HELP, Need some advice on aftermarket gauges

Discussion in 'The Bench' started by TorqueMonster1, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. TorqueMonster1

    TorqueMonster1 Making My GS Great Again!

    Thanks for looking at my post. I have a ‘73 IH Scout II that I’m going to get going through the winter to enjoy next year. One thing that I’m gonna do is replace the factory gauges with some aftermarket ones. I’ve got a few questions that I’m hoping y’all can help with.

    1st, what brands should I consider and what should I avoid? I’m thinking AutoMeter, VDO, Stewart & Warner and Classic Insturments are all pretty good brands. I don’t need the vey best that a race car would need but I don’t want junk And I certainly don’t wanna replace them after a few years.

    2nd, I’m leaning towards a fuel gauge, oil pressure, volts/amps, temperature And of course a speedometer. Any ideas for or against this?

    3rd, should I go with a tach? The Scout is a 4speed 345V8. Just a good ole, reliable workhorse, Not a hot rod. But part of me just thinks I outta have a tach. I will be modifying the dash for whatever gauges I go with. I don’t want any mounted under the dash, on the dash pad, on the steering column or on the A pillar. So I need to know from the start what route I’m going with cause I can’t come back later and just add another.

    As far as size of gauges goes I seriously doubt I’ll have room for 5”. So looks like the speedometer will probably be a 3 3/8”. Others may be the same, 3 1/8” or even 2 1/16”. I’ve seen gauges that had the temp, oil, fuel & volts all in the same one. What about those? TOO crowded or a great use of space??

    I know I’ve said & asked a lot here but I really need some feedback and perspectives that I may be over looking.

    And if anyone has anything for sale let me know. Although I don’t really want a smorgasbord of mixed and matched gauges I’ll always consider my options. Thank Guys!! Mark
  2. Electra man

    Electra man Older and Slower

    Mark I've had good luck with Autometer gauges in the past and plan on putting they in my current ride when money allows it. They have a classic series that are not full on race car and blend in very nicely with an older vehicle. Those are my planned purchase as they match the factory dash almost perfectly. Way back when I've also purchased Sun gauges but I believe nowadays they are cheap Asian garbage if they are still available at all.
    They CJ's I had in my youth came with Stewart-Warner gauges and they seemed to work well. Do you plan to go with electrical or mechanical gauges? The mechanical gauges are supposed to be more accurate with smoother sweeps and that's what I use to get but the installation is more work. This time I'm planning electronic gauges as I don't want to drill a huge hole in the firewall to install them. Its not a race car just a fair weather cruiser.
    Next off my personal belief is any vehicle with a stick shift should have a tach. There is always a chance of over revving an engine with a stick even if you don't mean to and a 345 is not a high revving engine. If I remember correctly that engine is all-in at around 4500-4800 rpm. A friend of mine had that engine in his TravelAll and pretty much melted it into one solid blob racing me up a mountain. He revved it too high for too long and it just stopped. When we opened the hood to check it the exhaust manifolds and exhaust side of the heads were glowing red. He only had the idiot lights and no tach. When the hot light came on it was too late. It came on at the point the engine was already locked up.
    For the speedo you'll have to make sure the gearing in your transmission will work with what's available on the aftermarket. I've never done an aftermarket speedometer so I can't comment on that any further. I hope this helps you in some way. - Bill
  3. Electra Bob

    Electra Bob Well-Known Member

    I used Dakota Digital gauges on a custom panel in the Electra and I think they look good and work well.

    Dakota Digital has a host of offerings including direct replacements for many stock panels. Gauges come in many sizes including multi gauge clusters.

  4. TorqueMonster1

    TorqueMonster1 Making My GS Great Again!

    Thanks for the plug on Dakota Digital Bob, I'll check them out. Bill, also thanks for your reply. I'm not sure which route I'll go as far as the gauges are concerned, mechanical or electrical. I'm open to input as far as the pros and cons of each route. I would rather go the route of whats best in the long run. I'm not a "take a short cut now and hope for the best" kind of guy. If one is clearly better than the other than that's what I'd prefer to do.. I've heard that the supply line to the mechanical oil pressure gauges can break/leak and spill oil in the interior. I've also read steps to prevent or decrease this possibility.

    What is the ideal water temp range for an engine? I'm sure there are many different ones depending on what engine it is. What would it be for a 73 Scout II with a 345 V8 AND also what would it be for a 70 GS 455?

    AND, same question about oil pressure for the Scout 345 and GS455?

  5. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    An engine regardless of brand should generally run somewhere between 180 and 220 depending on a different variables. But somewhere in that area. The rule of thumb for oil pressure is 10lbs per 1000 rpm. As an example, my beater idles around 28 at idle and around 55 at cruise which is around 2500-2800 rpm. YMMV.

    I only install oil pressure and water temp gauges in my cars. Too many gauges and you tend to take your eyes off the road too long trying to read them all. I like rotating them so all the needles all point straight up. That way, as long as the needles are straight up, your good to go. That way, all you need to do is glance at them rather than trying to read them all. IMO, if your not racing the truck, I don't see the point of a fuel pressure gauge.

    Any name brand gauge should be good. I like the 2 5/8" size. Autometer's "Autogauge" brand which has the chrome bezel is cool looking.
  6. TorqueMonster1

    TorqueMonster1 Making My GS Great Again!

    Thanks for the feedback Jason. I should have been more clear in my original post. I am wanting a gauge for fuel Level in the tank, not to read fuel Pressure. As you mentioned, My Scout will not a gauge for Fuel Pressure. Mark
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

  8. TorqueMonster1

    TorqueMonster1 Making My GS Great Again!

    Thanks for reposting that Larry. I had come across that a while back and had even made it a thread that I “watch”’. Mark
  9. ilikebmx999

    ilikebmx999 Well-Known Member

    Check out speed hut gauges, they’re made in Utah and are semi custom for a very reasonable price. They also have great wiring kits (I think you get some free stuff when you do 5 gauges) that daisy chain together to aid in wiring cleanliness. They also have great support.

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