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Old 04-17-2009, 06:36 PM   #1
AKGC8
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Default SPA dual digital gauges review....plus a dual egt ebay find.

I know the Subaru community loves their Defi's, but I always liked to do things a little different.

So in my last GC8/WRX swap I had an SPA Technique dual boost/egt gauge. I got another SPA boost/egt gauge a few weeks ago for my new project car. I love the gauge I have, but they aren't very common in the states. They're made in the UK and are more popular over there. I think that's partly because the retail price in the USA is pretty expensive with the exchange rate.

They have a digital LCD display that can be set to backlight red or green. They do memory recall, and have 2 LED's that can be programed to alert you to the gauge reading outside your set parameters.

I got mine for a decent price on ebay, and have been looking for a dual oil pressure/temp to go along with the boost/egt I have. I ran across this EGT/EGT gauge today and the price is decent. It's over half off(dual egt normally is $450+), but it does say it's used. The title also says its boost/egt but the description and pictures say dual egt. Probably not a great deal if it's boost/egt since the retail on those are less. So if you're interested I'd probably ask the seller some questions to veryify the item is EGT/EGT and condition.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SPA-Design-boost-egt-gauge-Chevy-Gmc-Duramax-Dodge-Ford_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ72Q3a1205Q7c66Q3a 2Q7c65Q3a12Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318Q7c301Q3a0Q7c293Q 3a1Q7c294Q3a50QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZite m250408928928QQitemZ250408928928QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ 5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

Anyway, mainly posting to introduce everyone to these gauges that have some nice features. I have no affiliation with that auction, it's just a decent deal if it's EGT/EGT if anyone is interested. You can get 10% cash back with a microsoft live account, so $180 for a dual EGT with probes, not bad.

FYI, the different color options, they all backlight green or red:
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Last edited by AKGC8; 04-17-2009 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
TurboSetch
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Do you have any idea on the input specs? I have a signal from my water injection system that relates to flow its a .0 - .5 volt signal.


I like the idea of a gauge like this because I am out of space and these could consolidate 2 gauges into one.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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I'm looking at these gauges too as I plan on supercharging. I plan on getting oil temp/pressure and boost/fuel pressure. I like that you can get twice the functions for half the real estate. I'm not one of those gauges everywhere types. I like the space shuttle look, but I just find it too distracting. I just want something accurate and reliable. I haven't read anything but good things about SPA stuff.

One disadvantage I've heard is that digital is not as easy to read as analog. However on track or in autocross who has the time to look at gauges anyway.

This brings me to my question. These gauges have a warning LED light which is great, but apparently they also have wiring for an external alert. That's even better!

I'm wondering what that output voltage is?

I'm thinking it would be nice to have a loud buzzer or something like that so while on track the sound could alert me to potential problems.

As far as I'm concerned for people that want function over form these gauges are a revolution! Viva la SPA!!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
AKGC8
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My boost/egt manual says the input range is "10-16 volts (28v absolute max, pulse only)"

The external alarm output is only up to a max 100mA. So if you wanted a loud buzzer, you'd probably have to run the external output to a low power switch that then operates the buzzer off a separate power source.

Subysal, that's the same reason I like these gauges. With that autometer gauge surround that goes around the OEM instrument panel you can basically run 4 gauges. I've got the boost/egt in one. I'm probably just going to pickup a cheap oil press gauge for the other hole until I can find a good deal on an SPA oil press/temp for it.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:17 PM   #5
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At least for the Boost/EGT, it looks like they have a blue option as well!
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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OOOhhhhhh those are nice!!!!
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:04 PM   #7
AKGC8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordyB View Post
At least for the Boost/EGT, it looks like they have a blue option as well!
Oh yea, I forgot they have that option. If you get the blue backlight they only do blue, the other option which I've always dealt with is user switchable between red or green.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
AK SloPok
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I ran the EGT/boost gauge in my 03 WRX way back and while it was a nice setup I had big issues with spiking re the gauge readings. I am not sure that it was an issue with my gauge or how the gauge would read but I eventually got rid of it for a set of Defis and didn't have that problem.

