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street_rulerr 07-28-2020 10:50 PM

which gauges?
age old question.

I want to install either 2 or 3 extra gauges probably 2...but cant decide whats most valuable in a MT 4cyl truck.

i used to run a narrowband A/FR gauge in a nitrous car but that was more to know if the o2 sensor was warmed up yet.

water temp seems like it might be useful?

oil temp might be useful too? but i dont tow really

also planning on one of them being a tach since mine is all f'd up.


alabama_lowlife 07-28-2020 11:03 PM

I like the voltage gauge in my 370z let’s me know I’ve got some power out there.

SBJ 07-28-2020 11:14 PM

Just my two cents...I actually think the coolant temp gauge in these is fairly accurate. With the thermostat in proper working order I used to be able to see when it would creep up to a little before the halfway point then open and start cooling down. Assuming that the thermostat is working correctly the high point before it cools down would be probably a little above 170 degrees.

I'd probably go with oil pressure and battery voltage.

Deerhurst 07-28-2020 11:19 PM

I run water temp, oil pressure and manifold boost/vac. You can tell an astronomical amount who t how a vehicle is running by watching vacuum.

91nissan94 07-29-2020 12:24 AM

I've got afr, voltage and oil pressure. The temp gauge has always been reliable, so I figured it was pointless.

XoXSciFiGuy 07-29-2020 01:13 AM

I go along with some of the other folks. Oil pressure and voltage gauge. Oil pressure can warn you of a leak before engine damage occurs. Otherwise, you just have the warning light, and sometimes you already HAVE damage by the time it comes on. I agree that the water temp gauge in these Nissans works just fine. No need to switch it over to an outside gauge.

One cute gauge to have is an intake manifold vacuum indicator gauge. Back in dinosaur days, I had a 66 Impala SS with a factory vacuum gauge almost the size of the speedometer. It was way cool. Found a picture of one. Brings back memories. I think the purpose is to show you how you can increase your gas mileage by keeping it in a certain range or something. Pfft. I paid no attention to that. Gas was like 45 cents a gallon back then. You handed the guy a ten dollar bill and you got back change. One time though...I forgot I had studded snow tires still going and my brother told me to dump the clutch and do a big burnoff. So I revved it to about 4000 and dumped the clutch. The studs caught the pavement, and one of the motor mounts broke. Engine banged into the hood. Only damage was slight dent to the air cleaner, but I sure felt foolish.

cadillacdude1975 07-29-2020 03:44 AM

Get the vacuum gauge. Once you learn how to read it, your fuel economy will become better.

Deerhurst 07-29-2020 04:14 AM

Not only can you help economy with a vacuum gauge but you can diagnose a whole lot of things with one. Your engine depends on vacuum. Rough running at idle, vacuum gauge has lower than normal vacuum? Check for vacuum leaks. Blip the throttle and it should go down and then when it comes back pass the normal idle point then return to normal. If it doesn't this can signify a different issue. If the needle wiggles around at idle you have either a huge cam or bad valve sealing. It's also fun to watch. My truck pulls about 22inhg and idle with a slight, barely visible, fluctuation due to my mild cam.

XoXSciFiGuy 07-29-2020 08:00 AM

Intake vacuum gauges aren't as common as they used to be. But you can still get them. Problem is trying to find one as a set of OTHER gauges. I couldn't really find something like that. But it's easy to get the oil pressure and voltmeter gauges, even in a dual set.

I did find THIS ONE at Amazon, which is mechanical (no juice required) and is of fairly high quality and comes with everything for the install. Also costs about 75 bucks. Just saying. There is a cheaper version for about fifty bucks but I don't trust it.

The one I linked takes an incandescent bulb, so it isn't TOTALLY electric-free as they say. I would suggest switching out whatever bulb they include with the gauge to an LED equivelent. If you want to get really crazy, you could go with a color LED.

Foul_Mouth 07-29-2020 11:02 AM

I have vac and volts and oil psi. VDO gauges. Vac as a diag.tool on the road priceless.

