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Old 11-05-2008, 11:01 PM
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how do I install ampere meter on a 1951 gmc

Help...Someone please tell me how to connect the ampere meter...
What goes to the + side and what goes to the - side?...
Does a wire go from the ignition switch to the ampere meter(where on the ignition switch to where on the ampere meter)?
This is a 1951 GMC, coverted to 12volts with an alternator.


Last edited by rongivens; 11-06-2008 at 08:13 AM. Reason: bad question
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:06 PM
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An amp meter is installed between the battery and the main power feed to the vehicle. It is intended to measure the entire current draw from the system. Amp meters have fallen out of favor and have been replaced with volt meters. A volt meter is far safer as it takes a smaller wire to operate it as opposed to a heavy wire for an amp meter. A volt meter is also simpler to hook up as it does not require the entire current draw to pass through it. FWIW there is no way I would even consider using an amp meter.

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Old 11-06-2008, 01:01 PM
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Once again I´ll post this about amp gauges from MadElectrical a warning.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:30 PM
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I wouldn't use an ammeter either. There are ways of using an ammeter safely, as in with a shunt, but I don't think a 1 amp or 5 amp scale automotive type gage would be available.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:38 PM
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When GM installed ammeter gauges in the 60's they used this type of gauge (info is from from the Mad electrical site)

"GM vehicles built with the gauge option also had a more modern design of AMP gauge at the dash. The newer AMP gauge was a remote shunt type design–a length of the battery charging wire in the under-hood harness served as the shunt. The dash gauge and related wiring no longer handled heavy current load. "

The shunt type of gauge is safer, but accuracy seems to suffer as they get older. It depend on having a constant, predictible resistance in the charging wire that serves as the shunt.

My '76 GMC pickup has a shunt design ammeter, and it has not worked in several years. I'm not sure if its the wiring, the gauge, or the junctions. This weekend I found that the charging wire had insulation so brittle that it pulled apart in my hand, but I haven't checked to see if my wire repairs will give me a working gauge.

I'd leave the old ammeter in the dash, just for looks, and use a voltmeter for your real working gauge.

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