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Old 07-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
justin_l_
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PODI Alpina tribute vent gauge

I bought this kit for an S52 Build. Everything mentioned in the review is based off an S52, it may be similar for an M20 installation.

Price- I'm going to do this first because if you can't afford it you shouldn't bother reading the rest. Just remember you have to pay to play and quality isn't cheap. The setup I got is AFR, Boost, Water Temp and Oil pressure. This is probably one of the most expensive setup combinations. I ended up ordering the wideband separately through ebay because it was cheaper, but if you order it direct through PODI, it comes out to $690 for this exact setup.

Fit and Finish- I like the way the gauge mounts, it was very well designed. It slides into the vent and locks in place on the factory studs for the vent. It is very secure and clean looking. It also comes with the removal tools to remove if needed (think radio removal tools). The finish is pretty much spot on to factory. It doesn't add virtually any weight either.

Installation- Wiring was pretty straight forward, it came with a basic diagram with some notes for what sensor goes to what input. If you can do some basic butt connectors and source power and ground, you can wire this. The hardest part is running the wires cleanly through the dash and engine bay. You will need to purchase some extra butt connectors and such.

OIL: The oil pressure sensor looks like a quality unit, not just a cheap universal sensor. SS body with weather tight connector. I had to buy a separate adapter to be able to run my factory dummy light and the new oil pressure sensor. Even if I wanted to eliminate the factory sensor I would still need an adapter from factory to 1/8npt. I don't think this was mentioned on their site. This was an additional $30 over the $690 initial cost. You don't need to run a factory oil pressure dummy light if you don't want to as the PODI gauge has a low/high warning system for every sensor. That is a neat feature for sure.

BOOST: Pretty straight forward, one wire and a piece of vacuum line. I had to purchase the vacuum line separately, it was an additional $5 at a local parts store. The sensor is very compact and will fit in many places. I have it mounted in the dash. It's about a 1" cube.

Wideband: Welded in a bung that is supplied with the kit, and installed. Pretty straight forward.

Coolant temp: There are probably a few different ways to do this, but I opted to buy an adapter that goes in the coolant hose. It's not as accurate as drilling and tapping the head, but far less labor intensive. Adapter was an additional $15

Function- The gauge works well, and the readouts are effective. They are not slow like some digital gauges. You are able to set low and high limits on the readouts, as well as set brightness in the gauge. It also works off the dimmer of the car if wired properly. There are 4 small icons in the center of the gauge showing what the displays are. Everything works well together and communicates properly. My one and only issue with this gauge is the 4 little icons are barely illuminated during the day. The LED's just don't cut it. This is only an issue with the red ones I am told as the other colors light up fine. They are dim enough that I was actually told to send my gauge in to have it looked at. We thought they were not working, but apparently they were. They changed a couple things and it is ever so slightly better but still not correct IMO. At night the lights are all visible. The actual gauge readouts are visible constantly, just not the little pictures.

OVERALL- If you have the money invested in a gnarly build, don't be afraid to spend a little more on some gauges to monitor you car. This setup is expensive, but is well worth the money. It is customizable to whatever your needs are and it is integrated into one unit. There is no "ricey" gauge pod on your pillar attracting the attention of people that don't need to know. It really is a clean setup.

Initial purchase/build time for the gauge was a little slow. They were waiting on a sensor that was on backorder before they shipped it even though they were told to ship it anyways. Small miscommunication but not a big deal.

When I had to send the gauge in, the customer service was top notch. They covered shipping both ways, priority. They were in touch with me before, during and after the sale and repair. It took a week to send it out, repair and return to my door.

I would recommend this gauge to anybody building an E30 looking for a gauge, it gets a solid A.

Brightness all the way up. Overcast day.


Before modification
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
CorvallisBMW
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I'm bumping this thread because I've heard some mixed reviews on the reliability. Anyone able to chime in with their experiences?
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I thought a rim job had more to do with the other...eh....end....

