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Old 08-11-2022, 03:20 PM
ScumOne ScumOne is offline
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Default 69 Bird Stacked Gauge Needle fell off the oil pressure gauge...help!

So I'm almost done with the 69 with the engine upgrades, but when the shop put my Trans Am (aftermarket) dash with stacked gauges back in, the needle for the oil gauge dropped off while I was driving it the other day.

I see that most of these OEM style aftermarket analog gauges have been discontinued in favor of Dakota Digital setups, etc.

Who has experience with this type of gauge/needle failure, and what did you do about it? I'm guessing the gauge needle has to be in the stack, but what's the proper fix for it not doing it again?

Any ideas or help is appreciated. Thanks in advance! Pic of the gauge setup I'm referring to. http://www.scumbackspeakers.com/69bird/69interior1.jpg

Jim

  #2  
Old 08-11-2022, 04:12 PM
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vertigto vertigto is offline
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Hey Jim...can't help with the needle issue, but wanted to say I love your speakers. Catch you on TGP or here.

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Old 08-11-2022, 04:46 PM
Tim john Tim john is offline
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Reach out to Peter Serio at Precision Pontiac in Columbus, Ohio. He should be able to help you out.

Tim john---

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Old 08-11-2022, 04:53 PM
70GS455 70GS455 is offline
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As long as the meter spindle is not broken, the needle should push on the shaft. However, you will not know what the gauge will now read. The needle will now be clocked at some unknown position. Unless you send it to those of us that can calibrate the gauge

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk

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Old 08-11-2022, 05:30 PM
ScumOne ScumOne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70GS455 View Post
As long as the meter spindle is not broken, the needle should push on the shaft. However, you will not know what the gauge will now read. The needle will now be clocked at some unknown position. Unless you send it to those of us that can calibrate the gauge

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk
I called my friend Mike at Speedo 55 in Whittier, Ca. https://www.speedo55check.com/speedometer-repair

The needle is probably still in the gauge. I just need to take the gauge off, position the needle at 0,
then put some Loctite on the spindle and press the needle back onto the spindle. Fairly straightforward fix.

Here's hoping the needle is still in there and not fallen into the abyss!


Last edited by ScumOne; 08-11-2022 at 05:54 PM.
  #6  
Old 08-12-2022, 02:23 PM
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Peter Serio Peter Serio is offline
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Default Gauge failure mode

This is most common failure mode which all 1965 and up GM car gauges have. Your pointer falling off all by itself is a sure sign the internal magnet-coil is out of it's original factory fill buffering fluid. It is only 2 or 3 drops of fluid to start with and after many years it leaks out. Here is a photo of wire windings, of that style gauge. The fluid is inside the very center of the nylon former, you cannot see it.

The fluid serves 2 purposes: 1) as lubrication for the moving parts of the gauge, and 2) it slows down the reaction time of the moving pointer by about one second. This is very important as those electro-magnet coils (key on) are wired to full 12 volts battery +. Once the fluid is no longer in there the pointer will move in "real time" that is too much for the micro-tiny shaft and hub; after a while the pointer gets loose on the end of the shaft, the hub then twists on it's shaft (throwing the gauge completely out of calibration) and then, finally the pointer falls off.

Putting it back on using super-glue or loctite is not really a good way to fix that.

After 50 years this always happens, there is nothing you can do to stop it. Since these cars are all over 50 years old now this can be a real problem, typically for the first 10 or 15 years of the car's life, the fluid stays put. But after many more years, if you drive the car or just let it sit, it does not matter. That fluid will find it's way out.


The cure is one or the other. First determine if the nylon former and wire are both still good. And replace the buffering fluid, or 2 replace the whole magnet-coil with a brand new coil. After you do that the gauge must be tested and re-calibrated using it's sender; either way.
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Last edited by Peter Serio; 08-12-2022 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:57 PM
ScumOne ScumOne is offline
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Peter, thanks so much for the detailed answer. If all else fails I guess pulling the gauge and sending it to Speedo 55 to be rebuilt/calibrated is the other way to get this done. This is an aftermarket gauge setup, not the original. It was sold by Classic Industries in 2010 to the previous owner. Not sure if this makes any difference but I thought it might make a difference.

I have the original paperwork, instructions, etc for that dash package, and the original builder's info (he's in Oregon I believe), so I've got some options to consider closer to AZ.

If all else fails, though, I'll be in touch. Thanks again for your help!

Jim

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Old 08-12-2022, 03:05 PM
Tim john Tim john is offline
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FYI, Pete is excellent at restoring these gauges so you have options, if you were not aware.

Tim john---

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Old 08-12-2022, 04:45 PM
ScumOne ScumOne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertigto View Post
Hey Jim...can't help with the needle issue, but wanted to say I love your speakers. Catch you on TGP or here.
You know, I'm going to see Billy Idol and Steve Stevens tonight. Here's a pic of the 2010 tour opening night in Moscow. The "Ray Gun" cab in the background is one of three I built for Steve.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2022, 09:04 AM
Mook Mook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim john View Post
FYI, Pete is excellent at restoring these gauges so you have options, if you were not aware.

Tim john---
I second that QUOTE!!!!!!!!

  #11  
Old 08-25-2022, 12:42 PM
ScumOne ScumOne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mook View Post
I second that QUOTE!!!!!!!!
I've already exchanged multiple emails with Pete. I just received my 69 Firebird 400 & Trans Am Assembly book. I wanted that since the stacked gauge wiring, etc isn't included in the 69 Bird Shop manual.

As soon as the owner of the shop that worked on my Bird gets over to my house to remove the dash, I'll be taking multiple pictures with the wires labeled before removing it. I'm just going to have Pete do all the gauges, so I don't have to worry about this again.

But thanks for chiming in on Pete, he certainly has a happy following here!

Jim

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Old 08-25-2022, 01:13 PM
Tim john Tim john is offline
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The wiring for the stack gages is very simple and the 69 Firebird dash is fairly easy to remove, not 67 GTO easy but simple enough. I recommend lowering the steering column as low as possible, rest steering wheel on a couple / few pillows placed on the floor..

Tim john---

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