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Thread: Third Gen Black Faced Meter (BFM) Information - 2015-01-09

  1. #271
    "FNG" TyrWagon's Avatar
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    Hi! Today was arrived to my home an BFM Cluster 85015AE020. I want to put in my 1997 BG. This came without plugs, but I think that I fix by buying on the page that you have given us in another thread. I dont need the km/h to mp/h converter, here in Chile we use the km/h... You'd have you any advice for me? Any suggestions?

    Not sure how to start this project, I can not always get on the SLI page but really appreciate your help.

    EDT:
    Just completed, carefully read your thread .. I think first of consulting you, I will read the user Barbachello thread. And I realized that there are complications in the speedometer readings signal ...

    Still, I think I'll buy Mouser connectors, because the cluster came without connectors.

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    Last edited by TyrWagon; 12-30-2015 at 10:30 AM.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    1997 Subaru Legacy BG4 2.0i TW AT PX - JDM Stance

  2. #272
    SLi nOOb ecoflame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    As part of the "BFM try 2", I am going to try to reverse engineer these kph/mph adapters.

    I have another one in hand, and it is extremely simple.. just one PIC microcontroller, two transistors, a capacitor, and five resistors. Absolutely not worth $50+, as it is only about $4-5 in parts. The hard part is going to be extracting the software off of the controller, but knowing what kind it is and how it is wired up would tell me alot to write my own firmware if necessary.
    Is this basically what you bought? http://www.svaspeedos.co.uk/e0021.html
    1992 Honda Accord EX - <'93 JDM Prelude Si F22B DOHC>
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Yes, that is the same adapter. They used to sell them on eBay, but I cant seem to find them at the moment.

    That being said, the Dakota Digital SGI-5 is only a little more, but is infinitely adjustable to allow for any tire size that you want.

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    rkrenicki, if you need any help, give me a ping - this was on my list of things to do - I'd even sketched the board but I can't find the damn file.

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    SLi nOOb ecoflame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    Yes, that is the same adapter. They used to sell them on eBay, but I cant seem to find them at the moment.

    That being said, the Dakota Digital SGI-5 is only a little more, but is infinitely adjustable to allow for any tire size that you want.
    Really.... Well that's a game changer. I guess I'll order that one instead. One of the biggest deturents in me buying new wheels is the speedo correction I'd need for 18s. Awesome!
    1992 Honda Accord EX - <'93 JDM Prelude Si F22B DOHC>
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  6. #276
    SLi nOOb ecoflame's Avatar
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    Are you still willing to re flash my EEPROM if I send it to you. :toothy5: :toothy5:
    1992 Honda Accord EX - <'93 JDM Prelude Si F22B DOHC>
    2003 Subaru Legacy LSE (Silver Stone Metallic)
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  7. #277
    "Proby" yaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecoflame View Post
    Really.... Well that's a game changer. I guess I'll order that one instead. One of the biggest deturents in me buying new wheels is the speedo correction I'd need for 18s. Awesome!
    You can get tires for those 18s that wouldn't change your overall rolling diameter.

    (I can see where it would be handy if you really wanted to change to a different aspect ratio)

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    You can get tires for those 18s that wouldn't change your overall rolling diameter.

    (I can see where it would be handy if you really wanted to change to a different aspect ratio)
    Right, wheel size has nothing to do with tire diameter.. however, with the SGI-5, you could run a taller tire on the 18s than you normal and keep your speedometer accurate.

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    SLi nOOb ecoflame's Avatar
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    I understand the overall diameter could be tweaked by tire size, but having the ability to adjust as need be is nice. That allows me to find the perfect combination for my platform.
    1992 Honda Accord EX - <'93 JDM Prelude Si F22B DOHC>
    2003 Subaru Legacy LSE (Silver Stone Metallic)
    2005 Subaru Outback XT Limited

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    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing all this info on this project. I have a few questions, but first a little background.
    I'm trying to swap a Type D MT 510AE040 into my 2000 Outback also with an MT, Canadian vehicle, so KM/H is ok for me. I don't want to cut my car's harness so I want to make an adapter to plug into the existing connectors.
    My BFM did not come with any of the JDM wiring or plugs so I've bought the components from Mouser, but I also acquired the plugs from a wrecked Outback and an impreza. I have the 30, 18, and 16 pins with some wires sticking out of them,as well as virgin plugs and sockets.
    I've carefully gone through the diagrams posted on the first page of this thread and have a pretty solid idea of what comes next. Now onto my questions.

