Dip Stick thermometer almost done

Last year I saw a thread about someone who made their own oil temp gauge using the Harbor Freight meat thermometer for an XR650. Thought it was a great idea as it was cheap and I have access to fun tools. Of course it was a last minute idea and I tried to make it before our Colorado trip last year, but it ended up being too tall and the handle bars would hit it when turning. On a XR650 I think the dipstick is located further back than on my XR400 eliminating the height problem. I didn't have time to fix it before we left and it got tossed somewhere in the hellhole I call a garage. Well I was cleaning the garage today and came across the project...

It's a stainless metric bolt that matches the dipstick threads. I turned the head down in the lathe and also drilled a hole for the thermometer stick. I then eyeballed the angle and cut it the mill. At the same time I drilled a pocket where the battery could recess into so the LCD would sit flat.

For the thermometer the case already separates so the battery can be changed. I cut off the bottom half that attaches to the stick, as the thermocouple wires pass right through this half. This leaves the top half with the battery protruding ~3/16ths past the half.

The battery actually fits in the pocket so snuggly that it's not going to take much silicon to make the rest of it happy. I'll take so more pictures tomorrow as that will help explain things much better. I'll also see if I can't mate the thermometer to the bolt better.

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That's awesome. I want one!

Can't wait to see those pics! :smirk: As soon as I can see more of your handy work I'm running to HF so I can get mine started ASAP.

Keep up the good work :smirk::banana:

Brad Cad

I'd do a couple of things different if I did it again... Turned out to be to short to put back in the lathe and knurl it so I just hit it with a flap wheel a couple of times. I'd also make it out of aluminum and make the shape of the top fit the outline of the HF thermometer. Oh well, it's functional and fairly hidden.

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I saw this thread and got to thinking, hey, I bought one of those damn things last time I was at a Harbor China Store. It took some searching but I found it.

Boy there isn't much room at all for the head of the thermometer. I see why you tilted it back.

I was thinking of just drilling a hole behind the dip stick, maybe be enough for a rubber grommet for it the slide down threw. That bolt you made is pretty cool but I don't have access to a bridgeport.

Is the oil in the frame under any pressure ?

If I could find the bolt in aluminum I wouldn't mind cranking out a couple for cheap.

I just finished making mine. I got the idea from this thread, but mine is different.

I used a $3 chinese thermometer off of ebay. I separated the probe from the PCB and extended the connections with two 1-foot wires. I drilled a small hole through the stock dipstick and put the probe in that. This way I can retain the full dipstick, the easy-to-turn regular dipstick top, and there is nothing to interfere with the triple clamps or handlebar. I mounted the rest of the thermometer on the handlebar. So now I just have a wire running from the dipstick to the handlebar, and the thermometer is just mounted on the handlebar.

It would be great to see some pics of your handy work !

I just finished making mine. I got the idea from this thread, but mine is different.

I used a $3 chinese thermometer off of ebay. I separated the probe from the PCB and extended the connections with two 1-foot wires. I drilled a small hole through the stock dipstick and put the probe in that. This way I can retain the full dipstick, the easy-to-turn regular dipstick top, and there is nothing to interfere with the triple clamps or handlebar. I mounted the rest of the thermometer on the handlebar. So now I just have a wire running from the dipstick to the handlebar, and the thermometer is just mounted on the handlebar.

gabe check that the temperature is still correct in a boiling pot of water. Thermocouples work because of the junction of two different materials of wire. Adding wire could have made more thermocouples and messed with the accuracy.

gabe check that the temperature is still correct in a boiling pot of water. Thermocouples work because of the junction of two different materials of wire. Adding wire could have made more thermocouples and messed with the accuracy.

I thought it might mess up the accuracy so I checked before and after I extended the wire. No difference.

I'm interested to see how much of a difference in temperature an oil cooler will make. The high temp so far has been 230F.

My craftsmanship is terrible.:lol: It's all a pile of electrical tape, zip-ties, and silicone sealant. :ride:

I guess I just opted for the lazy way of making one, as opposed to the clean and sleek way in the original post of this thread haha.

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