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Hot Rods What would you do with this set of Stewart Warner gauges?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jrblack30, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. cool asss wall hanger
     
  2. That switch is cool as hell. I would try to adapt it to another switch if you cant free it up.
     
  3. boooooob
    Joined: Sep 14, 2012
    Posts: 38

    boooooob
    Member

    jrblack30<SCRIPT type=text/javascript> vbmenu_register("postmenu_8272060", true); </SCRIPT>

    How do you know these gauges still work, from the looks of the backs and fronts they are full of rust inside,,,,,,,,voltage and water not good,:)


    boooooob
     
  4. Well lets see.

    There is not rust out on the backs, only surface rust, nor do I hear rust floating around inside them. The Bezels are rusty and the faces are sun faded.

    I hooked a drill up to the Mechanical tach and Speedometer, they spin and the speedometer and odometer gained mileage. The oil pressure I hooked to my compressor through a regulator, it worked, read about 2 PSI off. Used an multimeter to check continuity on the feul and amperage gauge, check OK. I also breifly hooked the the fuel up to a veridac (voltage controller), it worked. And for the Water Temp, The sending unit has been cut, so I cannot confirm functionality.

    Does that work for you??
     
  5. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from KC

    Maybe the fire station was up on a big hill, and with the wind behind it. look out!!!
     
  6. I don't think this big old truck ever did any more than 50MPH back in the day

    Here she is in all her rusted glory, may it rest in peace at the recycle yard

    [​IMG]

    They pulled 600 pounds of brass off that beast.
     
  7. Am I seeing things?? Is that a brake adjustment lever?? And does it look just like the brake adjustment levers in Duesenbergs??

    Maybe I just need more beer...

    Cosmo.

    P.S. Just checked my references - it IS exactly like a Duesenberg control. On the last Duesie built, the Maharajah's car - there is this exact control on the dash.
     
  8. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    It will free up -- spray Kroil on it and wait a week.

     
  9. kwoodyh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2006
    Posts: 641

    kwoodyh
    Member

    There ya go!
     
  10. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy
    Member

    evertime you startyour engine up, you would redline the tach, 3500
     

  11. Not to worried about that. I was thinking if I did find a use for them I would get a 1:2 gear multiplier and run it the way it is.

    500 RPM on the gauge would really be 1000 RPM
    2000 RPM on the gauge would really be 4000 RPM
    etc.
     
  12. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford
    Member

    Build a really nice car around them, and use them as is, that way your car wil not be mistaken for a gold chainer "Street Rod".
     
  13. No way I'd allow them to continue to decay. I'd price repair work from Classic gauges in Oregon and if it's completely outta my budget, I'd do a search here on the HAMB regarding restoring those valuable and super-cool gauges. There's been some really helpful posts about using your own computer to print out new gauge faces on adhesive material...and there's a helluva helpful post about how to repair that temp gauge using the capillary tube and bulb from a parts-store cheapie gauge, a soldering iron and a bucket of ice.
    If new bezels aren't available, I'd bead blast and paint the old ones. Those gauges are definetely saveable.
    Or, you could just sell them to me and I'll restore them for my car.
    Oh yeah, that tach could be made modern with a simple gauge-face change with different numbers after you calibrate it..a simple enough job if you have another known accurate tach.
     
  14. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    First off let me tell you have a very rare set of gauges there. They're pretty unique because the speedo, tach and duplex gauges are really odd sizes. The speedo is very Auburn-ish but the Auburn speedos are (only?!) 3 1/2".
    I would hold them off to the side until you're going build your dream car. I would then start looking for better 2 3/8" gauges because those are going to be the most common in your set. Don't bother having those restored because you'll have better luck and probably save money by trying to find decent originals. Take the bezels off the three center gauges and have them blasted with baking soda/light media or better yet have them chemically stripped to remove as little material as possible. Hopefully they can be rechromed because replacements are going to be next to impossible to find. Next step is going to be the hardest...send them off for restoration. It will be obscenely expensive but when you are dealing with gauges of this rarity and quality it will be worth it. Thats why I say save them for your "keeper" hot rod. Remember you can always try and wheel and deal your way into keeping the restoration costs down by finding cores for your gauge guy. Those guys always have a laundry list of in demand gauges(not always the rarest btw) and if you are a guy that finds himself at every swap meet you might be able to work a partial trade for labor by bringing a bucket of cores in. You should really have the tach rescreened and recalibrated for 5K because its got a resemblance to the optional tach on early Auburns.

    Heres a not so great shot of the Auburn tach.
    [​IMG]

    I would say your toughest obstacle (besides the $$$ obviously) would be finding a nice enough panel to suit the gauges. They're larger than most gauges which would have been highly desirable in the 40's because they only came in high end cars or race cars.

    Heres a hot set up in a deuce roadster with giant gauges.
    [​IMG]

    My first inclination would be to try them fit them in a repop aluminum Auburn panel but I'm thinking since the gauges are larger then most it might look a bit too cramped. I would try to find one of the Pierce Arrow panels that hamber Alchemy produced a few years back. I believe that set up would allow for proper spacing. You could always run them in a smoothed dash too although I think a panel would really be the most attractive option.

    Heres a set of Auburn rear mount gauges set in a smoothed dash.
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, I wouldn't use the light switch as its a carry over from an earlier era. Its very similar to switches from the teens and twenties. Leave that stuff to the speedster guys with the handle bar mustaches and dusters.

