How to convert your oil pressure gauge (with pics) - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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How to convert your oil pressure gauge (with pics)

Been wanting to try this so-called oil pressure gauge mod.
Based on Lonnie's tech article.

Tools needed:
Adjustable wrench
Large Pliers
teflon tape
10mm and 7mm sockets
Phillips screwdriver

There are 2 senders you can choose from:
Standard Motor Products: PS-60 Echlin: OP6091
Motorcraft: SW-1547-B, E4ZZ-9278-A *I used this one

I took off the old oil pressure sender with a pair of pliers.


Wrap teflon tape, about three turns, around the thread of the new sender. The Motorcraft one came with teflon tape already on the threads. I used an adjustable wrench to snug it down.

Reattach the sender lead. Shown in red.

Now you need to locate and bypass the 20ohm resistor.

According to the original tech article, Lonnie says "A small number of Thunderbirds have the 20 ohm resistor located on the oil sender wire approximately 5 inches from the sender itself. If this is the case, bypass or remove this resistor". You're done. Skip to the end.

Incase you don't have this resistor near your sender, it will be located behind your oil gauge in the cluster.

Here's how to take the cluster off without breaking the plastic tabs:
Applies to a 94 dash. Yours may vary

Remove these three bolts - 10mm


The bottom trim panel will pull right off. There are three spring clips holding the top on


This reveals 3 more 10mm bolts: (two I had already removed)


2 phillips screws


The surround can then be pulled straight back. It's also being held on by spring clips. Bring it back enough to unhook the rear defroster plug.


Tilt the steering wheel all the way down. Carefully work the surround out. It gives a little but too much and you could crack it.

The cluster is held on by four 7mm bolts in the four corners. If you needed to take the clear plastic cover off, you would use a T15 torx bit. You don't need to take the clear cover off for this though.


The cluster has 2 wiring harness connectors. You need to move the right-hand side out first to get at the one on the right side. This will give you access to get at the one on the left side. You press the tabs on the sides in and pull.


Reverse the above to put it back together again. Just remember you are dealing with plastic here. No need to crank down on the bolts.


This is the 20ohm resistor you're looking for. You need to work quickly so you don't melt the blue plastic. Take a piece of insulated wire and wrap the legs of the resistor.

Not the greatest of soldering jobs but my butane iron was a little too hot for this job.

Start it up and check for leaks.

From the original article:
When cold: between M and top line.
When hot at speed: M
When hot in gear idle: between N and O
When hot in park: O

This article demonstrates what I have done to modify my oil pressure gauge in my car. Neither I nor TCCoA assume any responsibility if you use this article to try to modify your own car. You do so at your own risk.

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Last edited by XR7-4.6; 08-14-2019 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Changing location of pics
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post #2 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:29 PM
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Have you fired it up yet? I did the same mod and when the car is idleing after it has warmed up the reading is low enough to trigger the check gauges light. I don't know if its a problem with my sodering job or if the car has really low oil pressure. It runs fine and I have been able to make the pres gauge drop with the voltage drops, i.e. open or close the window. Just curious what you're readings are.

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post #3 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'll know soon. Still working on finishing up the blower install.

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post #4 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:41 AM
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I wonder if this mod will work on the 99+ mustangs....and of all guages to make fake...why something so critical as oil pressure.

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post #5 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:44 AM
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wow ur gauges r nice.....is my tc pressure gauge real? at an idle, it does get low. but while driving it will b usually at half or a tick higher.

If your exhaust tip is larger than your cylinder bore, then you are a Ricer.
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post #6 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Those are scotthrbacek gauge faces. http://www.customgaugefaces.com/

I don't know when Ford stopped using real oil pressure gauges. Makes me wonder how many people would bring their cars in for service because they thought the oil pressure gauge worked like a fuel gauge and when it moves left it must mean the oil is low. Of course nothing was wrong but they were required to check it out anyway and Ford would get the bill.

It's possible the 91 still had a real gauge but I'm not familiar with that year.

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post #7 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 12:19 PM
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Good write up, Al. I've been thinking about doing this mod and this should make it that much easier.

Also, I don't care what Preston says....you've got good taste! You have the same gauges as me
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post #8 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 01:26 PM
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i never knew they even make fake gauges. so what made it read anyhting? just when u fire it up it goes to a certain spot? anybody know y they did it even yet?

If your exhaust tip is larger than your cylinder bore, then you are a Ricer.
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post #9 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:11 PM
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It works more like an idiot light than a guage. If you've got pressure the gauge reads somewhere in the normal range, no pressure it reads nothing. It's either on or off just like an idiot light

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post #10 of 209 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:30 PM
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i get it now haha. thanks for the info scrazy!

If your exhaust tip is larger than your cylinder bore, then you are a Ricer.
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post #11 of 209 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94t-birdlx
Have you fired it up yet? I did the same mod and when the car is idleing after it has warmed up the reading is low enough to trigger the check gauges light. I don't know if its a problem with my sodering job or if the car has really low oil pressure. It runs fine and I have been able to make the pres gauge drop with the voltage drops, i.e. open or close the window. Just curious what you're readings are.
When cold it's a line or two from high. When warmed up and idle it's a line or 2 left of center.

