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Thread: Electric Aftermarket Gauges and Wire Gauge Sizes

  1. #1
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Question Electric Aftermarket Gauges and Wire Gauge Sizes

    Hey All,

    So this is probably a stupid question. I installed a SunPro electric Temperature gauge and it basically shows a steady 210 degrees. The last car I had that had a temp gauge that had the actual temp on it was my '84 Chevy Celebrity. I remember that car used to only stay around 190. It would go up to 210 and then the t-stat would open and it would drop back down. On the Crown Vic, it appears it goes up to 210 and basically stays there. (My '91 Grand Marquis only had the stock cold to hot gauge)

    My question is, I used 14 gauge wire to wire the gauge up. After looking back at the instruction manual, it said to use 18 gauge wire. The gauge seems to work based on resistance to ground. Do you think the difference in wire gauge could be enough to throw the numbers off the gauge or am I over thinking this and that's the right temp it should be showing? If anything, wouldn't the lighter gauge wire have more resistance?

    Thanks,
    -Erik

  2. #2

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    The temp gauge being wired to a sensor should not mind the larger wire size. Resistance is not only wire size but also wire length. I don't think the mfg would know how long you are running the wire to base the temp on a given size and length of wire.

    Sent from my '85 Lincolin Town Car
    Using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    nah, should be fine. There is a very minimal amount of current through that wire. It says to use a skinny wire because there just isn't need or benefit for a fatter one, and skinny wires are easier to route and hide.


    If you want actual numbers, resistance per 1000 feet of 14 AWG is 2 ohms. For 1000 feet of 18AWG its 6.4 ohms. I'm guessing you're probably closer to 10 feet, so you're talking 0.02 ohms vs 0.064 ohms. That sender and guage isn't nearly accurate enough to read the difference in 4 one-hundredths of an ohm.
    Last edited by gadget73; 05-09-2014 at 08:22 AM.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    +1 no issue using fatter wire.

    these cars warm up and stay warm... big iron V8 does that. you have to be in a very cold climate and have the radiator fan be one of those static models to get the temp to drop. Since these have the thermal clutches on the fans, they regulate the temps very well and maintain a constant operating temp very well.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
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    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    If your major cooling components aren't freshy fresh, you might have some minor cooling deficiencies. You could try a 180 degree T-stat and see if it changes. My electric temp gauge in the 85 is usually just under 200, but I don't remember what temp t-stat I have in it...

    Or, it could just be the gauge/sender aren't 100% accurate - 10 degrees of variance wouldn't be surprising for aftermarket stuff.

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    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys! So it looks like I don't have anything to worry about.

    As for the cooling components age, the thermostat is new as of Dec (I believe I put in a Duralast which they have rated as 192 degrees), the hoses are new as well from that time. The water pump is about a year and half old now. Maybe the radiator isn't working at 100% anymore. It's got a small leak in it so I plan on swapping that out down the road anyway. ...or the gauge is just a little off out of the box. lol

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    my 88 runs just under 210 until 95+ temps and then climbs to about 215-220 in heavy traffic in 110+ in august. never gets any higher than that though. so meh. AC can't keep up for crap then, but that's because that car doesn't get any garage time to cool off during the day.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    That sounds about right then. From what I've seen in the current weather, it's been just under 210 steady. I guess I'll probably see a little higher come summer then. No AC here, I don't think I've had AC working in a car since 2006 or so when my '97 Towncar had it charged once before it all leaked out within a month. (Black with black leather interior, it was brutal in the summer)

    I just installed the oil pressure gauge today. It's been showing around 50psi when cold idle and around 25psi on hot idle. (Climbs back up to 50psi once my foot is on the gas). From what I've read, that sounds normal right?

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    BANNED! sxcpotatoes's Avatar
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    Thank goodness someone brought this up. I only put 1000 miles on my hotrod over the winter and turns out when the shop did the timing chain & water pump, the hoses didn't get tightened enough, soo, yeah. Anyway, I didn't have heat so I had them change the thermostat and flush the heater core while they fixed that. Regular mechanic said he had to go back and forth like 6 times and he flushed some scary crud out. The guys he has working there need to be more diligent in their goddamn work.

