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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there were any more specific gauges I would need for my truck other than the pyrometer and the boost gauge. I've seen some diesels with as many as 4 gauges. Mine is a 99 Ford f250 super duty manual
 

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The gauges that I'm running are Fuel Pressure on the low side (0-30 PSI), Oil Pressure, and Voltmeter, in addition to the pyrometer and boost gauges. I've been told by many that I don't really need those guages, and to trust my idiot lights. My problem is that the idiot lights only come on when things are already bad. I like to see where I am on each as I drive. Yes I can look each up in the dash display, but it takes too much time with eyes off the road to switch through the different line items.

I'll share here one of my most harsh lessons regarding fuel pressure: I was out on a ranch 100 miles from nowhere in my 98-1/2 Dodge 4x4 Dually with the 24 valve Cummins and a 5 speed manual trans.. After a days work, my truck simply would not start. The motor just turned over but would never catch and run.. Not good. Had to call in a buddy with a trailer to come get me. He had no winch on the trailer so I had to wire the neutral safety switch and then drove the truck up onto the trailer with the starter motor. I really hated to do that, but I had no recourse. It didn't burn out the starter I think because I'd roll it a few feet and then stop for 10 minutes to cool the starter. Anyway, here's the VERY expensive lesson I learned:

I had an injector pump up top which supplies the injectors, and I had a lift pump down low to feed the injector pump. The injector pump uses fuel supplied by the lift pump to feed the injectors and to cool itself. My lift pump died, and I should have realized that as it completely changed how the truck would start. Used to be that one turn of the starter or less and the truck would fire up with everything working properly. I noticed that the truck began to take 3 to 5 turns of the starter and then start and run fine. I noticed the change, and wondered what the heck?, but once the truck started it ran just fine. So, I didn't worry about it.

I learned later that the injector pump would suck just enough fuel to run without the lift pump, but it would not suck enough fuel to cool itself at the same time. End result was I burnt up the injector pump. I had to replace both the lift pump and the injector pump. Very expensive lesson. Once I put a fuel pressure gauge on her, I only got about 8 pounds of fuel pressure, fluctuating up to 9 and 10 PSI. That particular injector pump only needs 7 pounds to operate properly, but below 7 pounds it won't cool itself, and you'll eventually burn up the injector pump. I hated that because the factory lift pump for the truck was designed to run just above the self destruct 7 PSI of fuel pressure. That's not enough wiggle room for me, so I spent the money and added a FASS fuel system with their lift pump, and now I'm happy with between 20 and 22 PSI fuel pressure measured off the low side. Sorry if I rambled, but to me at least, it's a serious and valuable lesson about gauges. I gotta have them!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a terrible story to hear. I have been thinking about getting a fuel pressure gauge to add onto what I've got as well. Do you use digital or analog gauges though? I have seen many digital ones that read different things but on one display. What are your thoughts on that?
 

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That is a terrible story to hear. I have been thinking about getting a fuel pressure gauge to add onto what I've got as well. Do you use digital or analog gauges though? I have seen many digital ones that read different things but on one display. What are your thoughts on that?
The digital displays work wonderfully, but I've found that as I get older (I need reading glasses now...) I can't read the digital displays because they are too small!. I've gone with analog guges and I'm good to go as I can tell at a glance where I am on any given instrument. There's a drawback with the analog gauges with LED Lighting though. I used Autometer LED iluminated gauges, and I had to buy a special dimmer switch to install inline so that I could dim the A-Pillar LED gauge lighting enough for night driving. They were just too bright, and would not dim down enough when connected to the factory dash dimmer switch. I learned that LED's don't dim by reducing the voltage like a regular bulb does, they need a special "thingee" to reduce the number of times they flash per second. That makes the bulbs actually dim. With that installed inline, I'm absolutely happy with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The digital displays work wonderfully, but I've found that as I get older (I need reading glasses now...) I can't read the digital displays because they are too small!. I've gone with analog guges and I'm good to go as I can tell at a glance where I am on any given instrument. There's a drawback with the analog gauges with LED Lighting though. I used Autometer LED iluminated gauges, and I had to buy a special dimmer switch to install inline so that I could dim the A-Pillar LED gauge lighting enough for night driving. They were just too bright, and would not dim down enough when connected to the factory dash dimmer switch. I learned that LED's don't dim by reducing the voltage like a regular bulb does, they need a special "thingee" to reduce the number of times they flash per second. That makes the bulbs actually dim. With that installed inline, I'm absolutely happy with them.
Thats good to know. Currently I have two of them mounted to my steering column and plan on moving them, but I think I'll go ahead and debate which one I should get. I had PRK done last year and broght lights at night really bother my eyes, so I may end up doing the same thing as you with the switch for the lights.
 
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