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Gauge Survey

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Robin, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    Can you guys help me out and give me your opinion on a gauge layout for a new dash. I know the orignal is pretty good, but I want more.

    I plan on using Autometer (Procomp black face) gauges:
    Speedo/Tach ----- 3 5/8
    Clock ----------- 2 5/8
    Everything else - 2 1/16
    Fuel
    Air/Fuel Mixture
    Exhaust Gas Temp
    Water temp
    Volt
    Vaccum
    Oil Pressure
    Oil Temp
    Trans Temp

    You may not be able to tell from the picture what goes where, but I'm mainly interested in feedback on the locations.

    Please click on this link Gauge Survey and pick a number between 1-5 and any additional comments, would be appreciated.
    NOTE: The clock may find it's way into the center of the whole dash (not the instrument panel).
     
  2. JungleBoy

    JungleBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Robin
    Great idea! I really think #2 is cool. No way to find an A/F gauge that's not digital? How are you going to build the bezel, and of what?

    I'd wear a Timex and lose the clock. If you have a stereo you will probably have a clock anyway.

    Good luck
     
  3. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks, #2 is growing on me too. The A/F is actually a dial: Autometer A/F
     
  4. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

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    I'd go with either #2 or #5 (maybe with out the clock). They look like the easiest to read to me. Get a stereo with a clock.
     
  5. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    It would depend on the spokes of the steering wheel you're running. Put the gauges you need to see the most where they're clear. Also rotate them so the "normal reading points the same way for all the gauges, either 9, 12, or 3 o'clock. Then a quick scan lets you know if you need to look closer at one of them. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Robin,

    The steering wheel is a BIG factor in the gauge placement. The closer you sit to the dash, the MORE area the wheel will block visually.....you might want to do some experiments and put pieces of tape anywhere that you can clearly see....and leave the "hidden" areas blank so you don't try to put gauges there......a gauge in a "hidden" space is just as useless as not having the gauge at all.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that there are simply too many gauges trying to fit in that cluster. It may work out better to either mount a few in an 'underdash' layout, or maybe in place of the stock radio?

    Also, if you can manage it, go with the larger 2-3/8" gauges instead of the 2-1/16" style.....WAY more readable IMHO.... They can be made to fit behind the stock bezel if you remove the outer trim ring and glass. This is what I did on mine and they look sweet! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  7. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    #2 ... nice and clean, easy to read.

    You don't need a clock, clocks are for sissy's! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  8. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Dang...way too many gages! It would take you 10min of glancing back and forth to check them all.

    What I would do:

    Speedo/Tach (Needed!...I would get big ones to fit in the 2 big stock holes)
    Clock (get a watch...but in the center of the dash could be cool)
    Fuel (I guess you have to have one of these too)
    Air/Fuel Mixture (nice to have on the rig when tuning but should not be mounted permanintly)
    Exhaust Gas Temp (What the hell for?)
    Water temp (a must!)
    Volt (nice to have to know the alt. is working)
    Vaccum (just tells you how hard you are pushing in the accelerator pedel...get a more sensitive foot!)
    Oil Pressure (a must!)
    Oil Temp and Trans Temp cool to have but you can have both with one gage. Just get a elec. gage and put a switch in there to switch between the 2.

    That means I would have
    Speedo...............Big
    Tach....................Big
    Fuel...................small
    oil press............small
    water temp.........small
    Volts...................small
    Trans/Oil Temp...small

    Don't forget you still need room for all the idiot/indicator lights of which I would have:
    Oil
    Brake
    Left/Right Blinker

    I think I would use some LED's for the lights.
     
  9. chulisohombre

    chulisohombre 1/2 ton status

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    for some reason i like # 1.it still kinda has the stock layout look to it,but different.you could do without a couple of those gauges though.exhaust temp for one,why do you need this?ive never even heard of this.like the other guys said air fuel is kinda overkill,but its always your choice.id love to see the finished product though /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  10. aksidentproan

    aksidentproan 1/2 ton status

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    The steering wheel is, as said earlier, very important. For me, 5'7", the stock steering wheel with 2 spokes(the bar that spans the wheel) is terrible. The 3 factory gauges along the bottom are not visible from a driving position. I have to lean way up to see them. As for the exhaust gas temp, I believe this is only important for modified deisels.(the banks power pack comes with this)

    I would have to say I like Style #1
     
  11. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ITs between #2 and #5.
    <font color="#666666"> Lose the clock. </font color>

    /forums/images/icons/smile.gif /forums/images/icons/wink.gif /forums/images/icons/smile.gif /forums/images/icons/frown.gif /forums/images/icons/blush.gif /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif /forums/images/icons/wink.gif /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif /forums/images/icons/cool.gif /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif /forums/images/icons/mad.gif /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif /forums/images/icons/grin.gif /forums/images/icons/ooo.gif /forums/images/icons/confused.gif <font color="#666666"> </font color>
     
  12. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    Well guys, it looks like this thread touches on some interesting opinions. A lot of good input, I really appreciate it. I guess I should explain why I want some of the obscure gauges and ya'll can validate if they make sense:

    Obscure gauge 1: Clock - OK, no clock for the gauge panel

    Obscure gauge 2: Air/Fuel Mixture - I agree that the most use I'll get out of this is for initial tuning, but I also want to know when the optimal A/F ratio starts to degrade. Since this is a carburated engine, I assume it will degrade.

