for a cooler. It just wasn't right for sending units.
So I approached some local people with racing and BMW background about helping me design an adapter that would use a banjo bolt to extend the block tap that feeds the oil idiot light switch. This oil port would
allow me to re-install the stock idiot light switch, a VDO oil pressure sending unit and an E34 M5 oil temperature sending unit.
This procedure documents the use of this part to
install gauges in my car. I expect this part will be marketed someday. I don't have any
financial interest in this part any longer so take my enthusiasm for this installation
method and part as a sincere belief that this is a solution that is superior to others
marketed by BMP or VDO.
As first steps, remove the sunglass holder, OBC and glovebox. Also unfasten and open the wiring chase under the hood against the firewall. See pictures 2, 3 and 4 .
Locate ground, switched 12V and switched, dimmed 12V. Wire power leads or harness to
these points as directed by your gauge vendors instructions. Run signal leads for the oil
pressure sending unit and oil temperature sending units through the firewall. This is
pretty intuitive but can vary depending on model and year. Its generally easier to come
through the passenger side. Feed the signal leads through the wire chase and dress each
end with 1/4" wire loom as appropriate See picture 5.
Picture 9 shows the gauges finished and installed in my '98 M3/4.
If you find this part useful and are interested in obtaining one let me know and I will
put you in contact with either the manufacturer or a distributor. Again, I have no
financial connection to this part anymore. I've received my compensation for it and will
not make another nickel if it sells millions. Good luck.