What gauges do you actually look at?

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  1. Cope

    Cope Fusing with fire

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    When I'm actually "running" the car hard I'm not watching the gauges at all.

    So I figured let's see what most folks watch while driving. I moved the water temp up to the A pillar where I can see it easy. That one is a no brainer.

    What would your second most watched gauge be? My thought was with my high stall I'd like to know how hot my trans is. The only other gauge I care about it oil pressure but that just is what it is. If it falls off I'm screwed and I have no way to pull over and let it fix it self.
    (unlike temp, that I can fix by stopping). So I figured let oil PSI be down in the dash and H2O, Trans temp be in my direct line of sight? What do you monitor most?

    20190314_193840_zpsed764f6e.jpg

    Remember my car is a "street car" so it is driving around. Not just rolling off the trailer.
     
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    • str12-340

      str12-340 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      I've heard plenty of vitriol about ammeters but the fact is by the time the voltmeter tells you about high or low voltage it's probably too late - an ammeter tells you whats gone bad right away...
       
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      • Cope

        Cope Fusing with fire

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        Volts is way over on the other side, next to fuel level and vacuum.

        But again that's a reading I cant just pull over and fix. If my voltage regulator craps out its AAA time.
         
      • Pascamp

        Pascamp Well-Known Member

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        My circle track cars have always had water temp, a tach, and idiot lights. No need for weight and electrical gremlins over something that's too late anyway. Truthfully I thought about ditching the tach too. It's not like I ever looked at that.

        On a street car...trans temp. I stare at it to the point of OCD. Now that I think about it, I could ditch water temp too. I could always smell something was up, and just used the gauge to confirm it.
         
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        • dgibby

          dgibby Well-Known Member

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          I watch temp, voltage and oil psi. Have separate aftermarket gauges for them. Had a alternator take a crap and was able to limp home. Also had the oil pressure line break right after starting and was able to shut it off before damage ( pure luck) probably need to add a trans gauge.
          I run the Holley sniper and with the display you can set ranges on what you want monitored. The display is small and hard to watch when you’re getting on it but it will flash yellow as you get close to the min or max mark then red at the min or max that you set. Kind of a high tech idiot light.
           
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          • Cope

            Cope Fusing with fire

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            I fully agree.

            Our cars only had water temp and oil PSI.

            By the time the shift light comes on I've already screwed up.

            But this car runs on the street so its worth the weight to have all the gauges.
             
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            • Dana67Dart

              Dana67Dart Most undignified way to get to Colorado!

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              Take a que from nascar and rotate your gauges so under normal operating conditions the needles points up. Looks goofy but will catch your attention if something is off
               
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              • brian6pac

                brian6pac Well-Known Member

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                Tach & Oil pressure 1st, water temp, trans temp, then volts, & vac,
                 
              • dartfreak75

                dartfreak75 Well-Known Member

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                Water temp, oil pressure, volts and tach. Well and the speedo of course.
                I have blew up (locked up) two engines in my life and one was from overheating in my old s10( didn't have a gauge just a idiot light) by the time the light came on it was too late. It locked up. The other one was my slant 6 in my dart . My oil pressure dropped and at the time I didn't realize how big a deal that was...lol needless to it didn't make it home. So now water temp and oil pressure are a must for me!
                 
              • Cope

                Cope Fusing with fire

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                I have, in order from left to right.

                AFR, oil psi, oil temp, MPH, RPM, fuel, volts, vacuum.

                And ofcourse water temp and trans temp on the A pillar bar. Fuel psi on cowl.

                When I'm sitting in traffic, I'm looking at water temp and trans, oil pressure.

                All the rest are just for start up?

                Sounds like I picked the correct two for in my eye line.
                 
              • roccodart440

                roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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                water temp/mph
                 
              • TrailBeast

                TrailBeast Slightly Twisted Member

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                For the most part I watch oil pressure and temp. (besides the clock, which is probably what I check most due to service appointment times and such)
                I do have a volt meter, but my AFR gauge will tell me if the system voltage is low for any reason if I don't notice the volt gauge being low.

                One thing I used to do on other cars was to use the idiot light switches in tandem with mechanical gauges, then go to the wrecking yard and get a few seat belt or door buzzers.
                Then I set it up so if anything did set off what would have been an idiot light it would sound the buzzer instead.
                That would inform me instantly of an oil pressure drop, charging system loss, or high temps.
                The gauges would show the specific problem.
                 
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                • Cuda Al

                  Cuda Al Well-Known Member

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                  In my Barracuda (a street cruiser) my Vacuum gauge is number one, speedometer second, others cursory glances.
                  I'm all factory so not much value here.


                  Alan
                   
                • flyfish

                  flyfish C8H18+N2O = :-D

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                  On the street, I really only look at my water temp (besides checking oil pressure once in a while). At the track I only see my tach until the end of the run. I put my AFR gauge above my tach (literally sitting on it) in an attempt to remember to actually look at it going down track...In having it there 2 seasons I can count on 1 hand the number of times I actually remembered to look up 1 inch to read it.....I get a little too focused, lol.
                   
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                  • roccodart440

                    roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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                    I use my tach to launch. after that it's shift light. Then I look at my RPM through the traps.
                     
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                    • pishta

                      pishta I know I'm right....

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                      I thought it was sideways? Personal preference...?
                       
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                      • aaronk785

                        aaronk785 Well-Known Member

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                        Oil, water temp,and tach. Tach is turned so 6500 is straight up.
                         
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                        • 72Dart6pack

                          72Dart6pack Harder Better Faster Stronger.

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                          None of mine work. So I watch the road.
                           
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                          • Mopar Sam

                            Mopar Sam Well Fed Member

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                            The gauge I look at the most is the gas gauge.
                             
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                            • famous bob

                              famous bob mopar misfit

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                              MY GAS GAUGE IS A JOKE , I watch the oil pressure foremost, handheld temp next, don`t even have an engine temp gauge. Never have worried about trans temp, the way I run my cooling set up on it !
                               
                            • j par

                              j par Well-hung Member

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                              I got to say on the street I'm mostly looking at the temperature gauge. But really I'm looking at all of them all of the time. I like to watch the air-fuel because I have the Dual carbs and wondering all the time if I have them correct or not. I seem to get some surges in my voltage and I'll throw my fans or turn my lights on to bring it down. Probably need to change the voltage regulator again. I mean who doesn't look at their oil pressure pretty much right away to make sure it's there! LOL anyways I've always wanted to videotape all the gauges going down the track? Kind of seeing where the air-fuel is and where everything else is. like mentioned I'm usually looking at the tachometer but even that's kind of funny because when the shift light comes on and "IF" (THE BIG IF LOL) I'm not a head of the person next to me I pay NO attention to it! LOL on up go the RPMs till I'm satisfied it's time to shift! LOL
                               
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                              • MOPAROFFICIAL

                                MOPAROFFICIAL Well-Known Member

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                                I look them all over randomly, often.... but, oil/temp mostly.
                                 
                              • pishta

                                pishta I know I'm right....

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                                Get a $30 HD dash cam and put it behind you looking at track and guages at same time over your shoulder. Then you can look back at the run and see whats going in.
                                 
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                                • j par

                                  j par Well-hung Member

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                                  I got one of those knock-off GoPros but it seems to be a little smarter than me LOL
                                   
                                • John Cailey

                                  John Cailey Crizila FABO Gold Member

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                                  Tach / Boost

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