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I'd been looking to fit a range of gauges to my Patrol and have been surfing the net when Redarc (www.redarc.com.au) launched their comprehensive range of white-faced gauges onto the Australian market. What timing! And I'm a bit of a fan of Redarc gear – Aussie designed and manufactured in SA, with a great reputation – so why not?
There's about a dozen gauges in the line up and I ordered two units, each with three different readouts, plus the extra accessories to get all these to work, including an Enhanced Lighting Controller to better dim and brighten the gauges for night driving.
The gauges included a Redarc dual voltage gauge, which constantly monitors both my main battery and the auxiliary battery and also gives a digital readout of the current output of the alternator. For the latter to work correctly you also require an optional Hall Effect Current Sensor.
The second Redarc gauge which monitors the turbo with a boost readout and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) display, I've had fitted by the crew at Outback 4WD in Bayswater (ph: (03) 9720 6226; www.outback4wd.com.au) . This kit comes with all you require including probes, control units and connectors. A digital readout of engine oil pressure on the same gauge completes the display, this requiring an optional oil gauge sender.
Both gauges are mounted in a pillar pod, keeping them out of the way but still easily readable. I've gotta say, that while wiring these two units is a relatively simple job, it is fiddly and very time consuming with all wiring, etc, having to be run from batteries and alternators and the like, back through the firewall to the pillar pod.
The mounting of the EGT probe in the engine exhaust can demand some specialist gear and experience, not to mention welding as we had to replace the EGT probe mounting nut on the exhaust with the one supplied. A few phone calls to all known suppliers of an adaptor came up with a blank, so there was nothing more to do that remove the old mounting nut and replace it.
A few hints if you do this yourself. Layout all your gauge kits and wiring. Read the instructions carefully and work your way methodically through the installation. At times you will have wires seemingly running everywhere. A second pair of hands come in handy at times to run wiring through the firewall, not to mention a second pair of eyes to keep track of everything.
We've had these gauges fitted for a few months now and they have worked splendidly well with absolutely no issues from them. It's great to be able to have a continuous and accurate readout of battery voltage and alternator current as well as EGT, turbo boost and engine oil pressure. I've been pleasantly surprised at how cool EGT temps are in a wide range of ambient temperatures and operating conditions, while I never realised how much the oil pressure fluctuated. You live and learn!
The cost of the Redarc gauges vary from $170 to $407 each, depending on gauge & readouts and options. I reckon these are an excellent product - well made, reliable and easy to read. For peace of mind you just can't go past a set of good gauges and these are as good as vehicle-monitoring gauges get.
For more info check out: www.redarc.com.au.
See you in the bush.
Ron and Viv.
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