Auxiliary gauges should be installed
to provided added monitoring of your vehicle. If you do decide to install
gauges, buy the best you can afford. There are brands of gauges that will
look pretty. Bottom line is you want your gauges to be accurate; looks
should be secondary.
You have a choice of mechanical or electronic for
most of these gauges. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Only you can make the decision on which type will work for you.
A mechanical gauges requires a physical connection, whether it be a hose or
(capillary) tube, to be connected from the engine to the gauge itself. The
hose needs to be run through the firewall - most gauge are mounted inside the
vehicle. Mechanical gauges are typically cheaper than their electronic
Electronic gauges are usually broken down into two
components. One is the gauge itself, while the other is the sensor or
sender that is installed on the engine. The sensor/sender is physically
connected to the gauge via a wire or a bunch of wires. The gauge gets it's
signal electronically from the sensor/sender via the wire(s). The
eliminates the need to run a hose/tube through the firewall, but you still need
to run the wire(s). Due to the extra complexity of the system, electronic
gauges are typically more expensive than their mechanical counterparts.
Most mechanical gauges will have better resolution due to the fact that
the use a 270° sweep. Most electronic gauges use a 90° sweep. By
having the wider sweep, you get better resolution between the labelled
values. Recently, there are manufacturers who have been making 270° sweep
electronic gauges - SPI Motorsports is one of them. You end up with the
best of both worlds with such a gauge with the 270° sweep resolution and the
(arguably) superior electronic mechanism.
Another issue you might want
to check out is types of illumination. The term "backlit" technically
describes all illuminated gauges, but it's more used to describe backlighting
that shines through the gauge face. True backlit gauges are very pretty at
night, as different color combinations make for a nice display.
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