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Old 01-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Default Ammeter gauge wiring

I know voltmeters are preferable, but this guy I'm wiring the '56 Chevy for has an old set of gauges he wants to keep and he wants the ammeter wired up. I see on the net to hook one wire to the hot side of the battery and the other side to the alternator. The gauge has + & - on the posts...does the + post hook to the battery?
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:11 PM
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Yes, you run a #10 gauge wire from the battery to the plus side of the gauge and then a 10 gauge wire from the other side of the gauge back to the big post on the alt. This was a common practice on a 1956 because there was not a lot of things drawing juice in the car like there are today. That is why people use volt meters, they hook up like a light bulb with a small wire going to the volt meter and the other side going to the ground. Wiring the amp gauge the way it is supposed to be if there is a problem like a short in that wire it will burn up everything in that car. With the excess accessories that you have now a days I would strongly convince him not to hook up the amp gauge.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:55 PM
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Terry & Lee are correct. You can put the ammeter in but don't wire it. Hide a voltmeter someplace.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:12 PM
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There is a way to hook up an ammeter so that it only sees a portion of the current so that it won't overheat, but I can't remember how to do it. There are also ammeters that work by wrapping their pickup wire around a hot wire without actually be connected, like a inductive timing light that you clamp around a plug wire. Might be able to swap the guts to one of those, or better yet, to a voltmeter.

I put SW gauges behind the factory gauge panel in my car, they look like they came in it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamamav View Post
There is a way to hook up an ammeter so that it only sees a portion of the current so that it won't overheat, but I can't remember how to do it. There are also ammeters that work by wrapping their pickup wire around a hot wire without actually be connected, like a inductive timing light that you clamp around a plug wire. Might be able to swap the guts to one of those, or better yet, to a voltmeter.

I put SW gauges behind the factory gauge panel in my car, they look like they came in it.
You can wire an ammeter across a load or shunt resistor. The ammeter hooked up like that is actually a volt meter calibrated as amps because the meter is not in line with the alt. It actually measure the differences in the voltage across the shunt/load. Jim

Last edited by redidbull; 01-17-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:55 AM
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Gut the ammeter and put a volt meter inside it. Unless he wants a very realistic flame job...
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:37 AM
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After I posted this yesterday, I found some disturbing evidence of charring around a splice made in the ammeter's wiring.....wait for it.... made with a wire nut. When I touched it, the wire nut fell off. I immediately got on the 'net, did some research, and found a voltmeter that looks exactly like the old ammeter, other than the name on it. I called the owner, told him I wasn't going t wire up an ammeter in the car, told him about the replacement, and got him on board. I ordered the other gauge and didn't have any nightmares about another '56 on fire.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:22 PM
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Gut the ammeter and put a volt meter inside it. Unless he wants a very realistic flame job...
Yeah, there's a reason they stopped using ammeters! I won't run one!

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Old 01-18-2019, 07:16 PM
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On my 1st car, 70 Duster, I installed an ammeter. Ran 2 10ga wires through the firewall. Even back then I didn't like it. Jim
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:55 PM
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