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  • Ammeter or Voltmeter

    This has been talked about in the past but I think it should be shouted out. There maybe a thread on this but i could not find it. If there is, just point to it for continued discussion.

    I saw this and loved the quote. AndyPaine said
    I also second the idea of changing out the Ammeter for a Voltmeter. In my mind it was purely a matter of safety; 40 amps running through the cabin just sounds like a bad idea. I've got a 1970 with the down swept needles and when I changed it, out I used a Voltmeter from an Austin Mini. It's a Smiths gauge so I think is looks more "original" then the original Lucas unit.
    I don't think it can be said any better. And that is why the later cars have voltmeters instead, for safety.

    I tossed the ammeter and changed to a voltmeter when the engine conversion was done. West Valley is changing the face of my "down sweep" Smiths voltmeter to look original and match the other gauges. All you late model guys have nothing to worry about.
    Best Therapy
    http://www.britishv8.org/Triumph/AlbertGary.htm
    Zoom Zoom

  • #2
    I fully agree about not wanting high currents behind the dash. One alternative is a remote shunt. The shunt would be in The engine compartment, and would carry the bulk of the current. A precise fraction of the current goes to the dash gauge. The thing im not sure about is if the Smiths ammeters can be modified for a remote shunt.

    Ed
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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    • #3
      No matter amp gauge or voltmeter, the harness runs through the cabin, so the main wire is there.I changed my amp meter to a voltmeter as a problem with the amp meter could cut all power to important stuff.An ampmeter is better for watching for problems but more risk if it shorts out

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      • #4
        Ditto. I changed my ammeter out to a period correct Smith’s voltmeter with a downsweep needle bought off ebay U.K. For the reasons others have posted but also because I have upgraded the alternator and the ammeter didn’t read right anymore.
        72 Pimento w/overdrive - Lilred
        67 4A Royal Blue - Lilblue

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        • #5
          I thought about adding an ammeter IN ADDITION to the voltmeter, just because i like a lot gauges. But I was persuaded not to by members here who pointed out the drawbacks mentioned above.
          It was installed but not hooked up for awhile It's been replaced by a cylinder head temp gauge.
          CF1634U+O Pimento/Chestnut
          2nd owner, since 1975
          Now in Fair Oaks, CA

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          • #6
            I have a '72 with an AAW wiring kit installed. When I did the re-wiring I just left the ammeter in the dash but not connected. I have an old Veglia voltmeter that I can replace it with (although not downsweep needle), but after reading the instructions for the AAW wiring kit and Dan Masters' electrical book, I am curious about another option mentioned. It appears you can replace the original ammeter (which is only designed to read 30 amps) with a new ammeter that can read up to 60 amps. The idea being that you can retain the functionality of an ammeter, which has some advantages over a voltmeter, with your upgraded alternator and not have to worry about too much current overwhelming the original ammeter and having one that reads correctly for your alternator.

            Any thoughts on this?

            I bought a cheap 60 amps ammeter ($8) on ebay just so I have both and can go either direction once I make a decision.

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            • #7
              You can and likely it will work but open up the old ammeter and take a look at what’s in there and then think about all the current going through it in an unfused circuit behind the dash. Not the easiest place to get with a fire extinguisher. Something to consider in your pros and cons. I got a downsweep Smith’s period correct voltmeter off eBay U.K. for about $20 and installed it, never looked back or missed the ammeter.
              72 Pimento w/overdrive - Lilred
              67 4A Royal Blue - Lilblue

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              • #8
                Thanks for the quick response lmfTR4, I had been leaning towards the voltmeter and that solidifies it for me. I'll use the old Veglia one that I have and maybe down the road I can get one of the Smiths downsweep needle ones.

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                • #9
                  Like I said, there are period correct ones out there for a few bucks. Search eBay for Smiths Voltmeter and you'll find them

                  Here is the one I used


                  72 Pimento w/overdrive - Lilred
                  67 4A Royal Blue - Lilblue

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                  • #10
                    Quick search on eBay and I cannot find that downsweep Smiths voltmeter for less than $90!

                    Maybe I should check eBay UK?

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                    • #11
                      That's where I got mine but make sure the seller is willing to ship to the U.S. before you bid. I found a couple of sellers that didn't until I found one that did if I paid the difference which was a few bucks.
                      72 Pimento w/overdrive - Lilred
                      67 4A Royal Blue - Lilblue

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                      • #12
                        In recent months the shipping between USA & UK has been very iffy.
                        Twice I shipped 1lb orders to the UK (1st Class Mail)- one took 7 weeks, the other slightly less.

                        E-Bay took the money out of my bank for a month because one buyer complained. Finally, when the package was received, they refunded my money.

                        It was far more stressful than the sale was worth. I can understand why UK seller's won't ship to USA.
                        Walt
                        CC80954U '72 TR6 original condition/sold 16.500.
                        poolboy rebuilt the Z-S Carbs. Philstr6 rebuilt both rear hubs.

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                        • baws
                          baws commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That's a bummer Walt. Knock wood, I've had no issues with stuff coming accross the pond. If anything, products seem to arrive faster from the UK than from say, places like Florida?

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