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How to fit oil pressure gauge to spitfire


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I have bought a mechanical Smiths  oil pressure gauge as my Spitfire does not have one.


Firstly--is fitting this gauge recommended or is it just going to stress me every time I drive the car and spend more time watching it than the road.


Secondly, I am unsure how to fit it--do I look for the oil pressure gauge on the engine and unscrew it --then put the T piece in and attach the gauge??


Grateful for any advice



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Firstly they are not therevto worry you into depression, but a good indicator of reducing oil performance and yes general engine bearing conditions,

with a good quality 20/50 oilmthe triumph spec is 40 to 60psi at 2000rpm

to fit you remove the low pressure switch located on the oil filter side of the engine, add the tee peice

and refit the gauge pipework and the switch

just test for leaks when done


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I fitted one to my GT6 a year ago and there are two recommendations I can make


1                 Put the gauge and piping together connecting to the Tee piece in the engine bay. Run the engine and test for leaks. Better to have a leak and fix it at the gauge end                           outside of the cockpit, oil and carpet are not a good mix. Once tested use undo at the Tee piece and use cling film to seal the pipe end to do the final fitting

2                Don’t forget the small red fibre washers at each end!

3                Have some cable ties handy. My pipe was far too long so I coiled the excess up in the engine bay and cable tied it out if the way


Hope this helps a little



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Just another thought on any piped connections to any engine

...engine noise can be transmitted up the pipes or from the tubes inside the gauge

if you use a plastic pipe they dont transmit the vibrations

if you use metal pipes you need to ut the pipe and add a short lenght of rubber pressure hose,

if you get needle vibrations on oil or vacuum you need to add a damper , often made from anshort length

of bundy crushed with pliers till it damps to a smooth reading

it was common to add a coil in the tube run to lessen noise



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Hi Terry


To add to the many useful tips on here, yes they are really worth having, but the pipework and fittings are delicate and require care, and are easy to strip or split if you overdo it, and they can leak hot oil on to your leg/carpet if you leave any sealing washers out.


If the worst does happen and you strip or damage something, Europa Specialist Spares does a useful range of fittings and pipes here:




As the gauge I used was a German-made item from a car I broke for spares, I used the five-foot copper pipe from Europa and put a couple of coils in it against vibration damage. As a precaution, I stuffed a clean rag behind the dash under the gauge and fitting for a short while after I installed it to check for any oil leakage.


Good luck



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  • 5 months later...

Try with the engine hot.


Taking in the OP, "is it just going to stress me every time I drive the car and spend more time watching it than the road." isn't there a better, cheaper plan?


The OE pressure switch doesn't trigger until the pressure is less than 5psi.  That is VERY low and damage may have happened by that time.

But switches that trigger at 25psi give a more useful point at which to get worried, so fit and forget, until the light comes on or stays on!

Suitable switches less than £20, juts a bolt on.



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its not uncommon for these to be very tight ...heaven knows why it only needs to be hand  spanner tight not  wrenched up 


often the only way is to get the switch component broke or cut off leaving the hexagon to fit a 6 sided socket on and apply some force.


if you have to drill  ( use a thick grease on the bit) and swear to remove , take out the dizzy , insert an drill to the pump drive and run it so you flush any swarf out the holes 


not advised but it can work ok. when youre in  the perverbial



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