Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was attempting to install my new gauge trio (oil psi / volts / water temp) to replace the old (oil psi / amps / water temp) and messed something up along the way. I was working too quickly and I forgot to disconnect the battery. When I disconnected the negative terminal from the AMP meter, it hit the metal casing of the gauge cluster and sparked. Seeing the spark made me realize that the battery was still connected. Before I disconnected it, I thought I would see if the car had power.....nothing....no response at all when i turned the key and the lights wouldnt work either. I checked the fuse box and replace one fuse but still no juice.

Any ideas about when the problem may be?

Does a Volt meter and Amp meter connect the same (direct swap)?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
A true amp Gauge wires differently than a Volt gauge. A volt gauge has a very minor current draw. It can be wired into almost any power source with small wires. Very simple.

The amp gauge measures the true current flow and needs to be tied into the power line from the battery. Large wires relative to a volt gauge. This may be your problem. The amp meter is most likely tied into the main power wire and when you disconnected it you disconnected your fuse box from the battery.

You need to track down how they wired the amp gauge in.

Here is a discussion on AMP gauges from MAD electric. Not a Chevy, but it has a good diagram. Yours should be similar.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
An after market ampmeter could be wired inline with main power supply. Hook it back up and the car will probably start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
OK, I hear you....but if I hooked the volt meter up the same way, would'nt it complete the circuit the same way and enable the car to start? I wont have a chance to mess with it until tomorrow but I just want to get my facts lined up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
VERY good read from the link. It all makes sense now!
Thank you Sir!
A true amp Gauge wires differently than a Volt gauge. A volt gauge has a very minor current draw. It can be wired into almost any power source with small wires. Very simple.

The amp gauge measures the true current flow and needs to be tied into the power line from the battery. Large wires relative to a volt gauge. This may be your problem. The amp meter is most likely tied into the main power wire and when you disconnected it you disconnected your fuse box from the battery.

You need to track down how they wired the amp gauge in.

Here is a discussion on AMP gauges from MAD electric. Not a Chevy, but it has a good diagram. Yours should be similar.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
OK, I hear you....but if I hooked the volt meter up the same way, would'nt it complete the circuit the same way and enable the car to start? I wont have a chance to mess with it until tomorrow but I just want to get my facts lined up.
The volt and amp gauge wire differently. You can't use the same hook up.

The amp gauge is in series on the main power feed. That is how it measures amperage flow.

A volt meter is like a light bulb. One hot wire from a keyed source and a ground, that's all.

Hooking the AMP gauge wires up to a Volt meter will not work and possibly fry the voltmeter.

You need to check where the amp gauge wires go. They most likely cut into the original main power wire to install the gauge. If you can find where they tapped into the main lead for the gauge, that is where you need to put it back together and get rid of the amp gauge wires. With DC the shorter the wires the better. That is one of the reasons amp gauges have fallen out of favor.

Best to find a wiring diagram for your car and see where it should go vs. where it goes now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
THANKS GUYS!!!

I swapped the old AMP gauge back in and the car fired back up. Since I'm not going to run the AMP gauge anymore, I need to figure out how to safely rewire things.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
THANKS GUYS!!!

I swapped the old AMP gauge back in and the car fired back up. Since I'm not going to run the AMP gauge anymore, I need to figure out how to safely rewire things.
I would simply splice the two wires from the amp gauge and be done with it:yes: As mentioned before the amp gauge is wired in series with the electrical system. I prefer having a volt gauge to watch my battery voltage. this tells me my alt. output. unless you have a huge draw on the electrical system you don't need anything more than that:no: JMO on the matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I would simply splice the two wires from the amp gauge and be done with it:yes: As mentioned before the amp gauge is wired in series with the electrical system. I prefer having a volt gauge to watch my battery voltage. this tells me my alt. output. unless you have a huge draw on the electrical system you don't need anything more than that:no: JMO on the matter.
so you are saying connect the + and - from the AMP gauge together?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
so you are saying connect the + and - from the AMP gauge together?
Even though it says plus and minus on the gauge, it's more than likely is a break in the battery wire from the starter, so the current is actually flowing through the amp gauge. I would heir on the side of caution and check the web site for the brand of amp gauge that you have just to make sure that's how it's wired:yes: If so then yes simply splice the two wires together and ditch the amp gauge. Then you can install your volt gauge. The wiring for that is very simple. Of course follow the manufacturers instructions, but it should be a good ground to one side and an ignition source for the other side. There also should be a terminal for the light, this would tap off off the head light circuit. Sunpro has a great website with wiring diagrams. Check them out if you have problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
You can splice those two wires together, but I would trace them back under the hood and see where they are tied in. Pull all the amp gauge wiring out and splice it back together under the hood. No sense having all the extra wire run that doesn't really do anything.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
You can splice those two wires together, but I would trace them back under the hood and see where they are tied in. Pull all the amp gauge wiring out and splice it back together under the hood. No sense having all the extra wire run that doesn't really do anything.
Good advice:yes:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top