New gauges for my 81 z28

Austin Frazier

New Member
Apr 11, 2017
Hello, first time posting on the site, i've got a 81 z28 and im in desperate need of new gauges. I do not want digital as they are too expensive and way beyond me as far as installation goes. I am stuck between buying a used gauge cluster off of ebay for like $200 or going for autometer z series gauges for around $525, any opinions on which option i should go with here? Thanks.


Veteran Member
Apr 23, 2010
Charlotte NC
I replaced my gauges years ago with Auto-Meter in a Covan's wood grain insert. I like the gauges. I wish I had purchase an electric speedometer instead of the one I have that uses the factory speedometer cable. The cable I think is more trouble to deal with every time I remove and install the dash insert. Since this photo was taken I've added air fuel ratio and vacuum gauges to right side which are nice.


Veteran Member
Oct 1, 2016
Waupaca WI
I would go with the Dakota digital offering if you can swing it should be a direct fit for the car. Push a few buttons to calibrate do a little driving and you are good. Does take a bit to install but should not be any worse than putting in auto meter gauges "by the way these work nice as well" At one point i was pretty dead set on not changing from the original gauges but once i installed the digital ones i would never go back.


Veteran Member
May 6, 2012
Federal Way, Washington
I have had a friend of mine make a dash panel out of Aluminum. (He and his Dad built aluminum fishing boats) I used my original on for a template.(At this time there was no aftermarket gauge set ups) I used a Auto Meter Monster Tach.and a matching Speedometer.And a Variety of 2"Auto meter gauges. I made brackets for my factory switches.Plus I put a few inside my 6" Glas Tek cowl hood. Back in the day we didnt have the parts availability we have now.So we had to get creative. So it is sometime to think outside the box.


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