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MG TD TF 1500 - Add on gauge

I've often thought it would be good to have more accurate gauge readings, as well as useful gauges like a voltmeter, etc.

Here's a (very pricey) unit offered by Dakota Digital, which offers speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, voltmeter, clock, fuel, turn signal, high beam, neutral and service engine light all in one. Obviously, neutral and service engine would have no corresponding sensors on our cars, but according to DD, they offer Hall sensors so you could create your own sensors for speed and tachometer independent of our cables.
It's small enough that it might find a place somewhere on or near the dashboard.
Just food for thought for any tinkerers out there.

Another multifunction gauge product out there that offers even more sensors (water temp, oil temp)

And a rather nice classic analog speedo with digital readouts of multiple sensors:

Geoffrey M Baker

Here's a pic of the Dakota product

Geoffrey M Baker

Here's the "motoscope"

Geoffrey M Baker

Here's the classic speedo

Geoffrey M Baker

Probably only for negative ground...

Tom Lange
t lange

Definitely, all neg ground! I should have specified that...
Geoffrey M Baker

Is this for real or a joke? If serious, your gauges should be as accurate as any modern car if not more so. And period correct accessory gauges are readily available for volts, etc.
Steve Simmons

Cant speak for others, but my tach gauge tends to stick in two places half the time, the speedo is about 10mph off (by GPS comparison) my ammeter is pretty inaccurate, and my water temp gauge is aftermarket anyway.
I would have no trouble with someone adding modern gauges, not just for accuracy with our current sensors, but to add other useful data - fuel level, oil temperature, voltage reading... etc.
Geoffrey M Baker

So rather than replace a high quality instrument that has malfunctioned, you would buy a modern electronic display to put in a T-Series car? I can't imagine staring at an electronic readout in an antique car. For me, it would completely defeat the point of driving it.

Gauges should not stick, ever, and should be as accurate as anything else on the road. In fact my old cars are typically more accurate than my wife's modern car. If you change tire sizes, get the gauge re-calibrated for your tire size of choice. Same thing in a modern car. Or buy an inline ratio correction adapter. It costs a fraction of what those modern doo-dads do.
Steve Simmons

Geoffery, as the owner you are free to do as you choose to your vintage car. You will be happy and it will give the next care taker plenty to scratch his head about as he mutters under his breath about the DPO.
I don't see the point in modifying a classic, 70 year car, but i believe you are the current guardian of the car so modify it as you see fit.. Leave it to the next caretaker who enjoys the quirky characteristics of these cars as they were built to sort it out and post comments about the DPO.
Regards, tom
tm peterson

Well said, Tom. Bud
Bud Krueger

Hi Geoffrey, I have always enjoyed reading your posts and it is obvious that you enjoy working on your car and sharing your trials and tribulations (and success) with us.

One pattern I have noticed in your posts is that you seem to be bouncing back and forth between dealing with/ recognizing DPO repairs and then moving forward with numerous modifications and so forth. It seems to me that you have some frustrations with the way the car is engineered and feel the pressing need to "improve" the car.

It almost seems as if you are fighting with the car in a sense - trying to force it into being something that it is not.

I really enjoy delving into the cars and learning about the methods used to construct the car - in many instances I come to appreciate the skill, ingenuity, and quality that went into the cars at the time. This level of quality was commented upon in contemporary road tests. That being said, the cars were lower-end sports cars that had a somewhat limited life expectancy.

I don't mean this as a criticism at all - I just hope you are able to reach the point where you enjoy the car for what it is and become comfortable with the subtle (and not so subtle) joys that owning and maintaining an antique car car provide.

Best regards

OK, I was going to let this go, but DLD's kind comments made me think on this issue a bit.
Let's back up some.
I've been working on Lily Christine IV for some years now. In that time I have:
Rebuilt the floorboards and front interior with no modifications beyond returning the car to original screws and fastenings and new boards;
Rebuilt the carburetor and fuel system returning the car to exact original specifications (with one improvement to the choke cable nut) from a variety of handmade alterations made by POs;
Rebuilt the engine to exact original specification using only original or correct parts (except moving the oil take off to the top feed, and which my intention to originally leave alone was hotly contested by people who otherwise want nothing changed);
Rebuilt the steering wheel back to original, removing the motolite add on (making my own wooden wheel in the process, a very satisfying job);
Rebuilt the gas tank removing miracle modern sealant that had destroyed it, and returning it to new condition;
Rebuilt and rerodded the radiator returning it to new condition;
Rebuilt and reinstalled the convertible top using approved parts, only minorly improving the side stay setup;
Rebuilt the underdash and dash, back to original specs
Redoing much of the wiring, again to original specs;
Rebuilding brakes with all correct fittings cylinders etc;

