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If it's not really about tuning or wiring. Then it belongs in here.
I am currently building a dedicated drift/autocross/road course car. The car is a 1974 monte carlo aka a land yacht. My currently drivetrain is a forged Chevrolet small block 350 with forged bottom end, midrise intake, holly 750 alcohol double pumper. Transmission is a t5 from a 90s camaro. I built this car 80% of what I had left over from other projects. After a session or two I plan to swap to a LS engine and T56
Ive come up with a couple solutions for gauges. I need some opinions of what would be ideal for the cost:
1. Buying analog gauges:
Pros: Cost $250-$500
Easy to read
Cons: No data logging
Limited to specific bought gauges
2. Buying a Ms3pro evo:
Pros: Data logging
Will work for LS swap
Tablet for gauges (perfer)
Lot of room for growth
Cons: Cost $1249 plus software and sensors
More then I currently need for a small block 350
More complex setup
Sorry if this is a bit long but i have been researching and thinking on this for days now. If anyone else has solutions or thoughts please share.
What are you running for engine management right now?
No engine management yet. I havent started the engine yet due to no way of monitoring pressures and temperatures. I do have a msd 6al box I need to wire up along with other small items on the to do list.
I would opt for analog gauge for now, as you could sell them back when you will upgrade. Too many times I've seen people trying to go all in, then run out of budget or motivation, and it becomes a "project car" that is never done. Keep it simple, enjoy your car, when you feel like its time to upgrade, then upgrade. Like I said, you can always sell the gauge to someone else.
As it's a simple "analogue" engine, and you seem to be budget conscious, I'd probably be looking at s/h gauges. At a minimum an oil pressure (mechanical preferred) gauge and warning light in my eye line, tachometer mounted in a clearly seen spot so it'll show in peripheral vision on turns, possibly water/coolant temp' to avoid hard driving on a cold engine or risking overheating if already hot. Depending on the fuel tank setup, you may need a gauge if you can't use a dip stick or sight glass to check fuel level - and if an alcohol tolerant float, etc, is used it can be carried over for ease of use.
If you don't want to keep them, later, for other projects, you should get close to your money back.
With the LS, which will use electronic engine controls, you can consider your options for a seperate ECU and display panel(s), or a combined unit.
Thank you everyone this has been a really helpful discussion. I will keep it simple and on the cheaper side with regular gauges. It was easy to get caught up with wanting to be able to data log then to learning to drive.
If you're going to be going with an ECU at some point, you should look at FuelTech.
ECU and Digital Dash in one. It's a high value for what you get, and those ECU's are really easy to setup and get working.