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Author Topic: Where to get good gauges?  (Read 1830 times)
technomadia
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Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446


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« on: July 05, 2013, 08:34:09 PM »

I am looking to replace our old engine temperature gauge, and add a transmission temperature gauge.  And hey - we don't have a fuel gauge, so I might as well add one of those too. And hey - if I am redoing the dash, maybe I'll replace our sticky air pressure gauge too.  And hey, why not just replace the rest too so that they all match...

But...

Where is a good source for quality gauges?

I've never bought engine gauges before - and I have no idea whether or not to trust the dozens of options on Amazon. 

Leads on what to look for and where to shop are much appreciated.

These are the gauges we ultimately want:

+ Temperature:
  + Engine Coolant
  + Transmission Oil
  + Radiator Outlet (optional)
  + Engine Oil Temp (optional)

+ Oil Pressure
+ Air Pressure
+ RPM
+ Speedometer / Odometer
+ Fuel
+ Compass (optional)

Thoughts? Tips? Recommendations?

Cheers!

   - Chris

PS: We posted a great photo set and video slideshow of our engine dissection today. If you want some visual bus porn, check out our latest blog post.  *grin*
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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hargreaves
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 09:05:41 PM »

check out SPEED HUT .com  Cheers Gerry
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now as of Feb 2012 series 50 B400  . Sunshine Coast British Columbia
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 09:13:11 PM »

Try speedhut.com, I have converted about half my gauges and like their product. You can choose the color of back ground, color of numbers and pointers. Have great customer service and you can add a logo if you want. Good luck.  Bob
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1981 Eagle 10/15 series 60 740 auto
sdc53
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 09:19:07 PM »

I have been gauge shopping myself, particularly since following your incident.  My stock gauge does not have enough detail to it to really distinguish between like 190 or 200 very well.
I have yet to select anything, but have spent hours looking.  Ideally, I'd like my new coolant temp gauge to have both analog and digital readout, full sweep, peak recall, and warning functions (because I suspect my stock warning systems are no longer present).  I'm a little enamored with this one I found online but it does not have all the features I want:
http://www.glowshiftdirect.com/MaxTow-Water-Temperature-Gauge.asp
I plan to check with isspro.com because they are local to me and made in USA.
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Scott
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 09:26:25 PM »

I have recently added some more gauges to my bus.   The originals are Teleflex, but my bus's style are no longer made by Teleflex or Sierra or whatever the company calls itself these days.   So, I've chosen Stewart Warner as the next best  -  they look very similar to the Teleflex.   I first bought a dual air brake application pressure gauge off eBay for $40-ish (they're normally well over $100) that I connected to the two spare 3/8" ports on my E-6 brake treadle valve.   It can tell me if I have a leak in one or the other brake circuit, or if my brakes are beginning to fade down a steep hill.   It's USA-made and nice quality.   I then bought a VDO turbo boost gauge, because it looked the simplest compared to most that have too busy a face design or that also read intake vacuum   -  SW doesn't make one I like.   It's made in India, but it looks pretty decent quality.   (Last weekend I connected it with 45 feet of 1/4" DOT tube to the air intake housing above the blower  -  what a damnably filthy job that was!)   My latest acquisitions are two pressure gauges for the rear start panel next to the engine, one for fuel pressure and the other to replace the original SW oil pressure gauge there that is now leaking oil inside its face.   I've heard of liquid-filled gauges, but not full of thick black oil!   These two gauges are again SW, but they were suspiciously cheap, less than $16 each!   They're made in the Socialist Workers' Paradise, maybe in Peoples' Pressure Gauge Factory Number Three (or something like that), and they have plastic cases.   I'll have to see how they hold up in the heat of the engine room.   If they crap out on me I'll buy some better quality ones.   Again I chose them because of their clear simple faces  -  I really don't like fussy cluttered graphics on my instruments.   My biggest challenge may be to find some fittings that will go on their tiny 5/16" connectors, so I'll go fossicking tomorrow to find what I need.   I'll also have the local hose-wallah make me a 6'-long stainless-braided fuel hose to connect from the spare port on my secondary filter to the gauge.

