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1970 - Early 1971




Late 1971 - 1972




1973




1974 - 1976





Porsche 914 Fuel Gauges

Porsche 914 silver button fuel gauge
            comparison

The "Combination Instrument"

The fuel gauge delivered in the Porsche 914 cars also houses the indicator light for the parking brake / hydraulic brake system, an oil pressure warning light, an alternator warning light, and, in the case of Sportomatic models, an oil temperature warning light. Subsequently, the 1970 and 1971 Porsche 914 Owner's Manuals refer to this gauge as a "combination Instrument." The 1972 owner's manual calls it the "Fuel Gauge Dial." Actually, VW-Porsche changed the fuel gauge frequently enough that the department which produced the owner's manuals appears to have had a difficult time keeping up (as discussed below). By 1973, however, this instrument had become merely a "Fuel Gauge." This is important, because 1973 also hailed the introduction of a real "combination instrument" housing both fuel level and oil temperature gauge inserts. This COMBO GAUGE came only in 2.0L vehicles purchased without the "Appearance Group" (which included a seperate TEMP GAUGE in the CENTER CONSOLE). Of course, there was no mention of this combination gauge until the 1975 Porsche 914 Owner's Manual (wherein it is referred to merely as the "Oil Temperature Gauge"). The parts catalog refers to all Porsche 914 and 914/6 fuel gauges or combination fuel level / oil temperature gauges as "instrumant clusters."

Not surprisingly, the Porsche 914 fuel gauge tends to be referred to by many names. For the sake of clarity. P914 will refer to the them only as "fuel gauges." additionally, the Porsche 914 and 914/6 units housing both fuel level and oil temperature inserts will be referred to as "combo gauges" (or "fuel level / oil temperature combination gauges" when we feel the need to be verbose).

Current eBay listings for Porsche 914 fuel gauges (compare listed gauges with those pictured on this page to ensure authenticity and model year utilization):

Porsche 914 and 914/6 Fuel Gauges on eBAY

Where's the "B"?

The three-gauge picture at the top of this page (which links to a larger image) compares the three versions of the "silver button" fuel gauge delivered in 1970-1973 Porsche 914 vehicles. This image is meant to depict two variances, the first of which is print tone. 1970-1971 Porsche 914 and 914/6 dash clusters had either off-white print or bright white print (there is no part number differentiation for print color); thereafter only bright white print was available. The gauge at the top of the picture has the off-white print, the other two have bright white.

The other, more obvious difference is the initial lack, and then changing placement of, the brake system indicator (B). This churn was neither a case of omission nor a lack of decisiveness by the folks at VDO; it was an accomodation for the never-purchased 1970-1971 Sportomatic option as further explained below.

1970 - Early 1971 Porsche 914 Fuel Gauges

The 1970 to early 1971 Porsche 914 fuel gauge, part number 914 641 102 10, is commonly referred to as a "silver button" or "silver center" gauge, because it has a silver-colored cap in the middle. These units have glass lenses and deep bezel rings, and some had off-white print as noted above. The current parts catalog includes no mention of this particular part number fuel gauge.

The 914 641 102 10 gauge is different from later "silver button" fuel gauges in that the positions of the alternator and oil pressure lights are reversed, and there is no brake system indicator symbol on the face. This lack of the (B) icon results from the desire to accommodate vehicles purchased with the Sportomatic transmission without the need to use a separate gauge. Specifically, the large, red indicator light at the top of the gauge houses two bulbs. In cars with the standard five-speed manual transmission, both bulbs are wired to illuminate when the ignition is on and either the parking brake is engaged or there is an issue with one (or both) of the brake circuits. In (clutchless) four-speed Sportomatic cars, the bulb on the right side of this indicator is wired to illuminate when the tranny oil temp is excessive, and only the bulb on the left is used for the brake system.

