Not only do tachometers look tough hanging from the dash, they also provide a needed service: monitoring the rpm. Keeping track of the Rs on your truck may not seem like a big deal unless you're a quarter-mile junkie, but it's something you should know. They can be a small window into how to save fuel because each truck gets different mpg at different rpm. You never know, you could get an additional mpg just by dropping your cruising rpm by a few hundred ticks.
Equus Products, maker of all things gauge and meter, has made adding a tachometer to your truck very simple. The company's 8000-series tachometers feature an inductive pickup (like you would find on a timing light) to grab the ignition signal. The tach also offers the ability to hard-wire directly to the negative side of the coil or tach port of your distributor, if so equipped. If you have a classic truck in which you can access the coil or a GM heI-type distributor with a tach connection built in, this is where your connection will go. If you have a truck that is not that old and has a more exotic factory ignition system (like the '89 S-10 in this story), then the inductive pickup will save your sanity. You won't have to break out all kinds of schematics or call your buddies for help-just grab one of the ignition wires and clamp on the pickup. Of course, the tach still needs to be hooked to power, ground, and to the lighting circuit, but these connections are standard and easy to complete.
I installed the 3-3/4-inch tachometer that displays 0 to 8,000 rpm in 100-rpm increments because there is no way I'll spin the 4.3L V-6 anywhere near eight grand. (For you real racers, equus has a 5-inch tach that goes up to 10,000 rpm and has a programmable shift light and memory recall.) This new tach also features an OeM-type electric Aircore movement for a nice, smooth needle operation. The white face is backlit by two bright white lights that can be converted to red, blue, or green by simply slipping over the provided covers.
The install only took me about an hour with some very simple tools. A drill motor, a step drill, a file, a set of crimpers, a few crimp-on connectors, and some electrical tape were the only things I needed.