I have a manifold pressure gauge in my KR. It's nice for fine tuning throttle 
settings and calculating percent power, but it's only there as a personal 
preference and is completely unnecessary without a constant speed prop.  Can't 
say that I would be able to diagnose valve issues or engine health with it.  I 
find EGTs and a static compression differential test to be a much better 
indicator of what's going on with the engine.  

1 EGT running 50 - 100° higher than normal is an indication that a spark plug 
is not firing.  All EGTs running 50-100° higher than normal is an indication 
that a mag may have failed.  Just pulling the engine through as part of your 
preflight should indicate if you have a valve or cylinder issue as you'll feel 
the soft cylinder and will hear it leaking.  I've seen a lot of different 
failures in aircraft engines, but short of launching a cylinder off the case, I 
don't think the manifold pressure gauge [vacuum gauge] is going to tell you 
much other than your throttle setting for a given altitude.

-Jeff Scott
Los Alamos, NM

Subject: KR> cockpit vacuum gauge
Anyone running a vacuum gauge in their panel. Is it not an indicator of engine 
health, valves etc


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