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Most handy guage.

Famine

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Im installing a guage into my VR just wondering what the most useful one would be. I was thinking voltmeter as it could definately show alternater problems etc. Then again oil pressure or water temp (even though it comes standard with one, but it sucks) could be useful. Theres also vacuum, but I dont think its really useful at all.

Any suggestions?
 

digisol

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The vacum guage from memory was first installed as stock equipment in the VB, it was and still is a usefull guage if your trying to save as much fuel as possible, especially on a trip when the right foot can sometimes lose some feeling.

Simple test is to swap feet, you will soon see how much your right foot is not working and also wasting you fuel.

The idea of the guage is simple, many times the car will go up an incline at the same speed with less throttle, less throttle = more vacum, saving fuel.

The problem with warning lights is the item being covered usually is dead when the light comes on not really giving a warning at all, vacum, oil pressure, and amps, water temp, were the std extra four.

Watched a HR once driven with a stuffed radiator and no light or guage, it ran for near 20 min with the ignition off, burnt the paint off the head.
 

hako

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I reckon a decent water temperature gauge would be the most useful - it can be a guide to the overall operating efficiency of the engine and the cooling system and is the early warning device should anything fail in the engine.
Warning lights or "idiot" lights also have their place but on the Commodore are virtually invisible during daylight due to their location.
Vacuum gauges started out as a fault diagnosis tool, then in the early 70's with the Arab war and fuel crisis they were promoted as a fuel saving device but never really caught on as most Australian drivers don't scan their gauges.
If you cared to take the time to research vacuum gauges you would find they can be used to diagnose just about any problem....but most of us are just to bone idle.....
 

Famine

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Hmm, maybe Ill get a vacuum guage then, never really thought it had any plus sides. Thanks guys.
 

digisol

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Perhaps the sensors have taken over for the job of the vacum guage but they are still relavent and do the job designed for, especially if your interested in saving fuel.

As for "us" / "we" perhaps that should be changed to the 1st person, after all the guy wants a guage, to put one there and not watch it would be somewhat pointless.

Anyone that gives half a toss will always be glancing at the guages, should the speed warning unit fail and you streak through a radar unit at 70, perhaps the speedo should have been checked more frequently, only $150 + fine.

The stock warning lights can always have brighter bulbs put in em, they are a tad dark at times when the sun is on em, then again tinting the windows helps that.

Whatever guage is chosen thay cant be placed under the radio, and thay cant block your line of sight over the bonnet and puting em in front of the rest is useless so plumbing them properly may require some common sence and perhaps a unit similar to the incline / roll warning guages you see on some troop carrier and wagon land cruisers, they hold 3 from memory.
 

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Spot on Digisol, thats why I tried to give some of the background to gauges and idiot lights. I am bone idle too as you guessed, but I try to help others. I have a vacuum gauge (Vane brand) and know how to use it as a diagnosis tool however as you say, sensors do most of that for us nowdays. Re the bulbs in the warning lights - my problem is that I have the seat all the way back and at its lowest setting and the steering wheel up high...this means the airbag hides all the warning lights. I might try brighter globes though. Thanks for the tip.
 

Famine

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I got the vacuum gauge and installed it, it works, however I think I have connected it to the wrong place. I connected the hose using a tee peice onto the "vac" barb on the throttle body. Apparently it is supposed to be closer to the head. Theres a lot of hoses coming off the bellmouth area, but I dont know which one is the right one to get a proper reading. As it is now, the needle stays at 0 at idle, but moves on acceleration. Apparently there is still supposed to be a reading even at idle. Any suggestions?
 

Tasmaniak

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you know...it doesn't really need to be accurate. When you drive..all you are looking for is a needle movement when you move your foot.
 

Famine

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Well, looking at http://www.users.bigpond.com/ergoff/vac1.htm

Its nothing like that. That one shows idle as being 17-21 reading, mines 0 and only goes up to about 15 when I accelerate. It sounds as though it should be giving a reading whilst idling, rather than being stcuk at 0.
 

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Most handy gauge.

Speedometer. Can get your ass fined if your doing over the speed limit.

I couldn't really give you just one gauge that would be handy,

A vacuum in my mind isn't necessary at all, we all know that if you put your right foot down, your going to chew through fuel, and if you are hardly touching it, then your going to be eating less fuel.

Revs, Tachometer, completely useless. Use your ears, listen to the revs.

Coolant temperature, I'd rate this right up there. You want to know if your car is overheating, but would most people know what was an acceptable temp?
 
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