Apart from the dual brake gauge, I bought the other three from Summit Racing  -  good prices, huge selection and quick shipping.   I think I'm gauged out now;  I've got nowhere else to put any more!   However, especially in view of your recent travails, I'm thinking of temperature gauges on each head that I can simultaneously read up front.   When it comes to the engine's inner health and well-being, can one have too much information?

John

  
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1990 Crown 2R-40N-552:  6V92TAC, DDEC II, HT740, Jake.      Hecho en Chino.     
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2013, 04:37:49 AM »

take a look at DAKOTADIGITAL. They make digital ones that are very accurite. Have been around for years and sell mostly to hot rod folks. Lifetime warrenty. I put some in and Eagle some years back and was very happy with them. Being digital you can set each to flash at various points to get your attension if out of range. Many different configurations.
JimH
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Started with nothing - still have most of it left!
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Len Silva
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2013, 06:07:21 AM »

http://www.egauges.com/vdo_main.asp

My personal favorite is the VDO Vision line.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 06:38:00 AM by Len Silva » Logged


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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 07:32:00 AM »

  The Flxible city bus I dismantled had a pressure sending unit attached to the fuel filter, which kicked on a dash warning light if fuel filters started to plug up. I will add that to mine. The blower boost is a good idea and/or you could add a vacuum line to tube from air filter to be warned of restriction. How about two warning light temperature sensors about 10 degrees apart; the lower one yellow and standard one which is already red. How about a low oil level sensor in oil pan? I know that they are, at least, on Buicks for several years. Don't whether they use a stand alone electronic module or not. Might be similar to the low coolant sensor setup which uses a standard GM auto module from past years.
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 08:08:41 AM »

I've used Stewart-Warner gauges in my car. In my bus, Isspro is used. I added a tachometer with a generator drive off the blower. Isspro knows what they are talking about with heavy duty applications. My tachometer is a 3500rpm with hour meter. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 10:11:07 AM »

I actually use a little Garmin chart plotter (for use with boats) that I didn't sell with my sailboat as my speedometer, odometer, magnetic heading indicator (compass), chassis voltmeter, clock, and standby GPS. It's got a configurable screen that gives me all of this information at a glance on one page.

There are also dedicated GPS speedometers that require no hookup other than power. I love my chart plotter GPS speedo because it basically eliminates errors due to tire size or other variables. It's also nice to have all the other information at a glance in one place. Of course it doesn't do EVERYTHING, but it works good for me. Just don't tell mine it's not on a boat. Smiley
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johnjem
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 11:55:04 AM »

BY far the best gauges I got are from isspro, they send the sender also that matches the gauge, got 16 gauges so far from them,they built each 1 of them for me,custom   john
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 03:05:34 PM »

Sometimes they will already have pulled the good gages and senders from wrecked trucks and may have them displayed in the front showroom.  Sometimes you have to pull the gages and senders yourself.  The trick is getting the correct sender for the gage and application.  HB of CJ (old coot)
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technomadia
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 03:40:22 PM »

There have been some absolutely fabulous resources shared in this thread so far - thank you everyone!

Does anyone know what the specs of the fuel gauge option for the GM4106 is? Is it a 0-30ohm sender in the tank?  Our maintenance manual mentions the fuel gauge option, but it doesn't include the specs or details other than what junction box hookup is reserved for it.

I've been testing, and I think the sender may be functional - but the old gauge mounted on the side of the tank is dead. Perfect opportunity to wire the sender to a new gauge on the dash!

  - Chris
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2013, 08:28:08 PM »

We used an old broom stick with knotches cut into the side establishing known fuel level points in the fuel tank, then we would literally dip our fuel tank.  Old Crown Supercoach ex schoolie with...a funky gas gage.  Worked for us.  Did cause a slight fuel stink however.  The broom end still swept clean. HB of CJ (old coot) Smiley
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Uglydog56
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2013, 08:42:41 PM »

I use s-w first, then vdo vision for anything I need that s-w doesn't have.  I am going to use a speedhut gps speedo though.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
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Rick A. Cone
Silverdale, WA
66 Crowny Crown "The Ark"
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