Or have I been licking buttholes for no reason all this time?
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
Van Westervelt
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In the same boat here... Little weary based on some locals experiences with the results and the support.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:57 AM   #4
Matt-B
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Yea, Had a friend get 1, nothing seemed to work at all. installation was done properly etc, but failed to read, and read correctly. He was pretty bummed, for spending the $ and not really getting much.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:16 AM   #5
Todd Black 88
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I have had mine for two years, and no issues.
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I hope to Christ you have looks going for you, because you sure as fuck don't have any intelligence.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
justin_l_
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Latest and greatest.... Oil pressure failed setup has less that 1000 miles on it.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:38 AM   #7
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Was thinking about this for my s85 car. Think Ill go another route. Its a shame as its such a clean solution
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:07 PM   #8
CorvallisBMW
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Does it come with any type of warranty?
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I thought a rim job had more to do with the other...eh....end....

Or have I been licking buttholes for no reason all this time?
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:48 AM   #9
justin_l_
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I don't know what the technical warranty is but they have been good about working with me to get any issues sorted.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blunttech View Post
Was thinking about this for my s85 car. Think Ill go another route. Its a shame as its such a clean solution
It looks SO DAMN nice! too bad it is shaping up to be garbage, I was also going this route.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin_l_ View Post
Latest and greatest.... Oil pressure failed setup has less that 1000 miles on it.
VEI has reported to me that a bunch of bad oil pressure senders was shipped out, so this issue is not isolated to just the e30 vent gauge as I have a customer with a regular gauge with a similar issue.

If the sender is faulty we will replace it under warranty at no cost to you.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:48 PM   #12
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It looks SO DAMN nice! too bad it is shaping up to be garbage, I was also going this route.
I don't understand how a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor turns this product into garbage.
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Photo comparison: OEM vs aftermarket windscreen for a convertible
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorvallisBMW View Post
I'm bumping this thread because I've heard some mixed reviews on the reliability. Anyone able to chime in with their experiences?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Westervelt View Post
In the same boat here... Little weary based on some locals experiences with the results and the support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt-B View Post
Yea, Had a friend get 1, nothing seemed to work at all. installation was done properly etc, but failed to read, and read correctly. He was pretty bummed, for spending the $ and not really getting much.
The gauge modules that are used are based off the regular 52mm round digital gauges, the issues that I have been encountering have been sensor related.

oil pressure: the original oil pressure sender needs to be grounded to the chassis in order to work and at time this caused an issue as the sensor was isolated. Adding a ground strap to the body of the sensor will solve this problem but we have since replaced this sensor with a new active version.

oil/water temperature: the oil temperature sensor needs to be grounded to the chassis in order to work.

I have both of these sensors installed in my s52 swapped touring, installed by Gutenparts and it worked great and then a few weeks later I was getting weird readings. I extracted the sensors, cleaned up the threads to remove the teflon tape which was causing a ground issue, reinstalled them and I haven't had an issue since.

I will go on record that the release of this product has not been 100% perfect as issues have come up and VEI and I have worked to continually improve this product by sourcing brighter LEDs, newer sensors and updating the code. I will do everything I can to resolve issues to the satisfaction of the customer, and if for some reason at the end of the day you are unhappy with the product then send it back to me for a refund. This is the same policy in place for the other gauge products I sell.
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My 1989 325i vert (sold)...this is Nina

My 1991 M5 (sold)... this is Veronica

Photo comparison: OEM vs aftermarket windscreen for a convertible
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:10 PM   #14
F34R
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I was a bit harsh, but I don't see how it cost so much yet malfunctions enough to have people know it is an issue.


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Old 10-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #15
MC Hammered
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I have sold a couple of hundred of these vent gauge setups and have assisted people with installation issues to them wiring up boost senders the wrong way and blowing them up.

Would I sell a known malfunctioning product? No. I am not in the business to con someone out of their money and ignore them.
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My 1989 325i vert (sold)...this is Nina

My 1991 M5 (sold)... this is Veronica

Photo comparison: OEM vs aftermarket windscreen for a convertible
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