What's my vacuum gauge telling me? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:29 AM   #1
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's project consisted of installing a vacuum gauge in my Metro. It was a bit of an adventure and if I never have to remove my gauge panel again it will be too soon (I had this "brilliant" idea to try and place the gauge in or over top of the panel, bu

This weekend's project consisted of installing a vacuum gauge in my Metro. It was a bit of an adventure and if I never have to remove my gauge panel again it will be too soon (I had this "brilliant" idea to try and place the gauge in or over top of the panel, but that was a bit over zealous).

Anyway, I plugged the vacuum hose inline with the MAP sensor hose, but I wasn't certain if it was the best idea (it was the only hose the same size as the fittings that came with the gauge). So, what is this gauge telling me? Can anyone with a vacuum and/or scan gauge help me begin to interpret what's going on?

At normal idle the needle is around 16 in. Hg. During acceleration from a stop it drops to 5 in. Hg and builds from there. Cruising at 60 km/h in 5th gear keeps it around 11 in. Hg.

However, I played with the gearing and the results are all over the place. I even revved the car up to 50 km/h in 2nd gear and the needle was hovering around 15 in. Hg...so, I can't figure out what's going on. Maybe using the MAP sensor vacuum isn't the correct thing to do?
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:06 AM   #2
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Ouch! only 16 in hg at

Ouch! only 16 in hg at idle? Unless suzuki engines are lots different than Hondas, you should expect over 20 in hg at idle. Maybe you have a vacuum leak?

What it tells you is how much load you are putting on the engine. It is best to use to target acceleration rates as it gives instant feedback on ho much you are asking the engine to do. It is a poor substitute for a scan guage but it is better than nothing. I removed mine after I installed the SuperMID.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
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In gear coasting drives the

In gear coasting drives the needle up to 21 in Hg. The Haynes manuals stated that when testing with a vacuum gauge readings around 17 in. Hg were normal at idle. They seemed to be referring to most engines in this case, not just the Metro's.

It could be that Honda's do read higher. They do have a tendency to get better fuel economy than most engines in the same liter and/or hp class.

Also, the little car needs a new exhaust. The cat is original and it's straight-piped (due to previous owner). There's no back-pressure from a muffler so the low-end powerband could be reduced a fair amount.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:37 AM   #4
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Oops...definitely shouldn't

Oops...definitely shouldn't have used the MAP sensor hose. Found this information: http://www.centuryperformance.com/vacuum.asp

Quote:
Connection of the gauge is to a simple "manifold" vacuum source. "This must NOT be "ported" vacuum that rises as RPM increases".
That's exactly what my gauge is doing. I was getting higher readings at high RPM. Guess I'll have to find another hose to use. I wish the instructions for the gauge had been clearer.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:16 PM   #5
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At the very least, it's

At the very least, it's telling me to get off my *** and install my own,

Have you seen Dan's thread about using his vacuum gauge for driving?
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:15 AM   #6
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There are no other hoses to use - you are using the correct one on the MAP sensor. The vacuum numbers you are seeing are correct but sound a little low - idle vacuum should be a little higher but that depends upon your ignition timing - more advance will increase the vacuum. Higher RPM should get you higher vacuum but it also sounds like you have some intake restriction?
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:33 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. I drove around

Thanks guys. I drove around after work last night and realized that it probably was giving me correct readings after all since it basically gives me a readout on my throttle response - vacuum increases with RPM as long as you keep a steady throttle. Push the pedal down and that needle drops pretty rapidly.

I've been trying to keep the needle from dipping below 5. This means I'm starting slower and actually shifting slightly later than usual. I have a lot of experimentation to do.

Oh, right...and I haven't seen Dan's vacuum gauge thread.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:45 AM   #8
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high vs low

keep the vacuum high improves the fuel vaporization but increases pumping losses - on my Geo I did not see much of a difference between lugging it and reving it - friction increases at heavy loads on the rings and gearing so I think it cancels out.
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:07 AM   #9
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Re: high vs low

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanGeo
on my Geo I did not see much of a difference between lugging it and reving it - friction increases at heavy loads on the rings and gearing so I think it cancels out.
RPM is a demonstrated FE killer under steady load: http://www.gassavers.org/forum_topic/rpm_gear_choice_vs_mpg_at_constant_speed.html
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:18 AM   #10
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The pattern that I have

The pattern that I have become used to is from 1st to 2nd at 10 km/h, 2nd to 3rd at 30 km/h, 3rd to 4th at 40 km/h, and 4th to 5th at 50 km/h (unless I'm trying to hit 110 km/h on a merge lane for the highway...double those figures then).

What I've been trying with the vacuum gauge is simply adding 5 km/h to my shift points (15, 35, 45, 55). Maybe it will make a difference, maybe not. There's not going to be any definitive answer unless my mpg average shoots up (or down).

On the vacuum gauge it LOOKS like the engine is less strained and my ears tell me that the RPM difference is minimal.

The primary difference is going to be how fast I take off from stop signs/lights. I have always found the Metro's accelerator to be rather sensitive so now I'm really trying to feather it to keep the gauge needle from dipping too low.
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