Topic: Best Tach Options Out There

So we're finally getting around to redoing our dashboard and are wondering what options folks have found to be the most economical, reliable, and capable large face tachometer and shift light combination.  It would be great if...

1.  It worked on both 5v logic level input and 12v direct wire
2.  Had programmable shift points/lights
3.  Back-lit
4.  Made cookies or fried bacon

Inquiring minds want to know what other folks are running.

Hamsa

He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey,
His least bidding, and lo, he's away.

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

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Re: Best Tach Options Out There

We run a Mario Andretti racing tach:

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2513/4018753210_d5a4aa4959.jpg

Ours, unfortunately, is missing its nifty housing, so we've got it strapped under the dash with plumber's tape:

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6020/5994072753_b3daa2ec54.jpg

It is nonetheless obviously superior, in that it is a Mario Andretti racing tach.

It doesn't have a shift light but we just shift whenever the engine sounds like it's in more pain than usual.  So far, so good.  Mostly.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

While it doesn't tick all your boxes, I'm very very happy with my Shift-i by Ecliptech.

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

If you don't want to go integrated, and want something cheap and very hard to miss this is what i did for a shift light. I found an adjustable light on amazon, i think it was the Proform 67005BC. I then opened it up, and spliced into the wires that go to the bulb and pulled out additional leads. Next, from autozone/pep boys/advanced auto/whatever grab a set of the stick on LED strips (for bonus points grab a set that does chasing patterns). Wire these LED strips to the leads you pulled from the shift light. Stick the LED strips on the top edge of your dash and mount the shift light anywhere. Then set the light and bask in the glory of an impossible to miss shift light.

I have not had a single driver over-rev the car since putting this in, which is important since we shift at 5k and redline is 6k. North of 5k is a danger zone for engine life.

20+ Time Loser FutilityMotorsport
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Re: Best Tach Options Out There

ross2004 wrote:

While it doesn't tick all your boxes, I'm very very happy with my Shift-i by Ecliptech.

+1

We had them in our street cars before we built our first Lemons car and we liked them a lot.  We had stripped the car, so we didn't have the stock tach, and the Shift-i was an easy solution (although not exactly cheap). 

It won't give you actual revs, but you can program it to increment however you want, and flash like a shift light at the revs you choose.  Nice and bright, although that means nothing to the drivers that suffer from tunnel vision.

Perennial Losers
Mazda 787b aka '75 914 - Org Choice @ The Ridge, 2015; IGS @ TH, 2018
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Re: Best Tach Options Out There

Mike98036 wrote:

but you can program it to increment however you want, and flash like a shift light at the revs you choose.

I prefer about a 100 RPM rev band for the Formula 1 effect.

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

We put a koso motorcycle dash in ours. I never got the speed signal to work and the gas gauge isn't compatible with the one I got. It has three shift lights, temp display & warning lights, etc.

-Killer B's (as in rally) '84 4000Q 4.2V8. Audis never win?

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

5" Autometer with Shift light on E-bay or your local Craigslist.
Not sure if it does the 5vdc, and clearly will not cook bacon unless you screw up the wiring.

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?Everyone who has ever built anywhere a 'new heaven' first found the power thereto in his own hell- Frederick Nietzsche

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

sorry to revive an old post but

mharrell wrote:

We run a Mario Andretti racing tach:

do you remember how it was wired? I just picked one up but the wiring doesn't match other tach color coding. Thanks

11 (edited by mharrell 2019-04-14 11:07 PM)

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

ethelblue wrote:

...do you remember how it was wired?

Not offhand, but I'll have a look either this afternoon or tomorrow and let you know.

Edit: My apologies, postponed due to weather. I'll aim for Monday evening.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

I don't really understand the need for a huge 5" tach.  Our car still has the OE gauge cluster with working tach, but who's got time to ride around watching that needle?  We installed a programmable shift light from JEG's.  I replaced the stock 194  incandescent bulb with an LED, and now it's bright enough for Ray Charles to see.  As matter of fact for the night portion of the 24, we'll have to cover it to keep from being blinded!

Captain
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Re: Best Tach Options Out There

Three reasons, One, a Tach provides rate information a shift light doesn't, so you can anticipate when you'll need to shift not just when you already had to shift.

Two, a tach can help you stay in the powerband by letting you determine early shift points that will still keep you in power.

Three, a 5 inch tach means you don't have to watch the needle because it's big enough to exist in your peripheral vision, and it's easier to quickly read at a glance.

Mistake By The Lake Racing (MBTL)
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Re: Best Tach Options Out There

^ I also get some self satisfaction by looking at the tach after I masterfully nailed a corner to see if the RPM's were higher on exit.  Of course I mess up the next corner because I'm busy looking at the tach.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

ethelblue wrote:

do you remember how it was wired? I just picked one up but the wiring doesn't match other tach color coding.

If yours is like mine, it has two thick wires (blue and yellow) and three thin wires (black, green, and red).

The two thick wires are for the instrument light. Blue goes to wherever your other instrument lights go to positive, presumably either at the headlight switch or at a separate instrument dimmer control. Yellow is ground.

The three thin wires are for the tach itself. Black is ground, green goes to the negative side of the coil, and red goes to keyed positive from the ignition switch.

All of the above assumes your car is negative ground. I'm pretty sure this tach won't work with positive ground.

By the way, if you open the outer chrome housing you'll find a rotary switch on the back of the inner plastic housing for selecting between four-, six-, and eight-cylinder four-stroke operation, so make sure it's set correctly for your application. I'm running a three-cylinder two-stroke, so for me everything works out perfectly in the six-cylinder four-stroke position.

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

Thanks! I’m still working on some faulty wiring in the ignition and finding a new bulb, then hopefully this tach still works. It fits Perfectly on the column between gauges. I’m putting it on cause it doesn’t have a tach at all.

Re: Best Tach Options Out There

You're welcome!

1982 MG Metro 1300: IOE 2015 Pacific Northworst GP, Longest Distance 2010 Cd'L Box Wine Country Classic
1980 KV Mini 1: Worst of Show and Fright Pig Supremo 2009 Concours d'Lemons
1978 H Special: Second-Round Elimination 2010 Lemons Pinewood Derby at Sears Pointless
1967 SAAB 96: IOE 2012 Pacific Northworst GP