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Technical Stewart Warner Gauges Basics

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Little Terry, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    I got over excited and bought this for my project.....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am planning to run a flathead with 12v ignition system charged by a vintage-look alternator. I really need to find a basic wiring diagram that i can follow (you cannot make it simple enough, seriously), along with some info on what senders I need to be using, please.

    I can see that the fuel gauge is a more recent addiditon to the set and is 12v. Should i assume that the others are 6V? I dont want to screw them up by making any basic errors with the wiring.

    Thanks folks!
    LT
     
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,232

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Amp gauges don’t care. See if you can find any numbers at all on the back of the oil and water gauges.
     
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  3. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    There are no markings on the small gauges, other than GND on each one. I have cleaned them up with brake cleaner and cotton buds (I think you call them q-tips?).

    The Speedo has a few numbers....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So I am no wiser than I was, unfortunately, apart from why has been pointed out by Alchemy, above.
     
  4. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,232

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The speedo was made in February of 1935 (C-2). I don't know what car it came in, other than a Notford.
     
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  5. e1956v
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,775

    e1956v
    Alliance Vendor

    Like alchemy stated 596 series speedometers were used on trucks from the mid 30's to early 40's. The T stands for Trade meaning it was an aftermarket unit made to fit or replace other speedometers.
     
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  6. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,774

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    one of the few speedo's I actually like...
     
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  7. e1956v
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,775

    e1956v
    Alliance Vendor

    You can see the similarities to the AC speedometer of the same time frame and how Stewart Warner made them to replace the AC units that were more widely used by truck manufacturers. Alchemy or Speedon would know better than I but I think the large logo SW gauges were all 12v.
    Adjustments.JPG


    Sent from my iPhone
    www.speedoservice.com
    Should I rush your rush job or the rush job I was rushing when you rushed in?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  8. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    fleetside66
    Member

    LT, if you look on the cups of the small gauges & P.M. me the model numbers, I can tell you which senders you'll need. The model numbers should be 3 numbers followed by a letter. Or, you could take pics of that, if it's still visible & not worn off or painted over, & I could give you the scoop on it all. Unlike the speedo, the small gauges are probably 1960's & probably 12V. The model numbers will tell the tale.
     
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  9. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,201

    primed34
    Member

    I'd be leery of using an amp gauge with an alternator.
     
  10. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,232

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The big logo series was made from 1954 to 1958, so there were definitely some 6 volt, but some 12 too.
     
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  11. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,838

    Fordors
    Member

    OP has reported that after careful cleaning no numbers found on most gauges, only on the speedometer and fuel gauge.
     
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  12. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    I noticed some numbers at the top of the faces. They appear to all be different- can they help with ID? (I had originally assumed they were like company registration numbers or a postal code etc). There is nothing on the rear of the gauges apart from the speedo. The fuel gauge has some kind of stamp but I can’t tell what it says.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038

    fortynut
    Member

    I could go on about SW gauges ad infinitum as they are the definitive 'Hot Rod' gauge. Two things that I see you might want to consider. 1. Mechanical gauges work accurately when battery voltage varies. a. Temperature & b. Oil Pressure. Both represent the life of the engine. 2. Those that look dirty inside may not be as trustworthy, or accurate as you think. And, yes, if you are going to use an alternator use a gauge that measures Volts. Nice panel.
     
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  14. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    Thanks for the info so far guys. I have some more questions, please:
    1. How can I test to see if they are 6v or 12v gauges?
    2. If 6v, do I just hook up a voltage reducer to each one?
    3. Can anyone provide me with information on which senders to use to hook them up to my 8ba?
    4. Who is able to draw me a basic wiring diagram so that I can stand a chance of being able to use them (the only gauges I have wired in before were new and came with an idiots guide instruction book)?

    I appreciate your help.
     
