factory water temp wire location 1981

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Rich 81 z28, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Rich 81 z28

    Rich 81 z28 Veteran Member

    383
    2
    Jun 4, 2007
    King George, Virginia
    good morning all. can anyone tell me what color the wire for the temp sensor is and where it comes out of the firewall in a 1981? Ive had the car totally apart over the years and cant find the wire and plug in the harness..

    please let me know if is anyone has any idea? thank you for the help
     
  2. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,063
    126
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I could not find one on my 80 either, so I ran a new one. For the life of me I could not find any spare wire, and I literally went through every single wire in the car (cleaning/looming etc). Hopefully someone has an answer for you, I'd be interested too.
     
  3. Rich 81 z28

    Rich 81 z28 Veteran Member

    383
    2
    Jun 4, 2007
    King George, Virginia
    that sound like loads of fun.. was it just one wire off the back of the gauge? I know mine was there. when I got the car it was working.. I put aftermarket gauges in and I think I just tucked it away in the harness but cant fine it now
     
  4. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,063
    126
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I think so. I believe there is something wrong with my cluster (see other thread I started) or possibly the gauge, but I believe the wire connects directly to the gauge from the sender.

    Unfortunately the wiring diagrams are a little skimpy on this particular gauge. Especially for the 80 and 81.
     
  5. Rich 81 z28

    Rich 81 z28 Veteran Member

    383
    2
    Jun 4, 2007
    King George, Virginia
    that is my issue too.. not a whole lot of info out there that I can find
     
  6. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,757
    445
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    Dark Green wire... Leads directly back to the connector at the firewall where the engine harness meets the fuse block.
    From the interior... It's a dark green wire which leads to the cluster plug.

    An "idiot light" sending unit only grounds the circuit to light the indicator light
    .
    A gauge cluster has a power, ground and temp sending unit connection through the cluster plug.
    (The gauge is an ohm meter. It measures resistance in the sending unit circuit. The resistance changes based on the temperature at the sending unit.)

    Different sending units for each system.
    The sending unit resistance range (Ohms) needs to match the specs of the gauge for it to be accurate.
    GM used a few different sending units in 2nd gen Camaros.
    I've always kept the one which originally came with my car and it has worked.
     
  7. Rich 81 z28

    Rich 81 z28 Veteran Member

    383
    2
    Jun 4, 2007
    King George, Virginia
    thank you sir.. I was hoping you would chime in.. I guess once I find it I can test with a ground to make the gauge sweep and be sure I have the correct wire
     
  8. Da_Raabi

    Da_Raabi Veteran Member

    1,063
    126
    Jan 19, 2011
    Daytona Beach, FL
    What does the connector look like engine-side? Do you have a picture?
     
  9. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    25,757
    445
    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    The sending unit for my 80 has a "nail head" type of connector.

    [​IMG]
    Looks like this in the car. (My wire looks black after almost 4 decades.)

    upload_2018-2-16_10-58-25.png

    Hope that helps!
     

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