Modern digital gauges: A better way to monitor our Mustang?

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Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Feb 19, 2024 | Ford, Mustang, Vintage Racing, Prosport, Vintage Race Car

Our Mustang needed some gauges. Gotta know what’s going on under the hood, right?

Prosport Gauges is a newer customer here at GRM, so we thought we should give them a try.

These modern digital gauges are reasonably priced at an average of about $60 each and are easy to install. The gauge harness is daisy chained with a jumper harness, so you don’t need to keep running individual grounds for each gauge. You can run one wire for power and a second wire for switch power.

We have an oil pressure, oil temp, coolant temp, voltmeter, fuel level and a tach.

Our fuel pressure gauge is under the hood as fuel pressure isn’t adjustable on the fly. If we have problems, we can open the hood and diagnose.

The gauges are also nicely lit when the car is on and blacked out when the power is off. While these gauges are great for a street car, in a race car they are a bit tough to read.

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DavyZ New Reader
2/19/24 1:27 p.m.

Just a suggestion--include a photo in a dimly lit room illustrating the face what we may see in the car.  I suppose you thought one of your photos would include this but then realized what you had wasn't adequate--I know, things happen.  Still, you could include a shot of them illuminated for a future article! yes

300zxfreak Reader
2/20/24 7:18 a.m.

In reply to DavyZ :

Exactly right

cholmes New Reader
2/20/24 1:36 p.m.

My company sells fuel pumps for classic cars, and we deal with fuel pump and pressure questions from customers almost daily. The number one thing we tell them in troubleshooting fuel systems is to have a fuel pressure gauge that you can read WHILE DRIVING. It is very common to have perfect fuel pressure at rest with the hood up, only to have it plummet when flooring it while driving. Just a thought. Also, the cool looking liquid filled gauges are very sensitive to underhood heat, reading lower as they get hotter even if the pressure is steady......

philacarguy New Reader
2/20/24 2:17 p.m.

I'm with cholmes.  I have a fuel pressure gauge in my race car, and I refer to it regularly. It confirms I've got fuel at least to the engine compartment - the gauge is on the regulator on the firewall, next stop carbs.  I can refer to it if there are every running issues on the track.  Also, my Triumph GT6 does not like a hot restart with hot fuel in the float bowls sitting above the exhaust header, so I routinely shut off the fuel pump when I get to the grid, watch the pressure drop to zero and let the engine run for a few minutes after to make room for fresh fuel on a restart.  

also - fuel level in a fuel cell?  Did not know there was a way to monitor that.  Tell us more.

dnospamplease New Reader
2/20/24 3:36 p.m.

All I see is five mirrors. Possibly convex smoked glass. Look to be tough to read in a street car also.

BimmerMaven Reader
2/20/24 6:25 p.m.

back when "digital" meant "displays a number", some testing reportedly showed that it took more time to interpret while driving.

it was also seen i in some race cars that the gauges were rotated such that "normal" was straight up (12:00).....a quick glance at a cluster told a lot.


what we really need is an Arduino Copliot to process the info and then present only interesting info, such as "oil pressure out of range for RPM and Temp" or "oil pressure transient drop when right turn over 0.7g x 5 seconds".

jerel77494 New Reader
2/21/24 9:51 a.m.

Analog gauges might be better. Rotate the gauge so the needle is straight up when it's showing a normal reading. That way you can tell at a glance if things are ok.

Wicked93gs Reader
2/21/24 12:24 p.m.

I have always hated digital gauges. The only gauge I use that is digital is AFR, where I can get a more accurate read on a quick glance....or where space is limited and the gauge is purely auxiliary like vacuum or clock, etc. For precision readings, you are far better off datalogging it and reviewing afterward.

mr2peak GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/23/24 1:45 p.m.

This is why i like my FuelTech FT550 so much. Dash, ECU all in one and can be configured to display anything I want.

rb92673 New Reader
2/23/24 3:03 p.m.

For a track car...

Gauges are great if you actually look at them.  I prefer idiot lights that are giant and super bright with gauges as a backup.  Even better, logging of everything so if there is a problem you can see the history leading up to it and have a better idea whats broke.  Even more better, transmitting that data to the pit so that someone else can review the data and the driver can concentrate on driving.

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