Question RE O2 sensors in vintage race cars

TopGearTech

VRO Principal
Staff member
Rad dudes of VRO: I want to install a wideband O2 in my 914 to keep an eye on my tune and potentially assist with dialing in my carbs.

I don't really like the look of the modern digital gauges on the market, and I'm not sure I like the idea of trying to read an analog gauge either.

I have seen some "vintage-looking" gauges that are in a box that sit on the dash (or under I suppose), but I'm not sure who makes them or where I can buy one. Does anyone have any info? Are these things still produced? Are they accurate?

Thanks in advance!
 

fordboy628

Moderator
Staff member
Do you have any sort of data acquisition/recording? Many systems can record a wideband O2 sensor for download at a later time.

Gauges allow a "quick glance" at the numbers, at a time when you are not "busy" driving the car. Better than nothing, as long as you don't go "off track" . . . . .

I use all digital stuff as far as gauges are concerned, so I'm no help for finding something that looks "vintage".

Sounds like a "quest" to me.
 

TopGearTech

VRO Principal
Staff member
I haven't purchased anything yet, but I'm looking. The AIM stuff looked particularly attractive to me because I could use it for engine/driving data and could program some warning lights if something isn't right. I would like to get your input though if you have any recomendations.

Thanks!
 

miatatude

Vintage Curious
pretty much every wideband maker offers a analog version. remember to consider if the unit offers analog or digital output, and the voltage range and be interpreted by whatever you choose to log with. this is probably less of issue now then it was some years ago when some of these items didn't always play nice together. AIM has some good stuff but be cautious and absolutely sure what you are trying to accomplish is possible with the components you want to use. sometimes AIM has habit announcing features and capabilities that may be a very long way off. I'm really only familiar with the AIM Solo DL which you can hook up their wideband sensor and display it however I don't think you can do a windband AND their camera for example.

Holly makes one, and AEM makes one. not sure about Innovate. you might could perhaps get a vintage aircraft gauge and do some testing with a variable power supply but that is a great way to overcomplicate something intended to help protect your engine. you want something that will flash lights and make you aware something is going wrong. something programmable. the innovate is just a blank black glass face when the car is off, when appearance matters. When the car is on you are racing so who cares what it looks like?
 

miatatude

Vintage Curious
I have no experience with that unit. overall wide bands are one of those things that seem like a good idea but end up being pretty useless unless you are tuning. I would perhaps ask someone who knows more about tuning if they think you need a wideband in your car. From my perspective, I would rather see you allocate some funds to a data/lap timer setup. Did your car come with a transponder for racing? those things are expensive and you really need one to race.
Analyzing your data will help you determine where you are fast and where you are not. its also valuable for remote coaching which is a service offered by people online and by device manufactures. now to be honest I'm not 100% happy with anything I've used but the good news the offerings are getting better all the time.

you can use something like Harrys lap timer with a remote gps receiver. -- for the price it is amazing but I found it to be a little flaky plus you need to turn it on and off manually. If you want and will use it I have a blutooth gps device I will give you at the next event.

APEX PRO $500 is pretty cool, more reliable with some neat features but you can't really export the data which becomes stuck in the phone.
Aim Solo 2 or solo 2DL -400-700 some very advanced features, but it does not do analog sensors.

Aim MXM costs $1000 and it will take both the Smartycam input and the wideband(via CAN network) plus 4 additional inputs, which could be brake pressure, throttle, plus oil pressure & water temp? the unit can be configured for alarms (lights) based on whatever you criteria is appropriate (double check how analog sensors trigger alarms). now you still need to buy their senders but you need some gauges anyway plus a small modern AIM lap timer is a extremely common sight in vintage races cars so its not like your 914 will look like a bedazzled spaceship.

At some point, hopefully this year, AIM will release Racestudio 3 Analysis which automatically syncs the data with video and contains a app for the phone which is neat and hopefully very useful.

FYI the RMP pick up is separate and would not count at one of the 4 analog which is great news. I just called and they clarified because I was concerned that your lack of a ecu would require the use of 1 of the 4 analog but this is not the case.
 
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miatatude

Vintage Curious
I just went online to Pegasus to see what the price would be.

1099 for the mxm
80 for a pressure sender
140 for steering angle.
399 for the wideband
120 for throttle rotary type
120 for brake press linear pot

so this is not exactly right, but you would be right around 1900 for everything. I might put water temp and oil pressure go on a traditional gauge and perhaps add EGT? or perhaps that is overkill.

I would take the $500 saved from not buying the next step up dash and $500 for what a Gopro costs and instead buy the Smartycam for $1000. makes perfect sense!
 
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