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Old 07-25-2002, 01:19 PM   #1
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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Engine Monitoring, gauges etc.

This question goes out to those that have more experience than I on the 454 engine. I am looking to install an aftermarket direct read with a bulb engine temp gauge.

The factory sending unit is in the block on the drivers side, right above the exaust ports, and with the headers on I cannont seem to get a wrench on it. Is there a fitting elsewhere on the block that would allow me to get to the cooling system and have an accurate read on temps? I am trying to avoid the R&R of the headers as they are well seated, do not leak and I am concerned that I might be opening a can of worms if I begin dissassembly. I am planning on eventually replacing the entire p-30 instrumanet cluster but want to be sure to monitor more that just hot or cold.

I have already replaced the electronic oil pressure gauge, and the volt meter, but I have been stumped by the engine temp gauge.

Any advice would be helpful!
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 07-25-2002, 02:25 PM   #2
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Mr Chevy answering

If I may....... The GM factory temp sending unit is never in the block. It is usually located into the side of a cylinder head. Which side of the engine is dependant on engine application. The heads are nearly the hottest part of the engine and as such, reflect same. If it is possible, remove a factory water plug on opposite head and install the sender for temp gage. I would reccommend using the electrical gage as the mechanical gage is no more accurate and far more difficult to install. Later engine repairs are more trouble too. If the Plug at a head is too tight or difficult, the next best trick is to install temp sender into to of t-stat housing. If the is no threaded hole, a drive to a good parts store is required. Don't forget a new t-stat gasket. Some different big block chevy engines have a smog vaccum valve. I'd remove the valve for the temp sender. Idaho only has smog checks for 1990 and later cars and trucks. There are many good gages available that include VDO, Stewart Warner, and others. A good gage is about $35 each plus sender. The hot rod magazines show the best deals on gage prices and selection. The dash plan is very important as to layout, selection and size. The 3 5/8th inch OD tach and speedo are great.
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