KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
January 26, 2010

Using aftermarket gauges to monitor a 'Stang's underhood activity's is far from uncommon. Actually, having a large variety of gauges inside your car is more like a requirement these days, because so many street Mustangs are equipped with turbos, blowers, nitrous systems, and other performance parts that produce or rely on pressures, volumes, and temperatures that are beyond the measuring capacity of the stock instruments.

On Fox Mustangs, the plastic cowl panel protects and hides the windshield wiper hardware. The panel sometimes serves as the unofficial home for aftermarket gauges. A tandem of fuel (for cars that see track action, the cowl location has been popular for fuel gauges because of the NHRA rule that bars routing fuel inside the cabin of the vehicle) and nitrous pressure gauges, a single boost or vacuum gauge, and a transmission temperature gauge-we've all seen them sitting on a Fox's cowl cover at one time or another. And, we've also probably commented on how "cool," or possibly how "uncool" (ever see 'em when they're mounted without a chrome or black cup around the back?) a cowl-mounted gauge setup appears, especially if some of the trimming or modifying needed for securing mounting brackets looks more like a drunk was at the controls of the die grinder.

Aubrey Zabojnic and his son, AJ, of Cowl Gauge Concepts, are creators of the new two-gauge and three-gauge cowl panels for '79-'93 Mustangs (CGC-2 and CGC-3; $129.99) that recently have been the talk of the Internet (SS versions of both panels that feature stainless-steel accents on the bottom are available for $149.99). CGC-2 models are made for either 211/416-inch gauges or the more standard 251/48-inch variety, but CGC-3 only accepts the smaller gauges at this time. We wanted to see for ourselves what all the buzz was about, so we installed the three-gauge panel on Greg Montoya's blown '89 LX, using Auto Meter's Ultra-Lite fuel (PN 4312; 100 psi; $43.12), boost/vacuum (PN 4301; 20 psi; $77.26) and air/fuel ratio (PN 4375; $93.82) gauges (sold separately).

The lightweight panels are made of ABS plastic and can easily be painted, so you're not stuck with basic black if your car is glossed with some other hue and you want the panel to match it. An optional mesh screen is available for either panel, as is Satin Black UV protection. Once installed, it's easy to see that Cowl Gauge Concepts is onto something pretty cool, a part that will make cowl-mounted gauges look as if they really are "home." Aubrey tells us that other cowl gauge panels are in development. The company's future plans include introducing redesigned panels that will accommodate any aftermarket cowl hood style and height (CGC-2 and CGC-3 are OK for cowl hoods up to 3 inches high), cowl gauge pods for '94-'98 Mustangs, and an "in-your-face, full race" version that's actually designed for wiperless Mustangs and will support only the 251/48-inch gauges.

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