Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (
-   General Rodding Tech (
-   -   Do you prefer mechanical or digital odometers? (

marks914 07-09-2008 05:14 AM

Do you prefer mechanical or digital odometers?
I am getting my 35 chevy project going again. I started working on the gauges. I have a gauge supplier building a quad, tach and speedo with my artwork. I was thinking of having a few sets built up since the cost is minimal once the initial tooling is done. Maybe I will recoup the investment in my own set, while allowing others to have a set of period correct looking set of gauges.

The question is, which type of speedometer do you like?

Pure analog: The odometer looks like its fits, real spinning numbers. The speedo is a little harder to calibrate. Less expensive.

Electric: The dial looks the same, but that LCD screen looks a little out of place. the electric speedometers are much easier to calibrate though. More expensive.

Thanks for your input, Each screen for each gauge is $250 so I would like to do only one.


Arrowhead 07-09-2008 05:39 AM

It might not fit your theme, but electronic all the way if you ask me. No bulky cable to route, just a couple wires. Easy to program, no changing gears (comes in handiy if you change your tire size later) The trip and odometer are combined in one window. They are expensive, but I feel they are worth it.

pepi 07-09-2008 06:33 AM

My vote is for analog , the reason is simple it looks more correct. Led's are fine for a computer, I go for bulbs in tail lights and analog gages.

Cables? what cables, lights are the only wiring excluding the amp or volt meter, in fact all the sensors needed to power the digital are more cluttered and messy looking then the mechanical stuff. Is there a digital vacuum gage? not thinking so, so the choices for digital are even not that great.

For instance notice the big bulb looking sensor needed to run a temp gage, looks like a mushroom growing on top of the manifold, same for the oil pressure. I guess one could always put a big pan on top of the motor, kind of like a hat covering some guys bald head that would hide the mess. Speedo calibration easily done... that is a stretch, first think about it. How many times do you go through that, once or never, and to change a gear on a transmission is one heck fo a lot easier then working under a dash, flipping dip switches figuring out the correct combination. Easy install for a speedo digital ............. HYPE

When looking into the interior and seeing blacked out plastic squares or round dots, that's a turn off ......Butt UGLY!!! a thousand times

DanTwoLakes 07-09-2008 07:06 AM

Hi: I'm going to move this thread to General rodding Tech, but leave it in Interior also.


Deuce 07-09-2008 07:28 AM

I am old fashioned ( and old ). I prefer the mechanical cable driven units BECAUSE I know how to make them work. ;) I also believe them to be less troublesome once you have them installed and calibrated.

I will admit that the electric ones are easier to install with the wire being easier to route than a cable.

Disclaimer :

My wife says I am stuck in 1957 when it comes to the advances of technology. I do not use electric fans on my cars. I have mechanical fuel pumps and carburetor's. I have NO computer stuff on my projects.

Deuce ...

Arrowhead 07-09-2008 08:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Deuce
Disclaimer :

My wife says I am stuck in 1957 when it comes to the advances of technology. I do not use electric fans on my cars. I have mechanical fuel pumps and carburetor's. I have NO computer stuff on my projects.

Deuce ...

Ha Ha

If it were up to me, EVERYTHING would be electronic.

I thoroughly regret not going EFI on my Mustang project. I miss my laptop!!!!

BTW Pepi, these are all electronic - work fine for me 3 years and 13,000 miles

Arrowhead 07-09-2008 08:14 AM


Originally Posted by pepi
flipping dip switches figuring out the correct combination. Easy install for a speedo digital ............. HYPE

Actually, to calibrate, just push the button and hold till it's ready to calibrate, drive a meassured 2 miles, and push button agian - done!

pepi 07-09-2008 10:31 AM

Still think the senders look like mushrooms growing all over the engine and it is looking like most prefer the analog. I am not in an argument here the question was which do you prefer and I indicated my preference and stated the reasons why. I find the analog a much more desirable set up that fits my world just fine. Digital is easy stuff and has more wiring to it just by the nature of the design .... Digital = wires, and therefore more wiring ................. common sense really...

Calibration and dip switches / single push button.......... depends on the manufacture fyi

joe_padavano 07-09-2008 01:36 PM

A little clarification of terminology: ALL odometers are digital. Some are mechanical and some are electronic, but all are digital (which means showing digits instead of the dial and pointer of an analog gauge). Is anyone here old enough to remember digital clocks (with mechanical drive) that had numbers that flipped to change? Similarly, my 93 Allante has analog gages that are electronic (the LCD screen shows an analog gauge, even though it is generated electronically).

marks914 07-10-2008 09:52 AM

At this point it looks like I will be doing both. I will keep you all updated. I think they will look really cool!


Deuce 07-10-2008 09:25 PM


So far it is 7 for the old style
and 2 for the new electrical stuff ...

I had pinned this poll at the top for a few days ... now it is unpinned :)

ScoTFrenzel 07-10-2008 11:40 PM

I like the needle type gauges, probably because I am old. I just think the digits in a 55 Chevy or deuce look wierd. Actually I dislike the digits in my TownCar too.

I also prefer all my needles pointing straight up during normal operation. That makes it easier to scan. My periferal vision sees the needles so no direct focus to a gauge is needed. Itsa race car thing from decades ago, but it makes the gauges look strange all cocked twisted around at angles.

Also I use lights, buzzers, and gauges, since the light and buzzer draws attention sooner. Saved me one engine when my son was driving.
No gauge scan, light and buzzer comes on.... instant alert. Hard to ignore a red light and a 90 db piezeo beeper going beep, beep, beep incessantly. :thumbup:

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.