Do-It-Yourself Pyrometer Probe Install

Published in the December 2010 Issue December 2010 Installs

Anybody can install a pyrometer probe in an exhaust manifold (well, there are a few people who shouldn't even try...). Like many modifications you can do or have done to your truck, all it takes is a little knowledge, the right tools and some practice on somebody else's truck.

step 1

1. We did our install on a 2006 Chevy Duramax in the driveway at 10 p.m. while the wife was inside catching up on Oprah. Naturally, it's a good time to not be inside the house.

step 2

2. On the Duramax, the primary probe can be installed on the passenger side exhaust manifold. On a Dodge, the probe can go in the middle of the manifold where it collects and dumps into the turbine housing (just don't drill dead-center-there's a divider wall where the two sides of the manifold collect). On Fords, you'll need to crawl under the truck and drill into the bottom of the driver's side exhaust, depending on the engine.

step 3

3. Most pyro probes use a 1/8 NPT (National Pipe Taper) fitting, which requires that you drill a 21/64-inch hole. If you don't have a 21/64 bit, use the slightly smaller 5/16-inch bit.

step 4astep 4b

4. Use a center punch to mark your drilling location. If the 21/64 drill bit walks out of the center punch mark, drill a starter hole with a smaller bit.

step 5

5. Now if you're thinking, you're probably wondering how to keep the metal shavings from dropping into the manifold and taking a tour of the turbo's turbine wheel and housing. Start the engine and let the truck idle for the next few steps. The exhaust pressure blows the shavings out. Wear safety glasses, too.

step 6

6. Our 21/64 hole is drilled, ready to be threaded.

step 7

7. You'll need a 1/8 NPT tap to thread the hole for the probe fitting. They're available at most hardware stores. Don't thread the tap all the way to the top of its threads.

step 8

8. You want to thread far enough in for the fitting's threads, but shallow enough to maintain some taper in the bore for the fitting's threads to bottom out in.

step 9

9. The probe fitting threads into the manifold, and the probe threads into the fitting

step 10

10. Snug the fitting down securely, but don't over-tighten and ruin the threads.

step 11

11. Now insert the probe through the fitting and securely tighten. Make sure you clock the elbow and cable so that it runs straight and that you don't bend the elbow of the probe cable. Your probe is installed and ready for its gauge.

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