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Tranny temp gauge vs. water temp gauge

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, Sep 1, 2000.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    OK. The way I see it, the only difference between these two is the size of the sending unit. Most tranny temp gauges are $50 or more, but a cheap water/oil temp guage can be had for $15. I assume that the $50 or $60 tranny gauges are electric, though. In an attempt to be clever and frugal, I bought an engine oil temperature gauge and mounted the sender in my transmission oil pan. It is a cheap capillary tube type gauge. My issue is that it never seems to move. I have a really big cooler on the transmission downstream from the radiator cooler (about 1"x12"x14"), so it seems conceivable that the oil in the pan is never very hot. I have not towed with it, but driving hard in town and long freeway trips don't make the gauge move. Before I installed the gauge, I put the tip into a pot of boiling water and it measured just over 200 F. The total range of the gauge is about 100F to 300F. After driving, the pan is too hot to keep your hand on for more than a second or two, but I don't know how hot that is.

    Is the tranny pan an acceptable place to measure temperature?
    Is my gauge broken from the install or have too tight of bends in the capillary tubing? (If so, I don't know how you're ever supposed to get these things to work)
    Is my tranny just always running nice and cool?

    Thanks for any input.

    BTW: this $15 gauge is illuminated better than any other gauge in my truck. I'm thinking of putting a resistor on it. The worst illuminated gauge is my $50 tach. Go figure.

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     

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