Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Electric or mechanical gages?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mtrdrms, May 11, 2005.

  1. mtrdrms

    mtrdrms 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Posts:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Torrington, CT
    I am going to install a set of gages in my 87 (oil pres, water temp, volts, and fuel level) and dont know the advantages of either mechanical or electric. Any input would be great. Is there a reason not to run one kind? Is one type easier to install? thanks
     
  2. btolenti

    btolenti 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Posts:
    644
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA
    Mechanicals respond faster and "should" be more accurate....but electric are generally easier to install. Plus, there is a chance the tubing for the mechanical guages can leak.
     
  3. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Posts:
    12,333
    Likes Received:
    1,043
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I just installed all mechanical guages. I've had all electric in the past (until they were stolen :mad: ).

    For oil pressure, I say mechanical is the best. I was told by the guy who built my engine that they get people coming in freaking out about oil pressure. 9 times out of 10 they have an electric gauge. They tell them to install a mechanical and the pressure is fine. Make sure when you install the tubing to leave some excess coiled in the engine compartment. That way there is room for movement without pulling the line too tight.

    As for temp gauges, I really don't know if one is better than the other. It seems to me that mechanical may be better. The problem with mechanical is routing the sensing line. On the gauges I have it is kinda like the wire used for a wire hangar.

    For me it was nice not having to find a power source for all the gauges, just the tach and voltmeter.

    Frankly if you're really curious about it I would try doing some searches on Google. With all the hotrod/muscle car guys out there, I'm sure you could find some good info.

    Here's a pic of my setup. They are all Summit gauges with the exception of the tach. They were the cheapest I found.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Posts:
    29,624
    Likes Received:
    1,380
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    i always run mech oil, always...

    i used to run a mech water temp.. they really do work sweet.. the sending unit got screwed up tho so i replaced it with an electric this time..
     
  5. mtrdrms

    mtrdrms 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Posts:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Torrington, CT
    great replys guys. thanks alot. I will go with the mechanical oil pres for sure and do a little more research on the others.
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I like electrical cause I can make the routing of the setups so much cleaner. There is a degree of inflexibility in a mechanical temp line or oil pressure hose.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,979
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    My input is that gauges of any type are only accurate if they are tested and verified to be accurate. Whether a mechanical or electrical reads 10PSI, unless they can be tested against a known good piece, they are all relative. You can see all types of things as simple as thermometers that aren't accurate.

    That 30PSI on your electric gauge could really be 15PSI, but if it suddenly goes to 0, you know there is a problem.

    My personal opinion is that electrics are very good. The problem becomes that the installations are now at the newest, 14 years old in these trucks. 14 years of reliability (bare minimum) is a damn good track record, especially in the quantity you are talking about with these trucks production run.

    If I'm not mistaken, just about everything new (planes, helicopters, ships, etc) all run electrical gauges, which to me is an indication of how accurate and reliable they are. I don't work on any of those pieces of equiupment, so if wrong, I'm sure a pro will correct me. :)
     
  8. louied

    louied Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Posts:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    yea, most electric gauges work well , if wired correctly,

    and it keeps posible leaks out of the dash.
     
  9. Boondocks

    Boondocks 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Posts:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with dyeager535, any gauge is only as accurate as it calibration.

    As for aircraft gauges, yes they are electric, but there are also redundant systems and regular maintenance involved.

    To be extra careful, combine the use of gauges with indicator lights (using a seperate sensor switch), for critical systems.
     

Share This Page