Want to change temp gauge

I have a 1985 dodge w350 and it really doesn’t actually have a temp gauge it has a light that comes on when it overheats but i would like to switch to a needle temp gauge so I could know if its running hot or if its about to overheat. I don’t know if I could change out the factory light for a factory needle gauge or if I would have to buy a aftermarket gauge.

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Did Dodge even offer a factory temperature gauge for that model in 1985? If yes, you’d need to find a complete instrument cluster with that gauge in a junkyard, and swap it into your vehicle. Way too much work. Just get an aftermarket gauge, and mount it under the instrument panel.

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I have no idea if the offered a needle temp gauge but I would think they would but we have another 85 ram that has a needle temp gauge I might take it out of that but I don’t know if i want to do that to that truck because the interior condition is so nice so idk know what I’m gonna do i was just wondering if it would work properly if I switched from the light to a needle gauge

No, you’d need to change the sending unit also.

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Just get an after market gauge and then you will have double coverage . You might even get the whole set, Coolant temp , battery charge and oil pressure .


Did you get the sticker removed you asked about?

I happen to prefer the “stock” appearance, so it would be well worth the effort to me compared to tacky-looking aftermarket gauges. Keep in mind, however that prior to the late 1990s, many cars used different wiring harnesses, depending on the options selected, and that wires needed to add options later may be missing. For example, on the Dodge Spirit/Plymouth Acclaim or Dodge Shadow/Plymouth Sundance, upgrading from a basic instrument cluster to the premium cluster with tachometer won’t work, because the modular plugs on a non-tachometer car have empty pins, and the wires which carry this data are missing.

No i haven’t tried i have been focusing on get tires and wheels on which I did get on it but I am gonna try to get it off

I agree with you i am gonna try to get the original gauge i like to keep the interior pretty original exterior and mechanical not so much I eventually want to pull the engine and put in another 360 but possibly stroke it out to a 408

There are complete instrument panel’s with the temp gauge available on ebay, used though. Might be other options from pick a part or similar auto recyclers. Base trucks didn’t have one but other trims could.

You can just buy a gauge set or the separate gauge and install it. It will have a separate temp sensor that installs in the engine so you will have both.

When I special ordered my 86 Park Ave, the only way I could get gauges was to order the $2000 electronic dash. Instead I got a $20 set with volts, temp, and oil pressure. Worked fine.

When adding aftermarket gauges, aside from wiring up the proper sending unit, the dash illumination circuit will have to be tapped into for the gauge backlighting, if one wants to be able to see the gauges at night.

This would probably be much easier than trying to wire a full original-style cluster if all the original wiring isn’t there, though if it were mine, I’d probably go original-style. I like these types of challenges, and I don’t mind playing with wiring, as long as I can find factory wiring diagrams.

Yeah I’m gonna try to go original instead of an aftermarket gauge i would have to mount somewhere

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If you find a used cluster that looks too used, you can get a refacing kit for it to help make the gauges look like new, but it doesn’t help much with the rest of the cluster.

Here’s a kit at LMC Truck.

They did offer a cluster with full gauges.
So not only will you have to figure out the Temp gauge, You’ll also have to do the Amp Gauge and Oil Pressure Gauge, Plus eliminate the Battery/Alt light and keep the charging system working.

I agree with @old_mopar_guy, an after market set would a lot easier

Mine actually came with fuel and amp gauge as needle gauges so all I need is temp and oil pressure

No temperature gauge?
I’ve been to one world’s fair a picnic and a rodeo and that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard…

I dont know if it had something to do with the airforce because at the time dodge and the airforce had a contract for trucks but i guess its how they did it it only comes on if your truck over heats but I would like to have a actual temp gauge