Chevy SSR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally had a chance to run the SSR tonight with the tire pressure monitoring system installed.

Note: If you're installing the system using stock wheels, the tires need to come off to install the sensors into the wheels. Make sure you mount all four sensors in the same spot, and are aware of the location. Otherwise, the sensors can be damaged by the bead breaker when dismounting a tire. The instructions recommend installing within 3" of the valve, and that seems to be an industry standard - that way, you'll know the location. I went at 180 from the valve, and that probably wasn't a good idea - cost me a $70 sensor when we were trying to solve the vibration problem.

Installation using the auxiliary gauge set is very easy and convenient. The Dakota gauge is very shallow, and by cutting back the mounting studs, I was able to replace the GPH gauge, and leave the other two intact. I tested the system first with the GPH gauge removed, and the voltage and trans temp gauges continued to operate. That was a good sign - I wasn't sure if the three were somehow interconnected on the circuit board.

I then installed the new gauge is the center spot. I tapped into the 12 v supply to the auxiliary gauges, (can't tap the positive stud on a gauge - the circuit board lowers the voltage to approx 8.6 volts. I used one of the gauge negative studs for the ground. The Dakota system uses a 12 v input from the automatic headlight system for their dimmer circuit. Discovered that the gray wire which controls gauge lights works perfectly for that job. So- no outside wiring required. Anyone installing the system in an SSR without the auxiliary gauges would not be so lucky - unless they cut into the carpet to find the gauge harness, and tapped into that. Otherwise, it means locating the required positive and dimmer connections somwhere in a jungle of wires.

Dakota uses the Smartire receiver and sensors, and their own brainbox to link the Smartire system to their display. I had the sensors installed by Newstalgia when they put the new tire and wheel combo together. Otherwise, installing the sensors would require a dismount and remounting of the tires.

Once the display, computer and receiver are wired and installed, the next step is to have the receiver learn sender positions (that step can be eliminated if the sensors are installed in specific wheels according to the color code provided. Unfortunately, Newstalgia forgot to mark the wheels.) No big deal - reprogramming takes about 10 - 15 minutes, best in a couple of installments - the system stays in fill mode for 15 minutes after shut down. The gauge is programmable, and by following the rather sparse instructions, I was able to get it right after a couple of tries.

The procedure is to press the button on the gauge, then turn the key on. The system goes into learn mode, you specify which corner to learn, the proceed to take a few pounds out of the tire. That activates the sensor. The gauge indicates the system has learned the sender position. Do that four times, and all four corners are programmed. Best to add air to the tires at that time, so you may want to do it at a tire store, unless you have access to your own compressor.

Once you're on the road, the display comes on at a relatively low speed, and indicates tire pressure for each corner. Pressing the button toggles the gauge to display to temperature or pressure. You can program in a low pressure threshhold (ie 27 lbs on a tire inflated to 30 lb)and a high temperature setting. If the tire goes down to that pressure or up to the preset temperature , the display for that tire starts to flash, and if you' ve wired in an alarm, the alarm will sound. The computer can handle a 250 ma alarm without a relay - I used a piezo buzzer from a boat alarm - takes a whole 3 ma to operate.

I like the system - gives me an extra sense of security knowing that I should have an early warning of a tire going down, well before the tire starts getting damaged.

Boy - it would have been wild to see all four corners flashing when Houtex nailed that railway tie :rolleyes:

If anyone has any additional questions about the system, I'd be glad to answer them.

Photo 1 is the bottom side of the auxiliary gauge set with the new gauge installed in the center position.

Photo 2 is the Dakota computer box, Smartire receiver and piezo buzzer. I hid them in behind the ashtray using velcro.

Photo 3 is the shot taken tonight on the first test run. All the tires started at 30 lbs, and 3 had warmed up to 31 lbs after about a 15 minute run.

Kit is $399 from Dakota - couldn't find stock at any of the listed Dakota distributors, so ordered it directly from them.

Ray
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
JR,

Website is dakotadigital.com

Les,

Gauge install was really easy - the mounting posts were fairly close to the printed circuit board, so I cut them back a bit. The wiring was really easy. Power came from the red in the gauge harness, ground was to one of the ground studs on a gauge, and the gray display wire connected to the dimmer circuit on the Dakota box - no outside wiring required.

The greater task is to re & re the tires to mount the sensors.

Had a bit of a concern when I got a call from Newstalgia that they couldn't mount the sensors - the sensors need to go into the deepest part of the rim to protect them during tire re & re - and that's the exact spot that Colorado Custom picked to install the recessed tire valves. They got them in, but it was a bit tricky. If anyone is thinking deep dish soft lip wheels, I would request mounting the tire valves on the beveled part of the rim, facing front. I'm including a close-up of the wheel to show what I mean. The small button with the slot is the access to the tire valve. A valve stem screws into it for inflating purposes. It's also a pain in the arse to inflate - not much space between the rotor and the valve, especially on the 19" fronts. If they were mounted in the valley on the bevel, they could use a short valve stem, rather than the button design - just one of those live and learn situations. Sure wouldn't want to have to inflate a tire after the brakes got smoking hot on a long downhill run.

