View Full Version : Which Gauges and Why

10-12-01, 07:11 PM
I am getting round to selecting gauges and would welcome advice/comment from other members. I would like to know why you made the choice you did and other practical advice. I know i can send old gauges to speedy cables for them to refurb. I await your comments!

Hopefully Wilf anf Robert wont disagree, watch this space.


Mines got a Ford in it.

:P :P ;) :+ :)

10-12-01, 08:13 PM
I'm also looking at purchasing a set of gauges in the very near future and would also appreciate this sort of advice. I'm after a set of cream SVA approved with an electronic speedo drive.....wheres the best ( and cheapest) place to get them from.

Wilf, I've already been round the scrappies looking for some 2CV "clocks" but they only go up to 70 mph......


Tony :-)

10-12-01, 09:18 PM
I have smiths telemetrix gauges with white dials, they look totally un-authentic, but I'm really not to fussed about that, as I think they look great. I believe you can have them made with pretty much whatever colour face and pointers you like (from www.greengauges.com - or something like that). It was really easy to calibrate and was absolutely on the button for the SVA test (though I sent Dan and Ken off with about 10 pages of instructions just in case!!)
Unless you have a good source of pulses (I suspect at least one of your multitude of engine computers must I suppose!! :-) ) you will need something to generate them, whatever you do _don't_ get a really expensive fat M14 proximity sensor that has to be mounted within a gnats c*ck of the fast moving propshaft bolts, instead just get a hall effect switch from farnell/rs and some tiny cobolt magnets to attach _securely_ to the propshaft, even with the tiny 1.5mm magnets buried in holes in the diff/prop-shaft flange, it still works fine with a good healthy clearance for vibration.

10-12-01, 09:45 PM
JP - as usual it comes down to personal preference. My car (built pre SVA) has a variety of black Smiths guages culled from various breakers and auto jumbles. You can still do the same today and have Speedy fit SVA compliant rings I think, or you can simply purchase new Smiths that are being manufactured at a price. Suggest you also give careful consideration at this stage to which sender units you plan to use (mech or elec) and also your dash layout.

By the way the best place to wire your dashboard is on a winter night on the kitchen table, lots of warmth, bright light and cups of tea/tinnies. Your wife/girlfriend will love it as you progressively spread the stuff around the kitchen...

Nigel B

10-12-01, 10:14 PM
Hi there I went the Dax route and got their SW gauges (they looked nice)the other thing I purchased (from Speedy cables) was a 90 degree angle drive for the speedo from the gearbox this gives the cable a nice line to the speedo and fits well between the box and tunnel
Paul :-) :-)

10-12-01, 10:22 PM
Gauges - Hmmmm. Totally down to personal preference! Since I was building a Crendon, and reasonable originality was my goal, I used the "Cobra" (Smiths) range from Speedy's. You can only get the full dial "sweep" (about 270 degrees) using mechanical guages, which are a bit of a pain, having to deal with capillary tubes etc for oil temp and water temp. Also a (more flexible) tube for oil pressure. Supposedly these gauges are more accurate than the "electrical" type, but I don't believe it 100%. I calibrated my temp gauges using the boiling water method - they both under-read by 10 degrees!
I do like the reverse reading speedo tho'! I had to use the special reverse wind angle gear box to do this - makes the speedo connection to the cable a whole lot easier as well.

SVA bezels - much much easier than trying to inset the gauges into the dash, and I don't believe in the temporary foam additions just for the test (and the testers are "on guard" when they see it as well). Despite not being the original double V bezel, I got the half round SVA compliant bezels on mine, actually I think they look rather spiffy.

My route was by no means the most cost effective (no comments please dangerous), but it suited me. There is a vast range of instruments available - take your choice. Just don't expect any kind of real accuracy unless you go for (expensive) race-oriented gauges.

If you are using a mechanical speedo, you will need to know the revs/mile of your tyres, axle ratio, and gearbox internal speedo drive gear ratios. Or you can turn the wheels lots and count speedo cable turns as per Speedy's instructions!

Lastly, make sure you get your tacho to work with your ignition system - Speedy had to mod mine.



