Two Essential Gauges for Your Land Rover

I just installed two additional gauges in my 1970 Series IIA Land Rover.

Due to the lack of available space on the metal dash, I opted for the small 2 1/16 inch (52mm) gauges:

1) Lucas voltmeter
2) VDO tachometer

I selected these for their style which fits with the Series IIA look.

I purchased my Voltmeter from Nisonger Instruments here:

Scroll down to the bottom of their page to see the gauge.  Peter at Nisonger was super helpful answering my questions and telling me about the options and the install process.

Finding a tachometer in the classic style and one which operates within the range for my engine was a challenge. VDO had the right tach which goes only to 4000 RPM’s, which is what you need.  Why?

For a Series Land Rover, you don’t need a 9000 RPM tach. That is for race cars. You’ll never go that high and you’d have less needle movement to see on the gauge face if your tach range is too high for your vehicle.

I got mine on Amazon with free Prime shipping:

VDO Tach

To install these, you’ll need a gauge panel. I bought this small one to fit under the steering column:

Gauge Panel

Be careful not to install too close to the front of the dash or you can’t slide the gauges in due to the lip of the lower dash blocking the top of the gauge panel. The gauge panel includes tiny sheet metal screws which work fine.

About the instruments:

Out with the old: The old ammeter on the Series Land Rover is useless when broken, but it looks reassuring because it’s always in the charging zone. Only when I replaced my alternator did I realize my ammeter wasn’t even connected. When the ammeter is connected, ALL of your electrics run through it, so if it shorts or fails, all of your electrics in the car go out. You are dead in the water.

In with the new: The voltmeter is way more useful, and tells you the voltage of the battery when car is not running (ignition key clicked on without engine running). With engine running, you can clearly see that your alternator is charging and what the range is. You always can see the electrical load you are using too, engine on or off.  So it’s recommended. Read more in this blog post here.

RPM’s good to know: It’s important to see your RPM’s at different engine speeds and when shifting. The VDO tachometer is super easy to install, and I simply hooked up one of the wires to an extra spade on my ignition coil. It worked perfectly as soon as I connected it, and it’s accurate. The tach packaging does not come with any instructions, so you have to go on VDO’s website, find your tach, and download the 2 page instruction sheet. It’s here:

These are excellent directions, easy to follow, and they show set up, step by step, and sheet has great illustrations and diagrams. I was very pleased with it. If you have any questions, call the 800 number on the VDO website and they are very helpful.  I had a question about the bulb that slides into the back and they were super helpful.

Thanks for reading!

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