The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Oct 28, 2009.
Might not match, but Haneline has some pretty good gauges;
Ive been picking up all the old sw gauges i can find. My dad gets them out of alot of the old trucks at his work that they are parting out too.
another American company that sold out to Mexico...boycott! ...(optima quality)
sorry to see this..glad for the heads up scooter.
I'd send it back and with a note...No thanks, and never again.
..so S/W now stands for Shitty Widgets?
such crap for a major focal point..no excuses
I'm piecing togather a set of '56 or 57 SW's for cheaper than the new stuff, Why the hell would you want to screw with new crap?
SW has been crap for a while now..this didn't just happen in the past year or 2.
Junkyards: Older BIG trucks oft used aftermarket gauges, and look at old generator, compressor, cement mixer type rigs being scrapped. Anything that was low-production and a bit crude.
I have had 4 or 5 sets of Classic Instrument gauges over the last 30 years, from the Oregon days to the new owner in Michigan. I have two sets at present with black face, white lettering and curved glass with the traditional stepped s/s bezels. The quality has been great since day one and they look right. Have had a couple sets of Autometer, and no problems there either.The last set of SW units I bought was probably 25 years ago and they were crap then and SW customer service was non-existent. I wrote them off.
Answer: Because I couldn't find a 5" tach that was any better quality that didn't cost $500 or $600 and still need to be rebuilt and wasn't mechanically driven (which would have meant finding a good mechanical drive dizzy for my Hemi that would probably ALSO need to be rebuilt). I figured if it was even CLOSE to the other original S/W gauges I had I could live with it. I was wrong on all accounts and ALSO got to see what kind of quality they are at the same time.
Hey! At least I can admit when I made a mistake, right?
Do these tend to be lower RPM gauges, though?
I need something that would be at least to the 7000+ RPM range.
Crazy Backyard Builder that's a gorgeous dash, what's it out of?
The "new" owner of Stewart Warner usually mans his own display at SEMA. He is very approachable, and seems willing to listen. Get someone who is going there this year to find out what the heck has happened, and if they are going to fix it...
Whatever happened to running with that other company you had referred to in a post a while back? I searched a long time to find my vintage SW. It looks worn, but well worn...
This is true, 100%. It's one of the reasons I went with OE 36 Ford gauges and a tach mounted low to supplement the others. I'll snap a pic and post it up if I get an opportunity. Quality was the driving factor for me.
I'll keep my eyes peeled... SLC is like a "big" small town. Although there are those who still try to rape prospective buyers.... I've found some great deals.
I just got off the phone with Classic Instruments. I made a HUUUUUUUGE mistake ever even CONSIDERING Stewart Warner for this gauge.
I looked at their "Hot Rod Series" gauges (which look like CBB's gauges shown) I compared their font and pointer to the other stuff I'm running and it looks about as close as you could possibly get without having the SW letters at the bottom. AND! While I was at it, I asked about purchasing their 5" Tach... $158, ships withing 48 hours, has a 5-year warranty and is ALSO available with a curved glass for $166!!
I feel like such a fool for ever messing with S/W. Onward and upward! At least I know what NOT to buy and can pass the first hand knowledge on to you guys.
S-W has been junk since they split from Alemite in the 1980s. Basically Alemite kept all the good products and sold the name to a conglomerate who ran down to Juarez Mexico and started producing. (sound familiar?)
They are just a shell of the former giant company that sells only gauges and a few other parts. They used to be a full blown OEM supplier for Detroit and countless other manufacturers, now it looks like they are solely geared toward aftermarket sales, which is telling of the quality they produce. If they can't hold quality tight enough to be an OEM vendor, I wouldn't feel good about the quality.
Someone ought to tell Ashcroft that there is a huge market in the automotive sector for quality gauges. Maybe see if they can build something similar to the old 2-5/8" gauges.
I was going to go with SMITH gauges, but I couldn't find a 5" gauge. Most were around 3-3/4" unless I went with a later style gauge and they had a very 70's look to them.
I still love the SMITHS stuff! Just didn't find what I was after with them. And frankly, I had a GREAT time shopping for old S/W gauges!!
That is why I was posting the photo's for you, they look great. I know of 4 people running those exact gauges and they are very happy and have had NO problem's. I am alway's happy to support a company that makes a nice product.
Glad I could help,
I got a shitty memory, but a few weeks ago there was a thread about some gauge company looking for input on redoing traditional styled gauges. Old style faces and bezels on new internals.
Anybody else remember this?????
When SW was still Alemite, they had a PDC close by in Springfield, NJ. Everything in the catalog in stock. I used to walk in and buy anything I needed. The brass case stuff, too. Sad that those days are long gone.