10-12-01, 11:11 PM
I will probably use Autometer (Sports Comp or Pro Comp series). They got mechanical, electrical, black, white, silver, carbon, chrome, metric, imperial, retro look, race look etc...


Sports Comp:

Pro Comp:

I know that they are not "Cobra original" in any way but they look cool and I am not building a Cobra replica, I am building a Cobra Street Rod :7

/ Bowtie

Kevin W
11-12-01, 10:48 AM
I used the magnolia Smiths gauges. Totally un-authentic, but I liked them, Well actually the AC Superblower uses them. Pricey too, (60 quid for a little tiny 12 hr clock is a bit steep) - next time I'll go the re-con route.

Non-SVA compliant rims, as I bought them a while back (now Wilf's got me worried about those rims). The speedo is mechanical, (everything else electrical) and was a pain to get the cable sorted (mated to a Rover 5 speed), but I should have gone direct to speedy cables who sorted out the re-calibration on the speedo without any fuss. I had to shop around for a fuel sender to fit the pilgrim tank - eventually obtained from Holden. Rest of them worked fine 1st time.


11-12-01, 01:16 PM
Steve - I think there is some confusion about the "adaptor" for a reverse wind speedo.

Firstly, it does not have to go on the gearbox end - infact it works better on the speedo head as it can give you a better "line" for the cable - it depends how you routed your cable, and how tight your transmission tunnel is. I acatually brought my speedo cable straight out thro' the side of the transmission tunnel - there is a nice cross member in the floor on a Crendon to nestle it against, then it turns to run along the inner sill and then up into the dash area, running behind all the trim panels - so using the angle drive on the speedo head works for me!

Secondly, you can get a 90 degree drive adaptor in reverse or normal sense.


11-12-01, 01:57 PM
Are the half round bezels available separatly? ie to fit s/h instruments fitted with the V shape, and are they SVA compliant?

12-12-01, 11:33 AM
Shelby - I think your best bet would be to talk with SPeedy Cables. You can fit new bezels, not sure if it is a DIY job tho'. (Unless you happen to be an instrument maker).


12-12-01, 04:28 PM
I dropped one of my gauges and dented the bezel . John at ETB Checked the gauge and changed the bezel in a couple of minutes. I dont know if they would sell Bezels for instuments they didn,t supply but its worth a try ring them Phone numbers above. they also do nice range of warning lights much nicer than the plastic stuff you see most of.

Purple Ronnie
12-12-01, 11:18 PM
I used autometer carbon fiber ultra lite gauges in my GD. there the dog's nadgers!Buy them from Real Steel 01895-440505

Purple Ronnie
12-12-01, 11:23 PM
Don't buy the cheepest thing you can get your hands on. It will drive you mad when they flick about, and prove to be unreliable.:-(

15-02-02, 09:01 AM

A few months late.

Checked out Demon Tweeks? Too much stuff to drool over. Mail order mag with all the best gauges in and not too badly priced. 50 quid to 700 quid for a speedo?


17-02-02, 12:04 PM
Hi Bob

Any excuse to get your baby on the website, Iv'e got Smiths but they are Money Money. C.U. Later.


17-02-02, 04:20 PM
I went with the Autometer SportComp eletronic gauges, including an electronic tach. The only mechanical gauge I put in was the Fuel Pressure. They are large and easy to read. Easy to install. Speedometer can be re-calibrated in minutes.



07-11-02, 09:24 PM
I used ETB gauges. The people ther are very helpfull. They supply SVA approved bezels or any thing you like, Black faces, white faces. My speedo is electronic no messing around with cables and cogs and fully programable. I programmed it over a mile I mesured with my Mondeo trip meter and it passed the SVA rolling road test first go. ETB phone number is 01702 711127

07-11-02, 09:24 PM
I've just redone my dash and used original(copies)Smiths gauges.OOil & Water temp and Oil press. are capilary type(Yes Wilf they are a pain,but But mine checked out OK about 5% out)Aso used electric fuel,amp & tmie clock.Thinkins about changing Speedo to reverse,anyone know if the adaptor fits Rover 5 speed box OK.Regards Steve G.