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Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
This writeup explains and shows how to install and connect a VSS and the CEL wire in an 86-88 samurai cluster, when swapping in a trackick 1.6 8V engine and wiring.  It might work for the 88.5 and later clusters too, but I haven't verified it.
I labeled the pics with what they show....so read the pic name, to determine what you are looking at.
All of the cluster plug wiring changes are in the samurai 12 pin plug.  Pin #1 is at the top, pin #12 is at the bottom.
Trackick and samurai cluster plug wires have the same type of terminals on the end.  So you can remove the samurai wire from the plug and put the trackick wire in its place.

CEL connections
The samurai CEL/sensor light wire is brown/black and should be in position 6.  Remove this wire and install the trackick CEL cluster wire from the ECM (violet/yellow) into position 6 of the samurai plug.
That is all you have to do for the CEL to light up when the trackick ECM detects a fault and for the CEL to flash codes when the appropriate pins are shorted in the plug up by the battery.
Now, when you short the pins in the 4 pin plug up by the battery, the CEL will flash the codes, but the CEL will flash bright and dim, it won't go completely out between flashes.  While this will work to read codes, you can modify the cluster so the CEL goes completely out when flashing.  You simply cut and remove, or desolder and remove, a diode under the green sheet on the backside of the cluster.  Look at pic #1 and you can see where the diode is soldered to the trace.  The diode position is designated by a -|>|- mark on the green film.  Take the lower light bulbs out and lift the green film up enough to get to the diode, so you can remove it.

VSS installation and connections
I installed the metal type VSS into this cluster.  The plastic type VSS will work, but the plastic has to be trimmed off, to get it to fit in the cluster.  And some people have had issues with getting the plastic VSS to work....I don't know if they damage the VSS, when they remove the plastic, or if the VSS just doesn't sit far enough up into the cluster to get a good reading from the speedo (the metal VSS sticks up into the cluster farther than the plastic one).
The VSS connections are a ground and the wire that goes to the ECM.
Look at pic #2 and you can see the metal VSS installed in the cluster.  It is held in by 2 screws that screw into some pre-existing holes in the side of the cluster.  Note the dark colored screw that is threaded into the VSS.  That screw will be removed and installed through the back of the cluster to make the connection between the trace on the back of the cluster and the VSS.
In pic #3 you can see where I have connected a ground wire to the upper screw in the VSS (the ground wire ring terminal is the red one that is hidden by the CEL screw bracket).
Pic #4 shows how I had to slightly bend the CEL connection bracket to clear the VSS ground screw.
I hooked the other end of the VSS ground wire to one of the screws sticking out of the back of the cluster (see pic #5).
You can now install the speedo into the cluster and put the 2 screws in the back of the cluster that hold the speedo assembly in.
The VSS wire (yellow) to the ECM, gets put in position #3 of the samurai cluster plug.
If you follow the trace from postion #3, you will notice that it dead ends and needs a jumper soldered in to get it over to the screw that will be installed in the back of the cluster to make the trace to VSS connection.  See pic #6, to see where the jumper wire is soldered in (just to the right of the hole where the CEL reset wires and the VSS ground wire comes out of) and the screw is installed in the back of the cluster to make the trace to VSS connection.  Before you solder the wire in and install the screw, you must scrape the green coating off the trace.  Otherwise the solder won't stick and the screw won't make connection to the copper trace.
Notice there are 3 screws along the right side to make trace to VSS and CEL connections.  The top 2 screws were already in the cluster.  They were for the existing CEL/sensor light connections.  The lower screw is the new screw that is added that is part of the VSS connection to the ECM.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • ecoast
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #1
excellent as usual.

I can only add-
since the VSS itself is merely a reed switch, and if you cannot locate a trackick VSS or do not want to pay for one, you can just use a standard reed switch; I got 10 for 5-6 dollars.

I positioned mine in the cluster w/hot glue and tested by spinning speedo magnet w/drill.

same thing; one side to ground, the other to ECU

Less than elegant; but just about free.



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                                            ...what the hell you lookin' down here for?

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #2

excellent as usual.

I can only add-
since the VSS itself is merely a reed switch, and if you cannot locate a trackick VSS or do not want to pay for one, you can just use a standard reed switch; I got 10 for 5-6 dollars.

