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Good morning all:

I'm new to the forums. My username, OldsVistaCruiser, reflects my first love. I've had three '69 Vistas since 1982.

My 84-year-old mom has a '92 Fifth Avenue Mark Cross with a 3.8-liter V-6 (unknown miles, as two instrument clusters have had odometers freeze up when the trip odometer was reset), and I have a (retired and parked) '92 Jeep Cherokee Laredo with 324,000 miles.

Anyway, I found a trip computer overhead console out of a '90 New Yorker in a local junkyard. It appears to be working perfectly except that the compass always reads north and the temperature reads -70ºF.

I found an archived thread on the allpar forum that said that a black box that mounts under the hood is needed, and that it needs to be spliced into the ECM to make the older computer work for compass and temperature. However, it doesn't say which wires need to be tapped into!

Can anyone please help?
Thanks,
Bill S.
near Hershey, PA

(Edit) This is the post that I found:
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If you want the compass working (not just trip computer), you need the overhead console and the engine node from a 1990 or 1989 AC/AY body car (other years are sometimes possible but not recommended). The compass and temp display will not work without the node, but the trip computer functions will.

You'll need to do some wiring, but it's not bad. The overhead console will need a pair of CCD bus wires run to it, and the node will need 4 wires (power, ground, and CCD bus twisted pair). If you want to install the engine bay sensors for the system, that'll be extra wiring for the coolant level, brake fluid level, and oil level sensors but these aren't needed.

Engine node mounts behind the radiator grille. It's a long black box - can't miss it.

I added this system to my first New Yorker... it was worth it for me, but your milage may vary. I just tapped into the ECM wires for all the engine node essentials. Lamp out module can be done too, but it ain't worth the wiring nightmare.

Edit - missed the part about the year - if it's a 91, 89 or 90 EVIC components should work yet. I'm using a 1990 overhead console in the Imperial right now.

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A followup reply said:
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I love my 3.8... that thing moves the Imperial around pretty good. 1991 Fifths and Imperials got them. The trick is to find one with a transmission that's still in half decent shape though. IIRC it was optional on both cars in 1991, then in 1992 the Imperial got it standard while it remained optional on the Fifth.

Next thing I'm thinking of doing is turbo'ing an Executive Sedan... that should be fun too.

The EVIC really isn't that much work to get just the compass and temp working. Some red quick splice connectors, a little wire, and about an hour is all it takes. Might have to remove the battery to get at the wires at the ECM you need to tap into, but on Squeak I didn't even bother with that.

The bus wires need to be a twisted pair, but I just used some old 20 gauge speaker wire for that. Needed about four feet to go from the engine node to the ECM, and then another four feet from the dash diagnostic connector to the overhead console. From there, all I needed was a power and a ground to the engine node and it was working. I hacked into the ECM again for power, and wrapped the ground wire around a nearby relay bracket screw.

The only other thing to remember at the engine node is to ground out the oil sensor wire too so it doesn't keep tripping the oil level warning, but that's about it.
 

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Welcome.
I think you will find that the 1990 unit won't work with the 1992 car and that you need to find a 1992 or 1993 to get parts from due to changes in the communication protocol used in the different years.
 

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The engine node (that black box) needs power, ground, and a CCD bus connection at a minimum to give you compass and temp - 4 wires. You'll need the wiring diagrams for both vehicles to do it. It's not too hard, but sometimes these wire colors vary between years which is why I didn't mention any wire colors in those posts you reference. From there, you'd need to add more wiring if you want things like the engine oil, brake fluid, and coolant level sensors. You may already have the connector for the brake fluid level sensor taped up by the master cylinder, but IIRC it won't be wired all the way back to the connector behind the bumper the engine node plugs into.

The 1990 EVIC console will work, but you won't get the "turn signal on" warning from it. My 1992 Imperial is using a 1990 console, and has been almost since I got the car. The turn signal thing is the only thing it won't do... it supports everything else. The CCD bus compatibility thing is more an issue with the digital clusters in these cars than the EVIC systems. That said, I wouldn't go any earlier than 1990 parts for that car. I didn't have a lot of luck using 1988-1989 EVIC consoles or engine nodes in newer vehicles.
 