    Anyway before with old thermostat it would hit 190 steady, but shoot up to 230ish if I drove too fast or accelerated too quickly (because of the loose hose clamps). So now post heater core flush it hits 210 constant and I was a little worried that it was overheating.

    But if I stomp on it or drive with any alacrity it still tries to shoot up around 230, also the coolant levels seem wonky. It was low, then I filled it to hot, then it was low maybe an inch on hot, so I left it & then it's halfway up to hot when the car is sitting cold, unrun.

    Air in the system or what should I be looking for?

    Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited by sxcpotatoes; 05-12-2014 at 07:50 PM.
    ,
    Slicktop '91 GS HO 4.30 rear. '82 Mark VI Tudor HO, '90 F-150 XLT, '62 project Heep, '89 Arizona Waggin' and '88 donor in PA, getting combined.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    it's an HO thing. I have the same temp swings with the Lincoln. Drive like a grandpa and the temps normalize pretty much. At least until I put in the dual core all-aluminum rad. now it barely twitches.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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    BANNED! sxcpotatoes's Avatar
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    So I can beat the ever-loving piss out of it and as long as I don't run it low on coolant or see steam/smoke, I'm good?

    Because a rebuild/347 or fresh 408w stroker is on the wishlist. I may start gathering parts like worked engine block and such cheap from Craigslist after I do some home improvements.



    Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
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    Slicktop '91 GS HO 4.30 rear. '82 Mark VI Tudor HO, '90 F-150 XLT, '62 project Heep, '89 Arizona Waggin' and '88 donor in PA, getting combined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sxcpotatoes View Post
    So I can beat the ever-loving piss out of it and as long as I don't run it low on coolant or see steam/smoke, I'm good?
    Doesn't that apply to any smallblock?
    1990 MGM: $50 E7 heads, HO cam, Holley SysteMAX lower intake, HO upper intake with an Explorer TB. LSC ECM. Lincoln logs into stock dual exhaust. K&N drop in air filter. Wide ratio AOD, 2400 converter with a 3.08 one tire fire out back. Car is less slow now. Then there's the '92 Beater. Dual 2.25" exhaust with shiny tips. Rumbles nice. Super slow. Burns oil too.

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    BANNED! sxcpotatoes's Avatar
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    Well it is running rich because no tune on it and burning oil, nice bluey smoke. 50 psi cold idle 5ish on hot idle.

    Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
    ,
    Slicktop '91 GS HO 4.30 rear. '82 Mark VI Tudor HO, '90 F-150 XLT, '62 project Heep, '89 Arizona Waggin' and '88 donor in PA, getting combined.

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    sounds like you have a marginal radiator. Mine doesn't really move unless I'm beating on it in the summer with the AC on, then it might get to 210. It normally holds steady at 190. If lots of crud was coming out, thats usually an indicator the radiator may be in less than optimal condition, or maybe its a bad fan clutch.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    BANNED! sxcpotatoes's Avatar
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    The rad has been replaced at some point, I've got an electric fan wired to the ignition so it's always running if the car is. Maybe I'll just get one of those $140ish aluminum radiators I saw on Craigslist that are probably $300-500 @ summit

    Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
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    Slicktop '91 GS HO 4.30 rear. '82 Mark VI Tudor HO, '90 F-150 XLT, '62 project Heep, '89 Arizona Waggin' and '88 donor in PA, getting combined.

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    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    My Malibu was twitchy after the 4-core radiator swap. In the summer it would reach 200* and drop down to 170*; then it would go back up again. It would do this for the entire commute. During the summer in traffic it would go up to 220 and after putting it in nuetral, it would drop down to 190*. Winter time was a completely different story with that car. With the radiator blocked, it would be lucky to see 170*. Carb didn't like a cold engine; the good ol' dayz!

    I'd be curious to see where the lopo is during the summer. it gets a bit toasty under the hood.


    Packman

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    my lopo with stock rad and all with AC running and 110F outside sticks right at 212-220 and never gets any hotter. Mechanical fan, thermal clutch in good working order. Have a nice day.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  18. #18
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Same, but with an 85 Vic police radiator. I have underdrive pullies too.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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