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Unread 09-30-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
Ken4444
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Mechanical oil pressure gauge has leak and reads incorrectly

My '85 with 258 has a Sunpro mechanical oil pressure gauge, probably originally installed around 1994. The gauge is fed via a thin plastic tube from a fitting on the engine, probably where the factory oil pressure sender was.

The gauge sometimes works fine but other times seems to get stick at 60 to 80 PSI. I didn't worry too much about it until I noticed a small amount of oil that has wicked onto the dash panel. Now I'm more motivated to fix or replace it because I don't want oil all over my radio or dash.

- Should I throw the thing out or try to fix it? It could be as simple is tightening the fitting that connects the tube to the gauge body, but I have no experience with mechanical oil pressure gauges so if they're known to be crap, then I'm more inclined to replace it.

- If I replace it, should I go with a mechanical or electrical one?

Thanks!

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Unread 09-30-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
80cj
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You might check and make sure your fittings at the gauge are not leaking. If the gauge still leaks, I would toss it. I used to be a calibration tech and found that certain Stewart Warner mechanical gauges were within 3% of full scale reading (+/- 2.4 PSI for an 80 PSI gauge) but don't know if the quality is still the same. Darn, I should have written down the model number before I retired 2 1/2 years ago. The electrical ones seem to be a little sporadic. The advantage in going electrical is that you don't have a pressure tube that may leak.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
Pathkiller
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Toss it out, Sunpro sucks. I had a Sunpro voltmeter that bounced all over the place like a honeybee on crack cocaine. Replaced it with an Autometer and it's steady as a rock.

It's seriously not worth dicking with, a new Autometer classic chrome is money well spent. I have all mechanical gauges and like them. Since you've already got mechanical that's what I'd replace it with. The new gauge will come with new nylon line, and if you take your time installing it, you won't have any leaks.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathkiller View Post
Toss it out, Sunpro sucks. I had a Sunpro voltmeter that bounced all over the place like a honeybee on crack cocaine. Replaced it with an Autometer and it's steady as a rock.

It's seriously not worth dicking with, a new Autometer classic chrome is money well spent. I have all mechanical gauges and like them. Since you've already got mechanical that's what I'd replace it with. The new gauge will come with new nylon line, and if you take your time installing it, you won't have any leaks.
I wouldn't say sunpro is junk.They are not auto meter but they beat nothing.

I would check that plastic line those things get brittle after a year or so.If it is the line you can get copper oil pressure line at autozone and you will never have a problem with the copper line.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
CrazyHorse6
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My personal recommendation is to wire in an electrical gauge. I know they are not nearly as accurate, but I like the idea of not worrying about nicking, cutting or accidentally wearing a hole in the tube and being SOL on the trail or road.

If you just need to watch the gauge for a ballpark idea of pressure so you can tell if it is ever way too high or way too low, an electric gauge with sending unit will be fine. If you need fine tuned numbers of what your pressure is for some reason, stick with a mechanical.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
Ken4444
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Was the factory oil pressure gauge electric or mechanical?
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Electric
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
Bubba Ray
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Keep the mechanical gauge or get a new one. I have a Autometer with the ss braided line that screws into the sender port and into the gauge. Easy to install and no leaks.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 06:18 AM   #9
twoleos617
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I have the same set up you do. I had to replace the guage too but it started as a leak as well. I got a new sunpro for $16 and a copper line kit that made all the difference and was EASY to install.

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Unread 10-01-2010, 08:28 AM   #10
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This weekend I will pull the radio and dash panel and see if I can tighten the fitting on the line going to gauge. As long as I can stop the leak, I'll be happy.

If I go to an electrical gauge, I assume I need to install a new sender. Any idea what those cost?
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Unread 10-01-2010, 08:34 AM   #11
JimNut
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If you buy an electrical oil pressure gauge they usually come with the sending unit as well. Price will depend on brand. Sunpro is around 20-25 bucks online and autometer will vary from 50ish and up.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #12
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Unread 10-01-2010, 08:48 AM   #13
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What size is the factory oil pressure gauge? 2 1/16" ?
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Unread 10-01-2010, 10:09 AM   #14
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I'd recommend an electric gauge for the reason previously stated-much less chance of leakage. If you use a quality one (Auto Meter, Stewart Warner) it should be plenty accurate. If you decide to go with the mechanical type, don't use the crappy nylon tube that comes with the gauge-use copper tubing, and put a couple of coils in it near where it attaches to the engine to absorb vibration, and make sure it's protected from abrasion where it passes through the firewall.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 03:26 PM   #15
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Here's a new thread regarding an oil pressure gage tubing leak.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ka...-leak-1109795/
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