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Gas Tank Send Unit Ohms

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  • Gas Tank Send Unit Ohms

    What is the ohm range on gas tank send unit for a 1938 car? The gas gauge in my 38 Commander was not working when the restoration started. I have pulled the send unit and do not get any reading on the send unit so it is bad. Summit offers a replacement Stewart Warner send unit for under $30 but the range is 33 to 240 - is this what Studebaker used? Does voltage matter? Does it matter that 38 was positive ground? If it doesn't work for a 38 six volt positive ground, would it work for a 60 Lark 12 volt. Have looked at shop manual but they don't seem to list what the resistance range was.

    Cowtown Commander

  • #2
    Voltage matters only in the respect that different voltage sender/gauge systems use different resistances. The short answer is that you cannot mix a 12 volt sender with a 6 volt dash gauge.

    Polarity, or which battery terminal is grounded, makes no difference on the type of gauges and senders in our cars.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


    • #3
      I believe it is 0-100. I found a 10-90 for my 37 and it goes from not quite empty to not quite full. I can send you some directions on how to check the ohms at your gauge when I get home Friday.
      George Cagle
      North Alabama Chapter

      1937 Dictator
      1947 M5
      1948 Commander
      1963 Avanti


      • #4
        Is the ohm range the same for a 41 car? My sending unit is hooped but a local hot rodder says he can fashion one to fit the existing plate if the ohm range is the same. Next question: would the ohm range be the same for a later Stude? Final question: Should things go sideways, does anyone have a gas tank sending unit for a 41 Commander (part #513163) for sale? Thanks!
        Brian Schuppert

        71 Buick Riviera
        41 Studebaker Commander


        • #5
          Be advised that some of the pre-War and early post-War cars had a different wiring system for the fuel gage than that we are used to. My '40 Champion has a two-terminal sending unit, and three-terminal dash unit. The tank unit is made with the wiper of the potentiometer grounded, and each end goes to a stud on top. Most models after 1951 or so have a single terminal sending unit, and two-terminal dash unit. Those sending units have the "full" end of the resistance winding connected to the stud, and the "empty" end is grounded, along with the wiper.

          You cannot mix 6 volt and 12 volt gage components, no can you mix and match 2 and 3 terminal 6 volt components. But it may be possible to find a 2-terminal dash unit and its matching sending unit that can be adapted to fit in the instrument cluster in place of the 3-terminal one, if a new one cannot be found.
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands