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Technical Electrical vs mechanical, flathead temp gauges

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ralph Moore, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 651

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    I can't decide which way to go, I'm putting two gauges under my dash for water temp on my flathead. If I use electrical then I can tie the wires in with the harness and it won't look so cluttered in the engine compartment, but I've heard mechanical is more accurate.
    Which ones do you use?
    Btw I'm using a 36 ford dash in my 31 and a two gauge pod sits just right in the dimple at the center/ bottom of dash. And I do not have a temp gauge in the stock gauge cluster location.
    Thanks
     
  2. mckim2000
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 71

    mckim2000
    Member

    I have a electrical gauge on the passenger side and a mechanical on the driver side. I think I am going to replace the electrical with a mechanical. Trust it more.
     
  3. prpmmp
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,080

    prpmmp
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah I would say the mechanical is more accurate(I have two in my coupe) but with todays electronics they might be real close. Pete
     
  4. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 651

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    I plan on using a pair of SW wings gauges with the black faces whichever way I go, they will match my early SW tach that I'm putting in the radio/ashtray hole in dash center.
     

  5. Dick Weldon
    Joined: Aug 26, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Dick Weldon
    Member
    from Pasco, WA

    A pair of mechanical SW black faced Wing gauges now reside under the dash in a two gauge bracket.
     
  6. Dick Weldon
    Joined: Aug 26, 2014
    Posts: 6

    Dick Weldon
    Member
    from Pasco, WA

    The car did not have thermostats. I bought the pair and new hoses but I just don't see how the stats will just "sit' there. So, today, I ordered the four hose/two metal pipe setup. I think the metal pipe will help keep the stats seated.
     
  7. MORRISGAUGE
    Joined: Jun 6, 2011
    Posts: 238

    MORRISGAUGE
    Member

    I often argue that the mechanical gauge is a more functional interface. With the electric gauges, you have two variables: sending unit calibration and gauge calibration (assuming your wiring is fine). Both units can be +/- 10% off and still be considered spec. from the factory. The sweep of an electric gauge pointer is often less than 120 degrees (geometrically), hence the difference in a 20 degree temperature change could be a very small amount of pointer movement. A mechanical gauge often has a pointer sweep around 270 degrees (geometrically) and the physical property of the charge is usually instantaneous. In my experience, if a mechanical gauge is to fail, it simply loses it's charge and stops working. It is quite rare for them to come out of calibration, etc. unless they somehow become full of grit, but you face that with any gauge. If I were to give my opinion, I'd say the mechanical is easier to read while going down the road and is fairly accurate in contrast to the electric.
     
  8. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 653

    SicSpeed
    Member
    from Idaho

    For me it depends on what the car or truck is going to used for. If it gets driven hard and worked on regularly it gets electric. and lights. Oil pressure gets mec. most times but not always. I have found both to be very reliable and easy to read but I also like the fuller sweep gauge. Builder drivers gets elec. or swap them out in end build. Lights are also nice when traveling and you want the dash lights dim. Some rigs just have to get mec. gages and be installed right to look clean .
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015

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