E28 tacho enhancement

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BMW E28 Tacho Enhancement

Hey folks,

in the middle of my BMW E28 turbo build project I am struggling a with the idea how to display some important informations about the engine.

I am planning to use a free programmable ViPec V88 ECU. The advantage is, that I can get all the informations, which the ECU get's via CAN Bus.

Therefore I am planning to use a SaintSmart Mega 2560 Controller Board - or similar Arduino to read all the Infos from CAN Bus via a CAN Bus Shield wich is attached to the Controller Board. In the ECU Programming Tool, I can free decide which data to send.

Maybe if you guys are planning to also modify your cockpit cluster, this will be the difference, where the data is coming from.


  • Change ServiceIntervall Gauge to RPM Depending ShiftLight Example Idea
  • Use CheckControll Light to display general Warning which are send via the ECU
  • Switch functionality of the economy Gauge to boost pressure Example Idea

This is how it should look like e28 kombi

Check Control Light Control via Arduino/SaintSmart

This is the easiest part of conversion. I read the electric documentation about the instrument cluster. I found out, that the check control lamp is mass controlled. So, I just need to figure out the mass control line and hook into.

Service Intervall LED's used as RPM depending Shift Light

To make this happen, I will cut the connection from the LED's to the service interval micro processor. Then I need to use a 12 bit shift register chip, otherwise I need to use 9 outputs of my controller board. If found some ideas how to do this here Arduino 8 bit shift register to controll 7 leds.

Economy Gauge to Boost Gauge

This gauge is a Air Core Gauge. This means to make it easier to work with the arduino, we need a helper chip, for example something similar to this Air Core Driver. There are also a lot of examples on youtube and the arduino pages. Should not be so complicated.

Stay tuned, new stuff is coming soon.

Support or Contact

Sourcecode, Contributors and Help? Sourcecode can for Arduino compatible boards can be found on GitHub(Links below). If you have questions, open a ticket in GitHub and I will answer. If you want to contribute contact me also via GitHub.

Ciao A.