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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 06, 2:27 PM Thread Starter
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wes
 
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Volt Meter

Hi Team

How do I wire up a aftermarket volt meter?

thanks,
wes

Wes B in utah
warmed over stock black 67 SS clone
4 Speed butternut yellow 67 SS project
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 06, 2:42 PM
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Bill
 
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Re: Volt Meter

+ positive side to key on source and ground -. the back of gauge should have a + and - symbol
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 06, 3:06 PM
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Allen Carson
 
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Smile Re: Volt Meter

Good Choice over the AMP. METER....VOLT Meters are easy to install unlike AMP. METERS that have burned many a vehicle under the dash.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 06, 10:12 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

You should have a "ACC" terminal on your fuse panel..... connect the + wire of the gauge to it and ground the - wire to the dash.

I agree, volt meters are the way to go.

JIM

* 1968 Chevelle SS - L72 427-4 speed
* 1959 Impala __ 2dr coupe - 383 Stroker-TH400
* 1955 Belair __ 2dr coupe - 283 alum. PG
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 06, 9:37 AM
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Re: Volt Meter

Have an original ammeter on a 66 with the optional guage package. It works, so it's possible that the ammeter could start a fire. How does this work? Plan to put an oil/tem/volt guage package even though all the original guagues seen to work fine. So sould I unhook the ammeter or are there precaustions I should take? Thanks
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 06, 2:37 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

Amp meters are connected in SERIES with supply and indicates an increase or decrease of current (charge or drain) in the circuit. Therefore it can allow a significant amount of current to flow thru the wire if it's shorted. (read as potential for FIRE) However, FACTORY wired ampmeters rarely cause problems. Their circuits are designed to be well insulated and properly routed.

Volt meters are in PARALLEL to the supply and indicate amount of voltage present at the connecting point. Requires very little current to operate and can quick-fused to prevent heating the wiring if shorted.

Us old timers are used to ampmeters and some prefer them. They do give an actual status of the supply circuit and the alternator (gernerators in the old days). Obviously, if the current meter (ampmeter) indicates a constant negative flow of current, things won't go well for very long.

Voltmeters are a relatively recent addition to cars. They are cheaper to incorporate, easy to fuse for safety and easier for the average person with little to no electrical knowledge to understand. A volt meter can also indicate that the alternator is not funtioning or putting out 13.9 to 14.3 (nominal) voltage. If it is only showing 12 volts or less when the engine is running, it too is a good indicator that something is amiss in the charging circuit and you will be walking soon. An HEI distributors like to see a solid 12 volts at all times, not 11 or 10. However, a bad battery can still show 12 volts on a voltmeter in an unloaded condition.

Both gauges can co-exist and function just fine. No need to remove or disconnect either if they are wired and funtioning correctly. However, if their function and indications aren't clearly understood, you're better off with an idiot light. That's why they were invented. No offense intended to anyone, just MHO. My wife's Jeep has gauges. She has no clue how to interpret them for a potential problem and doesn't want to learn. But if a bright RED light comes on, she know's she has a problem. (either in the car or from the cop behind her ;-))

/h

Herb Sr
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 06, 7:00 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

Thanks for the information Herb. All original wiring with the 66 guage package that included the ammeter and it seems to work fine as far as indicating a charge or draw. Have deceided to carry an fire extingisher also, just in case. So think I go ahead and add the 3 guage set-up and keep the original guages operating also.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 06, 10:29 AM
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Re: Volt Meter

Sounds like all good decisions Jim. Don't worry about a fire from the original amp gauge wiring. It's just not a major issue. If it were, there wouldn't be any original cars around after 30+ yrs with original amp gauges. Just be careful when monkeying around under the dash not to short anything. Like I said earlier, us old farts are used to them and I've never seen a fire caused by an amp gauge. Not saying there haven't EVER been any, but I know of none.

Herb Sr
'67 Coupe (frame-off)
489BB w/ Straub custom roller cam
M20/3.73 Eaton posi
http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/data/500/medium/Ext08.JPG
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 06, 9:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Volt Meter

I took a second look at my gauge and it is a ammeter, should I get a voltometer instead?

thanks,
wes

Wes B in utah
warmed over stock black 67 SS clone
4 Speed butternut yellow 67 SS project
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 11:05 AM
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Re: Volt Meter

YES........ I would. easy to hook up and safer.

JIM

* 1968 Chevelle SS - L72 427-4 speed
* 1959 Impala __ 2dr coupe - 383 Stroker-TH400
* 1955 Belair __ 2dr coupe - 283 alum. PG
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 11:21 AM
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Re: Volt Meter

Volt meter = easier to hook up, not as useful
Amp meter = requires more care when installing, more useful readout

I've always prefered amp meters since I can tell at a glance if the electrical system is working properly or not. Heck, my old pickup has a factory amp meter AND an aftermarket amp meter and I haven't burned it down yet. The factory gauge has unhacked factory wiring and the aftermarket gauge was wired carefully with large gauge dedicated wiring.

I've never had a problem with any of the amp gauges in any of my vehicles. I find the volt meter in my daily driver only moderately useful since it is difficult to tell if it is reading at, above or below 12 volts. I rarely even look at it. If it wasn't for the additional warning light in the daily driver I'd never really know when the electrical system is experiencing a problem. However in my truck or Chevelle, I often consult the amp meter to see how things are doing and know what I need to know at a very quick glance.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 12:12 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Chevelleguy
I took a second look at my gauge and it is a ammeter, should I get a voltometer instead?

thanks,
wes
I wouldn't. Just make sure it's wired correctly and use it. Like I said, I've never even heard of a car fire that could be attributed to an amp meter that was wired correctly. In the 60's, there were a lot of teenagers wrenching on these cas (I was one) and even they didn't burn them up with amp meters.

Herb Sr
'67 Coupe (frame-off)
489BB w/ Straub custom roller cam
M20/3.73 Eaton posi
http://www.chevelles.com/showroom/data/500/medium/Ext08.JPG
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 1:04 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

If you want to use an amp meter, simply wire it per the instructions (they are usually VERY specific and most often make specific since different cars accomplish their power systems in different manners), use large gauge dedicated wiring and route that wiring in such a way as to protect it. Be sure to use rubber grommets where the wires pass through the firewall and zip tie the wires securely to the body structure and/or other wiring harnesses to keep it out of harm's way. Make sure the connections at the gauge are secure and well separated from each other and from any metal body structure and other wiring terminals.

Of course these tips apply to ANY automotive wiring project...
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 2:07 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

I would use a voltmeter, see reasons here.

http://www.autometer.com/tech_faq_an...px?sid=1&qid=5

Greg U


MY 70SS
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 06, 4:42 PM
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Re: Volt Meter

I have a amp meter installed on the '68, and early on I did have an incident where the leads behind the gauge touched. Plenty of sparks and smoke!

Towed the car home and easily replaced the wires. But it was my fault for not securing the wires properly. That was 10 years ago, and I'm still using the same Amp meter, checking the connections from time to time, but quite satisfied with it's accurate readings and health of the battery/charging relationship.

The caviat with the amp meters is what everybody else is stating....Make sure all is tight, insulated and safe.

Joe G.
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