    Obscure gauge 3: Exhaust Gas Temp - Very important for air cooled aircraft, but a water cooled truck? Well, my thinking here, is that you can monitor the A/F mixture before combustion and with the EGT, monitor the burn temp. which can be used to validate the A/F mixture (lean - hotter, rich - cooler). This is simply another check to verify the A/F is correct. I guess I could pull spark plugs and monitor the color of my exhaust, but I like the instant feedback of these 2 gauges at the input and the output of the combustion process.

    Obscure gauge 4: Vaccum - Currently I don't have a radical cam, so I should have plenty. Yes I am concerned about the effciency of the engine, so I think it interesting to keep an eye on how much my foot is in it (esp. when I'm trying to make it to the next gas station with my stock tank...) I also thought it would be a good diagnostic to detect when I developed a vaccum leak (as there are plenty vaccum powered devices with the ability to leak).

    Obscure gauge 5: Oil Temp - Another gauge that comes in handy for dialing in the cooling needs of the engine. I like to see the oil temp get into the operating range before I "get on it"...

    Obscure gauge 6: Trans Temp - Since I'm rebuilding my HT350 myself, I guess I've grown fond of it (as it has grown fond of my wallet). Adequate oil cooling is a major factor in keeping it healthy. What other gauge would indicate that the tranny even exists? Should you wait until the box starts to slip before you take action?
    BTW: I like the idea of the switch between the engine/trans oil temp. though would you really switch it back and forth? If I had to drop a gauge for the optimal fit, that is definately an option.

    So, that's where my heads at, what do you think?

    I updated the Gage Page with some of your suggestions. I added a 15" 3 spoke wheel (vs. 17" 2 spoke stock wheel). Also there is a 6th option (without trans temp).

    Thanks for your participation.
     
  13. ed rex

    ed rex Registered Member

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    I think I would be inclined to mount the air/fuel mix gauge under the hood as well as the vacuum gauge for tuning. While I was there mounting, I would mount an auxiliry tach under there as well. Simple 3-gauge tune-up cluster visible from where you tune-up.

    That being said, my air/fuel gauge is currently mounted in the cab but that's becaust I live in the foothills (2000ft) and am constantly going up the hill to 6K or down to the flatlands. It's good to be able to see what effect elevation has on your running.

    What about an altimeter?
     
  14. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I like # 1 the best.

    Notes:
    I am very opinionated! /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif
    I think the speedo belongs on the right side of the tach.
    I find it interisting that of all the gages that you could ditch for #6 to work that you would drop the trans temp. That is the first optional gage that I would put in there!

    I plan on someday making a custom inst. pannel for my blazer and I enjoy all the thought you are putting into this.
    What are you going to use to hold all the gages? I have a piece of dimond plate aluminum I am thinking of using for mine. All I would need to do would be to buy the gages and some hole saws to get it to work. I think I would also ditch the stock wipper and headlight switches with some toggle switches...maybe even put them in the middle of the dash (where the radio is stock?) in a switch pannel. If I could find some lo range gages (ie 6-7000rpm and 85mph) in a large size I will use them. I also think I want to use white gages with red lights to be able to see them well at night and not loose my night vision.
     
  15. aksidentproan

    aksidentproan 1/2 ton status

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    I dont think I would loose the trans temp. If you run big tires and/or tow a trailer it would be very useful.
     
  16. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    On the trans temp, I would only loose it to a double function engine oil/trains oil temp. with a switch... No, I want to do everything I can to help my tranny rebuild last a long time.

    The reason the speedo made it to the left, was I wanted the tach in the middle and with 2 columns of gauges on the right, that forced the speedo to the left.

    I'm struggling with the panel material. I really want the panel to be thick enough to have the gauges inset. I don't like the gauges mounted flush. To do this I might have to go with a plywood center with a solid wood border (similar to the stock form.

    I know you guys probably think that this wouldn't look tough enough, but I could go with either:
    - some walnut plywood with solid walnut edge trim for the "delux" look.
    - wrinkle paint over plywood to simulate the original finish.
     
  17. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I really like the look of metal...If you want them to sit inset you could use a piece of wood to mount the gages to and cover that with a piece of aluminum. If you put those swirl marks in it it would look even cooler. Do any of the gage componies make a inset mount kit?
     
  18. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    I've checked around and the closest thing was a billet alluminum knock-off of the factory one, but no inset ones.
     
  19. 1 FN HI K5

    1 FN HI K5 1/2 ton status

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    Robin did you see my set up with Auto Meter Phantom Guages?
    clicky below and look in Brad's 1 FN HI K5. Let me know what you think. <font color="red"> 1 FN HI K5 </font color>
     
  20. Robin

    Robin 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, that's the nicest one I've seen on the market. I just prefer having the whole gauge inset (no bezel raised on the facing side of the panel).

    I have another choice (Gauge 7) that those of you who haven't lost patience with me, can respond to.
     

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