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Installing the Dakota Digital Speedometer

Discussion in 'How-To' started by Raywood, May 7, 2010.

  1. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
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    First off I have to give "Kudo's" to Don (Mad Dog) for doing all he does for this website and helping out our members. And some super fast shipping. Thanks Don :2thumbs: For that matter all our sponsors do a fantastic job.

    I think a lot of you know that I have a lot of miles on my bike and that I've been through about 10 speedometers. Most of this was due to the early years of the introduction of the RSD bikes that changed so much from the prior years.
    There was a long learning curve back in late 04 that lasted until 07 or so when it was determined that a lot of the speedo issues were related to weak batteries. Now that is fixed with the EHC flash that causes the speedo to re-start after the motor starts and the bike is providing full power. I did a video on this last year:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae9uPJLaqKM]YouTube - Big Dog Motorcycles Speedometer Flash[/ame]

    However one thing that was never fixed was the fogging issue. It got so bad on my recent trip to Palm Springs that I couldn't read my odometer/tripometer. This is your only means of a gas gauge on long trips so it's mandatory so you can read it and know how long you have to your next gas stop. Funny, I had no issues with fogging when I lived in Southern Kalifornia but once I transferred to Washington State I now have plenty of it. Shame on Autometer for not working this issue. I've owned a lot of bikes over the years and have never had one or known of one that had speedometer fogging issues. Kudos for BDM to finally shitcan them and seek another manufacturer for the speedo's.
    Anyway Don has had this Group buy on the Dakota Digital speedometers for sometime now and I finally had to get one.

    First thing I will tell you is that this speedo is top notch from the packaging to the unit itself it is a piece of workmanship. Metal machined case verses the plastic case of the Autometer. Good tight fit in the speedo bucket and the list goes on. It has great options also. Even though it only has two readouts it's capable of giving you the MPH or Km/h on the top readout (large one) and the lower readout gives you the odometer, 2 tripometers, count-down to service for scheduling, highest speed obtained and more. I'm really impressed with it so far. The instruction with this speedometer are fantastic, clear and precise.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So first thing I did was remove my speedometer bucket from the bracket and pull the whole unit out after disconnecting the two wire connectors (large connector is tach and smaller one is the speedometer). I then took it to the bench and removed the two retaining nyloc nuts off the back of the unit to seperate the speedo from the rest of the unit. While I was at it I pulled the spring retaining ring from the Tach and pulled that apart and inspected it. Good thing I did as I saw a lot of corrosion on it from riding in the rain here so I cleaned it up with some WD-40 and sealed it up again with some electric sealer spray. After almost 6 yrs some of the parts are showing wear and tear. Time to order a complete new set of seals and gaskets for the speedo soon. This is what it looked like after the tear-down with the new Dakota speedo in the pic.

    [​IMG]

    Since my early years with Big Dogs back in 03 I've been an advocate of sealing everything up electrically with the bike so I did the same here. I didn't get a pic of the Dakota unit prior but the rear wiring connector on the back of the case is a plastic thing that isn't sealed so knowing that I will reluctantly be riding in lots more rain, hail, snow and who knows what I sealed this part of the back of the case with some Mr Gasket sealer.
    This new unit comes with some thumb screws while the original unit used nyloc nuts for the retaining bracket inside the case so me being anal and all I used both. I loctited the thumb screws on for a tight fit then added the nylocs to the posts for added measure. I don't think it will be coming loose or flopping around inside the bucket. :D

    [​IMG]

    Inside the housing/bucket I added die-eclectic grease to the two connectors and pulled the seal where the two pieces of the bucket attach together and cleaned it and sprayed it with some silicone spray for a tight seal.

