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Gauge Replacement

By Pat McAuliffe

       If you have a '36 Low Cab through '39 truck, and you want to replace your old 6-volt gauges with 12-volt gauges that can accommodate a modern alternator (one with enough amperage to use a voltmeter vs ammeter), and an oil pressure gauge that reads in excess of 30 psi, you can use instruments from a Datsun 260Z. It's especially interesting because the gauges are "siamesed" like the originals, and fit the dash perfectly (NO CUTTING). You can even use the chrome bezel trim rings and lenses off the originals and fit them to the 260Z gauges.

       The speedometer mechanism will fit into the original housing, if you do a minor amount of extra work. I haven't got my truck going yet, so the instruments are in my inventory and ready to test, but have not yet been fully checked out. The other fellow complained that the fuel gauge read backwards, but I suspect he was using a Chevy sender. I think the Ford (F-word again) senders are reverse tuned, and should work well.

       I looked all over for gauges that were siamesed, and would fit. I was ready to pay almost any price, but must admit I was reluctant to go the $500-$600 that was being asked to restore and upgrade mine. I saw these white on black gauges in the other fellow's 36 pick-up at the '98 Grand National Roadster Show in San Francisco and spent most of my evening hunting him down to find out where they came from. They were not only exactly what I was looking for but they were junk-yard cheap.

       I hope someone else can use this tip.

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