Shawn D.'s BMW E28 Gauge Panel
This page was last updated on 24 Feb 04.

Non-Switch Panel      Switch Panel
w/ Auto Meter Sport-Comp Gauges
      Switch Panel
w/ Auto Meter Z-Series Gauges

Hi Y'all,

Before you decide you want to install one of these setups in your BMW E28 (1982-1988 5-Series), MAKE SURE YOU HAVE READ THE ENTIRE WEBSITE THOROUGHLY, including ALL of the linked pages which describe how to remove the grille, install the senders, install the gauges, do the wiring, what additional parts/modifications are necessary, and what the pricing is.  If you ask questions such as “How much?” or “What does the switch do?” it will be evident that you haven’t thoroughly read the site! :)

This main page and the linked pages below should be considered to have the latest info.  Updates are designated by green font.

Grille removal procedures.

Oil and water temperature sender installation for M30 engines.

Installation Notes (Gauge bracket modification, wiring, etc.).

Gauge, Adaptor, and Plumbing Parts List and Suppliers.  {Added 20 Jul 02}

Pricing and Payment Information.  {Updated 24 Feb 04}

For purposes of this discussion, consider a gauge panel to consist of only the modified grille/faceplate/angle ring assembly, and nothing else (i.e. gauges, wiring, etc.).

Difference between The Two Panel Styles (Non-Switch vs. Switch):  {Added 27 Jul 02}

Non-Switch: This panel holds three gauges.  All three gauges can be electric or they can be electric on the sides with a mechanical gauge in the middle.
Switch:Like the non-switch panel, this holds three gauges.  It also has a single-pole, double-throw switch that can be used to run two temp senders to an oil temp gauge; obviously, only one temp can be monitored at a time.  On my car, I have the down position wired for oil temp and the up position wired for water temp.  This way, I can monitor the real water temp instead of having to rely on the stock C-H gauge.

Core Grilles:  {Updated 14 Jan 03}

Ideally, you will supply me with a good core for me to rework, but I might be able to supply one for you (a core charge will apply -- see the pricing page).  If you would like to supply extra cores other than your own, let me know how many and we can work out a deal, but please don't ship any extras other than one for yourself until we discuss it!  Make sure you pack your core well!


Highest priority will be given to those who supply me with cores other than their own.  The second highest priority will go to those who have already volunteered for the 5er Fest.  From then on, the priority will be based on receipt of useable cores.

Miscellaneous Info, FAQs, and AFAQs (Anticipated FAQs):  {Updated 21 Nov 03}

Q: What’s the turnaround time from when you receive my grille?
A:6-8 weeks on average.
Q: When you list "assembly" charges, what is this? Are all the pieces separate?
A:The gauge panel setup (whether switch or non-switch) is fully fabricated, put together, and painted.  "Assembly" refers to installing gauges in the completed panel.
Q: Is this an easy installation?
A:I'd say it's moderately difficult.  Remember:  this modification involves electrical system work and pressure line installation (for mechanical pressure gauges).  Improper installation can lead to electrical system or engine damage.  I'm not trying to scare you, but want to make sure you understand what's involved.
Q: I want to use gauges by Brand Such-And-Such -- will they work?
A:This setup is designed for Auto Meter 2-1/16" gauges; as for other brands, there are too many manufacturers out there for me to say that their products would work with this setup -- use non-Auto Meter gauges at your own risk!  This setup is for three electric gauges or one electric gauge on each side & one mechanical gauge in the middle; mechanical gauges WILL NOT fit in the side positions.  Additionally, this setup is designed for Auto Meter's gauges with a case depth no greater than that shown in Specs B1 on the Auto Meter site, which is 1-9/16" from the outer mounting surface of the bezel to the back of the case.
Q: Can you make it with two or four gauges instead of three?
A:No -- due to the arrangement of the A/C fan housing, two and four gauge setups would not work.
Q: I don’t really want to dent my A/C fan housing -- can you make the panel thicker so the gauges are positioned further away from the A/C fan housing?
A:No -- the right-most gauge would hit the radio surround and the gauge mounting brackets would not work.  Appearance and cost would be issues as well.
Q:  Can you make these setups for E24s?  {Added 21 Nov 03}
A:Yes and no:  No, in that the E24 A/C grille is right up against the A/C housing (which actually intrudes into the grille fins), thus rendering it impossible to position gauges on the grille itself; yes, in that I can make a two-gauge setup to fit in the ashtray or a three-gauge setup which goes over the cigarette lighter and ashtray.  The two-gauge setup would be removable, but would leave small holes inside the ashtray area (not visible with the ashtray reinstalled and closed); the three-gauge setup would become an integral part of the piece and would not be removable.  Pricing is still up in the air, but would be in the range of $75 for a two-gauge “straight” setup, $100 for a two-gauge “angled” setup, $200 for a three-gauge “straight” setup, and $225 for a three-gauge “angled” setup; if you don’t understand what “straight” and “angled” mean, observe the pictures at the top of this page -- those setups are “angled.”

email me (remove the "SPAMSUX" part!)