Dave in NY· New Member
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had never ever disassembled any sort of gauge and attempted to repair it. If they didn't work or were in bad condition, I simply replaced it. I have two Bolens oriented amp gauges that were extremely erratic while in use. The needles would bounce rapidly, and you couldn't get much of a reading as to exactly was going on. I believe I read that the movement [sort of like the innards of a clock] was worn and that caused the bouncing of the needle. The gauge in my mutt tractor functioned well but the glass was rather fogged over, and it was difficult to read. So, I figured possibly I could take a gauge apart and possibly reassemble it, and if I was lucky it might even work. If I failed, I would just buy a replacement. I started with the grubbiest looking of the bouncers. They have SW on the faces, and I assume they were made by Stewart Warner. I started by working my way around the crimp on the chrome bezel with a small screwdriver. Slowly, carefully prying the edge up till the chrome ring lifted off the main housing. I found a cup that rests in the housing with a narrow rubber gasket, the round glass and another rubber gasket. I discovered that the "movement" is a small shaft that fits inside a U-shaped bracket with the needle on one side and a small flange on the other. I believe that magnetism must attract, repel the flange to move the needle,I suspect that is how it works anyway. I tried pinching the U-shaped bracket together a smidge with my smallest pliers and was able to tighten it up on the small shaft. I tested my "repair" and with 2 tries I got the gauge to actually function without the needle bouncing around. Amazing! I figured I would probably just destroy it. So, I cleaned up the main housing, glass and chrome ring. I substituted 2 flat faucet washers [ plumbing parts] for the crumbling original rubber washers and got it all back in one piece. Gave it a coat of Rust Reformer and will put some silver color on it later. The clouded over gauge from the mutt got taken apart as well but I only removed the chrome bezel and glass. After cleaning those pieces, I put them back on and got the edge crimped as well as I could. I am sure the Stewart Warner factory had/has special tools for assembling their gauges. It still functions and looks a bunch better than it did. I'll buy a new or good used one if I have to. We'll see what happens.