Aftermarket Gauges and Pillar Pods
We are always seeking new, innovative, high quality products to produce installation articles for. This article is going to be a combination installation article because they go hand in hand. A Speed of Sound LLC pillar pod and a pair of Cobalt gauge from Auto Meter.
What separates the Speed of Sound pillar from other available options is the complete replacement of the pillar. You will receive a high quality OEM pillar with gauge pods attached to replace your stock pillar. The bonus feature with the SOS pillar pods is the additional feature of a Raptor Shift Light mount. This is an optional feature but makes the perfect location for the Raptor Shift Light to be mounted. The shift light will appear to float between the two pods and looks very cool.
To start the installation, you will need to remove the stock pillar cover. On the convertibles, there is a plastic retaining pin at the top, just to the left side of the anchor for the convertible top. Pry this back out of it's hole being careful to not scratch any surfaces. This can be done with a large flat blade screw driver or a panel removal tool.
With the retaining pin removed, the pillar can be pulled straight down from the top. It is held in place by several alignment pins and spring retainers. Don't manhandle it, massage it a little, flex it here, get your fingers or a small pry device as close to the spring clips and help it release. Remove the pillar completely and store in a safe place.
Flipping hats to the gauges now, we chose to add some high quality gauges from Auto Meter, one of the leaders in gauges. The have a endless supply of options from replacement gauges, full blown high tech competition gauges to replacement instrument clusters. The Cobalt Series gauges fit the bill for us and we will be adding a Boost (part #6159) and a Fuel Pressure gauge (part #6163) to the SOS Pillar pod. It won't hurt to test fit the SOS Pillar Pods at this time, they look fantastic and the quality is factory perfect.
The gauges come neatly packaged individually and have their own set of instructions. We will start with the Fuel Pressure Gauge first. Before we were able to do anything, we had to track down an adaptor that is not supplied with the gauge. There is a fuel pressure switch that is supplied that will replace the fuel rail Shrader Valve, but it does not match the size. An Auto Meter part #3280. You should be able to find this at any Automotive Performance shop that handles Auto Meter products. A small amount of thread sealant should be applied to the pressure switch and then add the adaptor. It will be easier to mount these as an assembly.
Relieve the pressure from the fuel rail via a small blade screw driver. Depress the Shrader valve with a rag rapped around it to contain any fuel that might escape while the pressure is being let off. Make sure you are wearing your safety goggles, and cover the valve completely with the rag, you do not want to get any fuel into your eyes.
Remove the existing Shrader valve, it will not be re-used. Apply a small amount of thread sealant to the adapter and thread the assembly into the location where the Shrader valve used to be. If you need to relieve pressure in the future, it can be accomplished by loosening off the complete assembly. Apply loom to the wiring harness supplies (available at any automotive supply store) and tape with electricians tape. Plug in the harness to the assembly and route over to the drivers side firewall location where we will drill a hole to eventually route the harness inside.
Drilling a 1 inch hole into the firewall is necessary for the boost and fuel pressure harness. Locating this hole can be tricky and must be done carefully. We chose an area just to the left of the clutch pedal and above the floor insulation. Pull back the floor insulation and mark a location. Check both inside and out to make sure you are not drilling through something critical. Check again. A grommet is supplied to protect the wires from being damaged by sharp edges. The grommet must be cut to allow the wires to be centered in the grommet, then the grommet can be manipulated into the freshly drilled hole.