There's no two ways about it, the more comfortable your classic truck is to drive the more you are going to enjoy driving it. Right from the get-go the plan for my '79 C10, known as the Americruise truck, was to ultimately end up with a classic truck that could hold its own with the best of today's modern highway machines. This means not only in acceleration, braking, and handling, but the comfort level in the cab as well.
In last month's edition of CCT we dealt with upgrading the '79's stock dash cluster with a Dakota Digital unit. This took it from vague analog readings to precise digital information. I was so pleased with the end results that I took a closer look at what else Dakota Digital has to offer for '73-87 Chevy and GMC trucks. In addition to a Dakota Digital cruise control unit we'll be installing in an upcoming issue, I discovered Dakota Digital offers an LED taillight conversion kit for the late C10, and a really bitchin' auto-dimming rearview mirror that comes complete with an outside thermometer and a compass.
Perhaps some might think of an outside temp gauge as just a novelty, but there are additional benefits. Besides informing you if the air conditioning or heater is saving you from exposure to the elements, knowledge of the ambient temperature can be a forewarning of ominous things to come. If the ambient temperature is over three digits one can anticipate engine overheating or diminishing oil-pressure.
The stock GM day/night mirror is removed by unscrewing the Allen set screw on the base of
It's not a bad idea to know which direction one is traveling in either, but what I found particularly nice about the auto-dimming feature is that it works full-time. Not only at night, but it eliminates rearview mirror glare during the day. Not having to reach for the stock mirror and yank the day/night lever means rearview adjustment will not be disturbed. Before I installed the Dakota Digital rearview mirror in the '79 there were a few concerns to address. Unlike all of the new trucks and some classic trucks with upholstered cardboard headliners where the wiring can be tucked underneath the headliner my '79's headliner, is made out of steel. To hide the wiring for the Dakota Digital mirror I had to eliminate a large plastic plug, and shroud the mirror's wiring.
Moving on to the Dakota Digital LED taillight conversion kit, I chose it because not only are the LEDs brighter, but they last a lot longer than conventional tungsten element bulbs. In this age of an increasing number of moronic idiots behind the steering wheel it's not a bad idea to make one's truck more visible.
To remove the stock mirror we lifted it upward while not touching the windshield glass. It
Next we placed the Dakota Digital mirror over the stock GM shoe and connected the plug. Th
Instead of an Allen wrench, the new mirror requires a T-15 Torq driver to tighten it down.
Because the connector plug couldn't be tucked away and hidden under a headliner, it was el
Non-insulated butt connectors were used to join the 26-gauge mirror harness and 16-guage m
A word of warning to the wise; after departing the electronics store on a hot day I left t