Damn thing anyway!
Back a couple weeks ago now when it seemed that my rig was running hot all of a sudden, one of the first things that went through my mind was the very distinct possibility that the dash gauge, which has never really worked right from the day I got the thing, was lying to me.
All of this bullshit I have been going through was my reaction to what it was reading was based on, what it was reading.
After I had the fan clutch go bad a few years ago and it did overheat several times, it just didn’t seem to me that it was actually running hot.
When that fan clutch went out, it was in late July and it was a hundred freaking degrees outside. It literally got so hot it started losing power on it’s way to seizing up at one point.
So this recent episode had me replacing the fan clutch yet again and the thermostat also.
The thing never smelled hot but the temperature gauge had always read well below the “Normal” section in the middle of the gauge and all at once it is reading right in the middle of that and above.
“Normal” on this thing says 220 degrees right on the gauge.
I ain’t never liked that from the get go.
When I replaced the thermostat the other day I put a 180 degree model in the thing.
Driving it around a few days I could watch the gauge fluctuating from about the 200 degree mark to that 220 mark and above.
Yeah, Sum Ting Wong heah.
As I was stewing on this issue yesterday and working on the wife’s hoopty I had the garage door open and happened to spy a good old fashioned, brand freaking new, 3 gauge set that I had bought last year just for this damn reason and had buried it behind some shit.
So today I dug that out, did some placement simulations, drilled a couple screw holes up under the dash and mounted the gauge frame. Then I did some more looking around and used a small hole saw to cut a hole in the firewall just big enough to get the temperature probe and the cinch down nut through there and mounted the mechanical gauge up under the dash. I found an appropriate rubber grommet for the hole and installed that and then filled it all up with that Right Stuff black silicone in a Cheeze Whiz can. Then I went out looking at the engine for a suitable place to install the sending unit. There was an old thermo/vacuum switch out next to the thermostat that has been broken off for years and was basically just a plug at this point so I pulled that out. It looked like 3/8’s pipe thread and so did the sending unit nut. Convenient, no?
Yes and NO.
The bulb for the sending unit was so long that it hit the bottom of the manifold well before the nut would even start in the threads.
So I dug through my crap and found a close nipple that the bulb would fit through and test fit that in the hole. Then I needed a coupler to thread the nut into.
Much searching came up empty so I ran up and bought a couple Brass ones with a hex in the middle so I could use a socket on to tighten it up with because there is all kinds of shit in the way.
Got that put in, stuck the sender down it, plenty of room and then hand started the cinching nut. It went all the way to the end by hand and didn’t even come close to pinching the sending unit so it would seal up. More fucking around now. I wound up cutting down the brand new Brass coupler so that the sending unit flange would hit the short nipple end and then started the cinching nut. Now I am having to use a 16mm wrench to tighten it and that ain’t working for shit because I have to stick it down in there at an angle.
I dug through my box, got out my Snap On metric tubing wrench set, moved some hoses out of my way and tightened that bitch down. Then I fired it up, had to adjust the idle up just a hair and let it run.
Of course the Old Man across the street couldn’t stand it and had to come over to see what I was doing and pitch me a mild ration of shit right in the middle of all of this.
I’m tellin’ ya, it’s like clockwork.
I let it run for several minutes while me and Ol’ Grumpy shot the shit and he finally decided nothing real exciting was going on and went home.
Then I buttoned everything up and remembered I needed to put some gas in the sonofabitch so that worked as a nice test run.
The old gauge was reading 200-230ish there and back.
The new gauge hit 180 and stayed there.
Fucking thing has been lying to me this whole time.
After I put 9 1/2 gallons of gas in a 10 gallon tank, it had sat long enough to heat soak a bit and when I got back in it, the new gauge read 200, as did the old one, when I first started it back up.
Half a block back down the road and the new gauge went right back to 180 while the old one did what it started in doing out of the blue a couple weeks ago.
I still have the other two gauges to get hooked up and everything secured and then wire it up so it lights up when I turn the lights on but I can do that shit later.
I am just tickled I finally exorcized that damn ghost.