XoXSciFiGuy 07-29-2020 11:39 AM want to blow the bucks at Amazon for three good gauges? Manifold vacuum, voltmeter, and oil pressure? Here's my choices for the money. Except for the manifold vacuum, the other two are ELECTRIC, not mechanical gauges.

Manifold vacuum


Oil pressure

Comes close to $250, but for the value, I'm considering them.
I had the thought that if you switched the incandescent bulbs for LED's, you could easily light all three gauges with a single hot lead. Not much juice to light three LED's.

Foul_Mouth 07-29-2020 12:28 PM

How mine are laid out. $250 is absurd.

SVTCTR 07-29-2020 01:26 PM

i saw a vac/boost gauge at Harbor Frieght. not sure of its quality but its a gauge. i havent looked to see if there is a set to match the one i saw. just a cheap idea.

SVTCTR 07-29-2020 02:01 PM

also ive always wanted to build my own cluster out of Autometer gauges but im afraid it my lure the bad folks in to break into my truck and steal the stuff. just trying to keep it from being to flashy. plus i wouldnt even know how to wire up a speedo, the others would be simple.

street_rulerr 07-29-2020 03:36 PM

ive used that mout that FM has. im not planning on putting mine there but thats the exact mount id use again

Deerhurst 07-29-2020 04:47 PM

I went with a pillar that holds 3 gauges. I have all autometer mechanical gauges.

cadillacdude1975 07-30-2020 12:25 AM

On square dash trucks, mounting under the radio is a good option. Maybe i should do all this to my pathfinder since i have the top end torn off. It would be much easier.

XoXSciFiGuy 07-30-2020 06:31 AM

I'm not much for the steering wheel mount idea, but only because it sort of blocks the instrument panel. Below the radio sounds good, right down to the carpet area on the tranny tunnel.

Yeah...FM is right that 250 is a little much. I decided no on that.

As far as that other comment on new gauges maybe tempting thieves, it won't be the gauges that is the reason they try to steal it. If they are a car thief they won't see them until they look inside the truck, which means they are already considering a theft of it.

Look...I use the CLUB. Sure, you can saw through it, or through the steering wheel and defeat it. That is true. It is ALSO true that *most* thieves will say pass on a vehicle that has it. Mainly because they want to be 'Gone in 60 Seconds' and defeating the Club is more of a risk for them. It's just another layer of security. And most car thieves don't pack a hacksaw, not generally.

I had some kid a couple of months ago, a homeless guy, who prowled my truck and took some cheap tools out of the back. Right in my driveway. He didn't damage anything because it was the one time I foolishly left my door unlocked. (dumb) But he bypassed on stealing because sawing through the Club or the steering wheel would have made a lot of noise.

Now I have three-layer security. Hidden kill switch, alarm, AND the Club. Plus I never forget to lock it. Don't forget your back slider, either.

LOL...I even installed 500 watts of lighting in the parking lot on a night-only motion sensor...and a proximity alarm that goes BEEP BEEP if anyone comes into the parking lot, which isn't a real big lot anyway. Hell, yeah. Got it all at Harbor Freight. If you get the same stuff, go for the AC versions, NOT the solar powered battery stuff. The batteries go to shit real fast.

If you're wondering whether that stuff works, YES. In the last two months, I caught two people late night out there who SHOULDN'T have been there. I scared the holy crap out of them with my high-powered spotlight and made them leave. (*insert evil laugh here*) They never even got CLOSE to the truck, or the wife's 98 Pathy either. I absolutely hate thieves and junkies with a passion. They get no sympathy here. We live in a small condo complex. One way IN...SAME way OUT. Eight foot wooden fences all around. Neighbors were happy. Some upgraded their own lighting outside. We live in the very back corner and the lights and prox alarm face the part of the parking lot where you have to drive in. Lights up everything. No way to avoid the Harbor Freight stuff.

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