To follow up the post- I have received and installed the new Ammeter.
Attached are some pics. The new one has differences from the original part. From the picture, you can see the old one has more of a wing effect to the left side of gauge face. There also is a protective piece metal behind the gauge, angled, probably to protect the gauge innards and act as some kind of shield.
The new gauge windings and needle are hidden behind the larger gauge face and circular metal housing on the back protects the winding. The needle also appears to be actuated by a rod attached to it, rather than from the top like the original.
In terms of what is inside of the new housing, I didnt see a way to take it apart, but imagine it is something similiar to the original.
My originals problem is easy to see in the photo that shows the broken wire. I did put the two ends back together to do a continuity test, but there was no continuity. I am thinking probably the windings are somehow burnt out also- so the old gauge is toast, it wasnt working since I have had the car, two years, so no surprise there.
Upon installing the new gauge and testing it, the gauge did in fact go right over to the Charge side right after starting the car, and came back towards center of the gauge after about ten seconds.
When I put on the accessories, the heater, lights, radio, etc. the gauge did go toward the Discharge area, though never over the center line of the gauge. I would say the gauge is working normally.
Now I know really it isnt telling me all that much, it is just a idiot light with a neat sweeping dial. The only time it is going to really be useful, the problem will all ready most likely disable the car.
But, am I happy now that the gauge actually does something? Very.
Was it worth $65? To me, yes- and that is the bottom line.
Here are the pics, enjoy.
PS- and on a lighter note, don't let what happened to me happen to you if you are installing this. The p/o (always blaming that guy for this and that!) had the red wire on the "I" terminal on the starter solenoid. That is the same red wire that goes to the gauge cluster and to the back of the ammerter So, when I connected the red and yellow wires to the back of the cluster, the cars starter mysteriously began cranking the motor, this was without the keys in the ignition!
Nearly crapping my pants, I pulled the battery cable and went detective hunting. Using the wiring diagrams, I figured out what the issue was, and put the red wire on the "S" post, along with the yellow that was all ready correctly there, so my ammeter was no longer acting as a circut completer and allowing voltage to go to the mini starter.
Yes, crazy, but no damage done. The broken wire in the old ammeter was actually the thing that was keeping this from happening all the time- and yes, the detective in me was trying to figure out if this is what burned out the old ammeter, but I don't believe so, it would probably burn out the starter from cranking continuously first than the 12 v going through the gauge for an extended period of time- the gauge can handle that.
Check out my restoration pics!