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Nope - the wiring and connectors are different. It can be done, with varying degrees of difficulty depending on which cluster you swap in.

In your case, the 1992-1993 digital cluster would be easiest, but these do often come with their own problems. They use LCDs to display the info and are backlit by regular light bulbs. This means that by now they're often cooked to the point whole display segments are damaged. I was very, very lucky to find a fully working one for the Imperial. If you really want to do it, make sure you have wiring diagrams, as you will need to wire a CCD bus connection to it, either from the BCM or from the diagnostic connector under the dash. If the car has ATC, the control panel will have those CCD bus wires, too. All other wires are found at the analog cluster connectors. Make sure you get the wiring connector and some of the harness with the cluster.

To look for good 1992-1993 clusters at the yard, I usually pull the whole front off the cluster and hold it up to the light. You can actually see the damaged sections that way, if there are any.

The digital cluster from a 1988 New Yorker would be the next easiest as this is the latest AC/AY body cluster that does not depend on CCD bus data, but would require a ton of wiring. 1989-1991 digital clusters will not work.

The hardest one (but coolest) is a swap to the 1987 LeBaron GTS digital cluster. This would give you a tach, too. But it's not for the faint of heart... you have to do all the wiring the '88 New Yorker cluster requires first, then modify the ECM connector for the tach signal, then run a wire from there back to the cluster, then modify the cluster bezel so you can install a 1988-1993 digital cluster shift indicator mechanism (the analog one will not work) in it.

I've done the GTS cluster once. Not looking forward to doing it again, but I've kept it should both of my 1992-1993 clusters die. I've already had one of them go. The disadvantage to the GTS cluster is you lose ABS and airbag warning lights. But that tach is pretty cool. And you need to modify the ECM connector and wire the tach on that cluster, otherwise it registers no oil pressure.
 

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hmmm.

I was actually going to convert my 1991 to analog to avoid the digital problems. Had 2 digital clusters go bad and currently have a 1992-3 digital cluster in it (only thing I could find) which works but no speedo. For that we've been using a GPS.

Have all the wiring diagrams figured out but no time to monkey with it. Oklahoma, what wires do you tap into from the ATC harness?

No time (or patience) to rebuild the burned board(s) in the old clusters either.

I would trade a good working 90-91 digital cluster for the 1992-3 I have if someone is interested. (Better hurry as I'll probably sell the whole car after labor day)
 

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Actually, I had a look at my wiring diagrams for 1992 and the ATC has no CCD bus connection after all. Good news is, this is irrelevant for analog conversions, as the analog dash has no use for the CCD bus.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just don't know where to begin to look where to hook the engine node into the ECM. Is the ECM marked? I don't have a wiring diagram for the ECM, either.

On the other hand, I asked about the digital dash because of the problems that I have had so far with two analog instrument panels, and PA requires that the odometer work in order to pass our stringent state safety inspection.

Thanks again,
Bill
 

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The ECM is on the inner fender next to the battery.

Check your local library - sometimes they have a Mitchell or Alldata subscription and can get the wiring diagrams for you that way. For the 1992, the CCD bus wires are violet/brown (CCD +), white/black (CCD -). These are in a twisted pair to minimize interference. Power and ground are dark blue and black/light green respectively. IIRC there is a diagnostic connector near the ECM with all of these wires, but not sure.

These wire colors are only for 1992 - I don't know if 1990 had any difference or not.

Note that the big gray connector behind the bumper will have all these wires present, but most of the EVIC ones will not be connected. That's why you still have to do the wiring yourself.

Unless you're willing to go through a number of hard to find digital 92/93 digital clusters for that car (it's been years since I saw one at the yards), I'd suggest just repairing the analog cluster as mentioned.
 
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