Fuel Economy Gauges in 1977-1990 Wagons?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy & Emissions' started by 101Volts, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. 101Volts

    101Volts Well-Known Member

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    I read in the manual for the 1984 Caprice that fuel economy gauges were options for cars at the time, I'm guessing they are vacuum gauges. Have you seen them often? I haven't, Yet at least.
     
  2. waynestevens

    waynestevens Well-Known Member

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  3. DanR63

    DanR63 Well-Known Member

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    Yes those are nothing more than a repainted face on a vacuum gauge. The higher the gauge reads the lighter your foot. You could just get a nice in dash vacuum gauge and use that instead. Plus once you learn how to read it (you might already) you can do tune ups and carb adjustments!
     
  4. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    These were available earlier than 1977. Below is a page out of the '75 Oldsmobile brochure. Note the "Fuel Economy Gauge" toward the lower right.

    While you're at it, note the "Air Cushion Restraint System" on the top right. We call these "airbags" now. Olds was well ahead of the game in offering these in the mid-70s, although they didn't really catch on industry-wide until a decade or so later. For '75 and that general time period, airbags were optional, not standard, and only on some models.



    [​IMG]
     
  5. PineBox

    PineBox Well-Known Member

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    I installed 3 round Autometer gauges on my '87 Fiero. Oil pressure, amps, and air/fuel ratio.
    The air/fuel gauge read its input from the ECM.
    It didn't really do anything useful except fill a hole in the panel and look cool.
     
  6. Olds Weighty Eight

    Olds Weighty Eight New Member

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    So when you're sitting, idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic, that thing is telling you that you are getting maximum economy when in fact you are getting exactly 0 MPG. :16suspect1:
     
  7. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    This is hardly a drawback. Many modern cars have information displays that include both average and instantaneous MPG readings. Obviously the instantaneous ones will read zero when idling, but that doesn't mean they're not useful when you're moving. With vacuum-based fuel economy meters, which are also instantaneous read-outs, you just have to be smart enough to realize that they're only useful when the car is in motion.
     
  8. occupant

    occupant Occupantius

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    Many vehicles in the 1960s and 1970s offered vacuum gauges. Ford called theirs a Fuel Sentry in the 70s. Chrysler called it a Performance Indicator in the 60's A- and B-bodies. I remember the round gauge Caprices and Parisiennes could have it to the right of the speedometer. My Uncle John's '87 Safari had one. I almost bought a mauve metallic '84 Caprice sedan back in '97 that had one.

    It's high on my, "things to add to a vehicle once I get one worth keeping for a while" list. If I couldn't find a factory gauge I would grab any old vacuum gauge on eBay or a flea market and make a face for it to match. Put it in the clock delete hole, or somewhere else fitting. For my Torino I thought about refacing one from a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS because it would fit well sizewise in the clock delete hole.
     
  9. 101Volts

    101Volts Well-Known Member

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    My, These are educational responses. Thanks. I do think a vacuum gauge is helpful in such a car, And on subject of that Oldsmobile ad now I know of those lights for the key holes.
     
  10. cammerjeff

    cammerjeff Longroofs Rule!

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    The Lighted Key hole is an option I have never seen before. Right up there with the 69 GTO I had years ago, had optional Fiberoptic indicators for the tail lights on the rear package tray. I didn't know they were stock even when I owned it! It looked like a JC Whitney add on when I owned it.
     

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