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Technical New gauges/ Poor quality

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    2 out of the 5 gauges I ordered new did not work.. Stewart Warner ; Have always liked them, used them for years very nostalgic. What Gives ??
    loudbang likes this.
  2. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 2,214

    oldiron 440

    Made in China..........
    VANDENPLAS, loudbang and Gizzy like this.
  3. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 639

    Joe Blow

    Quality control issues in Juarez?
    VANDENPLAS and loudbang like this.
  4. wayne-o
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 279


    On my third SW Wings speedometer!! Odometer quits working
    Kiwi 4d and loudbang like this.

  5. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 527

    bill gruendeman

    You can't get a 10 year old kid to build gauges like you used to.
  6. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,138


    Had a set left over from my shop that I purchased in 1992. Stewart Warner black and white Deluxe 5 gauge set. Before ever running the roadster, I realized the clearance for the trans would not allow a speedometer cable. So, in 2008 I purchased an electric deluxe speedometer to match. Dreadful mistake !!!!!! I used a Classic Skydrive to power it. Three speedometers later and almost knock down drag out fighting with Stewart Warner, I am still no better off. The once proud lines from Stewart Warner no longer exist. Cheap crap is the mode of the day and God forbid a problem happens, there is no customer service regardless what they advertise. I am having Classic make me an electronic speedometer with a font very close to Stewart Warner and a logo with my initials in a block just like theirs. Biggest thing about Classic Instruments is the 7 years warranty. I have used Stewart Warner since 1962, in hotnrods, cars, boats, race cars, and anything else I can think of that needed gauges. No more, Stewart Warner no longer makes gauges, they make hole fillers!
  7. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,645

    from NKy

    I have used them also , for many many years . The only problem I see is , who do you purchase from to replace SW products ? Everything is total junk . I was just discussing with my Dad , this evening that you can no longer buy one nail that does not come from China . We are seeing a sad time in the good old USA . I think it is going to get worse before it gets better . We better say prayers the homeland is never attacked , the USA can not support itself today as we did in WW2 . Just my opinion , how do we change it ? Kids do not care , they have no idea , what pride , integrity , and guts to fight are.
    BamaMav, dan griffin, 54reno and 6 others like this.
  8. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,384

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Did you contact SW tech support to ask them why ?
    panhead_pete and missysdad1 like this.
  9. brad2v
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,648


    Not to mention no training in school as to how to make things. You older fellas had a forge. I'm pushing 50, we still did basic operations. Even still rebuilt heads. And everyone built a carb. I don't think you have a chance at understanding modern efi/direct injection if you dont have a solid base.

    Sent from my SM-G960W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,727

    from Ioway

    Yup. They laid the 2nd grade off. Tough to get good help these days.
    bill gruendeman and loudbang like this.
  11. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,727

    from Ioway

    We're being attacked every day for the last 50 years, it's just a lot more sneaky. Just as devastating.
  12. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,751

    from Colorado

    Just purchased a SW vacuum and voltage gauge. Noticed they were made in Mexico. So far no issues.
    loudbang likes this.
  13. I believe Classic Insturment or Autometer are possibly the last two manufacturers that make "quality" gauges now. I know Autometer WAS made in Sycamore Illnois at one time because my SAE group toured the factory some 40 years ago but that was then probably. Either way I have had great luck with those two brands, the SW Wings set I installed in my 36 Ford left ALOT to be desired. Never again on those. I just checked he Autometer site and it states " BUILT IN AMERICA" still in Sycamore. Now I've checked if they make anything we would be interested in putting in a HotRod and they have a couple vintage styled lines that look real good, MUCH better quality than SW I'm sure. Mitch
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  14. Gizzy
    Joined: Jan 20, 2008
    Posts: 703

    from N.W,Ohio

    I agree with China junk philosophy.I bought a "new" style Sun Super tach like we had back in the day,big mistake.Fu@kin thing works maybe 50% of the time,should have kept the one I let go in my last car.But looks good
    loudbang likes this.
  15. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,697


    S-W hasn’t been the same after 1987 when it was purchased by British Tire & Rubber who moved operations to Mexico on 1989. BTR later sold out to another multi-national corporation and quality and service took another big hit making things even worse.
    I can’t recall what year it was but I saw the “new” S-W Wings series of gauges at the SR Nats when they were reintroduced and I knew then they were crap. Most noticeable for me were the clunky looking plastic needles instead of the slender metal stampings from BITD.
    Generally when the old guard sells out and cashes in its not a good thing for the consumer.
    mctim64, deucemac and OLSKOOL57 like this.
  16. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,394


    I wonder if there is a forum out there dedicated to modern cars where the members complain about old parts..
  17. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,356

    Staff Member

    I buy good quality used S/W gauges at swap meets every time I see them, if I need em or not. a lot of the time they are more inexpensive than new ones, they always work when I go to use them and they look great in my display cases while they are waiting to be used.... win win all the way around
  18. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,225

    from nor cal

    I try to use nothing but vintage Stewart Warner gauges in my cars. If I can't get SW then I try to get something vintage from the Art Deco period of automobiles.
    Stewart Warner's wings gauges that they came out with where they are trying to make them look vintage or nostalgia. They accomplished their goal. That's exactly what they look like, something new trying to look old.
  19. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,124


    I've been buying up old Sun/SW/Niehoff gauges whenever I find them too, and typically dirt cheap, got a whole cabinet full. Mechanical gauges with uncut capillary tubes are the hardest to find, but they're out there.

    Finding and using the real, original pieces is a big part of the fun for me, even when the appearance of it is less-than-perfect from age. Even better when it costs way less than the "new" one.
    F&J and Paul like this.
  20. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    It was the new SW ( Wing) gauges that were bad
  21. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,042


    I'm a bit skeptical when I read "BUILT IN AMERICA".
    Technically that could include all of North and South America.
    fauj likes this.
  22. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,062


    Capitalism at its finest, todays profit is all that counts. We're doomed.
  23. HSF
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 142

    from Lodi CA

    I'm not rich by any means but I would happily pay more for American made products. That being said, I hit as many swap meets as I can to find original, old, made in USA parts for my old made in USA cars. If you want legit, OPERATIONAL SW gauges, go hit the swap meets. They're out there.
    Speed~On and Speedys Garage like this.
  24. Beanscoot, all Autometer products are made entirely in house in their facility in Sycamore Illinois. Good enough for me. Mitch
    Speedys Garage likes this.
  25. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 531

    from Mo.

    I was looking on their website at different sets and noticed in small writing, accurate to +or- 10%. There's a big difference between running 200degrees and 220. I bought Autometer.
    belair likes this.
  26. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,419

    from Oregon

    I agree, they are out there. I went to a estate sale from a hoarder and I got two large boxes of Stewart Warner gauges and tachs. I think I counted 41 gauges. $20 for all.
    mctim64, RICH B and lumpy 63 like this.
  27. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 906


    Good to know. Looks like I'll be buying vintage gauges. Was thinking the same yesterday when I was unpackaging yet another 4 sets of Christmas lights to replace the ones just purchased a few years ago. How did we ever get so screwed? The Chinese, Mexicans, etc. must be giggling like little school girls every time we have to futz around with their garbage.
  28. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,175


    charleyw and sidevalve8ba like this.
  29. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,138


    Classic Instruments are made in Michigan and they work quite well!
    Pinstriper40 likes this.
  30. KKrod
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,188


    Autometer and Classic are the only gauges I recommend.

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