These early fuel gauges contain a fuel-level insert which is removable via four screws on the back. In addition to the fuel level plate, the ".10" gauge housings have a second rear plate enabling removal of the two-bulb insert and subsequent installation of another gauge mechanism. As with all "silver button" gauges, the two-piece, painted steel bezel on these units is prone to rust. This fuel gauge is pictured in the 1970 and 1971 Porsche 914 owner's manuals (entry from 1971 manual reproduced at right).

Late 1971 - 1972  Porsche 914 Fuel Gauges

Mid 1971 - 1972 Model Year Porsche 914 cars were equipped with a fuel gauge bearing part number 914 641 102 20. As with their predecessor, the current parts catalog includes no mention of this particular part number fuel gauge. The face plate of the ".20" gauge places the alternator warning light symbol (G) on the left and the oil pressure light symbol (OIL) on the right in either off-white or bright white print (as noted above). Additionally, an off-center brake system symbol (B) appears beneath the large, two-bulb indicator. Apparently someone realized that it would be best to provide a visual reminder of the location of the brake system warning light as opposed to the tranny oil temperature warning light for customers who purchased the Sportomatic option. Of course, the Sportomatic option was eliminated after 1971, so this change was not timely.

As with the earlier models, these second generation fuel gauges contain fuel-level and brake warning inserts which are each removable via four screws on the back. As with all "silver button" gauges, the two-piece, painted steel bezel on these units is prone to rust. This fuel gauge is correctly pictured in the 1972 Porsche 914 owner's manual (reproduced at right) and errantly shown in the 1973 Model Year owner's manual.

1973  Porsche 914 Fuel Gauges

The 1973 and very early 1974 model year Porsche 914 fuel gauge is part number 914 641 102 40. This is the part number (errantly) listed as correct for all 1970-1973 Porsche 914 vehicles in the current parts catalog. Because the Sportomatic tranny was no longer being offered, the "dual-use" accommodation of the top indicator was no longer required. Subsequently, the ".40" fuel gauge brake system symbol (B) is centered, and there is a corresponding single, centered bulb instead of twin offset bulbs. The engineers put the extra wire to use by connecting it to the flasher, so the parking brake / brake system warning light flashes in all 1973 and later Porsche 914 cars. Additionally, some later ".40" (and all later ".50") gauge housings have only a single removable rear plate enabling access to the fuel level mechanism ("dual-plate" version pictured). As with all "silver button" gauges, the two-piece, painted steel bezel on these units is prone to rust.

As noted above, the department that produced  the Porsche 914 owner's manuals were having difficulty matching the rate of change for the fuel gauge. Subsequently, the 1973 manuals incorrectly picture the ".20" gauge used the prior year. This ".40" gauge is pictured in early 1974 Porsche 914 Owner's Manuals.

1974 - 1976  Porsche 914 Fuel Gauges

Fuel gauges used in the 1974-1976 Porsche 914 models are commonly referred to as "black center" gauges, because they have do not have the silver-colored cap found in the earlier style. These units, bearing part number 914 641 102 50, have shallow, black-painted steel or (in 1976) brass bezel rings, and the majority have plastic lenses that are prone to scratching, although we have come across some that have a factory original glass lens. The illustration of this gauge from the late 1974 model year and 1975 model year owner's manual is reproduced at right. Notice that, in a truly classic move of laziness, desperation and/or cost cutting, the illustration of the ".50" fuel gauge is simply the negative-color image of the prior ".40" unit (the center circle betrays this fact, as the actual gauge has nothing in the center). As shown, the fuel level / oil temp combo gauge (last version) finally appeared in the owner's manual for the 1975 model year, despite being introduced in the 1973 Porsche 914. Unfortunately, it is also an incorrect negative-color image illustration.

NOTE: The combo gauge was standard in all Porsche 914/6 cars and correctly documented in the owner's manuals. The 914/6 did not have a "plain" fuel gauge. Access the COMBO GAUGE page for more details.