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Ricky_Bobby

Important Vs Non Important Gauges

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Hey Guys,

So I am slowly trying to get my 33 ready for some motorsport this year, being a novice to this I dont want to rush in and buy a heap of instruments that wont serve much purpose or have any real benefit above what the standard GTST cluster gives.

I think the no brainer one is my autometer boost gauge, I was then thinking of getting the matching Oil Pressure and Air Fuel ratio. The oil pressure because of the threads I am reading about RB series motors having issues with track work, then Air Fuel ratio just to make sure I am not leaning out.

Would you agree ? , or do you think I dont need these, do need these, need more gauges ?

I dont want to end up with a dash full of stuff I cant read whilst driving or end up with gauges showing me things that the stock cluster does fine, or even things I dont really need to know.

But in saying that, would hate to blow up a perfectly good RB25DET for the sake of not knowing I was running to lean etc.

What are your thoughts ?

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Whilst I have some bias here, I would suggest that you install a data logger and a display unit that will report and record what you want, as well as being able to show you what is happening over a longer period than any gauge will do. When you compare the costs of most loggers/displays they are not that greater than a comprehensive set of quality gauges.

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I wouldn't bother with af ratio particularly with a narrow band sensor.

Oil pressure maybe but a simple hob switch connected to a big red light is much easier to use and be warned by

Water temp and oil temp. Same as pressure though a preset temp switch and warning light is more appropriate and easier.

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I'd always run:

oil pressure - so you can see when it's dead

water temp - because things go wrong and can kill your motor

oil temp - will help you understand if your sessions are too long, or if you need more cooling

voltage - very helpful to spot niggling issues or to tell you if your alternator dies or the belt has been lost

fuel pressure - because anything going wrong here makes it go bang. Also good for troubleshooting (eg dead pump, stuffed reg, wrong base pressure, running out of fuel at high revs, tank empty)

Don't bother with

AFR - you'll never get to check it when the action is happening. Only useful for tuning, and every dyno has one anyway

boost - unless it is a peak gauge like on a lot of boost controller, you will never see what the boost is while you are driving - it all happens too fast.

exhaust temp - useless in every way. unless you have 6 of them and you are on a dyno.

Best thing by far is to run a dash and logger, seems expensive up front but yout get so much more for your money. Plus you do it once

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I'm going to go against the grain here. All those things the others have listed are all perfectly legitimate ideas for a race car or something seriously built that sees alot of track use. For a novice starting out, you don't NEED any of it. You certainly don't need data logging or a fancy expensive dash.

The first gauge I would fit is water temp. Coolant system is the most likely thing to give you problems. If your car gets too hot, you'll be likely to get some knock if the thing is making a bit of power. Or if it does drop the coolant and overheat, the first thing your likely to know about it is when you see steam - by then it could be too late. I prefer the thermocouple gauges as they do not introduce more points of failure like those GReddy style in-line hose adapters do. They also have audible alarms that are user-defineable so you don't even have to keep an eye on the gauge - just concentrate on what you are doing until you hear the alarm. And they're not expensive. I put one in every car I own - my Patrol, my daily Soarer as well as track cars - for the same reason, normally the first you know about your car overheating is when its already too late.

Oil press and temp - there's heaps of GTST's doing track days with great longevity. Oil temps are pretty closely related to water temps anyway. If you're really worried, fit an oil cooler. After that there's nothing much you can really do, so why worry about it? Its track days and sprints probably doing 5 laps at a time, not racing around for half an hour...

With pressure - unless something serious goes wrong, you're not really going to have a problem. And if something serious does go wrong, even a big red idiot light is normally not going to save your engine.

I've been sprinting various cars for the last 12 years or more without any engine dramas. And only 1 of them has even had an oil cooler - and only because it was there when I bought the car. Best insurance is to use a decent full synthetic oil IMO. And that does not mean you need Royal Purple or any of those brands with big internet rep points. Just a full syn Castrol or Valvoline has always been fine for my cars.

