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OK guys I need your opinions. I can't decide what to do. I am installing my gauges and I can't decide if I want to install a volt or amp gauge?? I will be running a single wire alternator. Which is best or does it really matter?? Opinions welcome. Thanks
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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I agree, voltmeter. Single wire alternators usually come in 85 or 100 amp sizes, if not larger. Most ampmeters aren't that big. You would have to run two 8 or 10 gauge wires to the dash meter, if you use an ampmeter.
 

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The volt meter is the only way to go. The factory quit using ammeters in the 70s, even then they were half hearted deals.

The main reason for this is that you have to bring the full charging amperage/voltage to the gauge, and there's too much risk of shorts or wiring problems.

Not only that, you can diagnose the system as well or better with a voltmeter.
 

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My vote is for the voltmeter too. You instantly know what rate it's charging or not charging. Dave
 

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Voltmeter! much more accurate and SAFER! If you want a nostalgic look like do like some guys do and install the gauge(along w/voltmeter)just don't hook up the Amp gauge.
 

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This is why i don't like amp gauges. I pulled this off my T-Bucket when i changed the amp gauge out for a voltmeter. The wire was laying against the dash. Good thing i have a wooden dash.
 

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1957 150 2 door sedan
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Safety First

Hey. As G.R. posted, think safety first. Also, a voltmeter is much more reliable and is wired in parallel. With an ammeter, when meter fails, charging system fails.
 

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Hi The other issue with an ammeter is you can get voltage drop in the system due to the long runs of wire up to and back from the ammeter. This causes starting problems, flaring lights and a whole lot of problems you don't want to know about. Convinced? Definately a volt meter.
 
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If it looks correct in the theme of the car. I like a digital volt gauge to see condition of battery using this chart.

Voltage

State of Charge
12.6+

100%
12.5

90%
12.42

80%
12.32

70%
12.20

60%
12.06

50%
11.9

40%
11.75

30%
11.58

20%
11.31

10%
10.5

0%
 
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