Q: Hood Tach Information
What is the story on the hood tach.
A: Just a little background….
The Hood Tach was not exclusively a Dealer Installed Option; Most were factory installed though, I’m sure many dealers did install them as have many enthusiasts over the years. The factory would not have cut a hole just anywhere; there was likely a punch operation for factory hood tachs (an assembly line does not allow for a cutting operation). Sure, you can install one wherever it looks good but if you want it to be correct; get the dim’s from a factory hood with the tach. Also, the factory and dealers used rivets in addition to the nuts (for security).
A: The repor Hood Tach has gone through many revisions since it first came out in the mid-80’s. The most significant thing about the one you can buy today is it’s functionality. It is much better than the original GM Hood Tach (better circuits, lighting) however, as good as it works and looks, it has one obvious thing that distiniguishes it from an original GM tach; the face is plastic and has a sort of ‘fuzzy’ look to it. Not really a big deal unless you’re picky (like me). Those who must have ‘perfection’ can send theirs off (or buy one) from a number of Tach Restorers around the country who offer silk-screening in addition to rebuilding. I’m sure others on the list can elaborate more on the repro tach since all I’ve ever used is original, used, rebuilt or NOS Tachs.
A: The Hood Tach first became available sometime in Feb/Mar of 1967 on all Pontiac Models. The first style was the “TALL” style which refers to the height of the case. Also, the first style used only a single light bulb and there were variations with the face colors and redlines depending on carline and engine.
1967 Firebird (and very early 1968 Firebirds) used the Tall Style. Face background was Black with Green characters while the GTO and Full-Size had Steel Blue Backgrounds with White characters. After supplies of the ‘Tall’ Style Hood Tach were exhausted, the 2nd style came into production. This was a ‘shorter’ case (by an inch or so) and now had (2) bulbs instead of the previous (1). This new style was released into production on April 20th 1967 (even though early 1968 Firebirds continued using the Tall Style). The face on this first ‘short’ style was of a circular pattern. On June 29th 1967, this face was changed to an ‘oval’ pattern.
Face background was steel blue with white characters. The final major design change came with the 1969 model. The face background was changed to black with white characters. The Hood Tach lasted through ’72 production. From 1967 – ’72, there were many Redline variations for different engines/models including the OHC-6 cars and Ram Air engines. The 1967 OHC-6 Firebird had a 6500 redline. This was later changed to 5500. RA II used the OHC-6 5500 redline. All other applications used a 5100 redline. The rarest would be the ‘supposed’ Hood Tach released for the RAV engine. Back in the 80’s, “Purely PMD” from NM built a 1969 Judge with a complete RAV engine and found what was described as the only known RAV Hood Tach that had a lights for ‘shifting’ built into the face.
Anyhow, there’s my ‘long-winded’ reply on Hood Tachs. As with any information, there will always be exceptions to the rule and other variations. I welcome any constructive criticism provided there is some inkling of supporting evidence. What I’ve shared is from various PMD Parts Books, GTO/Firebird restoration guides, articles, and Service Bulletins.
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Content last modified: January 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm