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Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge


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  #1  
Old 03-02-2019, 10:24:39 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

This is kinda off topic, so if it needs to be moved I apologize. I just know there are a lot of smart people here that may know something about this gauge.

I picked up this large brass Allis temp gauge recently.
Links to Pics:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/sPw4YBedLhMkHiJW7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/vAwbSFxjyxsCKtWKA

Today I carefully removed the hand and dial to see what the guts looked like.
Pic:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/9FMgwCb8V9LUEe4g8

My plan is to get it working again if possible. Worst case it would be inside temp readings. Best case scenario I'd like the sensor outside to read outside temp.
And if at all possible have it read in Fahrenheit instead of the Centigrade it is in. Not sure that is even possible.
Then get crafty and mount it on a board or something, possibly with other vintage AC brass tag I have. Think kinda a steampunk vibe.

Anyway, now I have the questions.
The guts seem to be in working order (everything free and nothing broken), but the sensing unit has been cut off. I have been googling to try to research vintage temp gauges like this, but have been coming up empty. Can anyone explain to me what kind of sensing unit this would have had? It looks like a copper wire/tube with a silver colored center where it was cut off.

This appears to be a fancy spiral bimetallic thermometer. But is the sensing unit needed to function? The reason I ask, I did some initial experiments to see if the guts were functioning/reading. Placed gauge in fridge, let cool to the 35* F I have it set at, from the 66* room temp it was at. No noticeable movement on the pointer. Then I placed it on top of one of my hot water radiators of my house heating system and let it get up to temp, again no real noticeable movement in pointer.
I thought just the air temp differences from these extremes would register in the bimetallic spring, but they don't seem to be. Which makes me wonder if there is more I don't know about the sensing unit?

Now for the neat part. You may have noticed the two screw terminals on the bottom left of the gauge. These are connected to wires which lead one to the pointer, and the other to a hairspring attached to the red fixed "max temp" pointer. So, When the pointer goes up the dial enough to reach the max level, it makes contact with the hairspring and connects the circuit. This would be connected to an alarm system of some sort (bell,light?) as a warning to check the gauge I imagine?

At least this is what it looks like to me. Feel free to educate me if I'm way off. Again, I have not been able to find any information as to what kind of alarm system it would have been connected to this gauge.

I have also not found what this gauge may have been used ON. If anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear!
The max temp was set to 80*C which is 176*F and I can tell that has not been changed. That may be a clue as to its use?

Thanks for looking.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:57:24 PM
Duey C Duey C is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Gorgeous temp gauge Jacob!
I have no clue but hopefully somebody will give some info.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:38:14 PM
Oilpulled Oilpulled is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Congratulations!
Don't spoil it by changing to Fahrenheit. Centigrade or Celsius makes better sense and its creator knew that. Zero is freezing and 100 deg C is boiling. What could be simpler and easier to understand! Minus 40 Deg C and minus 40 deg F are the same. If you want, tape a deg F scale to the glass so it can be peeled off later. Keep it original. It's a fine antique.
That coil is of bimetal to move as the temperature changes and it is designed to make contact at a desired preset temperature.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:38:28 PM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

nice find, killer gauge...
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:47:02 PM
Oilpulled Oilpulled is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

The projection on top may be a port for either temperature and or pressure sensing too.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:13:34 AM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Is the internal "wire" going to the top fitting actually a tube? If it is then the spring may not be bi-metal but a Bourdon tube that senses pressure. Pressure could be supplied by an expanding liquid contained in a remote temperature sensor bulb. It could be the top fitting is the sensor and the liquid has leaked or dried out. I have no knowledge what liquid it would be, perhaps alcohol.

Check out the Bourdon Tube temperature gauge about mid-way down this web page, http://www.processtechacademy.com/6158-2/.

Another description https://automationforum.in/t/pressur...asurement/3463
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:56:42 AM
RobW RobW is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

I also believe it is a bourdon coil tube that when new had a sensing bulb attached to the hub at the top of the gauge.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:35:34 AM
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Phil Johnson Phil Johnson is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Send it up here to me, Jacob. We use Celsius here which is the same as Centigrade!!!