I positioned mine in the cluster w/hot glue and tested by spinning speedo magnet w/drill.

same thing; one side to ground, the other to ECU

Less than elegant; but just about free.


Thanks.
Yes, there are various ways to wire it out too (connection wise)....but this is the way I did it and it works fine for me.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • Singha
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #3
Thanx for the info.

I use this info for the CEL for my TT harness.
I removed all the old carb wiring and ECM plug.
I tapped the Sammy CEL wire right where the old ECM (black/brown) and the new 16v ECM. ECM plug (purple/yellow) are. This way I didn't have to do anything behind the gauge.

Thanx Again
88 TT. Over budget, over due, and my free time eater.

  • mrdezyne
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #4
Very useful, thanks for posting.

Couple questions though, this will be regarding using the plastic VSS.

I can ground either end to whatever I can find, correct? 
And since my plastic piece does not have the lug for the dark screw you show going through the back of the case to make connections with the traces,
I'll just need to make a jumper from the opposite end of my ground connection to those traces on the back?

I have the VSS installed, had to use epoxy since the holes didnt line up quite right to get it level and close enough to overlap the spinning do-hickey.
In progress.... still
88 Samster / Neon Sport Front Seats
1.6 8V swap TBI / Honda intake
SPOA / Mercedes high steer
6.5 Tcase
33 x 12.50 x 15

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #5

Very useful, thanks for posting.

Couple questions though, this will be regarding using the plastic VSS.

I can ground either end to whatever I can find, correct? 
And since my plastic piece does not have the lug for the dark screw you show going through the back of the case to make connections with the traces,
I'll just need to make a jumper from the opposite end of my ground connection to those traces on the back?

I have the VSS installed, had to use epoxy since the holes didnt line up quite right to get it level and close enough to overlap the spinning do-hickey.


One end of the VSS needs to have a grounded wire attached to it.  I used a ground connection on the backside of the cluster, because it was convenient.  You could attach a ground wire to one end of the VSS and run it to any grounded metal surface, if you prefer.
The other end of the VSS needs to be attached to the yellow VSS wire of the ECM.  How you choose to connect it is up to you.  The yellow ECM wire has to be connected to the other side of the VSS, in one way or another.  I did it that way I did it because, again, it was convenient and it made for a clean install.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #6
I know this is an old post but I really think this question belongs here.
I used a reed switch for my VSV and am now having trouble with speedometer error. I think the reed switch is creating some extra magnetic drag but wont be sure until I can tear into it again to find out. Any advice while I wait for my opportunity to work on it?

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #7

I know this is an old post but I really think this question belongs here.
I used a reed switch for my VSS and am now having trouble with speedometer error. I think the reed switch is creating some extra magnetic drag but wont be sure until I can tear into it again to find out. Any advice while I wait for my opportunity to work on it?


I really doubt the reed switch is affecting your speedo reading.  There shouldn't be enough of a magnetic field there to affect anything.
Probably your cable is binding (routed incorrectly, or needs lubed), or it could be the speedo itself.
  • Last Edit: Sunday, Nov 04, 2012, 07:19 PM by skyhiranger
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • ecoast
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #8

I know this is an old post but I really think this question belongs here.
I used a reed switch for my VSV and am now having trouble with speedometer error. I think the reed switch is creating some extra magnetic drag but wont be sure until I can tear into it again to find out. Any advice while I wait for my opportunity to work on it?


it's a VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor; you might want to edit your post)

As said, has nothing to do with speedo reading. only for ECM signal.

You may have moved the needle on the pin; -- just re-index so you read correct mph.
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                                            ...what the hell you lookin' down here for?

  • Kermit
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #9

it's a VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor; you might want to edit your post)

As said, has nothing to do with speedo reading. only for ECM signal.

You may have moved the needle on the pin; -- just re-index so you read correct mph.

Another possibility is that you moved the lever on the side of the speedo when you removed it. It's used for calibrating the speedo for different tire sizes, up to about 31". It also is more accurate across the range unlike moving the needle. Just remember that your odometer is not affected by this lever. Some speedos have two levers (my 88.5 is like this.) There should be paint marks from where it started if you want to go back to stock.
Winter [greenverttracks] Spring [greenvertside] Summer [doorlessgreen] Fall [greensamside]

I'm a firm believer in percussive maintenance...

