How to Install a Boost Gauge on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Installing a boost gauge on your Vehicles Turbo allows you to more effectively monitor the turbo's running boost and keep an eye on its performance, helping you dial in the car's performance, your driving style and the precise amount of boost to run in a given situation. Installing the gauge is a relatively simple matter Vehicles anyone familiar with cars, and a great starting point Vehicles those just getting into or dabbling in car modification. Keep an eye on your turbo--and add race car style to your dash--by installing your own boost gauge.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Boost Gauge on a Subaru WRX

Remove the boost gauge from its packaging and be certain that all the necessary components are available. You should have a gauge, vacuum line and T-tube.

Open the hood of your WRX. Locate the vacuum line that runs off the turbo and cut it at a convenient point. Insert the two ends of the line into the ends of the T-tube. Insert one end of the vacuum hose for the boost gauge to the remaining head on the T-tube.

Run the vacuum hose you connected with the rest of the wiring that runs to the WRX's cabin. Be sure not to kink--or otherwise twist or break--the tube on its way to the gauge. If the hose is broken, the gauge will not work.

Attach the vacuum hose to the back of the boost gauge. Mount the gauge to your dashboard in a convenient but out-of-the-way location.

Take your WRX out for a test drive to be certain the gauge is working properly and reading accurately.

Items you will need

  • Socket or wrench set

  • Boost gauge

  • Gauge cup and mount

  • Vacuum hose

  • T-tube

 How to Install a Boost Gauge in a Dodge Cummins

Place the gauge into the pod. If the pod requires mounting, mount the pod with a screwdriver using the screws that came with the pod.

Route the red wire from the gauge into the fuse box. Attach the wire to the fuse that is marked "headlamps." This will allow the light on the gauge to come on only when the headlights are turned on.

Thread the NPT fitting that came with the kit onto the 1/-8-inch hose. Attach the fitting to the connector on the back side of the gauge. Tighten the connector with a wrench.

Route the 1/8-inch hose and the black wire from the gauge through the hole in the firewall which is located on the drivers side of the vehicle.

Route the black wire from the gauge to the battery in the engine compartment. Connect it to the negative battery post.

Route the 1/8-inch hose to the intake manifold. The intake manifold is the metal intake bracket mounted on the top side of the engine. The large hose from the turbocharger connects to the intake manifold on the drivers side of the engine.

Remove the intake manifold by loosening and removing the bolts that secure the intake manifold to the engine with a wrench. Remove the intake manifold and place it on a work surface.

Drill a 5/16-inch hole into the intake manifold. The location of the hole does not specifically matter; however, it is best to place the hole on the flat section because it will be easier to drill straight.

Tap the hole for threads using a 1/8-inch NPT tapping tool. Reinstall the intake manifold onto the engine. Tighten the bolts with a wrench.

Slide the connector that came with the kit onto the end of the 1/8-inch hose. Thread the connector into the hole in the intake manifold. Tighten the connector with a wrench.

Start the engine and check for any leaks. Verify that the gauge pressure increases when the throttle is depressed. Turn on the headlights and confirm that the light on the gauge illuminates properly.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Wrench set

  • Power drill

  • 5/16-inch drill bit

  • 1/8-inch NPT tap

  • Scissors

 How to Install a Boost Gauge to a 7.3 Powerstroke

Slide the boost gauge into the front of the gauge pod until the gauge stops from going any further. Place the gauge mounting bracket onto the back side of the gauge to hold it in position in the pod. Different gauge manufacturers use different methods of securing the gauge. Refer to the owner's manual for proper bracket installation.

Mount the gauge pod onto the dashboard of your Powerstroke-equipped vehicle, using the screws provided and a screwdriver.

Route the wiring harness from the gauge to the fuse panel inside your vehicle. Attach the red wire to the fuse connector marked "Headlamp." Attach the black wire to the ground screw, using a screwdriver (the ground screw is green).

Slide the connector onto the end of the boost line. Leave about 1/2-inch of the line extending past the connector. Thread the connector onto the fitting on the gauge and tighten the nut with a wrench.

Route the boost line through the hole in the firewall. The hole is located on the driver's side of the engine, under the steering wheel.

Run the line to the intake air-horn, inside the engine compartment. The intake air-horn is on the rear of the engine cover (which has "Powerstroke" stamped on it) -- it is a cylindrical metal section that connects the large air hose to the turbocharger.

Drill a 5/16-inch hole into the top of the intake air-horn, using a metal drill bit and a power drill. Keep the drill straight to ensure that a quality hole is made.

Install the 1/8-inch NPT tap into the tapping tool hardware. Rotate the tapping tool into the hole while pressing it with your hand. This will provide threads in the hole for the NPT fitting to connect. Remove the tapping tool from the hole.

Thread the NPT fitting that came with the boost gauge into the hole. Tighten it, using a wrench.

Cut the boost hose to the desired length with a pair of scissors. Thread the NPT fitting onto the end of the boost line. Leave about 1/2-inch of line extending out from the connector and screw it onto the fitting in the intake air-horn. Tighten the fitting with a wrench.

Start the engine and check for any leaks in the system. Fix, if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Gauge pod

  • Screwdriver

  • Power drill

  • Drill bit

  • Tap tool

  • Wrench set

  • Scissors

About the Author

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