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Adding Guages
07-30-2014, 10:16 AM
Post: #1
Adding Guages
Heay Rupe or other -

1995 gmc jimmy slt 4wd 4.3L V6 vortek

Can you suggest a good model/make and best sensor locations to place/ add Oil Temp and Cylinder Head Temp guages / ? /
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07-30-2014, 11:31 AM
Post: #2
RE: Adding Guages
On most Chevy engines the factory puts their own temp sensor on the driver's side head near the exhaust manifold. This is in the water jacket so a duplication of what the dash gauge reads if you stuck one on the other side. In my opinion, head temp is not all that critical unless it's air cooled. On water cooled engines both heads share the same coolant so you can see where this is going. If you have idiot lights instead of gauges then this is a nice addition.

On the oil temp, some oil pans have a fitting on the side for turbo oil return and temp gauge. Typically this is on a steel pan, not an aluminum unit. If you have the external factory oil cooler (in the radiator) there may be a 1/8" pipe plug just above the oil filter on that cooler adaptor. If there isn't one it would not be all that difficult to remove the adaptor and drill one, although you would be limited in size due to the shape of the casting. You could have put a fitting in the pan BEFORE doing the engine swap. (yeah, I know) I have done a couple on steel pans and I used braze rod then a fresh coat of paint to look like factory. On an aluminum pan you are limited as to where you can tap a hole and may want to consider a "stick on" type external sensor.

That all said; unless this thing is going to be modified the oil temp can't go too far beyond the coolant temp because the oil cooler (if it has one) will be part of the radiator. IOW, one keeps the other at bay unless there's some serious heat issues. Typically the coolant will be just under 200 degrees and the oil may reach 250 at most. That excess heat get's dumped to the coolant anyway. The radiator is sized to get rid of it all even in places like southern California or Arizona.

Personally I have always liked Stewart Warner gauges, although the market is full of other choices.
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