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Old 03-06-2020, 09:57 AM   #1
cederholm
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Default tach advice wanted

Hi guys,

I need a tachometer for my 8BA. As I look around, both used and new, what should I be looking for?

Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:58 AM   #2
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Mechanical or electric?
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:00 AM   #3
JSeery
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

And 6v or 12v? Positive or negative ground?
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:21 AM   #4
cederholm
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Yes, that would be helpful - sorry. 12v, positive ground, electrical please.

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

12v and positive ground thatīs a bit odd....normal for 12v is negative ground and then just about anything "normal" -55 and up will work.
You want oldschool finding a used good working tachometer isnīt the hard part...itīs the driverboxes containing corroded batteries thatīs the challenge usually.
What year/style of tach are you aiming for ?
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

If you have 12 volt positive ground, you should consider changing it to negative ground. It's not that hard, is an all-around better deal, and makes finding a tach super easy.

If you have 6 volt positive ground, an outfit called "Westtach" makes them. They are expensive, and in my opinion, "agricultural" looking. If you want the best variety, I make a device that allows you to run any currently available 12 volt negative ground tachometer (from a $10 swap meet special to a $600 Autometer with memory and playback) on 6 volts positive ground.

Then there are always mechanical drive units and you won't have to worry about polarity OR voltage. They are a little difficult to find and pay for.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:28 AM   #7
cederholm
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Correction!!! NEGATIVE ground! ...that is wrong with me today?
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

The best ones are the Sun tachs. You need the tach and the sender. I see them at swap meets, or try Bob Masters at 859-441-5119
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Now that we have established that you are 12 volt negative ground, the field is wide open. I'd go to Amazon and find one I like. You can get big ones, little ones, black face, white face, modern, classic, digital, etc. etc. and be hard-pressed to pay over $50.

With all due respect to Mr superreal, a Sun with a sender box would be a pretty poor choice in your situation. Sure, they show up at swap meets, but the controller boxes are usually full of corroded batteries and useless. You can have them repaired, or even have modern "guts" put in them, but that usually runas to several hundred dollars. It might be a viable situation if you are building a real high-end car, but for a driver? Not a good choice.

Last edited by tubman; 03-06-2020 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

The driver boxes if you find a good one...they use mercury batteries that was very good in keeping a constant voltage through itīs entire life...you put in a normal battery of today the tach will go from between above to below what it should read as the battery goes weak.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Usually some on the HAMB>
Paul in CT
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

I went with an electric 12 volt negative ground VDO tach for my basically stock 8ba in my '39 p/u since it only went to 4 grand. Most of the traditional looking hot rod tachs were 8 or 10 grand. With a tach like that on a flathead the needle is on the far left side of the dial. With the 4 grand tach I have it reads just about in the middle of the dial while driving.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:28 PM   #13
Charlie ny
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

I guess I'm the cheap skate here.......I used a SUN tach clone that just runs off the .
coil. I blacked out the modern script logo on the dial and it looks absolute vintage.
It goes to 8 grand but rarely even sees 6.

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Old 03-07-2020, 05:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

I'm with you Charlie, except I don't even black out the script! Here's what I got in my '51. I think a 6K tach looks more appropriate than an 8K on an older car, but you can find those too. I've one a ton of work with the newer "motor" tachs and find all of them just about "right on". Of course, you can spend 3 times as much and get a "Mooneyes".
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

I wanted a tach just to check rpm's at speed and not so much for everyday use. As I didn't need a vintage looking one I purchased this off on ebay. $39 and it seems to work perfectly. They come without a case but I found that it fit into PVC plumbing pipe perfectly so I made a PVC case and standoff.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

^^^^^ That's what I'm talkin' about; 6K range (5K might be better, 4K is not enough) and plain , straightforward white letters on a black face. I'll bet they make black numbers on a white face, which I might try on this car to better match the existing gauges. There are some purists out there that might hassle you about the brand name, but the're probably posers anyhow.
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:21 AM   #17
cederholm
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Very helpfully all. Thank you.


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Old 03-08-2020, 07:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

Just my thoughts; for a Sun tack head 'meter' you may need the so called football
style '0 to 4,ooo' rpms just right for a 8BA then you need the Sun sender 8 cylinder the
common EB9 . The sender has two weird volt mercury batteries impossible to find, but
it will work ok with common duracells. The sender doesn't care about pos or neg cause
it gets triggered by the points, it has its own power supply= batteries. Many senders on
Ebay and a lot of NOS in the box but pricey. Many trucks and busses back in the 8BA
days were infact 12vt pos ground . I am working with a Sun super rare, that has road
speed with indicated rpm speed. Its from a 1949 Clipper Coach. The sender needs a
couple of capacitors that I can not find, or take a loan and have the sender converted..
Also the tack has a red line at 3200 rpms and that says 65 miles per hour.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

This is a period looking new tach. I have one but have not used it.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/bgs-fst8050

John
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: tach advice wanted

I don't believe that a 4K tach is adequate, unless you are the most gentle driver out there. 5K is more appropriate, and if you have modified your engine at all, 6K will be required. I have seen over 5000 RPM with my 258" engine several times.
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