Revised January 16th, 2013
For years, Volkswagen owners have depended on the quality of VDO Gauges to keep themselves informed on their vehicle's running condition. VDO is original equipment on all Volkswagens, as well as many other fine German vehicles. Of particular interest to Volkswagen owners are the Oil Temperature and Pressure Gauges and rightly so. The Volkswagen Air Cooled engine is subject to higher demands than a Water Cooled engine and these conditions should be monitored. Carried in stock are the VDO Cockpit Style Gauges, which have proven themselves in reliability and happen to be the most popular of gauge style used as an add-on.
With all the neat electrical accessories and high-powered stereo units being installed in vehicles these days, an Ammeter and Voltmeter are a must if you want to monitor your battery and alternator. Ammeters monitor the flow of current (amps) in the system. Voltmeters show the "status" of the system. A nice finishing touch is the installation of a Quartz-Movement Clock in the matching gauge style. All gauges are 2 1/16" Diameter.
VDO-190903 Ammeter, 30AMP $52.30
VDO-190031 Ammeter, 60AMP $53.10
Please see notes below for proper Ammeter Connections:
Note: Vehicles with Alternators (Buses 72-79, Vanagon 80-91 and Buses to 71 w/AL82X Conversion): This requires that a wire of at least 10 gauge stranded wire be run from your alternator's Battery (usually B+) terminal to the gauge AND THEN BACK to the original wire that usually runs to the Starter, then to the Battery.
Note: Vehicles with Generators (Original Equipment - Buses through 1971): This requires that a wire of at least 10 gauge stranded wire be run from your Voltage Regulator's Battery (usually B+) terminal to the gauge AND THEN BACK to the original wire that usually runs to the Starter, then to the Battery.
VDO-332041 Voltmeter, 8-16V $CALL
Note: Voltmeters are normally connected to the circuit on the Ignition Switch that is "HOT" when the Ignition Switch is ON. This is usually a BLACK wire coming from the ignition switch. A good example is to connect to the BLACK wire running from the Fusebox to the "HOT" side of the Ignition Coil.
VDO-370021 Clock, Quartz-Movement, 12 Volt Only NLA
An Oil Pressure Gauge allows you to monitor the flow of your oil. This is especially critical when an external cooler is installed. If the pressure drops below a safe point, engine damage occurs. Most VW "Idiot Light" Senders usually come on under 7psi (Wasserboxers 83-85 under 5psi!) and by the time that happens, the damage is usually done. On the other hand, too much oil pressure can allow the oil to "wash" over and not properly lubricate the bearings and can also cause high crankcase pressure and "foaming" as well. Where should the pressure be? At highway speeds and at operating temperature, 30-40psi is usually the accepted norm. At idle, 10-15psi. The Bentley Factory Service Manual stipulates that the 1600 engine on models through 1971 should be about 42psi at 2500RPM/158F Temp. 1700,1800, 2000 engined Buses 72-79 should be 28psi at 2500RPM/158F Temp. Vanagons 80-91 should be 29psi at 2000RPM/176F Temp. (We don't understand the discrepancies of oil pressure ratings between the Bus and Vanagon 2000 engines, we're just quoting from the manuals.) Senders are sold separately. All gauges are 2 1/16" Diameter.
VDO-350040 Oil Press Gauge, 80psi, 12 Volt $49.30
VDO-350041 Oil Press Gauge, 150psi, 12 Volt $49.30
Senders for the above gauge:
VDO-360001 Pressure Sender, Single Contact (Gauge Only) $90.901
VDO-360006 Pressure Sender, Dual Contact (Gauge and Idiot Light) $62.00
Mounting Notes and Hints:
Bus/Pickup through 1971 (Upright Engine) - Above senders are mounted in place of your existing Oil Pressure Switch.
Bus/Pickup/Vanagon Air Cooled 72-83 (Type 4 Style Engine) - Above senders cannot be mounted directly to the case where your existing Oil Pressure Switch is due to lack of room and the hole in the engine tin is too small, unless modifications to the tin are made. Still, the area is pretty restrictive to mount the sender. VDO makes a neat pressure adaptor hose kit to accomplish proper installation. Remove your existing Oil Pressure Switch, mount the male end of the hose to the case (use teflon tape for sealing), then mount the Pressure Sender to the other end of the hose (DO NOT use teflon tape - it has to ground!). Use the circular strap that comes with the hose assembly, wrap it around the sender (do not insulate with rubber - the sender has to ground!) and then using the tapping screw provided, drill a small hole in the engine tin and secure the sender to the engine tin. Other customers have used other piping arrangements and you can too as well if you desire not to use the VDO Pressure Adaptor Hose Kit. Please remember that the threads at both the female and male ends must be 10mm diameter with a 1.0mm thread pitch. Hose provided is a little over 12 inches long.
