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Most important gauges

Old 08-02-2018, 05:42 AM
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Default Most important gauges

Hi all,

I have an 1.6 mx5 with a proper oil pressure gauge and it's it's a no-brainier that boost and air-fuel ratio are the two most important gauges to have.

What would you guys say is the next most important bit of info to have on display?

My thoughts would be either exhaust gas temp. - but I gather this becomes less important once you're tuned and you never know where the 'danger temp' is until you cross it.
Or
Oil temperature, to give a better idea of when the engine is ready for you to give it a tickle compared to the water temp.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:50 AM
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Intake tempurature, exhaust gas tempurature, oil temperature, coolant temperature, coolant pressure would all be on my list but that would be more to provide safety features they may not be important.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:57 AM
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And if you could only pick one out of the list?
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:52 AM
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  1. exhaust gas tempurature - very helpful once you understand what "normal" is
  2. oil temperature - overheating anything is never good
  3. intake tempurature - surge or lack of cooling headroom in traffic etc
  4. coolant pressure - have you nicked a hose on a bump
  5. coolant temperature - radiator issue?
My priority won't be yours but this is why for me. It is likely someone else will chime in with their situation too so don't worry.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:38 AM
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Been running without AFR gauge for over a year now. MS3 is tuned and has safety shut-down. You SHOULD find the same. It is great for initial tuning, but not needed after tuning.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:48 PM
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What this guy says.....if you're doing it right you don't need any guages. I have a big light to tell me when to shift and another big light that tells me when temps get out of line. AFR safety system protects the pistons in case something goes wrong in the fuel system. Boost cut keeps the rods in the block in case the wastegate sticks.

When you're on track you need to have your eyes up, not looking at guages. When you're tuning you need to be logging and looking at data after the fact, you'll rarely catch what's going on in real time. This leaves guages as antiquated and useless other than for bling.
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Old 08-02-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Bronson M View Post
What this guy says.....if you're doing it right you don't need any guages. I have a big light to tell me when to shift and another big light that tells me when temps get out of line. AFR safety system protects the pistons in case something goes wrong in the fuel system. Boost cut keeps the rods in the block in case the wastegate sticks.

When you're on track you need to have your eyes up, not looking at guages. When you're tuning you need to be logging and looking at data after the fact, you'll rarely catch what's going on in real time. This leaves guages as antiquated and useless other than for bling.
Poscat.

I couldn't agree more. After Tacho and Speedo everything else is just bling.

You would be better off spending your money setting your car up to protect itself and warn you only in case of failures so you can focus on driving.

IMO, It is so important in an automotive performance application to have a standalone ECU combo'd with a multi-function CAN Gauge, digital dash, or even a simple CEL.
The ECU should be capable of protecting the engine and also warning the driver of dangerous sensor readings.
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:20 PM
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tire pressure
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DNMakinson View Post
Been running without AFR gauge for over a year now. MS3 is tuned and has safety shut-down. You SHOULD find the same. It is great for initial tuning, but not needed after tuning.
This. My 450whp street car has no aftermarket gauges in it.
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Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Basically I've come over to the camp of "If something is a reliability problem on the track, just ask Andrew and do what he says".
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:17 PM
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Oil gauge is nice, but usually its not going to save you. Probably only useful on startup after youve been ******* with stuff under the hood.
Water temp can be handled pretty well by a good ECU. The dummy gauge on my Honda doesnt go up until you are catastrophically overheating, so I set my ECU to turn the CEL on when it hits 215 F.
Vacuum/boost again mainly good for diagnostics, the ECU should be all you need for protection (i.e. boost cut).

Honestly, most of the esoteric stuff I would only want for testing and wouldnt bother making them gauges. Just datalog it.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:04 PM
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No gauges, get your ecu to do it, it's 2018 not 1994.

You want oil temp and pressure, and AFR, everything else most cars need is already on the car/ecu. And not gauges, sensors so the ecu can handle it automatically. I build turbo converted Miatas every day as a day job and none have any extra gauges unless the owner begs me.


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Old 08-07-2018, 02:23 PM
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I personally like to mess with my fuel maps from time to time, and I find WB and boost/vac to be very useful.

I have not found egt very useful. I did notice it dropped a bunch when I got my head refreshed tho. Generally useless 99.999 percent of the time.

Oil pressure and temp are both extremely useful and have each saved the engine. Oil pressure is a great warning that you didn't tighten that fixture and your oil is spraying out. Oil temp will quickly go up if your coolant drains out. Coolant temp only works when there is coolant.

I have thought about swapping out egt for something like iat or maybe voltage. But the 4 I mentioned are definitely great.
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:34 PM
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late to the game here, but my 350 ish hp car does not use a gauge of any sort.

I dont like to advertise my car to turds that just happen to have opposing thumbs..
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:10 PM
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In my STI with 350whp I had Fuel Pressure, EGT and Boost. In any modified car I drive I always put some type of Fuel pressure monitoring in hopes to catch a leak before any fire starts. EGT is a good indicator of what's going on. Boost is just for fun. In all my cars I use a scangauge because it gives me multiple parameters on a simple to read screen. And unplugs in a minute. Of course you should be paying attention to not dieing more than not killing the motor.

On my MSM I will only have the Haltech CAN Multigauge, which will give me up to 40 parameters, 4 per page, all on one gauge. Completely configurable to what I want on each page and position. I can have Fuel psi, oil psi, IAT and AFR on the screen. Or Volts, WT, EGT, Oil temp. You get it
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ryansmoneypit View Post
car does not use a gauge of any sort.
I dont like to advertise my car to turds that just happen to have opposing thumbs..
Love this. Have a cat
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:57 AM
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I ran gauges in my street car because I never stopped tuning it when I drove it. Boost, CLT, Oil Press, EGT. Boost and EGT were useful for tuning and we all like to watch that boost needle. OIl pressure and CLT were just to know when to shut down for catastrophe mitigation.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:12 PM
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One thing that has always bothered me about the Miata is how the stock gauges are basically rubbish except for the tach and the fuel gauge. The oil pressure and coolant temp are both idiot lights and the speedo is inaccurate in every car I've ever seen.

A dash that did those things correctly would be a huge upgrade.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:27 AM
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My current plan is to run the following:
-Oil pressure(stock 91)
-Oil temp
-coolant temp
-AFR
-Intake temp(pre and post intercooler when I finally turbo to check for heat soak)
-vacuum/boost
Now this is because I am in the process of tuning.

After reading this it is making me reconsider making all mine permanent vs just temprary, I really like the idea of have no gauges at all and simply use the CEL and maybe auto shutdown for potentially catastrophic issues so as not to draw to much attention from driving or the local ricers lol.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:12 PM
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I do have boost and AFR gauges in my a-pillar, and do enjoy watching the boost needle move around, and a quick glance at afr's to make sure they're in check.

However my andriod stereo is connected via USB to my MS3 basic, and can display any gauge tuner studio has to offer, so really i need no external gauges in the car.
I have the screen set to display:

afr
boost/vac
IAT
EGO correction
timing
CLT
boost control duty%
RPM
GPS Speed
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:40 AM
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I jumped right on getting coolant temp after afr and boost, mainly because after seeing coolant in ms you learn quickly how useless the factory temp gauge is
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