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Old 04-06-2016, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default Gauges for track use?

Hey guys, so I'm going to be tracking my car a bit this year, and in the future. I know knowledge is power, so I know there are some gauges I will benefit from. Here's what I already have

Boost
Wideband
MiataRoadster OP sender kit (slow responding)

I know water temp is going to be a suggestion, but in the Megasquirt I can set my CEL to falsh above a certain threshold, so I'm not worried about that. What I was thinking was definitely a real Oil Pressure gauge, as well as perhaps an Oil temp gauge. I do have the FM oil cooler kit, so not sure if I could tee it into the sandwich plate there, or if the pan would be a better spot.

Aside from Oil Pressure and temp, is there anything I should look into? Maybe something instead of one of the others?
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:11 PM   #2
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this thread has some good info for you:
https://www.miataturbo.net/race-prep...-gauges-79373/

Warning lights are more useful then gauges for racing in my opinion. Boost, AFR, Oil pressure are all to dynamic to be looked at while racing. On the straights, a quick glance at oil and coolant temp is a good thing to do.

But really, any datalogger that will let you set custom warning limits is my recommendation.

I find myself recommending this product so often I feel like a sells man for them. But It seems to be a great bang for the buck solution (especially if you don't have a lap timer yet). The gauges have two level warning (yellow and red) when a value is out of limit. You can also wire a bright LED in eyesight which is what I do.

https://www.autosportlabs.com/racecapturepro-2/
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:51 PM   #3
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You can do the same thing with most aftermarket ECU's.

I use the check engine light with a bright LED for oil and coolant temp. Plan on adding anotehr LED for AFR and Oil Pressure.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:23 PM   #4
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I'd like to have an oil pressure gauge so I can see the progression of pressure. I know sometimes things dip under HARD braking, so it would be nice to see how the engine is behaving
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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I use LEDs as warning lights for various things, I have a few. Off = ok, on = out of whatever range I specified as normal for that parameter. As mentioned and I agree, warning lights are better and can be checked/noticed more easily. When I'm racing I don't really care what the oil pressure/temperature/AFR/etc are to the exact number, I just want to know that they are normal and ok, and I didn't loose oil pressure, I'm not overheating, AFRs are close to target. Warning lights do this.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazdaspeeder View Post
I'd like to have an oil pressure gauge so I can see the progression of pressure. I know sometimes things dip under HARD braking, so it would be nice to see how the engine is behaving
You're not going to be staring down an oil pressure gauge and making a judgement on if the value is ok while braking at the limit. Datalog this and review after the race if you want to see that.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:47 PM   #7
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+1 to this. I am a reasonably aware/alert person by nature and am amazed at the things I miss on gauges and fails in logic while racing or driving at the limit most especially when **** went bad.

Also amazing that the log shows a different sequence of events to what you would swear happened in front of you....memory and recollection being incredibly fallible.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:05 AM   #8
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+1
We "maybe" look at the gauges 1 or 2X per lap (longest straights) OR, when something else happens - loss of power, a change in exhaust sound, increased vibration... The tach gets more attention but a shift light is likely better when distracted by close wheel to wheel race traffic.

Keeping it simple... For your engine build, what info will cause you to coast to the side of track during a race and wait for a tow? These are the "STOP DRIVING NOW" gauges you want directly in the driver’s line of sight.

On our racer we have: Oil Pressure, Water Temp, the Tachometer and a low oil pressure light immediately in front of the steering wheel. The 15 PSI low oil pressure light turns on to warn of impending doom (the big bang). IF that flashes on at race RPM’s, things are likely to be seriously bad real soon. (It does turn on at idle which is a little concerning…)

Other gauges (high in the center pod) include - a gas gauge (endurance racer) and a location for an Oil Temp gauge (not yet installed). Finally, there is an hour counter which we use for maintenance tracking (away from the driver’s line of sight in the right most dash vent location).

Gauge placement and how to make the gauges easier to read quickly (opinion):
- Gauges with 270 degree sweep needles. Any change in reading makes for a 3x larger movement in the needle than a 90 degree sweep gauge – easier to read,
- About 2” diameter gauges work for me. 2 5/8” and larger take up too much dash space / Smaller are too hard to read quickly,
- Turn all gauges so the “normal reading” (or tach red line) has the needles pointing straight up, again fast to read at a glance. Needle not vertical? Look more closely at the reading.
- Although likely less precise, I like mechanical gauges when possible. No chance of electrical issues causing intermittent readings. If a mechanical gauge is broken, it likely 100% done never to return.
- Idiot lights for Oil pressure and shift light. Possibly others like alternator might be good too…


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Old 04-08-2016, 03:21 AM   #9
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I run a Longacre AccuTech Oil pressure gauge. It's very good as the gauge itself is large, accurate and has 3 programmable levels for warning. So the first stage is a single LED, second stage will make it blink and the third stage, the entire gauge backlight and LED blink.

Before this gauge I was using a Autometer gauge and it did not show short duration oil pressure dips under brakes, whist the Longacre gauge did.

I recommend this gauge to everyone now.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:03 AM   #10
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99, no mark on the tach for the pit lane speed?
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gee Emm View Post
99, no mark on the tach for the pit lane speed?
A "3700 RPM in 3rd" (gear) marker on the tach is a good idea... thanks

I expect the minimal gauge set I suggested for the driver will not meet the needs of those tuning their engine AFR etc. As suggested earlier, logging everything of interest for later analysis would be needed.
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