  15. Maybe these will help?
    2006 SW catalog tech section:
    20200915_074516~2.jpg 20200915_073546~2.jpg 20200915_073633~2.jpg 20200915_073515~2.jpg 20200915_073530~2.jpg 20200915_073648~2.jpg 20200915_074724~2.jpg 20200915_074635~2.jpg 20200915_073434~2.jpg
     
  16. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    Thanks, there is some useful info there, i appreciate you posting it.
    Now, do you have the same catalogue from 1956 ??? ;)
     
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  17. That was some very useful information for most of us. I took Auto Shop classes in high school, always concerned with the mechanical stuff, transmissions, rear ends, engines, etc. I thought the electrical stuff was for people who weren't hot-rodders. I sure got a lesson in real world problems with my cars electrical issues. We had a great person, ( Dave ) at Bernie's Auto Electric in east Hartford, Connecticut. Dave would ask, did anyone else fxxk with it ? He solved many problems for me at a reasonable cost. He closed the business after 2 generations because he could not compete with Pep boys, Auto Zone, Car Care, etc. They could beat him on price, but not on quality, or longevity of the item that he worked on. He was a straight shooter, no BS, and did it correctly the first time. The town of East Hartford had all of their automotive electrical work done there even though they had there own mechanics.
     
  18. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    fleetside66
    Member

    Right below the S/W square logo, it should say whether it's a 6V or a 12V on both the temp & oil pressure. Those two gauges aren't from 1956, so you won't see them in a catalog of that year. Here is a listing of the senders for both the 6V & 12V gauges from a 1968 S/W catalog.

    IMG_6074.jpg
     
  19. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    fleetside66
    Member

    And here's the poop on the senders for the oil pressure. The senders can be a little pricey (like 3-4 times the price of the gauges themselves) & hard to come by. Not to piss on your parade, but those gauges are pretty common & inexpensive, so you might be better off by just getting a couple of mechanical gauges & not dealing with the hassle of senders & shunts for the 6V ones. Just a thought.

    IMG_6075.jpg
     
  20. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    That's great info, thanks. Good practical advice.
     
  21. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,345

    vtx1800
    Member

    I'll just share an experience I have had with SW gauges.

    I have a 1958 Studebaker Hawk dash in my Stude, all of the gauges are Stewart Warner. (Note I have two other similar dashes to rob gauges out of) Neither gas gauge that I have tried works, after disassembly of one I found that the VERY small windings in the gauge had broken making the gauge inoperable.
    Out of two oil gauges neither worked inititally, after using carb cleaner in the inlet opening and applying pressure and releasing I got one to read 40 # when the real reading is 80.

    The speedometer sorta works but has gotten worse the more I drive it. I have another to replace it but I am afraid it will end up the same:(

    The electric heat gauge seems to work fine with decent accuracy.

    I'd strongly urge you to "function test" these units and I truly hope your success ratio is better than mine.
     
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  22. solidaxle
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 564

    solidaxle
    Member
    from Upstate,NY

    Most problems in the above thread were with the newer made in Mexico gauges.
    Things to consider, you will need to match the correct sender with the gauge and in some cases the correct voltage. Modern senders will probably not work with older gauges.

    Here's a good site for info voltage.http://www.roadsters.com/sw/
     

    Attached Files:

    • SW.pdf
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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  23. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,154

    dumprat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from b.c.

    @fleetside66 i have two different water temp gauges and a fuel gauge. As I recall these are 1955. They are curved glass. What senders do I need?

    IMG_2063.JPG IMG_2064.JPG IMG_2065.JPG IMG_2066.JPG IMG_2068.JPG
     
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  24. Little Terry
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 517

    Little Terry
    Member

    Thanks - that pdf file is just what I needed! Great info.
     
  25. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    fleetside66
    Member

    Here ya go. This is from a 1957 catalog. There's a sender for the 365-K gauge on Ebay right now (362-B or J). Just type in "stewart warner sender," scroll through the few pages & you'll see it. And don't worry about the Wings gauges in the catalog pictures, because the Wings & Large Logos take the same senders.

    IMG_6080.jpg
     
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  26. solidaxle
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 564

    solidaxle
    Member
    from Upstate,NY

    Keep in mind these are for 6 volts. You can run on 12v with a resistor in line. See page 7 of my PDF
     
  27. Asphalt Demon
    Joined: Jan 19, 2014
    Posts: 307

    Asphalt Demon
    Member
    from Australia

    great info guys thankyou
     
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  28. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,154

    dumprat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from b.c.

    @fleetside66 how much resistance should the sender for temp have? Or the fuel gauge for that matter?
     
  29. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,154

    dumprat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from b.c.

    I wonder what the resistance on the senders is supposed to be. I have a couple of senders, but they don't have numbers stamped on them.
     

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