Did discover one tidbit that is poorly addressed in Dakota's instructions - I was trying to "learn" the sensor positions at dusk in my driveway, and nothing was happening. Found a rather vague notation in the instructions that if the dimmer circuit was on, the system defaulted to factory presets. Disconnected the dimmer wire from the Dakota box, and everything worked fine. I guess I would never have discovered that rather useless piece of information if I had done this in daylight.

Ray
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ran into a minor glitch last night - didn't get all four displays to come on right away. Two showed up very quickly, a third lit up within a couple of minutes, but the fourth stayed off.

I thought perhaps the fourth had lost its memory, but when I shut off the truck to pick up the mail (needed an excuse for a quick drive) and restarted a couple of minutes later, all four corners were working properly.

Need to call Dakota on Monday to check on troubleshooting it. Also plan to have the truck out again tomorrow to recheck the system.

Ray
 

·
Senior Privileged Member
Joined
·
4,100 Posts
Flassh: We had this delayed startup on individual sensors sometimes when we had our motorhome. It's just the sensors in the tires activating a little late.

The sensors have switches built into them so that they do not consume precious battery power (tiny batteires in each) when the vehicle is not being used. Sometimes the switches don't activate again right away upon movement. Usually, greater speed or a bump or 2 in the road will free them up.

Jim G
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Jim


Haven't had it up to highway speed for more than a couple of minutes since installing it, so hopefully that's all it is. What did seem a bit strange was how I got two up right away, then shut the engine off and restarted several times, and seemed to have a different combination of 2 or 3 every time. All four were working at some point, but not all at the same time. I'll wait till I get a reasonable highway run to see if all four fire up, or at least be able to detail what was happening before I call Dakota.

Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
I received an e-mail from Mike Merritt at DakotaDigital today.


I had e-mailed DakotaDigital and asked if they could supply a monitor that goes on the tire valve stem (like the one from Pressure/Pro).
I said that I did not look forward to having all my tires dismounted, mounted and rebalanced to install the monitor on the wheel inside the tire.

Mike said that he thought my idea of mixing the two systems was a good one.
He is contacting the Pressure/Pro people to find out more about their monitor to see if it will work with Dakota's receiver.

Another plus is that the Pressure/Pro monitor is $15 to replace, weight is only 2/3 of one oz., shouldn't need a rebalance. :thumbs

If you have an interest in this possibility it might pay to drop Mike a line at DakotaDigital.

Skip
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Update on TPMS

After running the system for a month or so, very happy with the results, and very comfortable having constant feedback on tire pressure.

With a cold setup of 30 lbs as recommended, I'm finding that pressure increases quite quickly to about 34 psi - haven't taken long enough runs to see how much higher pressure will get.

Ran into one unrelated problem that quickly escalated into a minor disaster. I felt a vibration in the steering wheel with the new tires (OEM RSAs), and felt I was isolating it to the left front. Took that wheel off at the local tire shop, and there was a fairly obvious flat spot. The tire changer was going to try moving the tire 180 degrees on the bead to see if that would make the situation better.

**Note to anyone installing TPMS sensors - know exactly where your sensors are mounted, and make sure the tire changer is aware. I told him about the TPMS, and made sure he know they were mounted at 180 from the tire valves. He still managed to break off the sensor trying to break the bead - of course we didn't know that at the time, until he rotated the tire, and aired it up. There was a clunking sound coming from inside - so now we have to do a complete dismount to remove the broken sensor. Took off the tire, removed the band and the broken parts, remounted the tire - ooops - leaking valve. Apparently when the sensor was broken off, the band moved, and cut into the base of the valve. Off comes the tire, new gasket installed, air up, and to the balancer.

According to the chart on the wall, the TPMS should be mounted within 3" of the valve, and the changer went with that information, rather than what I had told him.

Unfortunately, that whole episode did not solve the problem.

I then mounted the factory wheel with the 24000 mile tire on the left front - like butter again.

Called Goodyear, and they refered me to their local dealer. The Goodyear store in Penticton was extremely helpful, especially considering I had purchased the tires and wheels as a set elsewhere, and ordered a new tire.

Re-installed the new tire this week, with a new sensor, and all is well again. Fountain Tire in Penticton is now the dealer of choice for any future tire purchases.

Found out some tidbits along the way.

First, my thought that the tire valve could be mounted closer to the face to make airing up easier, was off base - the entire front half of the wheel is at the same depth, and damage to the tire or valve is a risk whenever dismounting needs to occur. So, the deepest area at the back third of the rim is the only mounting area for the valve and the TPMS band. Updated info: Mounting a stubby tire valve on the bevel is definitely the way to go. We opted for the button cap type of recessed valve - a raised valve would have to be extremely short to clear the caliper. Airing up with the extension is a pain - anyone purchasing custom made wheels should opt for a tire valve on the angled surface.

