What gauges should I get? (mech vs. elec.) - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 32
Send a message via AIM to TheAaronTheory
What are the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical and electrical gauges? I currently only have an electrical water temp. gauge. I'd like to add oil pressure and voltage, and replace the water temp. My intake manifold has a fitting for the oil pressure, and it has a little prong type thing sticking out of it as if it were for a wire to connect to it. My main question is, do i need, or should I get MECHANICAL, or ELECTRICAL gauges?

black 68 Camaro
TheAaronTheory is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 12:13 PM
Senior Tech
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Ashby,MN, USA
Posts: 8,305
mechanical gauges are nice because they are allegedly more accurate, but more of a pain to hook up. the capilary tube for a temp gauge needs to be fed thru the firewall, and needs a pretty sizable hole to get the fitting thru. oil pressure gauges need to have the tube ran thru the firewall, and they sometimes leak oil inside the car.
electric gauges are more sanitary to install, and can be hooked to a plug under the dash to get them out of the way easier if need be.
i have always been a mechanical gauge fan, but as i get older and lazier, electric is starting to look better to me personally..

1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16X8" IROC wheels. 12" Corvette brakes on the way.
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik

[This message has been edited by novaderrik (edited 08-24-2002).]
novaderrik is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 06:49 PM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Oakland TN
Posts: 292
I prefer electric gauges.
I would never recommend a mech oil or any type of amp gauge. A failure of either of these two gauges can have ya calling a tow truck.
I use electric oil, volt and temp.

impzilla is offline  
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 02, 01:45 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
JWA's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: ORYGUN, USA
Posts: 795
I have Autometer pro-comp electrics in my 69 (a little over 2 years now) Work great and I have had no issues with them.

69 SSRS 396(roller 427 )
My Chevs
JWA is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 02, 05:14 AM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,099
I have auto-meter Ultra Lite electrics in my car... work great and easy install. Would like a bigger sweep reading, but oh well.
boodlefoof is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 02, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 233
Get the electric ones they are better. I've tried both and found out that te electric ones are more accurate. Also on a mech. oil the line can bust and oil is spilling everywhere. You don't get that with electrical ones.
4U 2 NV is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 02, 05:38 PM
Tech Team
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Spring lake,NC usa
Posts: 54
I agree, go with electric.

Mechanical are more accurate "my opinion" but they do propose a safety issue which is why auto companies stop installing them in vehicles. Plus a voltmeter will give you direct indication of a system failure as compared to an ampmeter which can give false indication.
mohawk is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 07:55 AM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,659
You don't have to worry about the oil line bursting if you use the correct steel braided hose. The cheep plastic tubing should not be used in a performance car, especially one run at the track.

90% of the cars ever made didn't come with a voltage or amp gauge. The idiot light is fine for me. However, I may be an idiot for thinking that

I prefer mechanical gauges becaues of the larger sweep. It's interesting what different people consider to be a pain. To me it was easier to drill the hole in the firewall and hook up the mech gauges than to deal with having to run a bunch of additional wires.

Pearl blue & white 69 Camaro with supercharged 350, Tremec TKO, and 3.73 12-bolt

See my website updated 6/10/02 at:

gheatly is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 11:45 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Simpsonville, SC
Posts: 3,359
gheatly, Went to a cruise this past weekend and when I got ready to leave the battery was dead. The "GEN" idiot light never came on. It turns out the voltage regulator was bad and must have kept the light from coming on. Installed the new volt reg. and the light now works again (comes on with switch on engine not running). I ordered a Volt gauge and some others Monday. I'm just passing this along because I to always thought the light would tell me if the system wasn't charging.

Robert Johnson

'69 getting better every day... (every pay day)
350ci 700r4 3.55 posi A/C PS PDB
rojo is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Jasper, IN 47546
Posts: 12
Just want to add my second to all the above on electric. I hear that mechanical is more accurate, but for a street machine I would go with electric.

Also, not to be critical of your post, but I don't believe that your intake would have a fitting for oil pressure. Up in the front of the manifold, will be a fitting for water temp, and behind the carb will be one for vaccum. The oil pressure fitting is right behind the distributor and goes into the block, the intake is cut around it.
1cool68 is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta , Canada
Posts: 7
I don't know about the rules where you race but my local drag strip will fail you at tech for having a mechanical oil pressure guage. They are tired of cheap ones oiling down the track!

It's not easy to go fast on a disability pension... But it's sure worth it!
Frugal1 is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 10:03 AM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,659
How would the gauge oil down the track? They must be having problems with the cheap nylon hose popping out of the fitting on the back of the block. The plastic hosing is supposed to be a NO-NO, but it sounds like they are passing the Tech inspection anyways.

There was an article in this month's Car Craft on mechanical vs electric gauges. Autometer says their electric ones are slightly more accurate, but the difference isn't enough to tell.

I am about to install an electric fuel pressure gauge. We'll see how it goes.
gheatly is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 10:31 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Accord, NY
Posts: 4,815
I put the Autometer electric fuel pressure gauge in and like it. Seems accurate and sensitive ( boo-hoo!).

Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,Autogear M22,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips ( yet ).
RickD is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome