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Summit Racing Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge
Part No. SUM-G2914
Retail Price
- $18.95
Costco's got "Kirkland Signatures", Safeway has "Safeway Select", and Summit Racing has "Summit Racing". Oh well, maybe Summit isn't as creative as food merchants when it comes to private labeling but by golly they are highly involved with the concept and curiously out to compete with the name brands found in their own catalog like Auto Meter, VDO, and Stewart Warner. We acquired Summit's representative 2-5/8" mechanical oil pressure gauge. Here's our impression.


We can't stress this one enough, packaging says a lot about what a company thinks of their own product. The familiar flimsy white box was an indicator that this gauge had seen the inside of a shipping container as did the "Trans-Tek" imprint on the gauge face. Sometimes you have to look close to see who really makes the gauge. There was a decent set of orginal-looking instructions inside.
 
The gauge face is attractive if you like "chrome-ish" bezels. Although
Summit has a strong association with performance, we don't really
associate the Summit brand with manufacturing like we do with
distributing. Just seems a bit out-of-place to see the Summit logo inside the car rather than on the coffee table.
     


We were reminded of the $19.00 retail price when we turned the gauge over. It was sort of like contemplating the purchase of a home that uses stucco in the front and siding in the back.

 
The included hardware was pretty standard and is what can be expected at this price. The capillary tube was very thin-walled and the grommet seemed to be missing. Since the capillary tube is intended to run through the firewall, a grommet is absolutely mandatory in our opinion.
     

A closer look at the instructions revealed that the grommet wasn't really missing, it's not part of the Summit kit. Click the image and you'll see the grommet is listed as "optional" on the instructions. IMPORTANT: If you take one thing away from this article, do not consider the firewall grommet for a mechanical oil pressure gauge optional if you use included capillary tubing.
 
In the end we found that the Summit gauge measured 40 psi at 1000 RPM, consistent with the Stewart Warner gauge.

Auto Meter Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge
Part No. ATM-3421
Retail Price
- $40.99
If there is one name in aftermarket gauges that we all recognize, it's Auto Meter. From the incredibly readable face of the "Sport-Comp" line all the way to the attentive packaging design, Auto Meter is a mainstay in the industry and for good reason. Besides creating a great looking gauge, they're product line is contiguous and wide enough to offer a gauge style to suit every vehicle.


Of the entire group, the Auto Meter gauge offered the most robust and proud packaging, an indication that we had just bought a good product.
 
Ever wonder why the Auto Meter Sport-Comp gauges are so easy to read? They chose one of the most readable typestyles known to man for their digits.
     


Remember the first gauge in our review? A customer service rep at Auto Meter suggested that sealing off the light cavity as Stewart Warner does is "overkill". Depending on the application, he could be right.

 
Auto Meter shines with the completeness and integrity of their hardware kit. They offer a molded plastic bracket that matches black universal face plates very well, knurled fingertip nuts, two grommets, and colored lens covers. Auto Meter hardware kits demonstrate a clear understanding of enthusiast needs.
     

In this photo we're looking at the back of a 2-5/8" Auto Meter water temperature gauge. Nonetheless, the photo demonstrates how well the bracket works with the face plate and just how easy it is to attach the bracket with included fingertip nuts. A helpful feature when it comes time to get under the dash.
 
Auto Meter's included instructions were easy to read, clearly written, and obviously illustrated for Auto Meter's very own products. Often times, installation instructions look like they were written by somebody who never installed the part or worse... they're just a copy of another manufacturer's instruction sheet.
     

Auto Meter helps themselves and the customer by suggesting relevant add-on items on their packaging. These are the fine touches an American speed parts manufacturer takes to stay ahead of "white-box" competitors.
 
The Auto Meter 3421 read 40 psi in our Park idle oil pressure test, just like the predecessors. To be honest, we were anticipating variation from gauge to gauge by this point in our evaluation.

 

(VDO and AutoGage)
Requires Subscription

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The Summit Racing Private Brand Story. Straight Truth or Bent Truth? You be the Judge.
Have you noticed an increase in the number of private labeled Summit brand products within the Summit Racing Equipment website and catalog? We have and there's good reason for this growth. As well as being a distributor of name brand products, Summit Racing Equipment is also in direct competition with the manufacturers whose products they stock and distribute. How? With low-cost private labeled goods like the gauge shown here to the left.

Since we are evaluating a diverse group of name brand products along with a Summit Racing private labeled product in this article, FordMuscle thought there would be no better place to highlight some quotable quotes directly from Summit about their private label brand. The following quotes were pulled the article titled..."The Summit Private Brand Story"... which we found within the May-June 2006 Summit Racing Catalog.

"We wouldn't risk our reputation by putting our name on just any product"

"We exhaustively search for high quality products so we can offer you an alternative to the name brands"

"Potential products are thoroughly evaluated and only offered to you if we'd put them on our cars"

"You can build your project for less without sacrificing quality"

Take it upon yourself to digest these quotes for which "quality" is the theme. After reading our entire gauge evaluation ask yourself if the claims from Summit Racing Equipment apply to their offering when up against the likes of Auto Meter and Stewart Warner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

... Auto Meter brand gauges? Amazon.com carries a complete line of Auto Meter including the Sport Comp 2-5/8" mechanical oil pressure gauge we evaluated here.
 
Auto Meter 3421 Sport Comp 2-5/8" Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge
Price: $40.99
But It Now

 


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