Have you installed the gauge yet?
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
AKGC8
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I ran the EGT/boost on my last car and had no issues. What was spiking the EGT or the boost?

The EGT would move around a lot during spirited driving, not spiking, just the digital numbers counting up/down quickly. That's because SPA uses a thinner thermocouple compared to some others so it's very responsive to temperature changes in the exhaust.

For the boost sensor I actually tapped a hole right into the manifold for it and always got good numbers. Will probably do the same with the new car.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:20 PM   #10
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Just putting this dual gauge series out there...


http://www.mcnallyelectronics.com/products.htm

Last edited by ValentineMR2; 04-17-2009 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:25 AM   #11
SubySal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eby View Post
My boost/egt manual says the input range is "10-16 volts (28v absolute max, pulse only)"

The external alarm output is only up to a max 100mA. So if you wanted a loud buzzer, you'd probably have to run the external output to a low power switch that then operates the buzzer off a separate power source.

Subysal, that's the same reason I like these gauges. With that autometer gauge surround that goes around the OEM instrument panel you can basically run 4 gauges. I've got the boost/egt in one. I'm probably just going to pickup a cheap oil press gauge for the other hole until I can find a good deal on an SPA oil press/temp for it.
Thanks Eby that's the exact info I needed. I actually planned on running relays then switch between two buzzers. One for normal driving and one for track with helmet on. I actually don't look at gauges when I'm driving unless I have a reason so this works perfect for me.

...and yea I had the same idea. The autometer bezel. A nice low-key, functional set-up. Plus I get to keep my clock...yay




Val I really like those McNally guages too. I've never seen those before. I just don't favor the blue backlighting. I have a hard time with blue at night. Good for guys with blue dashlighting though. They need a Greenmax series then I'd be on board.

I got a chuckle out of the Airspeed/MPH gauge. Just didn't expect that. I'd like to see a Suby with a pitot tube though
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubySal View Post
I got a chuckle out of the Airspeed/MPH gauge. Just didn't expect that. I'd like to see a Suby with a pitot tube though
WHY did you give me the idea.

Well, it might just convert MPH to NM/H...
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:22 AM   #13
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I prefer analog, but multifunction gauges are cool and I like the trigger function for a warning light so you only need one sensor and one wire.

I have a few similar to this I got for my rx7 and sled projects.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:40 PM   #14
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I'm a dumb American.

Do those gauges come in standard?
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:21 PM   #15
AKGC8
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They do both. There is a programming button that comes with the gauge(mounts separate from the gauge itself) that you use to change the settings on it. They'll do degrees F or C, and PSI, BAR or CM2 for pressure.

That button also programs the backlight color, brightness, zero's the pressure gauge to current atmospheric pressure, set the LED alert, set the external alarm, can change the external alarm from a steady signal to a flashing signal, and can change the unit resolution.

So a lot of functions packed into a part that takes up 1 gauge hole in your dash. Still, I wouldn't pay full retail for them, they're a little more than I want to spend on gauges(I'd say the same about defi's). Every once and a while I'll see a good deal on ebay for them though. Got my boost/egt gauge new off ebay for a little under half off retail.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:36 AM   #16
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:45 PM   #17
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I know. Old, like me.
I've been running multiple SPA dual gauges for years. Some have worked fine and some have been problematic. A couple of years ago I bought a bunch of used SPA gauges. Some were missing sensors. Some were not working in all respects, like LED's burned out and gauge color would not change from blue on one... BUT, on the whole the functionality was there. I bought some cheap sensors and wired them and the gauges together with new connectors. So, you don't have to spend a fortune on SPA sensors if you know how to wire things.

Still, reprogramming them is daunting. You have to re-zero the sensor and then reset the range. Working with one micro switch which is controlling everything in programming is quite the challenge.
They are worth it in several respects. They can control things like activating another fuel pump, lights or activating anything that can be controlled by a relay.
The downside is they can have issues but I think the reliability is pretty-much on par with other sophisticated electronic gauges. They are kind of plug and play but if you want the most out of them you probably need to be a little nerdy and have a lot of patience.
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