Way back in the day, my friends family had a old Mazda mini-van, and it had a digital speedo, and that was it (no needles in that car) Even though I was like 7, I asked him if he liked them, and he said they sucked for daily driving. I have no freaking idea how I remember that
After driving around with that digital cluster for half a year, I guess I could expand a bit more on it.
Unlike most other digital clusters from the 80s, the one from the Gen2 Camry is bright and very responsive. Its display uses some sort of sealed glass chambers and a gas. The Mazda clusters that I've seen in person used LCDs for the display, and they're not too great. The Camry's display also has colours, and doesn't look like a giant alarm clock. :lol:
The display responds just as fast as the analog cluster, is bright enough to blind you at night if you don't dim it, and is basically fun to use. There's not much else I can say.
If you ever find one, I'd say go for it. You'll also need the fuel gauge sender from the gas tank, the wiring behind the cluster, and the special rheostat for the dashboard lights. The odometer is different than the analog cluster (can't be swapped), and I was lucky enough to find this one with only ~5000km less than my own car.
Anyway, I've been really interested in getting a digital gauge cluster for my '86 Camry (gen1). I had never even seen the one on camryman.org until I found this thread...I was thinking of getting the digital cluster for an AE86 off eBay (Like this one), and figured maybe I could splice the wires or something. Then I was looking on Autotrader last night, and I saw this (look at the third pic). It looks like the exact same one for the AE86, but the wiring for the AE86's is completely different from my car's, as mine has 3 plugs and that one only has one. I wouldn't mind rewiring everything, as long as it would work somehow....does anyone think it would be possible? Also, does anyone know if the dimensions of the AE86's are somewhat close to the dimensions of the gen1 cluster?
The answer to why digitals are so rare, people figured out long ago that the needle was easier to read than a bunch of constantly changing numbers. Same with the row of lights or arranged in a circle. All considered not as user friendly. Its easier to remember the position of a needle than intepret a bunch of numbers.
If anything I remember clusters on Truenos, Maximas, etc. They were impressive first time, than tiresome.
Only place I think they would work great is in airplanes and boats where a setting is chosen and very rarely changed until the next function (cruise, climbout, etc).
Oh, yea, I can totally see how needles are much better for most people...I'm the only one who drives my car though, and I think it'd be cool if it was all digital...I find it very easy to process numbers quickly, and it'd be something different. You know, to set me apart from all the other gen1's out here :lol:
That link looks pretty useful, if I do ever find a digital dash, that'll help out a lot
I guess I'll just start hitting up junkyards to see what I can find...might grab a regular gen2 gauge cluster as well to see if the dimensions are the same..the gen2 digital cluster looks a lot better than the gen1's, IMO.
my grandma has an early to mid-90's towncar and the mph is digital and even in all the times i've ridden in it, i still find it hard to read b/c the numbers are constantly changing, even when using cruise control. i mean it's kinda cool at first but its hard to explain y its hard unless u actually ride/drive with them...
with needles u only have to glance to see the general needle position to know...
althou if that's what u want go for it!!! (IMO digital=:thumbup: for show but :thumbdown for reality...)
cyberdyne makes digital gauges....i have a digital boost and fuel pressure guage in my mr2...they work fairly well as long as the sender units don't go kapots on you and give off faulting readings....i've had numers problems with my fuel pressure guage b/c the sender unit is located in my trunk and is subjected to alot of engine vibrations....other than that i love how they look...black faced when they are off so it looks like i don't have any guages in my a pillar pod untill i turn the car on...