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Aftermarket gauge selection


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9 replies to this topic

#1 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:26 AM

I haven't decided if I even want to add any gauges but I do intend to keep my new car ('06 WRX wagon) as long as reasonably possible. Given that, I wonder what gauges you guys feel would be most beneficial. probably many of us have been in the position of noticing some slight difference in a gauge and been able to ward off a serious problem. last winter I noticed a slightly lower position on the temp gauge of my Avenger and replaced the thermostat - it was stuck open. I probably saved myself a few bucks in gas as the mileage would likely have suffered eventually - or who knows - maybe some carbon/sludge would have developed.

So, given that nowadays the ECU measures a lot of stuff and an OBDII reader may be enough, I wonder what gauges you guys feel would be helpful to monitor in the long run?

Carl

#2 tcspeer

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:33 AM

I think the most under used gauge is the one we all have, the air gauge for the tires. Proper air pressue will increase gas mileage.

#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:20 AM

I think the most under used gauge is the one we all have, the air gauge for the tires. Proper air pressue will increase gas mileage.


HAH! you're right of course. I usually overfill my tires knowing that they may well be underinflated when I remember to next check them.

thanx for hijacking my thread btw ;^)



Carl

#4 Olnick

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 12:54 PM

Fast thinking, tcspeer! And right on.

How about a fuel guage? I mean one that works properly (Yeah, I drive a '95 Legacy and it has never told me the truth!)

Seriously, Texan, you pose an excellent question. Even if the ECU is controlling everything I, as a human being (nominally), want to be informed of operating status as much as possible. "Early warning" is invaluable.

Oil Pressure would be nice, I really miss that. Oil Temp too.

An Ammeter. Maybe even a Volt Meter.

How about a Vacuum Pressure guage? Never had one but I think it's something I'd like to watch. (Or is it even necessary on a "modern" engine?)

Am anxious to know what others think. This should be a great thread.

#5 frag

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 01:49 PM

I would vote for a voltmeter first : easier to install than an ammeter and as usefull if correctly interpreted. It should give one, amongst other things, a little more advance warning that the alt is about to fail. I built myself one with Radio Shack parts that I pluged into the "cig lighter" receptacle.
Then an oil pressure gauge. Got one of those also. Mechanical.
With the price of fuel rocketing up, a vaccum gauge would help in being less lead footed and is also a very usefull indicator of all sorts of possible problems (vac leaks; faulty valves, rings; clogged cat, etc.) I will probably install one of those in the not so distant future.
Finaly maybe a fuel pressure gauge. Maybe not a complicated cockpit one with separator etc, but a simple mechanical one spliced directly into a fuel line. I got a VDO miniature gauge that's installed just like that. Not expensive. Engine stops: open the hood and you can immediately know if it's a fuel prob or someting else.
My two cents.

#6 cookie

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:02 PM

I bought one of those chap mini clusters that have temp, oil pressure, and amps. The only one I want is the oil pressure but I had to buy the cluster to get it at 45 bucks. Anybody know which is the oil pressure sender on a 2.5 phase 2? My Chilton's manual seems to have a sense of humor. For example to show how the thermostat works it has a picture of a V8. I would say the picture of the oil pressure sender is from a very early engine. It says the oil pressure sender in on the head in a 2.5. Is it right?

#7 Olnick

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:18 PM

Cookie, sender is at top front of engine block, facing up. Look down between alternator and power steering pump and it's right there. (Unless they moved it on the phase 2s!)

Let us know how the installation goes.

#8 cookie

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:34 PM

Thaks Olnick, that's the one I thought it was, looks nothing like Chilton's illustration.
Today has been a chainsaw day to get rid of a dead tree, I hope to look at the Subie tomorrow afternoon.

#9 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:49 PM

Yeah, my very first thought was a voltmeter - then I thought an ammeter would be better but didn't know if they existed. Seems like here in Texas - a battery does well to last 3 years and some idea of when it was getting weak might be useful - dunno if ALL failure modes would show themselves but maybe overcharging would show itself? I dunno.

Another thing I've always felt was odd is when folks want to measure something but then have now way to make a change or do nothing with the information. I suppose I can see where a boost gauge or a vacuum gauge would be useful for controlling the lead foot. And might also point out probelms developing - what? I dunno. And is there really any useful reaction to - say - oil temp?(is it just a redundant coolant temp indicator?)

this could be an educational thread for me - keep 'em coming!

Carl

#10 cookie

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 12:47 AM

they are really easy to hook up and if you get used to them they are very helpful. Some folks hate them, but not me!




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