Lotus Elan

gauge restoration

PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:52 pm

I need to get a set of AC (england) "small" gauges and Smiths tach and speedo rebuilt.

The company I used for my +2 Smiths gauges I would not use again. Any recommendations for a company in the U.S. to restore my gauges?

I also need to get the tach converted as I am going from points to a pertronix ignition. I can split up the gauges and send to different companies if required.

thanks

Bob
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PostPost by: m750rider » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:37 pm

I've used Nisonger before on Smiths gauges and I am very happy with them.

http://www.nisonger.com/
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:52 pm

Bob,

I live 5 miles from APT Instruments (Gauge Guys) and won't use them. I used Nisonger in 2006. They successfully fixed my speedometer ($110) and they sold me a matching Smiths ammeter however they were not so good at other things. For instance, I asked them to convert my tachometer so that it would work in conjunction with electronic ignition. After returning it twice, I gave up and did the conversion myself. They did fix my combo gauge ($120) however that fix lasted three years. They have a new one for $160 but the face plate is slightly different. I considered ordering the new one and switching face plates however my oil pressure gauge goes to 60 and theirs goes to 100 so the readings would be off by quite a bit. I tried to fix it again last night but was unsuccessful so I don't see any alternative to sending it back to them. They want $155 this time. FYI, Guage Guys want $195.
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PostPost by: lotocone » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:08 pm

Bob,

Nisonger rebuilt and converted my Smith's tach for Pertronix ignition in 2008. The tach works okay and looks good. I thought the wiring instructions they sent were a little confusing, but they provided helpful instructions by phone.

Bob
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PostPost by: leifanten » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:16 pm

North Hollywood Speedometer did the conversion to electronic tach for me. They were considerably cheaper than Niesonger and I am happy with the outcome (the tach tachs)
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:26 am

I also used Nisonger for the tach conversion as well as rebuilding the speedo. The other small gauges in my +2 were so bad I had to replace them with new gauges. I also was unhappy with the nisonger tach conversion and concur that their wiring diagram was sparse and confusing.

I was thinking of using Palo Alto Gauges in Calif. but they are very expensive. As the small gauges are AC (england) I need a rebuilder that stocks parts for AC gauges.

Bob
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:28 pm

Foreign Speedo in San Diego did a good job on the gauges for my S4 at a good price. It depends on how bad they are and how much you want to spend.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:59 pm

I'm with James on Foreign Speedo. Everything I have taken there has come back looking good and it is still working just fine. Very small shop, termites are holding the walls up, but the ability to solve problems is very good. Did my tach when I changed to an alternator, rebuilt my angle drive for the speedo, fixed the sending unit for the gas tank, and have taken care of every cable problem I have had over several cars. Would go back there in a heart beat. Also loaned me parts to help me fabricate an angle drive attachment to a Type 9 transmission.

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:07 pm

prezoom wrote:...Did my tach when I changed to an alternator...

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Rob,

Changing to an alternator should have no effect on the tach. It's changing to electronic ignition that affects it.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Frank Howard wrote:
prezoom wrote:...Did my tach when I changed to an alternator...

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Rob,

Changing to an alternator should have no effect on the tach. It's changing to electronic ignition that affects it.


Unless he changed polarity too?
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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:37 pm

My car was positive ground when I made the change to the alternator, which changed the system to negative ground. Thus the modification to the tach.

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1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:43 pm

OK Rob. Just to clairfy, it appears that it was the change to negative ground that necessitated that work be done on your tach, not the switch from the generator to the alternator. Do I have it right?
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:44 pm

The Elan came to me, not in a running condition, with a generator and configured positive ground. After reading about, and experiencing the non-charging condition when the head lights were on, the turn signal flashing, my foot on the brake, etc., I decided to install a small alternator. I was being blinded by red light on the dash. The alternator I used was from a Metro Geo, which was negative ground, as I believe all alternator equipped cars are. Thus the change. I am not sure if I have ever seen an alternator equipped car, configured with positive ground, but I may have missed something.

My other not so sporty car still has the generator, positive ground and all. Changing it to an alternator would be quite difficult, as the tachometer is mechanically driven from the back of the generator. At idle, with nothing else going on, the little red light is glowing ever so brightly, and the battery is slowly going dead. I love to fiddle, making things and all, but I'll leave this one alone, put a piece of tape over the light, carry my AAA card, and make sure my cell phone is well charged.

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1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:21 am

prezoom wrote:My other not so sporty car still has the generator, positive ground and all. Changing it to an alternator would be quite difficult, as the tachometer is mechanically driven from the back of the generator.


Rob,

Check this out:

http://www.racemettleltd.co.uk/dynalite.html
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:50 pm

Thanks Frank. I learn something new every day.

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1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

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