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My original 1974 Pantera Veglia 260 deg. F water temperature gauge has stopped working.  After some troubleshooting it appears to be the gauge, not the sender or wiring.

Looking on eBay, it appears that used Fiat Veglia 260 deg. F gauges can be had for about $40.  The body and connections appear identical; the only differences appear to be cosmetic.  Has anyone disassembled these gauges to exchange the guts for a cost-effective fix?  Was it worth the extra effort to save a few bucks?

Original Post

There is a company in New Mexico that can convert the Veglia water temperature and oil pressure gauge to Stewart Warner internals. You then end up using matching Stewart Warner sending units. This gives you the original Veglia gauge face, but with accurate internals. If you get the Fiat gauge internals into the Veglia gauge, you would still need the matching Fiat sending units. The Veglia gauge and the Ford sending unit were never a good match. That is why Ford dealers were putting a resistor in the water temperature gauge sending unit wire, which reduced the temperature reading to make it more accurate. 

Suggest then just wait for an original gauge (with correct dial, bezel, and needle colors) to show up on Ebay or buy one from Wilkinson....I putzed around this a long time, but all these gauges are really easy to find, wait long enough and they are dirt cheap (well, not as cheap as fiat 850 gauges, but worth it)--correct bezel, etc at usually $60 on ebay). You'll regret later if it just looks wrong, the green gauges are perfect. 

Thank you for the recommendation and insight jffr and Ieea.  In the end I may take your advice to wait for an original gauge to show-up on eBay (there is one now with a starting bid of $200), but for now I am going to try my skills on getting a Fiat Veglia gauge to work.  I am waiting for one to arrive that was only $20 (incl. shipping), that supposedly worked when pulled from its Fiat 124 Spider donor.

My plan is to test the gauge for function and temperature calibration with my Ford sender unit.  Then I will try the delicate surgery of swapping the Fiat internals to my original gauge.  I will try my best to document this work and let The Forum know the result.

I will also keep my eye open for an original Pantera gauge on eBay

Oh, its fun—the swap isn’t hard, as long as you get a fiat gauge with pivot at bottom (the Detomaso swings from 10:00 to 2:00, many fiats are upside down and swing from 4:00 to 8:00)—fiat 124 had both (otherwise the dial plate will be upside-down and the counterweight may be confused, or the movement itself operate in reverse). Then, the only thing that is unique is the green needle.
I haven’t tested, but would not be surprised if all the Veglia gauges were the same movement (and rely on the sender only to distinguish 230’ or 260 full scale, for example)--Lee

My Fiat 124 to DeTomaso Pantera water temperature gauge transfusion was successful!  I was able to retrofit the Fiat guts with simple hand tools and a few hours of work.  As DeTomaso parts become more scarce there may be others that will be interested in how I did it.

The first step was to remove the trim bezel from each gauge.  So as not to deform the bezel I used a suitable hose clamp wrapped around the outside of the bezel to keep its shape, as I carefully bent the backside open around the entire perimeter with a small screw driver.  As a precaution, I had a rag between the hose clamp and bezel and put the worm drive at the bottom of the gauge.
73D858BB-8571-45AD-B571-97135344F90E

After removing the bezel and two small nuts on the backside I was able to pull the faceplate and internals out.4A238153-E9EA-4042-B298-914961B54E76

Next I used a rotary tool to grind the retaining swages off both faceplates.523A2C53-B4BC-40FC-B628-F44735959B3A

With the faceplate removed I colored the needle with a green marker and then a green highlighter until a match was made to the original needle color.  It appeared that swapping the needle was not possible, or at least beyond my capabilities, so I took this low-effort Route that actually yielded passable results.1DF78B44-585C-461C-86AD-0E7891EDDFB5

In place of the swages I used JB Weld to hold the DeTomaso faceplate onto the Fiat mechanism.9400BB38-28EC-47F0-95A6-895A1269F121

I checked the calibration between the Fiat mechanism, Pantera faceplate and temperature sendor by placing the sendor in a cup of vegetable oil at temperature.  I found that the best compromise was having a 57 Ohm resistance between the sendor and gauge. although it reads approximately 20 F low at 190 it enters the red at 240 F and reads fairly accurate at 260 F.D77FDF96-BDB4-4F5C-991A-8916F7D539F0

The final product does not look out of place in the dash.675C9FC9-64CF-4C72-9141-5BC2CFB1BBC6

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  • 4A238153-E9EA-4042-B298-914961B54E76
  • 523A2C53-B4BC-40FC-B628-F44735959B3A
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