    1. On the USDM side Pin C7 (Battery Constant) is supposed to go to A9 AND C1 on the JDM Side? Am I supposed to "tap" into the wire coming from US C7 to get 2 wires going to JDM side?
    2. On the USDM side there are 3 pins for Ignition (A8, A18, C3) and there are 3 on the JDM Side. Can any US ignition pins match any JDM ignition pins or is there a specific order?
    3. USDM pin A17 (Buzzer) does not have a match on the JDM Side. Do I lose this function? Is this the chime for open doors with the key in ignition?
    4. What happens to all the Illumination Control functions on the JDM Side(C2,C3,C4)? Do I just cover the ends of the wires?
    5. Am I missing a component in the spot below?
    IMG_1896.JPG

  11. #281
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    @radu416 , Sorry, I didnt see this message until just now.

    Quote Originally Posted by radu416 View Post
    1. On the USDM side Pin C7 (Battery Constant) is supposed to go to A9 AND C1 on the JDM Side? Am I supposed to "tap" into the wire coming from US C7 to get 2 wires going to JDM side?
    Yes, the JDM cluster needs more power connections than the US cluster had.

    Quote Originally Posted by radu416
    2. On the USDM side there are 3 pins for Ignition (A8, A18, C3) and there are 3 on the JDM Side. Can any US ignition pins match any JDM ignition pins or is there a specific order?
    The order does not matter, Ignition voltage is Ignition voltage. Further up in the loom, they all tie together anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by radu416
    3. USDM pin A17 (Buzzer) does not have a match on the JDM Side. Do I lose this function? Is this the chime for open doors with the key in ignition?
    The buzzer is for Sportshift and/or VDC. It is on pin C12 on both types of Japanese clusters.. however since this is a Manual cluster, it does not have a buzzer present.

    Quote Originally Posted by radu416
    4. What happens to all the Illumination Control functions on the JDM Side(C2,C3,C4)? Do I just cover the ends of the wires?
    They would get wired to your illumination stalk. There is some discussion of that in this thread. The cluster will be at about 25% brightness if nothing is connected to these wires. If you connect C2 and C3 together, then it will be full bright all of the time if you dont want to hack up the stalk wiring in your car.

    Quote Originally Posted by radu416
    5. Am I missing a component in the spot below?
    That is where the Sportshift/VDC buzzer would be. Again, since this is a Manual cluster, it does not have it populated.

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    SLi Lurker foohfooh's Avatar
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    Whew.

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    Thanks for your reply. Since I last posted I completed my harness adapter and installed it into the car. It looks great and almost everything works. I thought the parking brake light wasn't working, but one day I did, then it stopped. Maybe a wire came loose, or the bulb is out. I will investigate this further next time I take the cluster out to modify my harness for full brightness with the lights on.

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    SLi Resident Matty2Hotty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radu416 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. Since I last posted I completed my harness adapter and installed it into the car. It looks great and almost everything works. I thought the parking brake light wasn't working, but one day I did, then it stopped. Maybe a wire came loose, or the bulb is out. I will investigate this further next time I take the cluster out to modify my harness for full brightness with the lights on.
    Might be the trigger ground off your ebrake handle, mine is sticky. If you pull up on your handle you can see it between the rubber slit, use a screw drive or something to press down or lift up to ground it out. Might be gummed up or spring lost its tension.
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    I will check it out, but I doubt it. It worked fine on my original meter

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radu416 View Post
    Thanks for your reply. Since I last posted I completed my harness adapter and installed it into the car. It looks great and almost everything works. I thought the parking brake light wasn't working, but one day I did, then it stopped. Maybe a wire came loose, or the bulb is out. I will investigate this further next time I take the cluster out to modify my harness for full brightness with the lights on.
    It could be a poor connection, but it is more likely that the bulb is either loose or burned out. I would try twisting the bulb back and forth a few times to ensure that it has a good connection. If that does not fix it, then I would replace the bulb. All of the black base bulbs are a standard type 74 bulb. You might as well replace them all while you are in there.

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    Not to thread jack, but I've been scouring this thread for info and want to do this on my BH L wagon. The only problem is I can't seem to locate a gauge. Can anyone point me in the direction of sourcing one?? Thanks

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inches View Post
    Not to thread jack, but I've been scouring this thread for info and want to do this on my BH L wagon. The only problem is I can't seem to locate a gauge. Can anyone point me in the direction of sourcing one?? Thanks
    If there are none on eBay, then your best bet it to buy one from Yahoo Auctions Japan via a Japanese bidding proxy.

    EDIT: I see 4 A-C type clusters, and 1 D-type cluster on eBay right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    If there are none on eBay, then your best bet it to buy one from Yahoo Auctions Japan via a Japanese bidding proxy.

