Adding gauges to replace dummy lights?

So one regret I have with my car is not being an XR7… it obviously came with dummy lights, instead of temp-pressure-volts gauges. I like to keep an eye on things and find that I the miss the proper instrumentation that is not offered in Standards. I’ve already replaced the blank in my ‘70’s dash with a Rocketman 8K tach, and now I’m thinking about wasting some more of my kids’ inheritance on some monitoring.

If you could only have two…which two gauges would you choose? I’m leaning towards oil pressure and coolant temperature. I think they’d look great as driver-quality original gauges, but they’re harder to find (and maybe not as accurate?). Does anyone have experience with the Autometer Black Diamonds? These two seem kinda sorta originalish…

What other parts (senders, etc.) will I need and how involved is it to do the install?
I’m looking at putting them in this gauge pod that holds (2) 2-1/16" round gauges, where the useless ashtray is. NPD also has an A-pillar-style 2-gauge pod, but it just doesn’t look right to me. Thanks!

I have one of those console/replace ashtray units in my '69. The XR7 already has oil and temp so I went with Transmission temp and Vacuum but in a standard I would go oil and temp.
I wired my Transmission Temp gauge to be switchable between Transmission and Engine temp:

If you want the new gauges to look like what you have, check out Speedhut. The custom options let you mimic Standard style gauges. I went with oil pressure and volts. Volt install was no problem. For oil pressure, I picked up a T-fitting so I could keep the warning light, but it interferes with my P/S pump so I need to figure out something else.

You might need one of these. They were used with the “bulb” pressure sender and power steering as opposed to the “button” idiot light switch.

The links you provide show mechanical gauges. It might be better to use electric gauges instead.

In my experience the fittings for the tube on the mechanical oil pressure gauge usually leak, and a leak on the inside end can be really messy.

For the mechanical temperature gauge, you have to make a hole in the firewall big enough to pass the sensor through, then have to manage the excess tubing for the sensor.
The console pod is cheaper at tony branda

I have Stewart Warner green line / like Shelby gauges- overpriced IMO and require to purchase separate senders.

Oil and water temp - electric- as stated above , one leak and you have a mess

Use a Tee or Y to keep idiot lights and gauges.

The upside of Speedhut is that you can have an idiot light on the gauge.

I wanted to add a vacuum gauge. Ended up designing this trick mounting style to repurpose the ash tray opening with an A pillar gauge mount originally intended for Jeeps. I believe the standard has the same ash tray design so something to look into. I go over some gauge options in the below thread. Granted mine is an XR7 and I tested the original gauges to know they function ok.

Also suggest looking into the speedhut gauges. I am very happy with them and you can customize them in several different ways to match what you have. They also have a warning lit built in as well that is programmable for both high and low warnings so you set it to your desired parameters.

Is it possible to have a drivers side XR7 panel fit the standard passenger side just for the ability to use gauges?
I think I’m going to have to rip out the dash anyway to fix gauges and you know what they say WIAIT.

I might even think about splurging for this (not sure if it fits, though). I’ve always liked how the 69s had the seat belt thingy. Maybe it’s the photo, but it looks somehow wider than my console. Not real sure what I’d do for the ashtray cutout and the switch holes either…

I have seen some 69-70 Cougars where the owners have mounted extra gauges in pods mounted on the steering column below the main cluster.

Would you guess I’d be better off with one of the aftermarket (maybe even custom) gauges in that pod…from the perspective of accuracy, appearance and ease of installation? Or is this an opportunity to hold out and use 67-8 XR7 temp/pressure gauges that would look more at home with my mostly stock-looking dash?