MG Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" and Costello V8s

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donfaber
Don Faber
Terra Alta WV
(111 posts)

Registered:
10/31/2007 10:53PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 3.9L Rover V8

authors avatar
Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: donfaber
Date: April 06, 2023 09:28PM

The Mechanical Water Temperature Gauge on my Rover V8 (Buick 215 Manifold) just failed - I'm leaning towards replacing it with an Electronic sensor and gauge. Are there pros and cons to this change?


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

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Re: Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: Moderator
Date: April 07, 2023 02:54AM

The capillary cable on mechanical gauges seems too fragile and inconvenient to route, so I've never installed that kind.

On my MG, I've used an air-core type electric gauge with success for over 30 years. The gauge itself, and its wiring, has been completely worry free. When I changed to a fuel-injection manifold, I needed to switch from an imperial thread sender to a metric thread sender. Finding a sender I liked with suitable output was a brief hassle. I bought several different models from NAPA, and took back the ones that seemed unsuitable after testing with ohmeter and boiling water, in my kitchen.

Stepper motor temperature gauges look nifty, but I think they cost two or three times as much as air core gauges, don't they? A digital gauge (i.e. w/ digital display) would clash with the rest of my car, stylistically.


donfaber
Don Faber
Terra Alta WV
(111 posts)

Registered:
10/31/2007 10:53PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB 3.9L Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: donfaber
Date: April 07, 2023 07:33AM

Thanks, Curtis


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

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Re: Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: April 07, 2023 09:33AM

I use the OEM electric sender & gauge on my 215 in my '79 B. Has worked fine for the last 22 years since the swap.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

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Re: Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: April 07, 2023 11:00AM

I've used the same OEM dual gage from a '67 MGB for the last 40+ years. In all that time the only failure was a break in the spiral cladding on the capillary tube where the PO had routed it against the exhaust. I screwed the broken ends back into each other and haven't seen the break since. Operation has been flawless, instant, and trouble free. Plus I get temp and oil pressure in one gage instead of two which helps a lot with dashboard real estate. Yes it is a bit more trouble routing the capillary tube when changing engines or dashboards but overall just a minor inconvenience. I used 1/8" stainless tubing for the oil pressure line and the capillary tube is certainly easier to route than that is. I also made a robust custom silicon grommet for the firewall to finally replace the sketchy original one. I like the appearance and the easy to read graduations. I can't think of a replacement I would be happier with. But of course the later gages lack the accurate scale the earlier one has and have less of a sweep. Clearly inferior, I had no issue with replacing those. That was a clear case where progress was in the wrong direction.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Replace Mechanical Temp gauge with Electronic Gauge
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: April 07, 2023 01:54PM

Yes, I love the dual oil pressure/water temp. gauge on my dad's '63 B.


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