Modifications I have done:
Added safety roll bars - probably the first time a set of completely removeable but fully functional and structurally strong roll bars have been added to an MG outside of the racing circuit;
Added a completely invisible music system;
Seat belts;
Rear LED lamps which are better and brighter than originals;
Added a small completely invisible security lock;
Perched a flying goddess on my radiator cap;
Rerouted the plumbing on my heater to make it less obtrusive and ugly as well as more efficient;
And I also made an improved 6 vane impeller for my water pump, of which I am quite proud. It's too expensive to market, and not enough of a major leap forward to warrant its cost, but it was interesting technical achievement in creation, production and in 3D printing.

I really don't think this should get me the title of "crazed loonie trying impossible modifications on a pristine vehicle" because a) almost everything I have done has made the car MORE original, not less; and b) every modification I've ever done I've done with the goal of making sure it is completely reversible - even the rollbars can be fully removed.

I won't spend a second more defending my modifications - except to say I like things that make me safer, while others seem to generally prefer things that make them faster... which is a purely personal preference.

I do want to say that it seems like often my posts are taken far out of their intended context. This post - just as a for instance - does not, and was never, intended to suggest that I planned on buying, or installing ANY of the products I mentioned. Not at all. It simply arose because out of my love of tinkering and theorizing and researching, I came across some interesting devices which I felt might be of interest to others. My train of thought was that in another thread we were discussing fuel gauges; and in other past discussions others have talked about the utility of voltmeters; and I thought that a small multifunction gauge might be a useful thing. Now I never found what I wanted (a 2 inch gauge that might replace my water meter, a later add on by a PO, which is completely non original to begin with), my interest was to find a round 2 inch meter which could display multiple functions. I did come across the above three overlarge digital multifunctional gauges and in the spirit of information and sharing, thought it would be a good idea to mention this to others in case someone else was looking for such a product.
I don't tend to add one, myself.
In other past threads, I've scratched my head and asked myself questions like "I wonder if you could add a catalytic convertor" (because I like the general notion of putting out less pollution) and many, many other thoughts, many of which I will never (and would never) implement. But, my thinking goes, maybe someone out there IS thinking about it, and this information would be useful to them. In the same way, there's a current discussion on fuel gauges. I like it in theory, love to research the possibilities, alert others to them, and will probably never install one.

I will continue to put out this kind of info, and post these kinds of threads, because many others out there DO like this information; and if that means I am considered some crazed loonie by purists who think nothing of adding $10k worth of totally non-original speed mods to an already unsafe vehicle, but love to chortle about someone's use of the wrong color on an engine part ... well, so be it.
Enough said.
Geoffrey M Baker

I added a 2" water gauge to my TC. You can find original ones for sale, and also reproductions. Or if you don't want to drill holes in your dash, you can install a dual gauge like an MGB has (for water temp and oil pressure) only with a matching green face for T-Series. No one but T-Series enthusiasts will know it isn't original and half of them are probably running one!

I've modified my TC a bit as well, mostly invisible. LED rear lamps, taller rear end gearing, Alfin brake drums, oil coil, alloy valve and tappet covers, water pump upgrades (bearing and impeller), H2O gauge, leather wheel wrap, seat belts, custom exhaust, turn signals using EXU switch on dash, grab handle, diaphragm clutch, roller cam, hi-top pistons, modern crank seals, tapered axles, sealed rear axle bearings, oversized front spindles and whatever else I can't think of. Mostly safety and reliability items.
Steve Simmons

I never modify anything on my TF....:-)

I enjoy reading what others do and what they think about doing....often it's not my cup of tea but I'm interested none the less....

Keep calm and carry on.
MG LaVerne

This thread was discussed between 05/12/2015 and 06/12/2015

MG TD TF 1500 index

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