Vanagon Wasserboxer 83-91 - German engineers must have been on a Bratwurst or Beer Break when designing where to place the Oil Pressure Switch on this engine. Having it installed just below the #3 and #4 Cylinders on the case is at first an idiotic looking place, being most difficult to get to, even under the best conditions. But in reality, it is actually the best spot, because it monitors the oil pressure right at the Main and Cam Bearings, perhaps the most important area of the engine. Again, you can use the above pressure adaptor hose kit to accomplish proper installation. Remove the lower #3 and #4 engine tin, then remove your existing Oil Pressure Switch, mount the male end of the hose to the case (use teflon tape for sealing). Get a hacksaw or other appropriate cutting device to cut a "notched hole" through the lower engine tin, get an appropriate sized grommet from your local auto parts place (Radio Shack carries an assortment - real inexpensive) and put it the hole to prevent the hose from being cut by the engine tin. Reinstall the tin, putting the hose through the hole. Then mount the Pressure Sender to the other end of the hose (DO NOT use teflon tape - it has to ground!). Use the circular strap that comes with the hose assembly, wrap it around the sender (do not insulate with rubber - the sender has to ground!) and then using the tapping screw provided, drill a small hole in the lower engine tin and secure the sender to the engine tin. Other customers have used other piping arrangements and you can too as well if you desire not to use the VDO Pressure Adaptor Hose Kit. Please remember that the threads at both the female and male ends must be 10mm diameter with a 1.0mm thread pitch. Hose provided is a little over 12 inches long.
VDO-150752 VDO Pressure Adaptor Hose Kit NLA
Overreving a Bus/Vanagon Engine is easy. You're sitting over 14 feet away from the back end of the vehicle where the engine is. And as the years went by, VW improved their noise suppression of the engine compartment enough so that you can't tell if the clutch is slipping. Having a Tachometer helps you monitor the engine's speed to obtain the maximum performance within the engine's powerband in whatever gear you're in.
VDO-333051 Tachometer, 7,000 RPM, 3 1/8" $146.20
Now you can mount the above 3 1/8" Tachometer in the blank spot to the right of your speedometer on your 68-79 Type 2 with no fuss, no muss. Just remove the two screws holding the blank plate and re-use them to install this ring to hold your gauge in place. Looks like something VW would have made, but we did it instead.
220-09101 Tachometer Mounting Ring Bus/Pickup 68-79 $11.25
Cylinder Heads on an Air Cooled Volkswagen are a weak point and can overheat if the air cooling system becomes unexpectedly blocked or if you're running in extreme (read: hot) ambient temperature conditions. An Oil Temp Gauge won't tell you as fast as a Cylinder Temp Gauge will if your head temps start sailing into the stratosphere. Average head temps on the upright engines range from 275 to 325F. Type 4 style engines tend to run a little hotter, averaging about 350 to 375F. These temps are when the Temp Sender Wire is correctly mounted to the Spark Plug, usually #3 because that's usually the hottest one. Some people have mounted the sender wire to other cylinder head locations, but our experience is that you don't usually have a true, reliable reading of the actual head temp. One very important thing to remember - NEVER cut and trim the length of the Temp Sender Wire or the Wire Harness - The voltage produced by the sender wire is what makes the Cylinder Head Temp Gauge work and if the length is tampered with, you will never get a true reading at all. Kit is complete with Gauge, Wire Harness and Sender Wire. All 3 items are available separately as well.
