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I would like to replace the factory ammeter in an early gage cluster, with a voltmeter. Is there anyone that has done this? I will be spending more money/time to keep the factory cluster in the 45lwb, but It is what I want, and I have 3 other cruisers with autometer ultralite gauges. I am going to look in the streetrod magazines, and see if there are any places that mod stock gages. If you cannot tell, I want it to look like it came that way.
 

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Since I upgraded to a Chevy 12si ALT. I am also interested in replacing stock amp w/volt-meter :D
thanks,
manny 72fj40
 

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Why replace it if it is working?
Volt meters aren't any more useful than an idiot light. They just tell you if the alternator is working or not.
An amp meter tells you more, like the charge state of your battery, if your battery is good.
 

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Converting to a volt meter is easy. First you need to phase out the old system. You will wire your alternator charge wire straight to your battery or some junction box which connects to the battery. Be sure to put a fuse inline so that your alternator doesnt cook your battery should something go wrong. I think the wire which was previously going from your alternator to your ammeter can be cut out. The wire which went from the ammeter to the fuse block needs to be spliced into a wire that goes to a power source that is hot when the car is on.

The volt meter just wires inline with the rest of your electrical. Run a wire from your fuse block or some other hot source to the volt meter (not from the alternator). Ground the other side of the volt meter and youre done.

-Dustin
 

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It seems like a lot of trouble, but possible I guess. I would not start out with the stock ammeter gauge body, as its not the right kind of meter movement. Maybe find a fj60 or someother older toyota voltmeter gauge, and modify to fit. then make a new gauge face.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pin Head said:
Why replace it if it is working?
Volt meters aren't any more useful than an idiot light. They just tell you if the alternator is working or not.
An amp meter tells you more, like the charge state of your battery, if your battery is good.

I have nothing, no dash,no cluster, no wiring. I can fix it all not a problem. My question is, putting a voltmeter in the stock cluster, exactly where the ammeter is. I do not know of any way to get a voltmeter to go there. I hoped someone had done something like this before. I can always put a new panel in with autometer gauges, but I thought it would be cool to have the stock cluster, and it would make the work of rewelding the missing dash more rewarding.
 

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heavytlc said:
but I thought it would be cool to have the stock cluster, and it would make the work of rewelding the missing dash more rewarding.

I would recommend just finding a parts truck with a good dash and doing the swap with the entire panel, from door jamb pillar to door jamb pillar. It is fast and easy. Done two that way and tried repairing one butchered one and it sucked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cruiserbrett said:
I would recommend just finding a parts truck with a good dash and doing the swap with the entire panel, from door jamb pillar to door jamb pillar. It is fast and easy. Done two that way and tried repairing one butchered one and it sucked.
I would go that route, but I am up for a challenge. I took two sets of axle housings to the powder coater this morning. One set from the 55, and the FF, and disk front for the 45. At this point the 55 will be running, with perfect axles, and brakes in 2weeks. I do not have the shop space for a frame off on the 55 until the new shop is done. The 45 is a whole different story. I trimmed the firewall I will be installing, beadblasted it, and the dash piece. I still have a few more patch pieces to cut for it. My plan is to do the firewall and front crossmember on the frame, remount the saginaw box, run all new brake lines, and rewire. When that is done, I can leave the project alone if I have to. I should have all this done by Thanksgiving. While I am doing this the gas tank is going out to be repaired, and hopefully I will find someone that restores gauges to make my ammeter a voltmeter. If I cannot make it happen with the stock gauge cluster, then I will put in a nice Autometer 5 gauge set in the stock hole. I guess all the 40 series I have can have matching gauges. I will find a way to do the voltmeter before I build the 45 wagon. I am in a hurry on this project, so I can get back to building the new shop by january. I guess if I did not have to go to work, or sleep I could get more work done in my shop. I quit drinking, because I do not have the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was seasrching on Google, and found 2 companies that look like they can do what I want. ATP insturments international, and D&M restoration. D&M is in the Greenville SC, and about 20minutes from my work. I know what i will be doing in the morning :smokin:
 

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Does anyone know if the stock ammeter has an internal or external shunt ?

I don't see why it can't be done through elimination of the shunt and replacement with a higher resistance .... along with a network to achieve the necessary linearity.

Someone knowing the inherent ohms-per-volt of the meter movement should be able to calculate it. Myself, (flunked algebra in 9th grade) I'd be on the bench with a couple of resistance substitution boxes and a current limiting bench supply. If I had a throw-away ammeter, I'd be having me some fun trying to make it work.

john
 

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OOOPS !

Spoke too soon. Posted the above reply from work and in haste. :emb2:
'Glad I caught it myself before the EE's jumped in to flog me with a wet Thevenin. :flipoff2:

On the way home, it occured to me that the danged thing is mechanically centered and requires a positive going or a negative going current to move off center. Now I'm thinking it's gonna' be more messy.... but still doable. Thinking about driver stages and voltage divider and reference zeners, etc. A challenge, but doable. Next time I have an idle moment (yeah, sure), I'll cipher on it a bit. There's probably a half dozen ways to do it.

As Rosanna Rosanna-Danna used to say...... "Never mind."

john
 

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Discussion Starter #12
D&M restoration, in Greenville SC will convert the ammeter to a vlotmeter. They will have to look at my cluster, but said they would more than likely replace the gage with a GM unit, and reprint the gauge face with volts. I will be taking the cluster to them on monday. I will post it when it is done.
 
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