Slow Car Fast
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February 16, 2010 - My plan has been to somehow stuff an electric speedometer inside the classic Smiths case.
The Camaro's T56 uses an electronic sender and the MG has a completely mechanical version.
Of course, I'm a long way from needing a speedo. But I'm not feeling completely healthy and poking around wires is more attractive right now than cutting and welding. Thus the electric emphasis of the last few days.
Well, it's not going to be easy. Looks like quite a challenge, actually. Enough of one that I started looking for alternatives. I already know of one, which is basically a small electronic motor in a box that takes an electronic signal in and spins a cable at the appropriate speed. It's a decent option, although a bit more of a kluge than I'd prefer. If you're converting a Miata with molded plastic gauges, you don't have a lot of other options. But the MG uses individual gauges, of course.
Poking around, I discovered that there actually exists an electronic Smiths speedo. It's not a perfect match to what I have, but it's awfully close. Close enough to work. And as a bonus, it's actually significantly less expensive than the little "gerbil box" motorized adapter. Excellent.
What about the tach? It's expecting a four-cylinder, so it'll read twice as fast with 4 pulses per crank revolution instead of 2. Some poking around pulled up an article on the British V8 site that explains how to add a potentiometer to easily make the tach adjustable. But wait, it gets better. 1972 was the only year to be fitted with a potentiometer from the factory. At the time the article was written, it wasn't known if this gave enough range to make it work with a V8, but I'm very willing to find out. If not, I'll just solder in a different one. Perfect.
tags: wiring