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Technical vintage tachometers

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 46international, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. that look real nice
  2. F&J came up with the idea of installing a newer tach inside the old housing, anyone done that?
  3. Its normally the batteries that fail on an old Sun Football. They batteries are pricey and the boxes are motor specific, I.E. number of cylinders 4, 6, 8.

    I can't tell you off the top of my head but there are places that put modern movements in old tachs and then you just use the box for decoration.

    Your other option is to use a mechanical tach.
  4. I bought a 60's Sun tach and corresponding transmitter box on ebay a while back. Both looked good, so I thought I'd take a chance on them. I had been told by a couple of car buddies that there was a place in Chester, AR where they rebuild speedometers and other gauges. When I clicked on the link posted by Angle Drive above, I saw it was in Chester, so I knew that was the same place I'd heard about. The glowing reviews by others were enough to convince me to take my tach and box there, and it's only 30 miles from where I live, here in God's Country.:)

    Chester is an interesting place. The Williamsons have their business in a metal building just outside of town. The "downtown" area is about a block long, with several mostly old buildings, some vacant. There is a cafe, where JD and I had lunch (I recommend it highly), and that's about all. Chester doesn't even have a gas station. I was low on gas and had to drive 10 miles to the nearest one. I heard the population of the town is about 30.

    When we first got to town, we checked in at the Williamsons' place of business. Ron showed us around a little and looked over my parts. He showed us a large table piled high with boxes of instruments waiting to be rebuilt, everything from a '33 Packard speedo to a full set of Thunderbird gauges. These guys aren't hurting for work. We asked him to join us for lunch, but he said he was behind and needed to work through lunch that day. He asked me to fill out a sheet of info, and said to include my mailing address if I wanted him to mail my parts back to me. I told him I would just come back for them when they were ready, saying, "It's a pretty drive anyway." Ron checked out my tach head and said it worked fine, and he could convert my transmitter box to solid state components. He then said for us to go on to lunch and get some gas, and my transmitter would be ready when we got back. We enjoyed a great leisurely home-cooked meal at the Chester Cafe, drove to get some gas, and when we returned to the metal building outside of town, Ron was at his workbench calibrating my tach. He showed me that it was working perfectly with its newly-converted transmitter box, and said it was good to go. (BTW, The $150 figure quoted above for the transmitter box conversion is a thing of the past, but I didn't mind paying the current price. I don't mind paying a fair price for quality work and stellar service.)

    Obviously, I was impressed. Ron didn't have to work my job in ahead of all those which are piled up waiting for him to get to them, but he did, to save me another trip to pick it up. As far as I'm concerned, that's more Service than was necessary, and it seems to be getting harder all the time to find that any more. Plus, the Williamson's work comes covered by a LIFETIME GUARANTEE, and it's TRANSFERABLE! If I sell the car, their guarantee goes with the car. I can't remember the last time I heard that.

    So check out their website to see the top-quality work they turn out, and if you have automotive instruments of any kind. make, or model needing some TLC, they can make them work and look like new. Based upon my experience, you won't be disappointed. And if you're anywhere nearby, take a slight detour to Beautiful Downtown Chester, and enjoy a great home-cooked meal at the Chester Cafe. :D
    big duece and Max Gearhead like this.
  5. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,920

    Atwater Mike

    I have some nice old Sun 'red football' tachs, thanks LOADS for the pointer and info! My 5 grand in my F100 is identical to 4DFord/SC's, same bracket, too. I have a multi plug inside the tach head, so I can pull the instrument out if I park 'out of my sight'.
    Can just imagine some dufus breaking one of my Ford Green tinted side windows to grab that Sun...(and me catchin' him doin' it...More like a 'fantasy'...
    Late to the Party likes this.
  6. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,406

    big duece
    from kansas

    Late to the Party, thank you for writing such a nice statement about Williamsons. I have always felt the same, and had the same professional treatment. Its nice to hear that some people still have passion for what they do for a living, and they should be rewarded so.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  7. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,402


    I believe some of the old tachs used mercury batteries, because they provided a very precise voltage throughout their entire lifespan, which was somehow used as a reference for the electronics.

    The good news is that these batteries, although discontinued in the West, are usually available as new production on ebay from the Ruskies.
  8. Yes, the batteries are hard to find, they leak inside the box and make a mess, the contacts in the box break, many of the gauges have damaged movements and all that, and all that can be fixed...for a cost. But I'm more into fixing it myself on the cheap. So I found a solid state circuit posted here on the HAMB and I'm in the middle of building it now. If it works out I will report back.
  9. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,750

    Larry T

    I've got 3 tachs that I've put into the early Sun cups- a repo (pre Bosch) Sun Super tach, an original Super Tach II and a Classic Instruments Moon Tach.
    I sure like the deep cups, reminds me of the 60s.

    Sun cup.jpg
  10. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,257


    I like the look of the old Sun tachs. The chrome cups make them look even better.

  11. I sent a Dixco tach to some place in Virginia, (can't recall the name.) for new circuit board. Worked fine so far for 5 yrs. Now I'm using a magneto. Are the Joe Hunt converter boxes reliable.?
  12. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 1,025

    from arkansas

    There isn't any Chester in my Arkansas Willamson heritage!!! lol
  13. From what I understand the deep cups were for the later style tach that did not use the external tach drive box, these componets were mounted instde the cup.
  14. The deep cups were for the newer style tacks that did not use the external tach drive box, these componets were mounted in the longer cup
  15. So like I said I was buildibg a solid state replacement for the tach drive. Well I tested it last night and it works fine, If I can figure out how to post the plans I will.
  16. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,257


    Right now on eBay there are several real good Sun Super Tach ll's (no sender required) including an NOS. The current high bids are $29.

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  17. gtokid70
    Joined: Jul 30, 2015
    Posts: 152


    Buy a repop tach and install a old transmitter box under the hood. That way you got the look without the cost and the problems. Just my 2 cents and certainly a suggestion that will piss off a few people.

    Sent from my SM-A520W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. Yep... Fake boobs look great!!
    46international likes this.
  19. gtokid70
    Joined: Jul 30, 2015
    Posts: 152


    And they look good forever!

    Sent from my SM-A520W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. Monk67
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 57

    from St. Louis

    I’ve got a couple of ‘em laying around here someplace

    Attached Files:

  21. gtokid70
    Joined: Jul 30, 2015
    Posts: 152


    So thats where they all went

    Sent from my SM-A520W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Monk67 likes this.
  22. Scott Mize
    Joined: May 29, 2017
    Posts: 82

    Scott Mize

    Batteries for the sun tachs are so easy. They are 1.35V and we’re basically the same size as a AA battery which is 1.5V. Just take a 1.5V battery and run it down to 1.35V. It works perfect in our car. Just need to check it periodically. I just throw mine away at the end of the season and start “new” the next season.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  23. I have the Bosch Sun repop on my car and it's a nice piece, all metal. Very good quality and it was only $90 new on the internet. You might consider the 5000 RPM Stewart Warner that does not require a sender. These look great, are the right vintage, more or less and are not crazy expensive. The only problem is they are hard to find.
  24. Indianrider
    Joined: Dec 6, 2015
    Posts: 11


  25. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,923


    Here's one box of more someplace....the one on top I put together for my current project...the cup is from a 64 Pontiac Grand Prix it was the vacuum gauge that mounted on the console...the tach I dug up out of this box... IMG_20181006_211925~2.jpeg IMG_20181006_212000~2.jpeg IMG_20181006_212049~2.jpeg IMG_20181006_212025~2.jpeg

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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