I've run into exactly the same shit. I've got a 5" tach in my race car thats 400 rpm low by 6000rpm. It wasnt cheap either.
I got an S-W mech temp gauge recently. Not impressed.
I dont get it?!?!?! Some of these companys are really missing the boat with their products. A bunch of the people are sitting on goldmines if they would just make the stuff people want. I had a similar problem with CRAGAR a couple of weeks ago. I jumped through hoops to get the guy at the factory to agree to make me a pair of non-unilug 15x4 small Ford pattern W/2 inch backspace SS wheels. Three weeks later wondering where my wheels were (they said I'd have them in ten days) I called to see what was up. The guy says "The best we can do is a 1 1/2 inch backspace, the centers on the new wheels are too thick". I cancelled my order and miraculously found a pair on ebay (for less than half I was going to pay for the new ones). Make the stuff people want and they will buy it, it isnt that hard of a concept to grasp.
I wanted to chime in on this thread, I'm going to see if I see an original Stewart Warner oil pressure and voltmeter at the big car show here in moultrie this year, the problem is, most people carry the crappy ones there. At the moment i'm stuck with crappy made in china sunpro. Didn't they used to be made here too? They were the only ones that matched my style in the off topic project. It's hard to find stepped bezels with white numbers and white pointers. I'll look at the classic instruments gauges. I know off topic but on these old jap cars, anything modern looks horrible. they had very simple clean instruments that matched the old stewart warner and old sunpro look. The reason I ask about the old stepped sunpro, is I'll see if there are still any American made ones at the show. I put way too much work in this car to keep trusting these junk sunpros. I had to take the oil pressure one back four times before one even worked. This is the style I'm looking for, no other style looks right at all. thats stealth billet by the way , made it from a piece of an old airplane nose gear strut. what really convinced me to get rid of the china gauges, was one time i shut off the car and the oil pressure gauge hung up and stayed at pressure, I have a large red warning light too, but that worries me.
okay - repeat on; el hencho de cheapo..made to specs by Ashcroft. He could of chose to make high quality with a traditional brand name - with the name that first came to mind when you planned on buying gauges...but no - remember it takes a college educated idiot to run these sucessful companies into the ground. "I don't understand it - it looked like a great plan on paper". (not that everyone who went to college became an idiot)
I got most of my SW gauges out of old boats. They're all the old timer stepped bezel type, and they all work fine. What I couldn't find in boats, boost, electric fuel pressure, and quartz clock, I dug up on epay. It took time, but they all match and they all work. If I ever decide to replace them with new, I'll for sure go with the Classic Instruments "Hot Rod" line...unless by that time THEY'VE gone off shore, too. This is a crappy picture, but you get the idea...
type it in SPANISH, maybe that will help.
I've been happy with the various sets of Classic Instruments I've installed the last few years.
I could tell SW's quality went down when I checked out a friend's set of Wings. I wanted SW for my '29 and pieced together a set on ebay, swaps, etc.......
Scott, your right, it IS fun hunting down this stuff!
The new Stewart Warner sucks shit. I've yet to meet anyone with the new winged gages that didn't have problems...
I've been buying the old ones like crazy, also. They are super cool and they just FEEL and LOOK like quality!
Talked to Summit. I told them I want to return the gauge. They asked, "why?". I told them it was the biggest piece of junk I've ever seen and didn't nearly match the description given by Stewart Warner. He sort of chuckled, sturred for a second, and then said, "Uhh... Ok. Box it up and send it back and we'll get the refund to you."
If any of you are going to SEMA this year, and feel like stirring the pot a bit, stop by Stewart Warners booth and tell them there is a corner of the market (a big corner, in my opinion) that doesn't like what's happened to such a great instrument manufacturer.
Thanks everyone for listening to me whine about this for a bit. I hope that this at provided some helpful feedback for people.
If a person wanted to send a letter/email to the individuals responsible for this type of decomposure, who would you even contact? Ashcroft? Stewart Warner? Maxima Technologies (the people that you get when you call)? Not sure it's worth it, but there has to be at least ONE person in that outfit that gives a damn, right? Or no... ?? HAHA!
SW is now owned by Maxima at http://www.maximatech.com/
Ashcroft has nothing to do with SW. They are just a maker of gauges for industry who have a quality control and engineering staff.
Nice collection there! My SW Speedo is actually from an old Avanti.
It's not just Stewart Warner that has gone to crap, it's almost impossible to find a stepped bezel gauge in that style that is anygood anymore, I mentioned the chinese sunpro hanging up already, these were so poorly made, that when you install the factory bulb in the factory holder that came with the gauge, it hits the bourdon tube in the gauge.
Okay! That's what I figured would be the answer. Thanks!
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