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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boden, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 566


    this is the thread where you state what you want to do and we tell you what’s the traditional way to do it. Or the traditional part to use.

    I will start it off. I want to put a tach in my car. It is a 1953 ford Customline Tudor sedan. What would some kid have done in the 50s when his car didn’t come with a tach?

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  2. something like vintage Stewart-Warner Tach maybe a 8000 rpm at the most.. installed were the clock would be in the dash.
    Boden likes this.
  3. Some guys attached a tach to the steering column, but not sure when that started, I know it was done in the 60s.
    lothiandon1940 and Boden like this.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,098


    Well For one it wouldn't have been a "vintage" or even "period correct" tach in the 50's and probably though the 60's. It would have been what was new at the time.
    Late 50's though the early 60's the tach to have would have been the Sun FZ .
    I don't remember seeing tachs on street cars until the early 60's though and they were usually Sun. Rite Auto Tronics came out with their RAC tachs somewhere along in there and having a RAC tach was pretty much considered settling for second best if that high on the scale. The "Oh you have a RAC tach" snicker, thing.
    Somewhere out in the sheds I still have the one I bought way back when that I probably had on 8 different rigs over the years.
    low down A, Max Gearhead and 302GMC like this.
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  5. studebakerjoe
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 546


    Boden, the kid probably would try to find a wrecked 55 56 57 thunderbird and pulled the tachometer out of the dash.
    BigO, lothiandon1940 and Boden like this.
  6. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,745

    from Berry, AL

    I would tend to think the first tachs used were military surplus, probably Stewart Warner. They would have came off of military trucks, so in dash mounts unless somebody made up a cup or bracket for them.
    Hombre likes this.
  7. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,986

    from Michigan

    I still have a RAC oil pressure gauge somewhere in the garage.. Probably from the late '60s or early '70s.....
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,396

    from Oregon

    I am just asking.:) In the 1950's would there have even been an 8,000 grand tach? Even if there was , I would think very few kids back then would of had one (8,000 rpm). Probably more in the 3,500/4500 to 6,000.
    deadbeat likes this.
  9. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,922


    THIS upload_2019-10-9_4-34-41.png TO THIS upload_2019-10-9_4-34-27.png


    When we were doing our final detailing of our 1940 Willys 671 SBC coupe for the B/Gas & C/Gas classes, we got a chrome Sun Tach to mount on the dash. It was the right size and looked like most of the other Willys Coupes that were around at the time. But, at the time we also wanted a nice looking tachometer in our 58 Impala because we had just installed the C&O Stick Hydro. The shifting lever selector was blank as our Impala was a 3 speed from the factory and the shift designation was still the blank after the C&O install.

    We needed more information on when to shift the manual/auto stick hydro, when the manual times were called for in acceleration. (as we got better, it was the sound and feel that took over manually) The tach would tell us when. So, we tried another big chrome Sun Tachometer. But, it looked too large for the dash, we did not want to put holes on the dash. It looked too big on the column, as it blocked too much of the speedometer.

    The lower mounting areas defeated the purpose of looking at the rpms and road at the same time. So, we made a trip to the Douglas Aircraft Surplus Yard to scrounge around for something. We came up empty handed. The ones that were there, were just as large as the original Sun Tachometer. But, we did find some smaller black gauges that came out of some aircraft dashboard.

    On the way home, we stopped at the Bixby Knolls Army Surplus Store and hunted for something. Luckily, the owner knew right where to go to get a small black tachometer. He showed us that it had a functioning light, how to set it up in our Impala, and it looked like the right size…small, but the numbers were very legible.
    The black aircraft tachometer came with a small black metal cup covering the back of the tach. Mounting was simple and the wires neatly tucked away.


    It fit, right under the leading edge of the dash and blocked out the last mph at 120. The left side blocked too many low mph shift points. No such thing as traditional, just a backyard alternative to some custom ideas that did not look out of place. (In 1964, our Buick Skylark wire wheels got stolen. The bad guys neatly unscrewed the small black tachometer and cut the wires. They must have liked the fit and finish.)

  10. Boat tachs found their way into cars back then, although some only went to 5k RPMs. I had an old Chevy with a Faria boat tach clamped to the steering column.
  11. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 340


    If the original poster was in my part of Socal he would have gone to Blairs and bought a Sun tach and mounted it on the steering column or on the dash. In the late fifties and sixties all I remember were Sun tachs, most in chrome buckets on the steering column or the dash. In the fifties I had the two piece tachs with the red "football". If memory serves me correctly I had gone to my first one piece Sun tach in mid 1960. It was a stock Ventura except for the tach. The tach was stolen one night in 1961 and I turned it in to the Socal AAA insurance company. They paid the claim and cancelled the insurance because the tach made it a "race car". No amount of arguing would change their mind. The family has been with State Farm ever since.
  12. Tach, TACH, we don't need no stinkin tach, we shift when the valves started floatin'!
    Boden likes this.

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