Mechanical vs Electric gauges - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Mechanical vs Electric gauges

Starting to look at gauges. I am looking at the Auto Meter gauges, Ultra Lite II or the Phantom II. I love the night/day switch

Plans: In dash Tach and speedometer (5 inch for 68 camaro correct?)

Converting my automatic console into a manual transmission console (possible?) with the 4 gauge (2 1/16) Water temp, volt, oil pressure and fuel level guages.

What is the difference between mech and elec gauges? Difference in setup? Difficulty in set up?

Also will be using American Autowire Classic update kit for my 68. Will I need to by the Autometer harness for the console gauges? Any issues with the speedometer and tach connections

TKO being installed, MSD ignition (site says no issues with Autometer Tachs.)

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 10:07 PM
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Re: Mechanical vs Electric gauges

Good question.... I'm watching this thread as well because i have both and don't know which is the better out of the two.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 09, 10:15 PM
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Re: Mechanical vs Electric gauges

Electrical all the way. The TKO has a speed sensor and you can calibrate your speedo dead on in 5 minutes. Who wants oil in your passenger compartment if not needed? The MSD box works perfect with the autometer gauges.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 09, 06:53 AM
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Re: Mechanical vs Electric gauges

The nice thing with Mechanical temp gauges at least is you can still get a reading off of them even with the key off.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 09, 07:18 AM
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Re: Mechanical vs Electric gauges

I actually prefer mechanical gauges, they have a much longer sweep and are easier to read. Plus you dont need a big sending unit hanging off the motor to power the gauge. If you use a mechanical oil pressure gauge, you should install a copper line, instead of the supplied nylon one, for safety; most competitive organizations require that.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 22nd, 09, 10:12 AM
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Re: Mechanical vs Electric gauges

Randy raises a good point about mechanical gauges. They tend to have a longer sweep. However, there are mechanical gauges that are long-sweep types.

In terms of accuracy, I don't think you could conclude that mechanical is more or less accurate than electrical gauges are. Some electrical gauges have a calibration pot located inside the bulb socket on the back.

IMHO, electrical gauges are hard to beat in terms of hookup and reliability. I've experienced the bedredded leaking oil line to the oil pressure gauge. Mechanical temp gauges have that knarly flexible line that you have to fish through the firewall and secure without a kink. Electrical gauges solve a lot of those headaches, though full sweep gauges would be nice to have.

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