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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Smiths water temp gauge has crapped out. It will barely creep off the stop (40C). Is there any way to repair mechanical gauges? I checked the thermostat and it's fine. Stuck the temp sender in boiling water and it reads 45C.

Say I have to replace the gauge, what other make of gauge can I replace the Smiths with that looks the same (270 degree sweep, Centrigrade scale). I don't really want to put another Smiths gauge in that might crap out again after 2 years.

Any experience / help would be appreciated.
 

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You could check with Nisonger about getting the gauge repaired, they are the main distributor in the US. If you do a search, somebody posted a contact person who helped him out for some problem. Dont remember the name now.

The autometers Cobra (FFR calls em vintage) looks pretty close, although they do say "Autometer made in the usa 2002" on them somewhere. Not sure if you mind the small difference, but thats as good as it gets as far as an alternative.

Finishline should be able to sell you a single Autometer gauge and Nisongers sells single Smiths.

Lukas
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Lukas. I optioned the gauges from FFR but I think they get them from Nisonger anyway. I will try calling Nisonger and see if I get the 'helpful' employee or the 'pissy' one. If I strike out there I will definitely call Finishline, I know I'll get good service there. I don't mind buying a new gauge, and I can live with the Autometer gauge face although I might investigate swapping the Smiths gauge face onto the Autometer gauge if the gauge is easy to get apart.

Anyone else?
 

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The smiths gauges usually die when either the capillary tube get's injured or if the solder seal at the sending unit breaks when tightening or untightening the set screw. Even the slightest twisting of the sending unit in relation to the capillary tube will damage it. They are usually scrap after this happens according to Nisonger back when they had helpful and pleasant people answering the phone.(not the case with my last call to them)
You can make a pretty close gauge by getting an autometer gauge painting the needle white with a black center and using the trim ring from the old smiths gauge. I've done this with both boost and fuel pressure gauges and they look pretty close to the other gauges.
 

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Mike, I have Smith gages for about four years now with no problems with eather the water or oil temp gage. I did have a problem with the speedo and Nisonger replaced the reversing mechanism for free.
Ergie
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bob

I would appreciate the number for APT. Thanks.

cobramd.

I have been extremely careful with the sender and there is no obvious damage to the capilliary tube. Of course that probably doesn't mean much at this point. I am leaning towards taking a Autometer, VDO, or Stewart Warner gauge and trying to rebuild it using the Smiths face, needle and bezzle. What style Autometer gauges did you use?

Jim

The rest of my Smiths gauges work just fine. Except for the marginal lighting. I think I've killed this one though. Even the oil temp gauge still works and that one was a bear to get into the oil pan. If I had to bet on wounding the tube on either the water or the oil gauge I would've bet on the oil gauge. Guess that's why I haven't won the lottery yet :D
 

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Mike this is the number for APT Instruments (952)881-7095 addres is 9632 Humboldt Ave S Bloomington MN 55431
There Web sight is www.gaugeguys.com
Email [email protected]

Thease guy's know there stuff! Thay can put a new capillary tube on your gauge if it needs it.
I have seen some of the stuff that people bring in to them thats all rusty with no needles or numbers left,but they clean them up resilk screen the face,and make new needles and they look as good as new.APT is also a Smith instrument dealer so check them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Bob. I'll look into what it might cost to have them R&R my gauge.

Just tried their website..... They need a serious server (or ISP) upgrade. That's the slowest site I've visited for a long time. I'll just give them a call.

[ July 19, 2004, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: Mike Noyes ]
 

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Mike I've been using the Autometer Z-series 2 1/16" gauges the only changes I make are to repaint the orange needle to white with a black hub. The smith's chrome bezels fit perfectly around the gauge and you can reuse the autometer glass.
 
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