Don't worry about buying all the gear - just make sure the car is in good mechanical condition (particularly hoses and brakes), do the usual RB25 prep things and get out there and have fun. Leave the fancy dashes and dataloggers to the race cars.

Edited by hrd-hr30

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I'm going to go against the grain here. All those things the others have listed are all perfectly legitimate ideas for a race car or something seriously built that sees alot of track use. For a novice starting out, you don't NEED any of it. You certainly don't need data logging or a fancy expensive dash. The first gauge I would fit is water temp. Coolant system is the most likely thing to give you problems. If your car gets too hot, you'll be likely to get some knock if the thing is making a bit of power. Or if it does drop the coolant and overheat, the first thing your likely to know about it is when you see steam - by then it could be too late. I prefer the thermocouple gauges as they do not introduce more points of failure like those GReddy style in-line hose adapters do. They also have audible alarms that are user-defineable so you don't even have to keep an eye on the gauge - just concentrate on what you are doing until you hear the alarm. And they're not expensive. I put one in every car I own - my Patrol, my daily Soarer as well as track cars - for the same reason, normally the first you know about your car overheating is when its already too late. Oil press and temp - there's heaps of GTST's doing track days with great longevity. Oil temps are pretty closely related to water temps anyway. If you're really worried, fit an oil cooler. After that there's nothing much you can really do, so why worry about it? Its track days and sprints probably doing 5 laps at a time, not racing around for half an hour... With pressure - unless something serious goes wrong, you're not really going to have a problem. And if something serious does go wrong, even a big red idiot light is normally not going to save your engine. I've been sprinting various cars for the last 12 years or more without any engine dramas. And only 1 of them has even had an oil cooler - and only because it was there when I bought the car. Best insurance is to use a decent full synthetic oil IMO. And that does not mean you need Royal Purple or any of those brands with big internet rep points. Just a full syn Castrol or Valvoline has always been fine for my cars. Don't worry about buying all the gear - just make sure the car is in good mechanical condition (particularly hoses and brakes), do the usual RB25 prep things and get out there and have fun. Leave the fancy dashes and dataloggers to the race cars.

Pretty sound advice I think, I will concentrate on keeping the car mechanically A1 and go with a water temp alert.

If it gets more serious , down the track I will look into more advanced monitoring, data logging etc.

Harry what units do you use for the water temp alarm ? , am I looking at much $ for them ?

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ebay - engine gaurdian $129

they can also control thermo fans with user defined on/off temps.

some models monitor oil pressure as well.

Edited by hrd-hr30

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My 2 cents.

I've got water temp (with warning light and buzzer), oil pressure, oil temp (light and buzzer also) and I sit my SAFC on a single large readout of knock. I've also got boost on the A pillar as it came in the car and a wideband readout on the steering column as the original dyno I had free use of didn't have one (does now) and I do some road tuning.

In the thick of the action, I'd be lucky to really look at any of them and have found that the warning light and buzzer are too hard to see (in the centre console) and too had to hear with a helmet on. I'd be better served with a big red light on top of the cluster for each thing.

That said, if the car misbehaves on track (I'm only doing timed laps against myself) OR I'm test and tuning on track each gauge is quite helpful as I can monitor what's happening after each change (if I need to make any). The SAFC (monitoring knock for me), the oil temp and water temp gauges also have peak hold which is helpful to know what the max was during the session.

If the car is in good condition with a healthy cooling system and it's not a hot day or your not doing extended sessions you should be fine. Tyres and brakes will feel it pretty quickly and what you use there also affects how long you can stay out. Once you start using better tyres/pads you will stay out longer and you may want some basic things like a high flow or lower temp thermostat and a basic oil cooler. I fitted both straight up for peace of mind and have never had temp issues at my low power level.

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I'm in the same boat as the op. Wish I had of read that thread on gauges before I ordered 3 autometer gauges yesterday. I decided on oil pressure/temp and boost. I thought since the pfc hand controller has water temp i'd just use that.

The main reason I bought them was to see how many laps I could do before the car got too hot. Mainly just for a quick glance down the straight to see where I'm at. Gauges are replacing the stock 3 in the centre.

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