    Well I hope I haven't rambled on too much. I kind of geek out on this kinda stuff and I was surprised to see a set of gauges that I've never encountered before. Btw 120 MPH speedo for a truck that size (V12 or not) is very unusual. A bahemoth of a truck traveling at 120 miles per hour would be a weapon of mass destruction. I assumed 120 speedos were only used on Auburn V-12s in that era but then again I'm not an expert on American Lafrance fire trucks. JohnnyA
     
  15. Jackpot! Eureka! Gold! Fantastic Score!

    Congrats.

    As a core the Temp gauge is worth about $100, If it had the capillary tube attached and functioned it would bring an extra $50-$100 (looking at the needle position it is busted) . Restored Temp $500. Good originals $200-$450 (I have been outbid so many damn times it ain't funny).

    Oil Gauge In the condition it is in & if it works $100, if it doesn't about $70 Restored $300-$450.

    Last restored Duplex gauge I saw on ebay sold for $650.

    Speedo in the present condition $150-$250 restored and looking purty $600-$700 due to its larger size and having the crescent pointer

    These prices are a guide and are based on what I see sold on ebay. I have been searching for 4 years. I get piped at the post or don't have the $ when suitable Auburn style gauges comes up :( so I keep looking.

    As 3,500 rpm tach it is not worth as much as a 5,000 or 8,000rpm tach. re-screen and recalibrate like Floorboardinit stated would be best bet.

    The advice Floorboardinit has given would be the way to go and best option.



    As they sit those gauges are $500+ on ebay. Being crescent pointer Stewart Warners gauges jrblack30 hit the jackpot of gauges. When it comes to gauges like these, they are worth restoring. The Temp gauge restored is about $500 odd. As is it would fetch at least $100 as a core on ebay

    As core these gauges are still valuable and in the right hands restorable.

    I have the same type of oil pressure gauge in fair condition and it still works. I paid $75us 3 years ago then I bought a NOS industrial 100 lbs pressure gauge with black bezel on OZ ebay for $45 (@ that time $33us) Murphy's law!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,127

    sololobo
    Member

    I think those are super dooper, not sure what to do with them, hope they can be re-used. But are awesomme art as is!! ~sololobo~
     
  17. boooooob
    Joined: Sep 14, 2012
    Posts: 38

    boooooob
    Member


    I can see, even from the pictures, most of the seals are gone (speedo especially)........Oil and temp have rust on the pointers which were painted, plus you can see the faces have dropped.........what is the obsession ,,,,,,,,old shit is cool.........some is way too far gone..IMO
    I am new here, so I am not shit,,,,,gauges are very precision instruments (especially electrical),,,,,these are weathered way bad,,,,,,find a fool and his money and sell them............I will like to see what you have left after you take them out of that panel,,,,,,plus what is a rebuilt gauge,,,,,,,,,,,,,,new gut old container.....whatever it ain't the same.


    And what the hell is a veridac (google don't even find it), why didn't you check the temp gauge with it.......Ammeters also like rust with that shunt resistor........................:eek:


    Prove me wrong,,,,,,,,,ban me, beat me or whatever,,,,,,this is me,,,,,,,No beat me!!!:D:D

    Just screwing with you, with a very little knowledge:D:D


    boooooob
     
  18. I have been looking, I cannot find any information from Stewart Warner on 4 1/2 speedometer. Anyone know where I should be looking?
     
  19. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    Buddy, I'm tellin ya they're rare. I've only seen a couple SW gauges that size and they weren't rear mount. The only place I'd think to look (if there is such a place) is an American Lafrance message board. The Speedo is huge!

    I'm an obsessed gauge guy (see photo below) and I ain't never seen a set like yours. JohnnyA

    [​IMG]
     
  20. [​IMG]
    Jimmy B,

    What is that steering wheel out of? i have one hanging on the wall for the past 3+ years and cannot figuire out what it is.

    [​IMG]

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  21. superprojoe
    Joined: Feb 4, 2010
    Posts: 352

    superprojoe
    Member
    from Illinois

    Restore them and build a bad ass car around them,hee,hee!:p:D
     
  22. So who would you recommend for gauge restorations?
     
  23. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    I would recommend Bruce Abbott in Portland Oregon. He did all the resto work for Terry Seaholm who was one of the few guys that dealt in early Stewart Warner in the northwest. Terry only dealt with the best stuff and wouldn't put up with substandard restoration. You can tell him how nice you want em...as found, driver quality and concours ready and of course his prices reflect the quality. His number is (503)-246-1287. You can google Abbott Instrument Restoration to find his website and email. Good luck! JohnnyA
     
  24. G'day Jim, the steering wheel is 1937-38 Chev.
     
  25. Jimmy B , I was under the impression that Chevys had a splined shaft

    Any other gauge restoration shops that I should be checking into?
     
  26. '40 was splined not sure about '39, pretty sure it is. Your wheel is definitely '37-'38 Chev.
     
  27. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from KC

    WOW!!....Your'e a better man than I am......I could never scrap something as awesome as that fire truck.....I would park it on the front lawn, plant some flowers around it and piss off my neighbors....Not to mention ring the bell every morning before going off to work.....hey!!...do you wanna sell the bell?....please do not tell me you scraped the bell....As I think that would quailfy for grounds of being banned!!.....LOL
     
  28. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 313

    deuceman32
    Member

  29. Floorboardinit
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 771

    Floorboardinit
    Member

    Oh yeah Morrisgauge...he does nice work too. I bought a restored 3 1/2" rear mount tach from him and it's a beauty! JohnnyA

    [​IMG]
     

  30. Cowtown, I was not the one doing the scraping, just observed in tears. The bell was already missing. If you are referring to the large items on the cowl those are 18" diameter spot lights, they were saved, well sort of. They were thrown in a pile in another barn!!
     

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