Jeff Loughlin's Aeroforce Gauge mod for Jeep JK Wrangler
New OBD2 gauge installed - Aeroforce Interceptor
This was originally posted at jk-forum.com. I'm moving it here so it doesn't get lost in cyberspace.
With all the talk around here about transmissions overheating, I wanted a gauge to monitor transmission temperature. I was going to install a dedicated gauge, but in searching for one I found this instead:
It's an electronic gauge that plugs into the OBD2 port, and it can display all kinds of useful and interesting information about the inner workings of your Jeep. You can monitor:
- Transmission temperature
- Coolant temperature
- Battery voltage
- Torque converter clutch slip RPM (useful for seeing how much your trans is slipping in real time, and also shows you when your TC locks and unlocks)
- Engine load
- Ignition advance
- Intake air temperature
- Knock sensor voltage
- O2 sensor voltages
- ESP parameters: Steering angle, yaw (body roll), lateral G, longitudinal G
- Engine RPM
- Fuel remaining (% full)
There are some other parameters that I haven't tried yet which may or may not be useful. The gauge is capable of displaying oil pressure and oil temperature, but unfortunately I've discovered that our Jeeps do not have sensors for these, so of course the gauge can't read them. It does support the addition of analog sensors, so you could theoretically add an oil pressure or oil temperature sensor and wire them into the gauge. I have not done this and have no idea what would be involved.
There are two red warning LEDs on the gauge, which you can set to light up if any parameter you choose exceeds or drops below a predefined threshold. For example, I've set mine up to warn me if my transmission temperature rises above 220. Or if you suspect that your TC isn't unlocking when it should, which I know a few people here have had some trouble with, you could set up the LEDs to light when the TCC slip RPM drops below 10 (indicating TCC lockup). That way you can see at a glance when your TC locks and unlocks. Or if you have a manual trans, you could set it up as a shift light when the RPM exceeds 4000 or whatever.
The gauge can also be used to check and reset OBD2 diagnostic codes. If your Check engine light comes on, you can pull the code to see what's causing it, and you can reset it when you're done.
I haven't tried this feature yet, but supposedly you can control the fan (hi, low, and off - but I think our Jeeps only have one speed, so it would be on or off). You can also reset the transmission learning program. Our Jeeps learn their shift schedule based on your driving style - if you drive it like a granny for awhile, it will learn to shift at 2000 rpm; if you drive it like you stole it, it will learn to shift at 5000 rpm. So if your Jeep has learned a shift schedule you don't like, you can force it to reset and start over. I'm afraid to try that feature because I like the way my Jeep shifts now, but maybe I'll get brave some day and try it. I'll let you know if I do.
Another important feature that many here will love: It allows you to completely disable ESP! We've had countless threads here on jk-forum about this. Even when you hold down the ESP-OFF button for 5 seconds or whatever it still isn't completely disabled....With the Interceptor gauge you can completely disable ESP/ABS/BAS with the press of a button (ok, several buttons). In 2WD, 4HI, or 4LO. Completely disabled. Nice feature.
Installation is a snap - just plug it into the OBD2 port under the dash, run the wire behind the panel, and mount the gauge with your choice of 2-1/16" gauge pod. Autometer has a bunch to choose from, though none JK specific. I mounted mine high up on the A pillar where it's relatively protected from the rain if I get caught with my top off. It's definitely NOT waterproof, so you'll want to mount it someplace where it won't get wet.
Setup takes a little getting used to. There are two buttons on the gauge and you have to navigate through the menu system using the two buttons. It takes a little while to set it up the first time, but once you have it set up, it's very easy to use.
It displays two parameters at a time, or you can set it up to cycle continuously through eight different parameters. That's nice in theory, but I found it a little hard to use in practice - you have to take your eyes off the road too much to try catch all the information as it cycles by. I have mine set up to just display transmission temp and coolant temp for now. I can cycle through all the others manually by just pressing one of the buttons on the front.
Overall I love the gauge. It costs more than the dedicated transmission temperature gauge I set out looking for, but I think it's worth it because of all the information it gives you - it's like ten gauges in one, plus it can read and reset diagnostic codes as a bonus, and disable ESP as a double bonus.
You can find the company's website at aeroforcetech.com. You want the CNC series gauge (they have different gauges for Ford, GM, Chrysler). You can get it with a black or white face and a black, white, or chrome bezel. Oh, and I also have to mention that their customer service is top notch. They have a Q&A forum on their website, where all of my questions were answered quickly and completely.
And just for the record, I have no affiliation with the company other than being a satisfied customer.
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Content provided by Jeff Loughlin - Downingtown, PA. All material protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Last update: April 17, 2013