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post #12 of 209 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 07:20 AM
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Hmm, I guess I'kk find out what my problem is when I get a real gauge on there. I'll have to recheck the connections as well.

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post #13 of 209 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 08:27 PM
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Do you Have to leave that resistor in there once you solder that wire in? Do you cut it out?
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post #14 of 209 (permalink) Old 01-14-2006, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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You don't have to leave it there. You can cut it if you want to. However, electricity will take the path of least resistance so leaving it in there and connected will do no harm and won't skew the results. Leaving it will make it easier to return it to stock should you want to later.

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post #15 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 02:14 PM
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Could the resistor be modified before the sender is installed?

I just got Scotts Gauges and figured it would be a good idea to mod the resistor while I'm not planning on doing the sender until later.

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post #16 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 11:30 PM
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TTT, I need to know before 9 AM Eastern. Someone who knows has to see this in that time. I hope anyway...

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post #17 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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I would say no. If you could, there would be no need for that resistor to be there in the first place.

I don't know what would happen if you did that.

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post #18 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-30-2006, 11:59 PM
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To my knowledge though, the resistor decides what the gauge shows depending on current, so wouldn't it just cause the gauge to go haywire?

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post #19 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 08:01 AM
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If by haywire you mean release all the magic white smoke then yes, running too much current through something will do that. The factory sender is on/off not variable. All a resistor does is step down the current to whatever degree the rating of the resistor is, it too is not variable.

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post #20 of 209 (permalink) Old 05-31-2006, 11:40 PM
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Looks like I'm gonna have to go back in there anyway because I messed up the placement of the speedo needle. I'll do the mod some other time.

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post #21 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-05-2006, 06:52 PM
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Hmm..anybody know where the resistor is most commonly located on the '96? I'm thinkin' about doing this, too.

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post #22 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-16-2006, 12:08 PM
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I picked up a guage from a 96 in the junk yard and it was in the same place as he described (Behind the guages).

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- Developing Rocker Rust
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post #23 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 09:42 AM
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Does this apply for the supercoupes also? This mod, actually makes the gauge work rather then just an on off type of thing?
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post #24 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdowner302
This mod, actually makes the gauge work rather then just an on off type of thing?
No it doesn't really work. We just like taking our dash apart and soldering wires to resistors for fun.

Can't answer on the supercoupe.

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post #25 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 10:54 AM
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Yes, this is the same for the SC, sender is just in a different place. If I remember correctly, you will have to disconnect the intercooler tubes and move the accessory bracket forward to get on the sensor. It’s hiding behind the steering pump to water pump support bracket. This mod is for any year/any Ford that uses the "Idiot" on or off sender.

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post #26 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 09:42 AM
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Well thats Shouldn't be too hard since the motor is out. Thanks for the info. mickey

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post #27 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_Florida
No it doesn't really work. We just like taking our dash apart and soldering wires to resistors for fun.

Can't answer on the supercoupe.
Ha, kind of a stupid Q I know, I just repeated what I had read up top. More of a statement for my post records then a question Al.

But then again maybe you do like taking your dash apart and soldering wires to resistors for fun, sounds like a heck of good time to me!! haha

Last edited by tbirdowner302; 06-22-2006 at 10:04 AM.
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post #28 of 209 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdowner302
Ha, kind of a stupid Q I know, I just repeated what I had read up top. More of a statement for my post records then a question Al.

But then again maybe you do like taking your dash apart and soldering wires to resistors for fun, sounds like a heck of good time to me!! haha
LOL well no its not that stupid. I was just in a "here's your sign" mood. Although according to some people I need to see a "psychologist" or a psychiatrist so perhaps I do like taking my dash apart and soldering wires on resistors.

I have a butane soldering iron. The colors... the colors...

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post #29 of 209 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 08:26 AM
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One more reason to snicker and roll my eyes when someone asks why I don't hack the wiring harness up in my 97' dash to retrofit a 94-96 instrument cluster because "they're better, Ford cheaped out in 97"...

fwiw I recall the bar graph style oil pressure gauge in my 89's digital dash actually seemed to work as a real gauge not an idiot light. By the end the 3.8 in it had a bad knock and the oil pressure was all over the place...

note I said seemed to, when I'd come to a stop it would fluctuate a segment or two on the digital bar graph and occasionally momentarily drop to zero... it could of been idiot-light-ized and the bar graph was slow enough that really short losses of oil pressure just appeared to be a slight flutuation...

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post #30 of 209 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 04:50 PM
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So how do you know if the 20 Ohm resistor is 5 inches away or behind the cluster before even looking? Do certain years have it different or are a few just wierd?

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Last edited by Steven; 07-18-2006 at 05:03 PM.
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