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NewSouth Boost Gauge Installation

Keeping tabs on manifold boost pressure is important for monitoring engine performance as well as spotting leaks and abnormalities. To observe my turbo pressure, I ordered a NewSouth color-adjustable boost gauge and steering column pod from ECS Tuning.

The 52mm gauge has power wires for illumination as well as an inlet port for the vacuum line. The thicker tubing connects to the gauge as well as the T-fitting. The thinner vacuum line is inserted snugly into the thicker one. The tubing is secured with zip-ties.

The T-fitting is connected to the vacuum tubing between the intake manifold and fuel pressure regulator (FPR). The remaining vaccum line for the gauge needs to be routed through the firewall and into the passenger compartment.

I poked a small hole in one of the rubber engine-bay grommets for the vacuum line.

The ECU box leads right into the passenger compartment, so I passed the vacuum line through another grommet located here.

There is plenty of vacuum line to reach the gauge and steering column pod, shown here.

To illuminate the boost gauge, the power wires need to be connected. The dashboard dimming switch has a variable voltage source (grey wire with blue stripe) that will allow the boost gauge to dim along with the interior lights.

The boost gauge was too bright compared to the dashboard, so I tried several different resistor combinations before finding that a single 1Kohm worked best (an assorted pack of 1/4 watt resistors was very helpful for this). Because of the voltage drop from the resistor, I had to use the kit-supplied capacitor connected between the red and black gauge wires; otherwise, the color-switching button on the gauge wouldn't work.

With everything working electrically, the steering column pod is attached using double-sided adhesive tape.

I also ordered the NewSouth aluminum trim piece for the gauge. Although it's not the same chrome material as the rings around the instrument cluster, the finish looks right and adds some 'pop' to the installation.

One of the benefits of ordering the color-spectrum gauge is that I could get a closer color match to the instrument cluster vs. the indigo gauge. After fiddling with 100 or so color options, I finally settled on the one that matched the closest. The boost gauge looks great day-and-night, and I'll be able to troubleshoot and manifold pressure-related issues that might show up in the future.


NewSouth Spectrum Boost Gauge (0-25psi) $71.96
NewSouth Steering Column Gauge Pod (for B5 Passat) $26.96
NewSouth Silver Gauge Trim Ring $5.36

Total $104.28