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Old 09-19-2013, 04:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Vacuum gauge quality?

Is anyone running cheap ebay vacuum gauges from China? I am thinking about getting one and just want to see if anyone has any experience with them. Linked below are 2 that show up alot. Not really a fan of how rice the second one looks but the first link is a good looking gauge...although I wish it has a black face to blend in a little better in the car...

New Universal in HG Turbo Vacuum Gauge 2 1 16 inch 52mm for Car Motor | eBay

Brand New 52mm Car Vacuum Gauge No 139723 | eBay

Any insights appreciated,

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Beyond physical "leakage" the quality of a vacuum gauge is mute...because, in the end, you're actually only using the "relative" needle position, not the actual "numbers" to drive by. The further 'over' the needle, the higher the vacuum...regardless of the actual numerical value.

Ask any aircraft pilot and they'll tell you that they "scan" all their instrument panel gauges by "position" more than by the numbers they're actually displaying.

Last edited by gone-ot; 09-19-2013 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Tele Man. After I posted I realized that I should have asked about consistency more than quality because of the reasons you listed above. I guess quality and consistency go hand-in-hand to a point but I just want to make sure I don't throw $20 down the drain if its better spent a better gauge for a little more money. Hopefully others have used these gauges, or ones similar, and can comment on their performance.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One thing I *would* enquire about before purchasing (if possible) is whether the vacuum gauge needs or requires "damping" (a small inline orifice) to keep the needle from oscillating / hunting (actually, moving intime with each cylinder pulse)?

Most higher quality gauges WILL have something built-in inside the guage, but I'll bet the ultra-cheap units won't.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A Saturn SL2 has a MAP sensor. Perhaps a voltmeter reading the output from that is an alternative to a mechanical gauge?

At its simplest, just read the 0-5V across the signal and earth. If you want to make it more sophisticated, use a voltage divider (resistor) circuit and a 200mV LCD screen to convert the reading into units meaningful to you.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occasionally6 View Post
A Saturn SL2 has a MAP sensor. Perhaps a voltmeter reading the output from that is an alternative to a mechanical gauge?

At its simplest, just read the 0-5V across the signal and earth. If you want to make it more sophisticated, use a voltage divider (resistor) circuit and a 200mV LCD screen to convert the reading into units meaningful to you.
Considering the way a vacuum gauge is used, I think I'd be better of using a gauge for easier visuals (needle moved a little vs. numbers bouncing slightly) just seems easier to have a dial and needle.


Stopped at PepBoys this afternoon to see what they have. Plenty of vac/boost gauges but I want a 270* sweep vac so that subtle changes are easier to see. Asked the counter guy who was super nice and looked up that they can get. He found a Sunpro gauge for $24.99 but when he rang me up it only cost $19.99 because that is what Advance Auto sells it for . So $20 and I'll have a vac gauge on Monday, I'm happy. Here's hoping it helps my driving technique...
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2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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Old 01-18-2016, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacemanspif View Post
Considering the way a vacuum gauge is used, I think I'd be better of using a gauge for easier visuals (needle moved a little vs. numbers bouncing slightly) just seems easier to have a dial and needle.


Stopped at PepBoys this afternoon to see what they have. Plenty of vac/boost gauges but I want a 270* sweep vac so that subtle changes are easier to see. Asked the counter guy who was super nice and looked up that they can get. He found a Sunpro gauge for $24.99 but when he rang me up it only cost $19.99 because that is what Advance Auto sells it for . So $20 and I'll have a vac gauge on Monday, I'm happy. Here's hoping it helps my driving technique...
So it's been 3 years. Are you happy with your vacuum gauge? Do you wish you had a different faceplate? Or, if the needle swept differently?

Thanks,
Doug in Oakland, CA

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