Contact Nisonger Corp. in U. S. as they may be able to give you some info. They are a gauge repair and restoration specialist.

http://www.nisonger.com/
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:46:56 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

See, this is why I love this forum, there are people here that know a little bit about just about everything! And because of that I learn new things all the time

I now think it is actually the bourdon tube like suggested, and not a bimetallic spring like originally thought.

And the "wire" going from the bourdon tube up to the cut off top port is actually the capillary tube, which should be hollow from what I now understand. Like I said, the end is currently filled with a silver colored something. looks like solder. I am now wondering if I should poke/drill that out to see if the air pressure applied idea makes it move? This remaining part should be empty anyway correct (since the bulb is missing which would have the liquid/gas in it), so I wouldn't be hurting anything would I? How little air pressure are we talking here?
It all kind of makes sense that it doesn't work since the bulb has been cut off. If it were indeed a bimetallic spring, I would have been getting some readings.

So..... you guys can fix about anything right? How would you go about fixing this to make it function if it were yours? Short of sending it out to have professionally repaired. This is just a fun little project that if I can do myself for cheap great, if not I'll just put it back together and hang it on the wall as a static piece. It's not like I need this restored to put back on a piece of machinery, that would be a different story.

And just for clarification, when I said convert to F earlier, I meant in a reversible way, like if the guts had been all bad and broken, remove them and put a new thermometer guts in the old housing so it functioned but looked original on the outside, and could be changed back in the future if wanted. I'm not thinking of engraving the dial face or anything crazy like that, so don't be worried.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:58:42 PM
John Dunn John Dunn is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Those bourdon sensing tubes get cut all the time when someone with good intentions saves the dash instrument cluster from an old car. Wires and tubes get snipped off (thinking they will be replaced anyhow) which is not a problem for anything EXCEPT the temperature gauge. I need one for a 38 Dodge truck that was cut when engine was pulled. An intact working original with sensing tube / bulb is very expensive, if you can find one, so I'm getting by with a universal mechanical $12 temp gauge off eBay for now. I did see a guy on eBay offering to properly replace sensing tube and guarantee function for $75. I'm guessing he could do this one too.
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:25:22 PM
mschreiber mschreiber is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

Would this gauge be used on a big corliss engine type application?
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:46:11 PM
Oilpulled Oilpulled is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

John Dunn;
Some fuel gauges on cars used pressure type tubes from the tank to the gauge.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:24:41 PM
Jacob WI Jacob WI is offline
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

So I've been doing a little reading, and it sounds like these CAN be repaired. Here is one article, and a friend sent me another that says almost exactly the same thing:

https://www.ply33.com/Repair/tempgauge

Another article talks about soldering a brass machine nut to fill the system (which is still intact but lost fluid) inserting some ether/starter fluid with a syringe, and plugging the nut with a brass machine bolt with Teflon tape and dope to seal it up. test and insert more or less to calibrate.

But I got to thinking, even if I repaired this, is it all for not? These sensing units are meant to be in liquid (oil, water). Are they going to read air temp like I want? Am I back to engineering a new system that can read air temp?

---------- Post added at 03:24:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:16:16 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschreiber View Post
Would this gauge be used on a big corliss engine type application?
It could be from any number of things, but this was one of the first things I thought of as well. Allis had there hands in MANY different systems and departments. Could be just about any type of fluid measurement you could imagine. I don't even really have a good guess as to AGE of this. Centigrade was changed to Celsius in the 1950's, so it has to be before that I imagine. But that only really narrows it down from the early 1900's to 1950 time frame, a big chunk of time.

The max temp being set at 80*C (176*F) is really the only hint we have as to application at this point.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:43:16 PM
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Default Re: Big Brass Allis Chalmers Temperature Gauge

I've repaired a couple of capillary type gauges using the method from the Skinned Knuckles article. I placed the capillary tube bulb in the deep freeze and left it in there while I made the connection to the original gauge head. Last time I did it I was repairing the gauge for my '29 Stutz and put the capillary tube and bulb outside my shop door at about -30 degrees and made the connection to the gauge head in the shop on the warm side of the door!! Worked fine both times. Got the small diameter brass tubing for the connection from the local hobby shop.
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