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Why are the tachometers sideways?


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#1 MrBreaker

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:05

I'm sure this question has been asked numerous times, but I was wondering why the tachometers (and I think some other gauges) on older cars (60's) were not rightside up. The only reason I could think that the teams would do this is to have the needle be pointing straight down at the perfect RPM to shift. Is this the case?

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#2 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:10

You are correct. It is to make them easier to read at speed. At the proper
angle you simple need to move your eyeballs to see rather than wiggling your head about, thus wasting time, thus wasting movement.

#3 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:17

I always thought that the idea was to have the needle more or less in the vertical UP position at maximum revs.

#4 Don Capps

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:23

That is basically the case. Generally, you wanted to glance at the tach and if it was about at the straight-up position, you were pulling the right revs. If it was to the right of that, generally you started thinking up a good story -- "...gee, when I tucked in behind the number six car, I guess I gained about 3 or 400 more revs...." -- that you could tell with a straight face and keep straight..." --- after the big bang....

#5 MrBreaker

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:28

Originally posted by Don Capps
That is basically the case. Generally, you wanted to glance at the tach and if it was about at the straight-up position, you were pulling the right revs. If it was to the right of that, generally you started thinking up a good story -- "...gee, when I tucked in behind the number six car, I guess I gained about 3 or 400 more revs...." -- that you could tell with a straight face and keep straight..." --- after the big bang....


And those revs would be pretty high up there, meaning that the tach was almost upside down?

#6 Don Capps

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 17:43

As Dave sez, it is essentially a matter of being able to easily see where the you are with just a quick glance. Most of the other gauges were done the same way.

#7 buddyt

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Posted 05 October 2002 - 12:27

all guages should be set with the needle pointing up ....12 oclock....when all is right with the engine..........oil pressure...oil temp ...water temp....rpms......more than one driver has carried a magnet with him to sweep back the hand on a tell tail tach and say " I don't know why she blowed " when a shift was missed :