What gauges should I get? (mech vs. elec.) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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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?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 12:13 PM
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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..

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[This message has been edited by novaderrik (edited 08-24-2002).]
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 02, 06:49 PM
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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.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 02, 01:45 AM
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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.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 02, 05:14 AM
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I have auto-meter Ultra Lite electrics in my car... work great and easy install. Would like a bigger sweep reading, but oh well.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 02, 09:11 AM
 
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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.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 02, 05:38 PM
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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.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 07:55 AM
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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.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 11:45 AM
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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.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 02, 05:48 PM
 
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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.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 06:43 AM
 
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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!

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 10:03 AM
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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.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 10:31 AM
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I put the Autometer electric fuel pressure gauge in and like it. Seems accurate and sensitive ( boo-hoo!).

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