    [​IMG]

    On the bottom of the bucket make sure you use some gasket sealer and seal in the opening where the wiring comes into the bucket. There is a large opening here and plenty of access for rain water to come in so seal it up good. What you do here is when you get ready to put it back together wrap a tie-wrap around the wire loom on the inside to hold it in place and from the inside fill around the opening with Mr Gasket sealer or similar product. This will ensure water doesn't get into the case.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's all ready to install back in the bike. No more bouncing needle, just a large digital readout to tell you exactly how fast you are going.

    [​IMG]

    I filled the opening in the speedo bracket with Mr Gasket sealer to help prevent water from seeping inside the speedo case. I moved the bike outside to let the sun assist in the drying process. It got up to 60 here today so was great weather considering what we've been having.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now it was a simple re-assembly of the speedo bucket ensuring everything was tight and sealed. I plugged the two connectors together and then installed the speedo unit to the bucket ensuring the seal was flush against the bezel and bolted it up. First the little screw that holds the speedo unit and bezel inside the bucket then layed it on the bracket and put the other two bolts in to lock it up tight using loctite on all the screws/bolts. Went together without an issue.

    Programming the unit was very simple. Actually the only thing I did was update the mileage on my odemeter. Over the years with my 10 Autometer speedometers I've lost several thousand miles that didn't get logged on while waiting for replacement units from the dealer. When I was in Kalifornia I commuted 100 miles a day so this added up while waiting for a replacement. But instead of guessing at my actual mileage loss I just plugged in the actual number on the old speedo and let that be what it is.
    Setting your mileage is very simple and the instructions are very precise so it was real easy and only took a couple minutes.

    [​IMG]

    Then I re-enstalled the tank (note here is you don't have to remove the tank) and added some gas to it and started it up. Everything worked perfect so I ran down the street to the Shell station and filled the tank and rode down to the local Horse & Cow bar that I frequent and enjoyed my new speedometer display.

    [​IMG]

    This is a very easy install and any of you can do it without any major tools or other resources. During my ride into town it was great being able to see the actual mph indicator rather than the bouncing needle of the Autometer unit. The Odemoter display is larger also and easy to read. A very nice unit all around. I really like that it has two tripometers too although I guess the newer Autometers have this also but mine did not. I'm very happy and encourage all of you to order one if you are tired of the fogging issues and bouncing needles of the stock unit.

    You won't be disappointed in this DD unit.

    If you think you want one of these then see this Group Buy here:
    http://www.bigdogbiker.com/forums/group-buys/15165-dakota-digital-group-buy.html

    Happy "Cruzin"

    :cheers::2thumbs::cheers:

     
    #1 Raywood, May 7, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  2. KnotSo

    KnotSo Time Out.
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    Good deal and thanks to Mad Dog:2thumbs:
    That new speedo looks quite large.
     
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  3. KuruptedOne

    KuruptedOne Closed Account

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    It is a large readout and it is super easy to read day or night. I did have to do the calibration on mine because it was a bit off, but it also was super easy! I could not be happier with this speedo upgrade!!! :2thumbs: :2thumbs:
     
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  4. Bowhunter

    Bowhunter Well-Known Member

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    Great post Ray, I too have had the fogging problem since the day I trailered it home to Tennessee from Tulsa, Ok in a absolute downpour. It clears up while sitting in the house basement which is both heated and air conditioned and then begins to fog as soon as I start riding to work each morning. This is a constant source of irritation and I can see a digital speedo in my future. Thanks for the photos and the post Ray!
     
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  5. Ratman

    Ratman Active Member

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    As always Ray-great photos and instructions. I got my Dakota Digital right after they were available direct from DD and before Value Tech started carrying them. They truly are fantastic and the workmanship is so different from the stock units. The fogging issue was my big complaint from day one with my bike-and I could not believe BDM would put such a piece of crap speedo on one of these nice bikes. Now-NO FOGGING- and exact speed readout. Guys, this is an add-on you really should consider if your speedo fogging and bouncing around annoys you. Thank you Ray for the step by step!
     
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  6. SF180A

    SF180A Guest

    Good post, thanks :2thumbs:
    I have been thinking about going with a Dakota Digital set up for my 03 Mastiff as a way to consolidate my tac and speedo into one gauge. I too ride in the rain and like the level of detail you go in, showing how to waterproof the unit.

    Ride safe
    SF180A
    :cheers:
     
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  7. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog ValueTeck Enterprises
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    Great post Ray! I will be calling Dakota today for an update on the backorder situation. Looks like it might only be a couple weeks now. I'll post up what I hear. Thanks for everyones support here on the forum!
    Ride Safe.:2thumbs:
    Don
     
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  8. RRRUFF

    RRRUFF Well-Known Member

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    Just made this change over to Dakota myself. This is a really good quality unit:2thumbs: and it has all these extra features, 2 tripometers, high speed, 1/4 mile timer, countdown to next service interval, auto dimming, etc. The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box was the metal housing. High quality unit and hats off to Mad Dog. Very customer friendly and goes the extra mile for ya.:cheers:
     
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  9. Trainguy

    Trainguy Chromeoholic
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    Very Nice Ray:2thumbs: Thanks Don
     
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  10. erldawg

    erldawg Guru

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    Good write up and thanks Don for the group buy....Looks like I may need to upgrade here in the near future...:2thumbs::2thumbs:
     
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  11. Iman

    Iman Well-Known Member

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    Took me less than 30 minutes to put mine in and I did not have to calibrate! I did not have to take off my tank to get to the bolts so that was a huge time saver. Just went slow, unpluged it, repluged the new speedo and off i was. Great upgrade, No more fogging for me either!
     
  12. lee

    lee Well-Known Member

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    looking good Ray :2thumbs:
     
  13. BorgerBigDog

    BorgerBigDog BORN TEXAN

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    Great post as usual :up:
     
  14. Adrian2551

    Adrian2551 Member

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    Hello All. I just joined and I am finding a lot of great info. I am considering upgrading the speedo. One question; does the odometer reset to zero, or does it maintain the actual mileage. Sorry if that is a dumb question. I swapped out the intrument panel in my silverado and the odometer was reset to zero.

    Thank you.
     
  15. chomper

    chomper Member

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    I drive tractor trailer up here in N.E., I'm in the process of installing a Direct plug in my 03 pitbull, had a couple of questions for Don so I gave him a call while at a weigh station..he could'nt have been more engaging and helpful..this is customer service the old fashion way...Thanks again Don..
     
  16. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
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    I just finished this thread with the installation of the Dakota Digital Speedometer (see first post). Went in without a hitch and programming was simple. Took it for a ride and enjoyed the much larger display of the unit. Easy to see the odometer/tripometer compared to the stock unit also.

    Thanks Don (Mad Dog) for hooking us up with this Group Buy. If any of you want to do this I will tell you it's very easy to do and doesn't require any special tools. Simple 30 minute job.

    http://www.bigdogbiker.com/forums/group-buys/15165-dakota-digital-group-buy.html

    :cheers::2thumbs::cheers:
     
    #16 Raywood, May 8, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  17. BBChopper

    BBChopper Supports 2 Disabled Vets
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    Ray please stop putting Brown Poop looking shit on your bike!!!! They make Clear Silicone too!!
     
  18. Iman

    Iman Well-Known Member

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    ADRIAN----YOU HAVE UP TO 100 MILES ON THE NEW SPEEDO TO SET YOUR OLD MILEAGE IN
     
  19. Raywood

    Raywood The Pirate
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    Ha ha, that tank looks pretty horrendous but I'm working on it. Emailed AirbrushEd about some fancy paint job. Really just a simple pin-up girl on the tank. But first I need to get it stripped and to the Chrome shop to have it nickel plated. Then the kool paint

    :cheers::2thumbs::cheers:
     
    #19 Raywood, May 9, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  20. Brew

    Brew Troop Supporter

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    Great how-to ray, thanks for sharing...:2thumbs:
     

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