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #10
Hmm I never got notifications on these replies, yet they all look familiar.
Yes, I did mean VSS but I cant figure out how to edit my post.
Thanks for the advice, I still havent had the opportunity to look at the speedo, but the more I think about it the more I am inclined to believe I have miscalibrated the speedometer through some sort of mechanical manipulation. The needle rest far too low on the dial at a stop. I looked for the lever once and couldnt find it and I am 99% sure I didnt move the needle on the shaft. However, when I tear into it again I am sure I will find some sort of calibration doodad that I inadvertently disturbed.

  • jsoluna
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #11
Great writeup!

Question :  Where is the jumper wire installed for the CEL?  Looks like the diode was removed in the pic and then a jumper wire added to the trace above the diode.  Is this correct?  Or do you remove the diode and solder a jumper wire in its place?

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #12

Great writeup!

Question :  Where is the jumper wire installed for the CEL?  Looks like the diode was removed in the pic and then a jumper wire added to the trace above the diode.  Is this correct?  Or do you remove the diode and solder a jumper wire in its place?



No jumper wire for the CEL.  The diode (labeled "or here?", in your pic) is desoldered and nothing is put back in its place.
The jumper wire (labeled "jumper wire here?", in your pic) is for the VSS.  It completes the trace connection.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • jsoluna
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #13
That's what I get for focusing only on what I thought I needed to know!  I read over the description again and can see where you describe what that jumper is for.  Thanks for clearing it up for me :)

  • jsoluna
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #14
Questions regarding sourcing the VSS/reed switch:

1. What are the criteria for finding a metal-style VSS from the donor vehicle, or is it just luck of the draw?
2. If I decide to go with a simple reed switch instead, what would I be looking for?  There are a lot of different types with different operating values, etc.  

Thanks :)

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #15

Questions regarding sourcing the VSS/reed switch:

1. What are the criteria for finding a metal-style VSS from the donor vehicle, or is it just luck of the draw?
2. If I decide to go with a simple reed switch instead, what would I be looking for?  There are a lot of different types with different operating values, etc.  

Thanks :)


1. In my experience, the metal VSS's are in trackicks with 16Vs.
2. I don't know, I always use a VSS from a trackick.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • buckshot
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  • SM4x4ZC
Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #16
What would be a downside to not installing a VSS? I have had my 1.6 8v in for a couple of years and have never installed one. Will I really gain anything by installing it. I have clusters. Thanks Mike
Terrorist are getting smarter! They even figured out how to get one of their own elected as our president!!!

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #17

What would be a downside to not installing a VSS? I have had my 1.6 8v in for a couple of years and have never installed one. Will I really gain anything by installing it. I have clusters. Thanks Mike


I think the VSS basically just helps stabilize the idle/RPMs in certain situations.  So if you don't run one, you likely won't notice any big difference in how the engine runs...but the CEL will/should be on all the time, since the ECM doesn't see a VSS signal.
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #18
I just noticed pic #5 doesn't match my description, in my original post.  Here is the correct pic #5 (maybe one of the mods can delete the original pic #5 and put this pic #5 in its place...since I can't edit my original post).
From what I recall, the ground is the same ground that runs to the indicator lights.  There was an existing screw that I removed, put the ring terminal under, and reinstalled.
  • Last Edit: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014, 11:13 AM by skyhiranger
Samurais...86,87x3,88x3,88.5x6,90,91,92x3<br />Sidekicks...89x2,90,91,94x3,95,96<br />Trackers...90x4,91,92x3,93x3,94x5,95x2,96,97<br />Sold...88.5 Samurai; 89x2,92x2,93x2,96x2 Sidekicks; 91,94x2,98 Trackers<br /><br />2.8.13

  • norzuki
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Re: Installing and wiring a VSS and the CEL wire in a samurai cluster
Reply #19
I have the metal VSS and I have completely rewired the zuk.
I know the top wire is ground, but since I don't have an ECM ...... what could I connect the other wire to? I have read that this wire connects to the (-) on the coil......



One more note

I still have the tracer board on the back of the gauge cluster, but the 2 connectors are history..... I didn't use them when I rewired the zuk
  • Last Edit: Friday, Mar 20, 2015, 04:40 PM by norzuki
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