The TPMS gauge does drive me a bit crazy - I like symmetry, and even if the tires all start at 30 lbs, there are still minor differences in timing as they heat up - I'm finding myself trying to add a half pound of air at a time to get them closer in operation. That process, by the way, needs to be done with cold brakes. The first time I tried to air up the tires after a downhill run, with the valve so close to the brake rotor, the back of my hand was looking a bit like the broil lines on a Burger King burger.

All in all, except for the tribulations due to the tire problem, a good installation, and one I would recommend for anyone doing extensive road trips. The alarm setting at 3 lbs below normal (ie 27 lbs) should give you enough warning to be able to save a tire from expensive damage, and possibly a much delayed trip waiting for a new tire. The peace of mind is well worth the $400 cost.

The system does occasionally decide it doesn't want to supply all four readings, but they generally come on line within a few minutes.

If anyone does do the installation, PM me regarding "learning" sensor positions - the instructions are somewhat limited, and with a single button to push for multiple functions, it may take a few tries to get the sequence of events right.

Ray
 

·
OP
Joined
·
8,225 Posts
Cool

Beautiful install but the tires having to be re mounted will have to wait until I replace them. Will this work on stock chrome wheels as well? I do not plan on replacing the wheels. My '05 guage package has necessary guages so I would have to find other mounting options, unless I eliminate the outside temperature guage.

A less expensive temporary alternative is www.accupressurecaps.com

Anyone have experience with these?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Ampmop - should be no problem with the stock wheels. Re & Re on the tires is pretty quick - the only problem is trying to keep damage to the wheel edge to a minimum. One big plus with aluminum wheels. I wet sanded and polished for about 15 minutes, and the bruising was gone.

I wasn't sure I could fit it in the auxiliary gauge pod, so I purchased a black autometer gauge mounting bezel. There's a bolt into the lower part of the dash panel, just far enough away from the auxiliary gauges to allow the bezel to mount quite nicely up under the dash panel.

You would still be able to splice into the auxiliary gauge harness for power, ground, and dimmer circuits, without having to search the bowels of the dash panel - worked great. Check voltage before splicing in. The red to the circuit board is carrying 12 volts, but the positive terminal at the gauge is only approx 8.6 volts.

Ray
 

·
Senior Privileged Member
Joined
·
4,100 Posts
ampmop: The much less costly alternative solution you referenced above has several disadvantages compared to the more elegant solution:

1. You can't see the warning signals when you are in the vehicle. Only when you are at a stop and otuside the vehicle. So, if you develop a leak at speed, you won't know until too late.

2. You don't have an alarm that attracts your attention, potentially in time for you to get to a tire dealer before you become immobile.

3. There is no temperature monitoring or warning. Example of significance: even with "normal" air pressure, tires can overheat when carrying a lot of weight in the bed or pulling a trailer.

4. There have been complaints from some that these much less expensive tire valve caps sometimes LEAK, causing the very problem you are trying to prevent. I have not had personal experience with these, so cannot verify that the roblem exists, or its freqeuncy of occurrence if it does.

Jim G
 

·
OP
Joined
·
8,225 Posts
thanks

Thanks for the input. One more question. If this system is installed then is it permitted to install run-flat tires such as some of the Corvettes?
And if so, does the transmitting sensor receive damage if the tire does indeed run flat and is driven to help? Oops, I guess that's two questions...
 

·
Senior Privileged Member
Joined
·
4,100 Posts
I can see no reason not to install EITHER system with run flat tires, and neither system should be damaged by a flat tire episode, because of where the sensors in each are physically located. Although, I suppsoe that in cases of really serious tire deformation, they COULD be physically hit by the tire (e.g. hitting a really serious road bump at any speed).

However, contrary to what most people think, the run flat tire itself IS basically junk after it is run flat for any distance. Its big advantage is that it gets you to safety and where you can get the tire REPLACED.

Jim G
 

·
OP
Joined
·
8,225 Posts
confirmed

okey dokey then, when I change the tires, I'll go with run flat design and then install the sensor.

Oh, just remembered one more question, when tapping into the guage cluster with the pressure guage as a 4th add on, will it affect any of the other guages?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Tapping into the gauge cluster shouldn't be a problem. The tap into the 12 V + is done prior to power reaching the gauge cluster, the ground can be done to any of the gauge posts, and I tapped a gauge post for the dimmer circuit. The dimmer works on the basis that when it gets power, it dims the display for night driving. Signal to the gauges comes from the automatic night taillights light circuit.

Re: Run Flats - that's more of a problem. The stock Vette uses 17 front and 18" rear, and I believe the Z06 with run flats is running 18s and 19s. I could not find ANYWHERE run flat 19s and 20s.

Ray
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top