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Technical 1957 Thunderbird temperature gauge reading backwards

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodhomework, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

    I am working on a 57 Thunderbird. I’m trying to find out is if I’m using the correct sending unit all of part houses pull up is a TS4 from standard products. If you ground the gauge wire it goes to full cold and if you leave it open it shows full Hot with the key on for both.
    I took the TS4 and grounded the outside of the sander and hooked it up to the gauge wire and put it in a cup of ice water the gauge will go to full hot
    Take the sander out of the ice water heated up with a heat gun and it goes to for cold
    I am certain that I had the wrong sending unit as I have checked all of my wiring and it is correct
    Most gauges I’ve always worked on when you ground them they go to hot not cold Does anyone know of a sending unit it basically works backwards than most it has to be quarter pipe thread Any help will be greatly appreciated
     
  2. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,342

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I would try Green Sales Co. , in Cinti . Oh . They have also any NOS Ford part one might ever need .
     
  3. Dominick Hide
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 213

    Dominick Hide
    Member

    If grounding the gauge deflects the needle to cold then that implies that the needle rests on hot with ignition off. If that is the case then you have the wrong gauge. Correct 57 gauge should rest on cold. Apart from a slight difference in color the '56 Ford passenger gauge looks the same. but rests on hot. All other pre '56 Ford temp gauges also rest on hot but would need changing the faces and needles to match the Thunderbird instruments. All pre '57 senders have a set of contacts in them which are open until power is supplied and then the needle will go to cold. The '57 sender does not have that feature and as it does not know the position of the needle it works to deflect the needle as the temperature rises, in your case from hot to cold.
    Of course if I am wrong about your gauge and it does rest on cold with no power then disregard everything I have said.
     
    flatford39 likes this.
  4. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,740

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Check on the back of the gauge, if they’re two terminals, switch them!








    Bones
     
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  5. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,607

    sdluck
    Member

    Don't these use a voltage regulator for gas and temp gauge? I know later fords did?
     
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  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 675

    jaracer
    Member

    The temp gauge is a thermo-electric gauge and works on a pulsating voltage of approximately 5 volts. The sending unit is a thermistor that has high resistance when cold and low resistance when hot. That means that as the engine temp goes up, the sensor gets closer to a ground. Since the gauge has a heating element to bend a bi-metalic strip, I don't think it cares about polarity. I'd give you ohm specs on the sending unit, but my 57 Ford manual doesn't give them. If grounding the sending unit wire causes the gauge to go to cold, you definitely have the wrong gauge. We are talking about the stock gauge in the dash, aren't we?

    GM products use balanced coil gauges and the sending units do work just the opposite. However, the resistance range would probably be wrong for your gauge.

    I have a 57 T-Bird and that's how the gauge works in it or at least how it has for the last 24 years.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  7. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

    Already tried that did not work
     
  8. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

    Everything indicates that this is the gauge that came in this car
     
  9. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 353

    Boodlum
    Member

    Turn the gauge around.
     
  10. petew
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 211

    petew
    Member
    from Mebane, NC

    Lots of good info here. The only thing I can add is to give Casco Thunderbird a call.
    They are parts dealers for baby birds and also have a restoration shop , they know these cars and may have some insights .

    The restoration division phone number is 740-622-9700 .
     
  11. petew
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 211

    petew
    Member
    from Mebane, NC

    The other place you could try is Mo-Ma Manufacturing in Albuquerque , They are gauge restoration specialists. 505-766-6661
     
  12. Sender must ground to engine. No plumbers tape, etc on threads. Engine must ground to body. Temp gauge must ground to body or engine.
    Without good grounds the gauge will not read correctly.

    Phil
     
    lothiandon1940 and Boneyard51 like this.
  13. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

    He answered my question I will tell more later.
     
  14. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

  15. hotrodhomework
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 99

    hotrodhomework
    Member

    Cleaned block where the temperature sender goes in Cleaned all of the ground connection even the battery terminal to the firewall.
     
  16. tbirddragracer
    Joined: Jul 25, 2013
    Posts: 69

    tbirddragracer
    Member

    A 1957 Thunderbird temp gauge rests on cold with the key off. The '57 T-Bird temp system
    consists of three parts, the gauge, the voltage regulator, and the temp sensor. You possibly
    have the wrong gauge. '57 T-Bird temp gauges are very pricey. One on e-bay now for $ 350.00
     
  17. So, what did mo-ma tell you? Post 14.

    Phil
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 675

    jaracer
    Member

    So, it's later.
     
  19. Now it's a lot later. OP are you going to share so we can all learn?

    Phil
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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