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  1. #1
    Member Toy4Hal's Avatar
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    Default Converting mechanical tach to electronic

    I was following a discussion in the later year's forum on mechanical versus electroinc tachs. It sparked a need for information on my part.

    I like the "original" look of things in my 62 'vette. She's not orginal but I'm trying to get her back to looking that way. I have a SUN Electronic Tach at the moment. But I just bought a set of all the "original" tach and small guages. Does someone offer a service to convert an original 62 distributor driven tach to electronic? Why do I want to do this? Because my current Mallory distributor does not have a mechanical tach connection. Also, less maintenance (in my opinion).

    Thanks in advance.

    Hal

    Hal


  2. #2
    Member Loren Smith's Avatar
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    Much cheaper solution - I bought an Autogage 7000 rpm electronic tach, and took the glass off it. I bought a tach face sticker from the Vette Gal for $25.00 (see has all years, plus lo or high red lines). I cut it to fit over the Autogage face. I bought a stock needle from Corvette Central, cut the attachment point of the Autogage needle off and glued it to the back of the stock needle, and stuck it back on. Bought the stock chrome bezel and glass from CC to put in front of the tach, and mounted it all together. Presto - a new, original looking tach that's electronic, and you can save your mechanical one (or sell it on Ebay for about $300.00).

  3. #3
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    Default autogage model number

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Smith View Post
    Much cheaper solution - I bought an Autogage 7000 rpm electronic tach, and took the glass off it. I bought a tach face sticker from the Vette Gal for $25.00 (see has all years, plus lo or high red lines). I cut it to fit over the Autogage face. I bought a stock needle from Corvette Central, cut the attachment point of the Autogage needle off and glued it to the back of the stock needle, and stuck it back on. Bought the stock chrome bezel and glass from CC to put in front of the tach, and mounted it all together. Presto - a new, original looking tach that's electronic, and you can save your mechanical one (or sell it on Ebay for about $300.00).
    Loren, I read your C1 tach conversion using an autogage tach. I have a '62 Corvette with a Davis Unified Ignition (electronic) distributor and I
    would like to do the same thing as you did with your car. Please let me know the model number of the Autogage tach you used. I found most
    if not all tach's are 8,000 rpm and the diameter are either 2 3/4" or 3 3/4". The '62 has an approx. diameter housing opening of about 3" (give or take).
    Thank you in advance.

  4. #4
    Converting mechanical tach to electronic
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    Default

    That thread went dormant EIGHT years ago....


    John
    '67 Convertible

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnZ View Post
    That thread went dormant EIGHT years ago....


    Hello JohnZ, I figured I might luck out and Loren Smith would still be available for some info.
    I see you have a '67. I also have a '67 in addition to the '62. I have owned the '67 Convert.
    for 36 years. I should get around to posting photos of the C1 & C2. I just joined this
    site yesterday.
    Take care.

  6. #6
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    I did this conversion about 12 years ago. I found an Autometer electric tachometer (sorry but I don't remember the model number) on ebay and installed the "guts" in the original '62 tachometer case, used the original face plate and needle. Total cost about $25.
    Two things you want to be sure of are:
    1. Choose an electric tach that has the same sweep from 0-6000 that the original tach has.
    2. When you install the needle, be sure to have the new tach "powered up" because on a lot of the electric tachs the needle does not point to "0" when the power is off.

    Charles

    Here is a link to a few pictures (tachometer pics at bottom of this page)
    62 Frame Conversion

  7. #7
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Default X500

    Welcome to the CAC. Even though this is an old thread it's still an interesting topic. I'm surprised that someone doesn't offer a ready to install original look electronic tach for these cars. Feel free to look back into the old threads for most any topic. There has been a lot discussed here over the years.

    Tom
    NCRS 1360.............SACC 2082.............C1 Registry..............L81 Registry
    1959 Chevrolet Corvette 1981 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 L81 automatic Frost Beige

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbernhardt View Post
    I did this conversion about 12 years ago. I found an Autometer electric tachometer (sorry but I don't remember the model number) on ebay and installed the "guts" in the original '62 tachometer case, used the original face plate and needle. Total cost about $25.
    Two things you want to be sure of are:
    1. Choose an electric tach that has the same sweep from 0-6000 that the original tach has.
    2. When you install the needle, be sure to have the new tach "powered up" because on a lot of the electric tachs the needle does not point to "0" when the power is off.

    Charles

    Here is a link to a few pictures (tachometer pics at bottom of this page)
    62 Frame Conversion
    Thank you for the conversion info and the photos This is very helpful. This will be my next in my list of to-do's.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bryant View Post
    Welcome to the CAC. Even though this is an old thread it's still an interesting topic. I'm surprised that someone doesn't offer a ready to install original look electronic tach for these cars. Feel free to look back into the old threads for most any topic. There has been a lot discussed here over the years.

    Tom
    Tom,
    Since I started looking into the mechanical to electronic tach conversion I came across Corvette Instrument Service who will do
    a complete '62 tach conversion for $290. Rodger of Corvette Instruments said the new redline face is an additional $55.
    To do a self conversion the cost would be about $110 for the Auto Meter 7K tach plus additional costs for the new tach face, needle
    and glass if required. Auto meter 7K electronic tach's in 3 1/8" diameter are models: #1398, 1478, 1898, 1695, 1798, 1595, 1995.
    I will do as you suggest and look at old threads.
    I had two '58 Corvettes in the past and the mechanical tach always were jumpy with the cable requiring lube so I figure it was time
    to do the change.
    I do appreciate the input. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Here is a picture of an Autometer Tach in a '59 gauge pod. Gauges in this picture are mounted from the rear. I ended up mounting the gauges from the front because of interference at the rear of the fuel gauge. Should be no problem with just the tach.
    07100501-jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbernhardt View Post
    Here is a picture of an Autometer Tach in a '59 gauge pod. Gauges in this picture are mounted from the rear. I ended up mounting the gauges from the front because of interference at the rear of the fuel gauge. Should be no problem with just the tach.
    07100501-jpg
    very nice looking gage setup and good info. Thanks.
    My tach retro will take place right after the new soft top & steering box.
    In my mind these old Corvettes are more fun to tinker around with than the new ones. I sold my '05 mag red Corvette
    to buy the '62. Most people like to buy new but I went the opposite with the old '62.

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