Dashboard when doing engine swap?

So i've seen a lot of engine swap videos on youtube and on most of them they actually remove the dashboard too (with lots of those cables)

Do they do it to change the dash or is it a must when doing an engine swap to do something on the dash (if so, what?)?

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago
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    The dash board on a modern car is not just a simple cluster of gauges any more, It's a computerised display. It's receives various info from the ECU (Engine computer) and displays stuff / moves needles etc.

    Now if you swap the engine, you also swap the ECU, which is often located behind the dash anyway, and that no longer interfaces to the original dash. The gauges aren't physically or electrically connected to the senders on the engine. All the engine sensors feed into the ECU, which then sends the info to be displayed up to the dash.

    So you will see a lot of modified cars have a custom built dash loaded up with after market gauges, because the original one simply wont talk to the new engine. The new gauges can be connected directly to the senders on the engine, along with the ECU inputs that are needed.

    This is why engine swaps on modern vehicles is a HUGE task. As well as the mechanical fitting, so much of the car's electronics has to be changed out as well.

    You can have a read of this page to see what you are up against.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus#Automotive

    Quote

    "Automotive

    The modern automobile may have as many as 70 electronic control units (ECU) for various subsystems.[6] Typically the biggest processor is the engine control unit. Others are used for transmission, airbags, antilock braking/ABS, cruise control, electric power steering, audio systems, power windows, doors, mirror adjustment, battery and recharging systems for hybrid/electric cars, etc. Some of these form independent subsystems, but communications among others are essential. A subsystem may need to control actuators or receive feedback from sensors. The CAN standard was devised to fill this need."

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