Originally posted by FrankR
I think the gages for Airstream are a GM item as all the other mechanical parts are. Mostly the temp gage will not read properly or not function because the sender has failed. The sender is very easy ti remove and replace if required. A very easy test for the temp and oil gage is to pull wire connector off sender and touch same wire to a ground. A ground is any metal part near sender. A helper or partner needs to be inside vehicle with key on but engine off. Historically the senders fail first. The gage will fail prematurely if the are poor battery, engine and body ground wires. It is impossible to have too many ground wires. The number one alternator failure is because of poor battery, engine and body grounds. The number one failure of starters is starting with battery not fully charged. Factory gages are of very poor quality. The information is often either hi or low by 20% compared to a quality gage.
I agree with Frank. GM gages are pretty reliable as in functioning. They may not be perfectly acurate but seldom do they outright fail. It's usualy a Sender or wiring problem.
Number one problem with GM Temp gage failure is the sender location. The wire often gets knocked off the sender when somebody is giving a tune up and fighting to get a plug wire off. Most GM V8's the sender is between Cylinders 1 and 3 in the head between the sparkplugs. It's somewhat blocked by veiw if you have the "Log" style A/C Compressor.
On most GM V8's it can be installed in 4 locations. Those are between 1-3, 5-7,2-4 or 6-8. Most GM heads are identical and will mount either side. I know that's acurate for the small block V8's and I'm pretty sure it holds truck for the big blocks as well.
I'm just learning the 454 and I will be working on mine tomorrow to fix a water neck leak and I'll let you know if I find any thing different on it. Mine is in a Suburban but These engines are assembled on a line and all the senders and stuff are installed well before it makes it to the chassis. They run on K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid) mode of operation so very little deviates.