    EDIT: I see 4 A-C type clusters, and 1 D-type cluster on eBay right now.
    What are you searching on eBay?? For some reason the part number code block in this thread keeps locking away even once I'm logged in. And the only one that I'm seeing on eBay a manual A-C and an STi white face. Thanks for the help.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I am searching "Subaru Legacy JDM Cluster", and I am just scanning the cluster shapes, as there are a lot of 4th gen clusters on there too. I am determining type largely from the picture of the odometer/trip meter.

    You are right about the code blocks.. they seem to be broken since I did the vbulletin upgrade last week. I will look at them now.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    So, there has been some interesting conversation developing on facebook in regards to BFMs. I am going to attempt to copy and paste the conversation here for posterity and sum up at the end. @ecoflame @hupshall @amgarrety @Grimmrican

    Quote Originally Posted by Facebook
    @ecoflame : Have you had any issues with your fuel gauge?
    @hupshall : Like what? Mine works just fine. I also love the way the ring flashes when the fuel light is one.
    @rkrenicki: No, but I do know that some people have issues with their fuel gauges sometimes on the A-C type clusters for some reason. I havent seen the problem in person yet, so I do not know what the issue would be.
    @ecoflame : It will randomly drop to empty and then rise back up. Sometimes it throws a code. P0462 fuel level sensor "A" circuit low.
    @ecoflame : I've been meaning to message you for any insight.
    @rkrenicki: Yea, you are not the first person to tell me about that. Actually, didnt we talk about it before? I know I have talked to at least 3 people with that issue, and they all had earlier type clusters (010, 020, or 030)
    @ecoflame : We conversed over what ended up be a mis-wired ground. I have two BFM clusters and it will do it with both of them. Ones the manual version (010?) and the others an auto (030?).
    @ecoflame : I'm thinking it might have something to do with the adapter harness, but I don't know where to start.
    @hupshall : So, the P0462 code will certainly come from the fact that the needle drops down to empty - The ECU is looking at the voltage between the gauge and the actual sensor in the tank - the voltage is how it determines the resistance and therefore the position of the float in the tank. This power comes from the circuit inside the BFM itself, I would perhaps take the unit apart, check to make sure none of the solder joints are cracked.
    @rkrenicki: Do you have one of my PCB adapters? I don't have my list handy of those who have em
    @ecoflame : Robert - no I made one similar to yours off SLi before you had the boards made.
    @ecoflame : Huw - fair point, however I have two BFMs and it happens with both. While possible, the likelihood of both having a damaged or defective component is low. I'm thinking I should probably go ahead and pull the adapter out and resolder the fuel gage wire to the pin.
    @hupshall : Depending on how often it repro's - if you have access to a data logger which can log voltage, run with that for a while and see if the voltage on the output of the meter really does go down to 0
    @hupshall : Also, I know a guy over on the Peninsula who's also stated he has issues - so I'm wondering if there is something subtly different in the A-C wiring
    @rkrenicki: The A-C wiring is different from D, but the fuel gauge is just one wire connected to the cluster.. not exactly rocket science.

    I wonder if either A) the fuel line is shorting to ground somewhere intermittently.. or B) The way that the fuel is monitored by the ECU is different between the A-C and the D type.

    Now, I did used to have a C type (030) cluster in my car for a short time until I sourced my first D type H6 cluster. During that time, I had no issues with the fuel gauge, but I didnt have it there for more than a couple of months. But, that is on an H6 car.. which may or may not make a difference.
    @rkrenicki: Okay, to sum up.. Four people have my A-C type speedometer adapter. Three of them have this issue that I know of. @Grimmrican also has this issue, but does not have my adapter.

    I did not experience the problem in my car, but my experience with the C type cluster was not extensive. @Grimmrican had a A/B type cluster in his car that I re-pinned.. and I do not believe he had this problem. @amgarrety does have one my adapters, and I do not believe he has seen this issue either.

    I have never seen this issue on any D-type cluster.
    @ecoflame : I'm suspecting it has to do with the wire and soldered pins. Huw mention a good point the resistance fluctuating. And @rkrenicki you make a fair assumption about the wire shorting out somewhere along the adapter.