VDO-310901 Cylinder Head Temp Gauge Kit $141.10
VDO-310033 Cylinder Head Temp Gauge Only 600F NLA
VDO-240701 Cylinder Head Temp Wiring Kit $28.60
VDO-323701 Temp Sender Wire-14mm Spark Plug $33.10
An Oil Temperature Gauge is the most important gauge you will ever need on your Bus or Vanagon. It should have been a factory-installed item and it wouldn't have cost that much to do it. But they didn't. We strongly recommend the installation of an Oil Temp Gauge, especially for those who put in a lot of miles on their Type 2. Acceptable Oil Temp reading should be between 190 to 210 degrees, depending the ambient temperature. 72-83 Buses and Vanagons tend to run a little on the warmer side, so an external oil cooler may be needed to bring the temp in-line. Dipstick Senders are not recommended for the Type 4 style engines (72-83) as they are not long enough to reach into the case to accurately inform you of both the oil temperature and correct oil level. In addition, our experience has been when using a Dipstick Sender that it can be very inaccurate (reading temp too high). Oil Plate mounted Temp Senders are usually more reliable for an accurate reading. On upright engines You must follow the instructions provided with the sender for T4 to drill the plate. Temp Senders are sold separately. All gauges are 2 1/16" Diameter. Note: If you're a sharp looker, you'll see that a 250F Water Temp Gauge is pictured above - This is because VDO never shot a photo of the 300F Oil Temp Gauge and it doesn't appear in any of their catalogs!
VDO-310012 Oil Temp Gauge, 300F, 12 Volt $44.00
VDO-323055 Oil Temp Sender Drain Plug Style T1 $25.80
VDO-323057 Oil Temp Sender Used With Adapter T Below $19.90
VDO-240850 Adapter T For Sender And O/P Light $9.90
VDO-323064 Oil Temp Sender Replaces O/P Releif Plug $32.50
VDO-323888 Oil Temp Sender For Sump Plate T4 CALL
VDO-240827B Sump Plate, Special Drilled for VDO-323888 for Bus/Vanagon Air Cooled 1972 to 1983 NLA
VDO-323057B Oil Temp Sender, Replaces Drain Plug, Wasserboxer Vanagon 1983 to 1991 CALL
VDO-323081 Oil Temp Dipstick Sender For Bus/Pickup (Upright Engines) through 1971 NLA
One of the most difficult choices to be made when installing aftermarket gauges in the 68-79 Type 2 was where to mount them. Between the bottom of the radio hole and the ashtray is an obvious choice, but just mounting the gauges there looks tacky, at best. We developed a trim panel that looks perfect for this type of installation. What holds it onto the Dash are the gauge rims themselves and it can be used as a template for your gauge holesaw. Powder coated in Satin Black, this trim panel is used for 2 1/16 inch gauges and is a perfect finishing touch for your dashboard.
220-09102 3 Gauge Trim Panel, Black Bus/Pickup 68-79 $CALL
Below are listed a variety of Accessories and sometimes necessary a Wiring Harness to complete your installation.
ABS Plastic mounting cups in a black matte finish.
VDO-240100 2 1/16" Dia., all gauges shown except Ammeter & Clock $90.90
VDO-240101 2 1/16" Dia., for Ammeter and Clock - Special Long Version $67.90
VDO-240102 3 1/8" Dia., for Tachometer $114.60
Ring Mounts are black-finished steel for underdash installation.
VDO-240070 2 1/16" Diameter NLA
These VDO mounting brackets are of a unique, flexible, rubber-like material for safety. Handsome black matte finish. For 2 1/16" diameter gauges.
VDO-240802 1 Opening $34.50
VDO-240803 2 Openings $38.00
VDO-240804 3 Openings $41.60
Consoles are made of durable ABS plastic with black leather-like finish. Made for VDO 2 1/16 inch gauges. Mount to any flat surface. Consoles are angled toward driver for best visibility.
VDO-110869 1 Opening NLA
VDO-110870 2 Openings NLA
VDO-110871 3 Openings NLA
Includes necessary wire and end kits for a professional gauge installation.
VDO-240023 Universal - Except Ammeter $26.60
VDO-240021 Ammeter Wiring Kit $31.20
WARRANTY: VDO Instruments warrants all merchandise against defects in factory workmanship and materials for a period of 24 months for automobile application from the date of the end-consumer's invoice from Bus Boys, Inc. Provisions of this warranty covers only those products exposed to normal use or service. Products used in an off-road use will not be considered for warranty. Provisions of this warranty shall not apply to a VDO product which is used for a purpose for which it is not designed, or which has been altered in any way that would be detrimental to the performance or life of the product, or misapplication, misuse, negligence or accident. On any part or product found to be defective after examination by VDO Instruments, VDO Instruments will on repair or replace the merchandise through the original selling dealer (i.e. Bus Boys, Inc.,). VDO Instruments assumes no responsibility for diagnosis, removal and/or installation labor, loss of vehicle use, loss of time, inconvenience or any other consequential expense. The warranties herein are in lieu of any other expressed or implied warranties, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness, and any other obligation on the part of VDO Instruments, or selling dealer. NOTE: This is a "Limited Warranty" as defined by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.
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