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Technical Anyone Ever Stumbled Onto One Of These Gadgets?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ClayMart, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. A quick way to check fuel mileage from the early 60s, according to a Popular Science magazine article. Seems like something that might be easily overlooked at a garage sale, flea market or auction if there wasn't an explanation of what it was or how it worked. :D

    Anybody ever find parts of a system like this on an old car they drug out of storage? o_O

    At least now if I ever see any of these bits and pieces at a swap meet or someplace I'll know what I'm looking at. :rolleyes:

    Screenshot_2019-06-27 Popular Science.png
    Screenshot_2019-06-27 Popular Science(1).png
    Screenshot_2019-06-27 Popular Science(2).png
    Screenshot_2019-06-27 Popular Science(3).png
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  2. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,262

    from Michigan

  3. Mr. Sinister
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,025

    Mr. Sinister

    I've seen something that looked similar, but I think it was just a vacuum gauge. I imagine they work on the same principal. Heavy foot makes the meter go down. One uses fuel flow, one used vacuum signal. Pretty neat!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,177

    from Ioway

    $60 in the early 1960s bought quite a lot of gasoline, maybe 200 gallons? That's probably why they didn't sell very well.
    Mr48chev and Stogy like this.
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  5. Yeah. More like something that a service station or a tune-up shop might have bought. We had a similar device at work years ago, but all it did was mount in the fuel line and had a couple wires with a switch that routed to the inside of the vehicle. You drove until the odometer hit zero tenths of a mile and hit the switch. A red light on the switch would go out and when the sensor flowed exactly 1/10th of a gallon the red light would turn on. Then you just checked the odometer again and did a little math in your head to figure the MPG. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Truck64 likes this.
  6. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 213


    Interesting as I don't think I have ever seen such a device. What is mentioned in the article still holds true today. If you dare to watch instanteous fuel consumption when accelerating or going up a hill it is a real eye opener.
    ClayMart likes this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,027


    A fancy and rather expensive flow meter. I'd think it was a toy for the well heeled dude rather than a practical piece. 1960 that was over half a weeks wages for most guys working by the hour.
    My 2K Cad DTS has one built in and on a road trip to Kansas and Texas we figured out real quick that putting along at 74 on the 80 speed limit roads was worth 6 mpg.
    Montana1 likes this.
  8. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,177

    from Ioway

    Back when the federal 55 mph interstate highway speed limit was enacted, sometimes would hear guys say that their big V8 cars actually had worse fuel economy at 55 than higher speeds. They claimed the gearing. That never made any sense, although I don't understand torque and most efficient power bands and that stuff.
    Montana1 likes this.
  9. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,058

    from Berry, AL

    It's true. I've driven trucks that were geared wrong, you may have had a lot of speed but no torque to pull hills so you had to drop a bunch of gears to get over a small one. Had them exactly opposite ,too, wouldn't run faster than 55 mph but would out pull a bulldozer. All engines, gas and diesel, have a "sweet spot", where mileage and power cross the lines on the graph. Most of the time, gearing is a compromise, give a little to gain on the other, sometimes it goes the wrong way. If a vehicle is geared for best fuel mileage at say 65 mph, it may be worse at 75 or 55. The old adage for trucks was "gear fast, run slow", meaning to run a high gear {lower numerically like 2.55} but run it at a slower speed than it's optimum. Today's electronics have changed that, they adjust fuel thousands of times a second, giving the best compromise on power and economy. For our hot rod purposes, most of us tune to get maximum power, and the fuel mileage it gets is secondary. Who cares about fuel mileage in a hot rod, they're supposed to be fun, right?
  10. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 720


    Nope, never seen one before.
  11. I think fuel mileage is fun too... unless of course, you don't go very far. ;)
  12. You'll get a similar education by also just watching a manifold vacuum gauge as you're driving. It won't tell you a specific MPG figure but it makes it easy to see when you're doing something that reduces manifold vacuum. And that equates to higher fuel consumption. It will also help you sort out your tune up as far as things like ignition timing and power valves. :D
  13. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 941


    A very interesting gadget, and notice how well the old Popular Science article was written.
    The author actually did tests with various cars, at various speeds and conditions.
    Truck64 likes this.
  14. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,179


    My OT daily has a fuel economy gauge which is just a vacuum gauge. When I'm being economy conscious I watch that more than the speedo or tach.
  15. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,992


    I bet you Moriarty has 5 of them, NIB. Cool gizmo
    Thor1 likes this.
  16. Voodoo and quackery, most of these devices have been proven to be a sham. HRP
  17. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 572


    I would probably become so obsessed with watching my mileage that I wouldn't have time to keep up with all my texting conversations while I'm driving.:rolleyes:

  18. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,177

    from Ioway

    I don't believe this device had any claim to improving fuel economy, it simply measured the burn rate basically.

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