Unless you’re in a late-model car with an electrical glitch, there’s no reason to have jittery gauge needles. Now, I don’t know about you but I like my cars dialed in—literally. I can’t stand gauges that stick—or don’t work—and if gauge needle rotation isn’t smooth it’s enough to make you want to park the car and tear apart the dashboard. This also happens to be a common problem with older classics.

That said, gauges are an important part of your car. They’re responsible for relaying vehicle diagnostics to the driver, and it’s the one part of your car that literally stares back at you while you drive. So when it comes time to update or replace the gauges in your ride, go with a company that needs little to no introduction: Auto Meter.

A trusted brand since 1957, Auto Meter has revolutionized the way racers and vehicle builders think about instrumentation and vehicle electronics. Founded by Vern Westberg, he spent his early days pouring sand castings in his family’s backyard, while his sons would help him assemble products in their basement at night. Since then, the quality and pride they pour into each of their products hasn’t changed and they continue to be the benchmark by which professional racers and top show contenders swear by.

In this tech installment, we decided to replace the gauges on a project bomb and we went with Auto Meter’s two-piece gauge kit. Like most old cars, the gauges in the bomb were shot. Some were nonfunctional, others were too weathered to repair, and we wanted to go with replacement units that sported a classic appeal with a modern soul. To fill that void, we went with a kit from Auto Meter (PN 1803). The kit comes with two gauges: one 5-inch quad gauge (which reads water temp, voltage, oil pressure, and fuel levels), as well as a 5-inch speedometer. Finished in antique beige and an elegant chrome bezel, each of the gauges feature period-correct typeface, and the look, accuracy, and dependability you’ve come to expect from Auto Meter.

Included in the kit is a single-wire 1/8-inch NPT temperature sender and an 1/8-inch NPT oil pressure sender. The voltmeter reads from 8-18 V on negative ground electrical systems and fuel level resistance range is 240 ohms empty to 33 ohms full (compatible with Auto Meter’s 3262 fuel level sender). Installation for the product was really as easy as remove and replace, and our best piece of advice is to take your time.

Product Highlights

  • Traditional, incandescent lighting illuminates around the perimeter of the dial.
  • Kit includes fuel level sender (240E/33F), oil pressure sender, water temperature sender, two-wire hall-effect speed sender that is compatible with GM/Chrysler applications (7/8 inch, 18THD), sending unit adapters (1/4-, 3/8, and 1/2-inch NPT adapters), bulb and socket assemblies, red and green bulb covers, mounting hardware, and detailed instructions for installation.
  • Auto Meter’s race-proven air-core electric instruments provide quick and accurate readings while keeping hazardous fluids outside of the vehicle.
  • 12- and 16V compatible with nearly every street or race car’s electrical system.
  • Speedometer has a simple push button, 2-mile drive calibration. No dip switches and can be reprogramed at any time to accommodate changes in gear ratio or wheel and tire combination.
  • Speedometer is compatible with most two-wire sine wave and three-wire hall-effect vehicle speed sensors.
  • Speedometer features lit LCD odometer capable of registering 1 million miles with two resettable trip odometers.
  • 4 in 1 gauge design saves valuable real estate on your dash while allowing you to monitor critical parameters.
Old gauged out
Old gauged out
Classic appeal, modern instrument of soul
Classic appeal, modern instrument of soul