    As of right now I feel my best coarse of action would be to open the dash back up, remove the adapter harness and either resolder the wire and pin for the fuel meter or just attempt to better insulate the connections.
    @ecoflame : Ultimately it could be the actual A-C clusters by being 100% comparable with the USDM ECU and or harness. Which I hope is not the case.
    @rkrenicki: Are you talking about touching up the solder on the cluster connectors, or on your adapter? I am thinking that all of these may be aged (15-17 years old now..) solder connections on the back of the cluster PCB.
    @ecoflame : I was referring to the adapter. I don't trust my skills enough to mess with the PCB.
    @ecoflame : I have noticed that the levels are different between USDM and JDM. Basically when the needle gets to the JDM "E" position there's is still around 1/5 to 1/6 of a tank left. I know this based of miles per tank.
    @rkrenicki: I believe that each cluster has a different calibration for the fuel. My silver car has seen over a dozen different clusters, as I use it for testing.. Every one seems to have a slightly different position for fuel. In fact, the current cluster (the one in the photo above) is quite off.. my low fuel light comes on super early, somewhere around 1/4-1/3 of a tank.
    @Grimmrican : Uber late to this party but my cluster did have this issue. After a year it started to drop to zero fuel then eventually find its way back up. But as @rkrenicki mentioned my hunch was a grounding issue or more leaning to the fact that my fuel floater was faulty. Which I knew the float would not read correctly in most cases once it dropped below 1/4 tank.
    @rkrenicki: Huh.. I didnt know that. I also found out that @amgarrety 's also had this issue. So, its official. Every single A-C type cluster that I have been aware of has had this issue, regardless of adapter type (car repin, wire adapter, pcb adapter).

    It must be a compatibility issue, or they are all developing the same fault due to age.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    So, A~C type clusters seem to have an issue with the fuel gauges on North American cars. I have no reports (or experience) with the same issue on any D-type cluster.

    So as of right now, I can only recommend D-type clusters in North American cars.

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    Gosh darn it - Now the OCD part of me wants to get an A-C cluster to reproduce the problem and figure it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hupshall View Post
    Gosh darn it - Now the OCD part of me wants to get an A-C cluster to reproduce the problem and figure it out.
    I have the remainder of @Grimmrican 's 030 cluster, which is complete except for the speedometer servo if you want it.. but both @Red85Celica and James near you have these clusters in their cars.

    It does bother me that this issue is there, but I really do not have the time to try to track the issue down. Especially since I would basically need to convert my car to an A~C cluster since it is an intermittent problem.

    Then again, the D-type cluster has more options available (different redlines, STI, H4 and H6 versions), it also has 2 trip meters and a cruise light for the 2004 models.. They are also not more expensive, and are readily available. I really have no reason to not recommend them.

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    Hi
    I'm writing from Poland, EU.
    I've read the whole thread and i want to give my Legacy the BFM Mod.
    So i want to ask about something.
    My car i a 2001 pre-facelift, 4-cyl 2,5 NA AT (w/VTD) with VDC.
    A freind of my is wanting to sell my a JDM gauge cluster. It's from an MT. The OE nr is 85015AE040, so from Your info i decipherd it's D-type. It has the clock on the left side and the redline starts at 7,5k rpm.
    Can You tell if I will have any problems with putting this into my Legacy? Of course i'm awere of the fact that i won't have the PRND tree. But anything else that can not work? The VDC lamp or something?

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    I have recently purchased the tommy kaira cluster and am curious what the 6 pin black connector going to the back of the speedo is!
    Thanks
    Tyler

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02boxer4 View Post
    I have recently purchased the tommy kaira cluster and am curious what the 6 pin black connector going to the back of the speedo is!
    Thanks
    Tyler
    That information is already in this thread, back on post #148.

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    Thank you so much!! What an awesome thread! Amazing job!

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    New User Somac's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread for another reminder of how amazing it is. Extremely detailed, every bit of information you could ever ask for, common problems and fixes, etc. I was pretty intimidated at first when I was thinking about doing this swap, but I just confidently purchased a BFM from Japan and it's on the way.

    Just bought an 040 cluster for my '04 Outback 5MT for ~$90 shipped. Very happy I was able to find the 040 as I really didn't want to put up with having the PRNDL in the center and it means I get the higher tach and both trip lights.

    @rkrenicki , have any more of those adapter boards for the D type? I want to keep my stock harness in tact so everything will be removable.

    Thank you again for all of the insane amount of hours of researching, testing, and experimenting you did! It's truly amazing how much information you compiled here. This is a very welcome first start for me on this forum (and Subaruoutback .org that you pulled me from).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Somac View Post
    Bumping this thread for another reminder of how amazing it is. Extremely detailed, every bit of information you could ever ask for, common problems and fixes, etc. I was pretty intimidated at first when I was thinking about doing this swap, but I just confidently purchased a BFM from Japan and it's on the way.

    Thank you again for all of the insane amount of hours of researching, testing, and experimenting you did! It's truly amazing how much information you compiled here. This is a very welcome first start for me on this forum (and Subaruoutback .org that you pulled me from).
    Not a problem! I am glad to have helped!


    Quote Originally Posted by Somac View Post
    @rkrenicki , have any more of those adapter boards for the D type? I want to keep my stock harness in tact so everything will be removable.
    Unfortunately, I do not. It was not a cost effective item to build ($80ish in parts, and hours of time to assemble), and people did not want to spend $125 on an adapter, so I stopped making them.

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