Author Topic: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges  (Read 16958 times)

jeff68

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Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« on: March 30, 2015, 09:02:29 PM »
I have the factory console gauges in my 68.  I would like to install a volt meter in place of the factory ammeter.  I see 2 different volt meters available; one made by American AutoWire for about $120, and one by Classic Headquarters for about $80.  The CHQ is supplied as the gauge only, while I think the AAW one comes with wiring & instructions.  Not positive about country of origin, but CHQ stuff is usually made overseas and I think I saw somewhere that the AAW gauge was made in the USA.  Obviously, I'd like to purchase the best quality gauge, regardless of price.

Does anyone have experience with either of these volt meters?

Thanks,
Jeff
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 03:06:53 PM »
I think I have decided to go with the AAW voltmeter.

If anyone has any input, please let me know.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 03:35:11 PM by jeff68 »
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 07:42:16 PM »
The AAW looks great and appears to have a dampened movement like the fuel gauge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzapw98Orjc
Though his explanation for switching to volt is somewhat flawed. An amp gauge knows nothing of or could care less about alternator capacity or the load the alternator has to support.
A voltmeter is more informative, but I do like my 'steam gauges'   :)
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55

jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 12:12:54 PM »
A voltmeter is more informative..
Agreed.  That is one of my reasons for switching to it.

I actually received the gauge.  It is a gauge made by Classic Instruments, and it is packaged in a AAW box.  The face of the gauge was bent & dented, apparently from lack of adequate packing by the manufacturer, so back it goes.  Another one is on its way.  Hopefully it is in better shape, but if they are all packed the same way it might not be any better.
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 04:36:10 PM »
Now that's just annoying!  >:(
A delicate instrument in a light weight cardboard box [I assume] - ok for pick-up, woefully inadequate for posting.

Do they give you an insulated link to push into the original ammeter connector? Would be good for maintaining a 'no modification' setup so you or anyone else can always revert back to the ammeter in the future.
Then simply run a wire from a pink wired stud [only hot when ign. is on or start - temp or fuel gauge pink] to the +ve side of the volt meter and another wire from -ve of meter to ground.
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55

jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 05:29:37 PM »
You mean something to put into the existing ammeter plug to isolate it?  If so, then no they don't provide anything.
My intention is to isolate/insulate the existing ammeter plug so I don't make any permanent modifications, then wire it as you suggested.
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 05:57:56 PM »
Yes, exactly that, but not only to isolate/insulate, but to join the two ammeter wires together again.
I guess you could make your own link from a piece of heavy gauge wire with a male spade crimped to each end, but there may still be some bare metal showing which would need to be insulated, perhaps some heatshrink at each end covering over any bare spade that might be showing?
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55

69pace

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 06:12:21 PM »
AAW has the wire harness built into their classic update product line. I do not see the ammeter to volts conversion harness on-line. Maybe they never made one.
1969 Z-11 350/300 with 4 Speed
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jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 08:07:45 PM »
Yes, exactly that, but not only to isolate/insulate, but to join the two ammeter wires together again.
I guess you could make your own link from a piece of heavy gauge wire with a male spade crimped to each end, but there may still be some bare metal showing which would need to be insulated, perhaps some heatshrink at each end covering over any bare spade that might be showing?
It is my understanding that I can simply unplug the existing ammeter.  Why would I need to join the 2 wires going to the ammeter?  Remember, this is a factory ammeter, which isn't a 'traditional' ammeter.
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 01:12:06 AM »
Yes, exactly that, but not only to isolate/insulate, but to join the two ammeter wires together again.
I guess you could make your own link from a piece of heavy gauge wire with a male spade crimped to each end, but there may still be some bare metal showing which would need to be insulated, perhaps some heatshrink at each end covering over any bare spade that might be showing?
It is my understanding that I can simply unplug the existing ammeter.  Why would I need to join the 2 wires going to the ammeter?  Remember, this is a factory ammeter, which isn't a 'traditional' ammeter.
Ah ok, it depends on where the shunt is located. Usually ammeters have the shunt built into them or bolted down across the terminals were the wires connect, but looking at the circuit diag. the shunt may be a length of harness link wire in the engine bay. Would make sense otherwise heavier wires would have to have been run to the orig. ammeter.
If that's the case then the ammeter can be simply disconnected - no need to join wires together - they're already joined together via the external shunt. The ammeter is actually a voltmeter measuring the millivolts dropped across the shunt.
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55

jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 02:23:49 AM »
I installed the new AAW volt gauge tonight.  Fairly simple install.  Works as expected.  The face of the gauge is slightly less 'brushed' than the originals, which is fairly evident when on the workbench under plenty of fluorescent light.  Luckily, it isn't too noticeable when installed in the car and I bet 99% of people looking at the car wouldn't even notice.
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2015, 01:01:02 PM »
Good stuff!! We mere mortals demand pictures!!  :)
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55

jeff68

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 04:43:49 PM »
^^Funny.  I went out to the garage late last night and figured I'd just check things out and put together a plan for swapping the gauge this weekend.  Next thing I know, I'm coming out of some sort of time warp and everything is done.  Not one picture taken.
68 L30/M20 Convertible, Ash Gold
N10, F41, N34, Z21, ZJ9, Z87, D55, G80, P01, U17

My68SS

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Re: Ammeter to Volt Meter Conversion - Console Gauges
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 12:39:02 AM »
Oh that's ok, just a pic or two of the finished assembly - in action - ignition on and/or engine running.
Rob
1968 12C SS
L34/M40
12 bolt posi 3.55