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Gauge conversion
#1416962 Wed Jul 14 2021 06:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,360
Tiny Offline OP
Ex Hall Monitor
Does anyone have personal experience with a gauge conversion from six volts to 12 volts? I'm aware of resisters being available but my question is about converting the gauge itself to 12 volts. There are tons of companies who advertise but I'm looking for someone who's actually had experience with having it done and can provide first hand feedback. Thanks.


Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.
Name your dog Naked so you can walk Naked in the park.
Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1416985 Wed Jul 14 2021 08:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 634
B
Curmudgeon
On an AD truck, the only gauge to change would be the fuel gauge. I've seen where someone modified a 12 volt donor used-gauge, that was compatible with the original 30 ohm fuel tank level sensor and put an AD decal on it. It worked well and looked original. The thing is you have to contort your body to get up underneath the dash and remove the cluster. But first you have to remove all the other gauge connections and be extra careful with that copper capillary-tube water-temperature sensor that you don't crack or crimp it during removal. You have to remove the chrome bezel around the cluster assembly and not break the glass. Once you have been through that ordeal with added choice words to boot, you will not want to mess around with a modified gauge hoping that it works and continues to work okay. Buy a new gauge that is already made for 12 volts and 30 ohms. This is one situation where if you cheap-out, you may regret it later.

I bought a 50 1/2 ton that had a half a 12 volt conversion job. I corrected the mistakes and bought and installed a new fuel gauge. No resistors or voltage converter needed. Worked well and fuel level sensing was as accurate as original. The guy I bought saw what I did and wanted it back.

Last edited by buoymaker; Thu Jul 15 2021 01:45 PM.
Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1416990 Wed Jul 14 2021 09:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,520
J
'Bolter
The best voltage reducer ever made is the Vol-Ta-Drop, but the company went out of business years ago. If there was more demand, I'd make those today and sell them. It used a simple coil of resistance wire to drop the voltage. Accurate and fail-proof. If you ever see a working one on eBay or elsewhere, it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy it. I have one I got nearly 50 years ago when they sold for $7. It will still be working when dinosaurs return to the earth as long as nobody monkeys with it. I imagine somebody is going to show up and suggest you use the Runtz gizmo. I'm not a fan of that one at all. Converting the gauge itself won't be nearly as easy as you might hope it would be. If this is your hope, you'd be better off making a fuel gauge out of an early 70s pickup fit the AD cluster and swap your 0-30 ohm sender for a 0-90 ohm sender. I may actually have one of those fuel gauges at home. Will look to see if you want when I return. Just send a PM if interested.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1416994 Wed Jul 14 2021 09:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,360
Tiny Offline OP
Ex Hall Monitor
I put a Runtz on it today and it's dead. 12.8v at the input and 0v at the gauge. They said send it back and they'll replace it but most of what I'm reading is that they are crap. If you decide to make some in the next couple of days I'll buy one.


Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.
Name your dog Naked so you can walk Naked in the park.
Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417012 Thu Jul 15 2021 12:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 634
B
Curmudgeon
Hey guys! The man said, "I'm aware of resisters being available but my question is about converting the gauge itself to 12 volts."
That pretty much negates add-on coils, resistors, 3-pin regulators and voltage dropping devices.

Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417016 Thu Jul 15 2021 01:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,124
P
AD Addict
I bought a 12v gas gauge from Classic Parts. Tough to put in, as you need to remove and open the gauge cluster. It works good and I have had no issues with it since.


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
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Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417021 Thu Jul 15 2021 01:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 634
B
Curmudgeon
That makes two of us.

Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417025 Thu Jul 15 2021 01:46 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,366
B
Sir Searchalot
Tiny, I have converted gauges, 6V to 12v. Converted Ammeter to volt meter. It depends what year, the gauge and so on. Basically you keep the face and bezel and replace the meter movement from a new 12V gauge. PM me with what you have. The Runtz or Runtz style or resistor does work.


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Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417041 Thu Jul 15 2021 12:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,360
Tiny Offline OP
Ex Hall Monitor
I put a Runtz on it and it's DOA. Doing some research on the Runtz (of course after I bought and installed one) I discovered they have a high failure rate out of the box. It seems any conversion of the actual gauge would be a challenge. I did, some years ago, own a 55.1 panel that I converted to 12v. It never occurred to me that I might need to protect the gas gauge and I put over 100K on the truck after the conversion with the gas gauge working fine the whole time. Since I now have a much harder time crawling under the dash than I did in 1970 and having read tales of woe from folks who say they've destroyed their gas gauge on 12v, I'm being a bit more cautious about possibly killing mine. I think what I'll do is put a buck converter on the gas gauge, similar to the one I put on the heater motor. They are inexpensive and easy to install. The one on the heater seems to be working great. The one I put on the heater is good up to 10 amps output and the one I ordered for the gas gauge is 2.5 amps which should be more than adequate. Buck converter [ebay.com]


Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.
Name your dog Naked so you can walk Naked in the park.
Re: Gauge conversion
Tiny #1417054 Thu Jul 15 2021 01:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,520
J
'Bolter
Sorry the runtz failed but not surprised. I have a feeling the runtz has become the new Chinese ignition condenser. I'll give this subject some thought when I return home. There are several voltage reducers being sold on eBay and all of them appear to be the same design or a slight variation of it. It does appear to be a valid electronic scheme. If it is working on your heater fan, that is encouraging. The one criticism I had was it might not dissipate heat well enough, but the heater fan uses much more juice than the fuel gauge. Years ago VW decided to continue to use 6v fuel gauges in their 12v Beetles, although not many people knew it. Cost savings? You can decide...they used a voltage reducer similar to a common voltage regulator in the automotive generator circuit. We used to joke about them. Truth was they could have had the coils wound for 12v for a fraction of the cost of that vibrator device.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
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