Replacing the Original Gauges

The original tachometer was too sensitive and often spent its time wagging like a dogs tail. So the original Tachometer was replaced by an Elliot 80mm electronic tachometer in 1998. The instrument fascia was modified so that the new tachometer could be installed in the normal position. This new tachometer was spot on all the time.  This tacho and the other gauges have now been replaced by a Stack ST8130P Road/Rally Car Display System.

Gallery - Elliot Tacho

Stack ST8130P Road/Rally Car Display System

I have had an oil temperature gauge, located to the left of the dash display in one of the air heater vents, since I built the car in 1995. In 1998, I replaced the original tachometer with an Elliott electronic unit, because the original tachometer was unstable, and swung wildly during acceleration. In 2000, I replaced the oil pressure and water temperature gauges for more accurate units when the 2.4L engine was installed, which I located in centre of the dash. When I changed from carburettors to fuel injection, I installed a fuel pressure gauge, and a new fuel tank level sender and gauge for the new competition tank, both gauges again fitted in the centre of the dash.

So by June 2000, only the speedometer and voltage gauge were still in use, from the original Instrument Fascia. When we fitted the sequential 5 speed gearbox, which doesn't have a speedometer drive, the original dash became a waste of space, with extra gauges placed everywhere.

So, I have installed a Stack ST8130P Road/Rally Car Dash Display System. This display system is road legal, and I believe a similar system is installed in the Lotus Elise. This unit replaces all the original Manta GTE gauges and the additional gauges I have fitted over the years. The Stack ST8130P displays RPM*, speed (using wheel sensor), oil pressure*, oil temperature*, water temperature*, fuel pressure*, fuel tank level*, voltage*, trip meter, odometer and lap times (for last and best laps). Items with star (*) have high and/or low alarm settings. The Stack display can also be connected into a Stack data logging system for on track monitoring of many other useful parameters.

Installing Stack Display Unit

Gallery - Stack Display System

The template drawing shows the layout for the new instrument dash for the Manta. The red and yellow LEDs, at the top of the template, will be located in the instrument dash surround. Various LEDs replace lights from the old dash, and the two switches are used in setting up the Stack unit. There are two more switches located on the steering wheel, which accept alarms and switch between the various display screens.

I removed all the gauges and circuit board from the original dash display. Using the template drawing, I cut and drilled a sheet of aluminium. I then cut most of the original gauge fascia away, and stuck the new aluminium fascia to it. I then painted the new fascia using matt black cellulose paint.

I fitted all the LEDs and the Stack unit to the new fascia, and wired it all up. A small amount of cutting and filing had the fascia fitted into the dash surround. Then I had to do some re-wiring inside the passenger compartment and engine bay, for the new oil and fuel pressure, and oil and water temperature transducers.

Conclusions

The new dash display has been fitted to the car. The Stack system has worked very well so far. However, if the car is left for any length of time, say over the winter, without the battery being attached, then the Stack looses the set-up. After reconnecting the battery, the Stack displays bad data until the configuration is manually set up again. It is possible to get your configuration hard-programmed into the system by Stack, which is something I am considering.