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Are these accurate enough for automotive work?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hitchhiker, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. chrisntx
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,798

    from Texas .

  2. Gasr57
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 236

    from Ohio

    I have a similar one not the same brand but the same style. Used it for years with no problems. If you think it's not reading correctly borrow a friends and compare the reading from each.
  3. I have a cheap one that comes out real close when compared with my didgetal gage.

  4. chrisntx
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,798

    from Texas .

    I had one that was 2 degrees off but thats still usable as long as you remember
  5. Good enough, as long as it hasn't been dropped too many times.

    Check it against a bubble level.
  6. I hope so, its what i used for my front end :)
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,665


    I hope so too. I have been using a couple for years. And yes, they DO NOT like being dropped. They will break, most likely.
  8. That's what I did. Sometimes I can get it to be level and sometimes I can't and it is 5-7 degrees off.

    Thanks guys, I acquired it used, so who knows on condition. I'm going to go get a new one tomorrow. I didn't know they were so cheap.
  9. I have a Ace brand just like that .... its shitty. I can tap it with my finger and the needle will move (and stick) three degrees.... I dont trust it.
  10. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,716

    Tech Editor

    I never used one again after I got one of these.

    Not very expensive, for a tool I use as much as I use that one.

    It has a Hold feature that is real handy too.

    And a Alt Zero.

    I've dropped a couple of times in the 10 or more years I've had it ( probably not reccomended )

    It payed for itself long time ago...
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012

  11. [​IMG]

    Time for a new one, and don't loan it to your idiot friends.
  12. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    from Sultan, WA

    I use one for automotive work..... that really doesnt say much though....
  13. 51 MERC-CT
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,594

    51 MERC-CT

  14. 327-365hp
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 5,418

    from Mass

    The one in the picture is broke, either that or it's upside down :D

  15. Those things are great, and accurate for their intended purpose. If you drop them, wear them out, leave them sit forever, grind on them, throw them in the mud, they won't be accurate any longer.
    The thing that you need to remember is they read off of level, that means whatever you are working on must be on a level surface.
  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    That was considered a precision tool for hot rodding when I got mine. Are you building a nuclear reactor or a hotrod? When I started there were a hell of a lot more construction workers than machinists in the hobby.
  17. 51 MERC-CT
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,594

    51 MERC-CT

    Then this should solve your problem:):D

  18. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,597


    If you think it's not accurate, they are very easy to check. Just set in on a level, and center the bubble. It should read 0. If its one that the needle sticks on occasionally, trash it.
  19. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    What they said. But I'd like to add that the needle moves along the dial increments but also floats "to and fro". If my guage isn't damn near perpindicular to level the needle will rub the inside of the housing and get "sticky". I'll tap it gently a couple times while taking the reading to make sure the needle is not hung up.
  20. I use them on all kinds of projects. This is just one example of a crude sub frame being fabricated for a sidecar body. Starting with the surface plate (table) and then the subframe, and then the hinge body. When using more than one you can swap them around to see if they all reads the same.
    When using a digital angle gauge you must calibrate the reading of you will be off the same amount on every measurement.
    I've used the same type of inexpensive angle gauges for over forty years when I built hydroplanes, aerobatic airplanes, and Super Modified race cars. Now that I'm back building Hot Rods I use them on my T Buckets. The price is right at Harbor Freight when there on sale, so purchase three and when you have to replace one you will have it in stock. I went the digital route some time back, and I never use the dam thing.

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  21. what about the bubble style gauges that the stock car guys use? those aren't too expensive either...
  22. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    There is an iPhone App for that. Seriously. I tried it for driveshaft angle on a 56 Chev build.
  23. Here you go bud, a very good alternative and yes at H/F, but also the same thing in the Jeggs catalog, around $30, item # 95998. I use and trust these much better than the plastic ones. Anything critical, I use one like Alex has, but of course that one cost $200, and well worth it. TR

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  24. That is what I use only mine is yellow. ;)


    I have a real accurate Sterret that resides in a felt lined maple box. It isn't magnetic and I haven't used it in years. If my build required my angles needed to be measured in seconds I would drag the Sterret out. Most of my cars don't need to be that close any more.

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