Gauges...Mechanical or Electric?

vader6

Turbo Buick enthusiast
I am ready to install a 3 gauge A pillar pod for boost, water temp and oil pressure. I see most folks using mechanical gauges. I know there is a big price difference between the mech and electric. Any reason to favor one over the other? I would like to use AutoMeter Phantom gauges. Thanks for the advice!
 
Electric gauges are easier to install as far as mounting your senders and then just having wiring to pull into the cabin and hooking up.
I prefer the mechanical gauges, but won't use the plastic tubing that comes with them, as I've had them bust at the connection just behind the gauge and spraying the interior with hot oil at 60 psi.
I'm sure the plastic tubing is probably better then it was in the '70s and '80s, but I used to use 1/8" copper tube for the oil and boost. I never had a problem with it breaking and it made for a better looking installation.
 
I prefer the electric gauges just for ease of installation and you don't have to worry about leakage anywhere especially in the cabin. All of mine are VDO and are very accurate.
 
I prefer the electric gauges just for ease of installation and you don't have to worry about leakage anywhere especially in the cabin. All of mine are VDO and are very accurate.
X2. The only mechanical gauge I have is the boost gauge, all others (oil and fuel pressure, water temp.) are electric.

Claude.
 
I run a two pod pillar gauge with phantom auto meter gauges {Trans and Volt } an there electric . Been install for over 9 years
and no problem,very accurate.
 
I prefer mechanical.
My fuel pressure gauge is electric. I wont take a chance with that one. Its off about 3 PSI against the rail gauge.
Boost is mechanical plastic tubing.
Oil is mechanical copper tubing.
 
I prefer the electric gauges just for ease of installation and you don't have to worry about leakage anywhere especially in the cabin. All of mine are VDO and are very accurate.

Electric gauges, especially VDO, are sensitive to ground connections. Make sure they are grounded to a clean surface with no paint on the metal, and they have correct voltage on the power side. Otherwise, they will not read accurately.
 
Yes. Wired correctly electronic gauges are at least as accurate and can be used for logging too.... My electronic autometer matches my $500 snap on mechanical fuel gauge

I would never even consider mechanical gauges for fluids. I do like mechanical for boost / vacuum.

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I prefer mechanical.
My fuel pressure gauge is electric. I wont take a chance with that one. Its off about 3 PSI against the rail gauge.
Boost is mechanical plastic tubing.
Oil is mechanical copper tubing.

Same here except I have a temporary fuel gauge under the wiper.
I liked the 270 deg. sweep of the mechanical at the time I got mine, which I believe are available in the electric now.
 
Same here except I have a temporary fuel gauge under the wiper.
I liked the 270 deg. sweep of the mechanical at the time I got mine, which I believe are available in the electric now.
Yes. I forget sometimes I've had my gauges for years!

If I remember correctly....I think I had to use some sort of a little electric gizmo sold by Auto-Meter separately to get my electric fuel pressure gauge to work as a 270 degree sweep.

I could be wrong, I've had no reason to trace it out or take it apart since then.

Man! I think I've reached "old timer" status. Now I've forgotten more than I know.
 
I like electric only because I'm not a fan of running oil in side the car would rather run wires
 
I like electric only because I'm not a fan of running oil in side the car would rather run wires

I agree that running oil inside the cabin is more of a risk, however, I like the instant / real time readings of the mechanical. It seems that the Electric has a slight delay. Maybe the newer stuff is quicker?
I run the tubing inside vac hose to keep things hidden under the hood and to add some protection. So far so good. Fingers crossed.
 
Thanks for all the input, I went with mech boost, electric water temp and oil pressure...not running fluids in the cab is the way to go IMO
 
I agree that running oil inside the cabin is more of a risk, however, I like the instant / real time readings of the mechanical. It seems that the Electric has a slight delay. Maybe the newer stuff is quicker?
I run the tubing inside vac hose to keep things hidden under the hood and to add some protection. So far so good. Fingers crossed.

If you run at the track, tech inspectors want to see steel braided oil pressure line. I ran plastic tubing inside vacuum hose, and they failed it, but I think it is fine for every day driving.
 
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If you run at the track, tech inspectors want to see braded oil pressure line. I ran plastic tubing inside vacuum hose, and they failed it, but I think it is fine for every day driving.

Heluva good idea, too, in my opinion.
 
i have a mechanical Hood mounted fuel pressure gauge, mechanical boost gauge, but an electric oil psi gauge for the simplicity of it. I use Stewart Warner gauges or autometer.
 
Being a 3.5 year old thread I wonder if V-6 decided yet. Years ago like the 70s and 80s lots of the electrical gauges sucked but now, especially the VDO are great. I doubt if the F-35 uses mechanical ones.
 
I have switched several times since this thread was started...I now have a GNX style dash with all electric/digital gauges.
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