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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-22-2012, 02:49 AM   #1
Tchleung
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Air Fuel Vent Gauge

While I wait for Rick at P3Cars to finish the E46 Vent Gauge, I've been working on a vent gauge for the last few days that I started a while ago so this is where I am at.


First of all, disassemble the factory dash vent and remove adjustable slats both vertical and horizontal.




Then I took apart my AEM UEGO down to the bare bones circuit board and also cut up a curved piece of clear lexan glass and sanded and shaped it to fit, which I tinted the back side with 5% window tint.





Then I glued the lexan in and also cut the original air vent slats to length and notched the end to fit around the glass and glued those together.




Then I got a back of a small model spray paint can and cut it to size and opened the back so the harness can be plugged in still.




That's all the pics for now. Basically I've now attached the gauge to the lexan and it works great. The LED's light up through the tint perfectly in the light and in the dark and is nicely concealed. My next steps are to trim the back half of the vent to fit back together and also build some kind of wall to deflect air away from the back of the gauge.


Now obviously I lose all adjust ability of moving the air direction vertical and horizontal, but I pre-aimed the vent to a direction that I use for the most part. I still have the rotary dial on the front to modulate how much air enters the vent so at least I still have 1 function. That's all for now!
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
Tchleung
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Due to some imperfections on the edge of the lexan on the outside, I decided to paint a black trim around the edge which I think also helps blend it into the factory vent colour better. The pictures don't show it well, but in person, it's almost a perfect match. You can also see the slats in the vent backing attached and my basic "shield" to deflect air off the back of the gauge and the angle points the air almost perfectly at me in the position I sit in.



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Old 01-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Finally all done. The red LED is for the meth monitor. The LED is quite a bit brighter then that rest of the gauge, I may add a resistor to tone down the brightness later.

The gauge has a built in light sensor which when dark, it dims the gauge down as seen in the video, but when any decent light shines on it(day time) the gauge lights up brighter instantly.








Quick shitty video...

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Old 01-29-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Pardon my ignorance, but what does that do?
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
Tchleung
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It's a wide band meter so I can monitor air fuel ratios at all times since I am supercharged.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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It's a wide band meter so I can monitor air fuel ratios at all times since I am supercharged.
Nice
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Great mod!!! Too bad I don't have turbo or SC to take advantage of it.

Congrats
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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awesome mod! when you get that gauge from rick... PM me I'll gladly take this off your hands
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
Tchleung
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Thanks guys!

xixixi, will do
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #10
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great job on this dude. really creative...
My buddy got one of these for his B6 Audi A4. but yours looks way better

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #11
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great job on this dude. really creative...
My buddy got one of these for his B6 Audi A4. but yours looks way better
Thanks a lot! I was originally going to just do something simple like that... But something like that just wouldn't be acceptable in a BMW.. :p

My main key is to try to make the car very stock like on the interior with subtle changes on the exterior
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Wow! Nice work!
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #13
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Well after running my custom vent gauge for a while, I REALLY regretted not having a boost gauge implemented. Sooo Being too picky and anal I decided to make a new one.

I always loved the VEI dual gauges so I contacted Neil at VEI Systems to have a custom display made.

The gauge needs a wideband to output a standard 0-5V wideband reference, and the unit comes with its own pressure sensor. What I love about this display is that once I wire in a momentary switch, it will display peak boost recorded on a single press. A second press resets the value and returns to live feed.

I plan to implement the display below the second slat from the bottom. Being that this setup is much much smaller, I can retain over 75% of my vent and have full vertical and horizontal adjustment. More pics to come as I progress...








And for reference, this is my current setup that I am replacing.



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Old 03-31-2012, 02:46 AM   #14
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I can't wait to see the new one! I was impressed before but I'm even more excited to see what happens with the dual monitor!
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:36 PM   #15
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Not much progress so far. Opened the vent, shved the inside some and cut the lexan display. It's a matte black lexan sheet. Should cut down glare a lot more then my current display while still letting the display perfectly visible through it. Close up pic just shows how its fitting so far. There is the protective scratch film over top the front at the moment. More pics to come as I progress bit by bit.


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Old 04-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #16
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Here it is with the cover off the lexan. And the back half fitted just to see how it'll all fit. The wires will point downward directly after the display so they will actually come out of a hole through the bottom.


Pic is with flash so it is just enough to show the display behind the lexan.

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Old 04-05-2012, 01:44 AM   #17
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Done...

Just gotta make time to install it now haha. When I do, I'll record a video.

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Old 04-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #18
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Sorry guys been pretty swamped with other things right now and weather has been shitty to make any quality videos. I'll be making a proper video with better pics soon but in the meantime I did a quick vid today so here is a teaser screenshot of the video... Don't mind the slight blur due to vibration...









Brief info:


From left to right on the gauge


[Meth Status LED] [Boost/Vacuum] [Faintly Lit PSI/AF symbol] [Air Fuel]


The meth light progressively blinks faster until it is at max flow.

Boost/Vacuum gauge is a high resolution gauge that can be set to increment by 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0.

There is a momentary switch(not pictured), that is used for programming and also to recall and reset peak boost recorded.

Air Fuel gauge is configurable to any wide band that outputs a 0-5V reference, I have my AEM unit in conjunction with this.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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Very cool! What happened to the P3 vent gauge? I'd be interested in that... or if you could make me one
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:01 AM   #20
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I don't suppose there is any way for you to make these for individuals? I just got an AA stage 2 kit and this is of interest to me.

EDIT: I modify my question. Where did you get the acrylic? I'm in contact with Niel right now about getting the gauge.
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Last edited by deadwood83; 07-03-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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