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Old 05-10-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Has anyone replaced old mechanical Oil Ps gauges with electric gauges?

My 1977 Californian still has what I believe are the original mechanical oil pressure gauges with capillary tubes carrying oil to the gauges. I've been waiting for one of these to fail...and now one of the gauges has started a very slow leak at the lower helm. I ordered new Stewart Warner electric Oil Ps gauges and sending units yesterday from Summit Racing with free shipping and they arrived this afternoon! Looks like I've got to install them now.

My plan is to do the lower helm gauges now and update the FB gauges this summer. I do not have an engine alarm system, so it shouldn't create a problem there. I realize that will leave my FB gauges inop, but I can live with that for a few months as I normally drive from the lower helm and will have plenty of time onboard this summer for projects like this.

Has anyone already tackled this project? Any caveats or issues to watch out for? The sending units didn't come with instructions, but I assume I shouldn't insulate the sender mounting threads from the engine block to allow electrical conductivity.



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Old 05-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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One thing you will discover is that you will have to buy different senders when you add the second gauges on the bridge. Maybe it is better to get all the gauges now w/ dual gauge senders, wire the second gauges in temporarly and leave them in the box in the engine room. That way you won't have to buy and install the senders twice.
Stewart Warner+ good chpice.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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I think I got the right sending unit as it's the one listed as being required for this gauge. My gauge installation instructions with the gauges reads:

IF INSTALLING TWO OR MORE GAUGES

1. Connect ground terminals of each gauge together and route a wire from one of these terminals to a good ground.
2. Connect ignition terminals of each gauge together and route a wire from one of these terminals to ignition.
3. Route separate wire from the sender terminal on each gauge to its respective sending unit.
IMPORTANT: This electric gauge MUST be used with its corresponding Stewart Warner sending unit.


You bring up a good point though. Perhaps I should install both gauges on the problem stbd side of both helms to make sure it will work correctly with both gauges connected. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:45 AM   #4
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If you have a NMEA 2k network, you may want to look at updating to network gauges.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
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Great idea, Peter, but FlyWright was (and in many ways still is) 1970's technology. The only compatible networks come across the TV. I'm sticking with the classic look of Stewart Warner analog gauges.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:02 AM   #6
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I would much prefer the mechanical gauges for reliability and accuracy
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:53 AM   #7
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"I would much prefer the mechanical gauges for reliability and accuracy"

Esp as the mechanical may have a 270 deg sweep , and the electric barely 90deg.

If monitoring the instruments is useful 3x the accuracy is worthwhile.

With enough bucks digital gauges can be installed , at $75 to $125 each.

Red or Blue readouts , your choice.
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