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sending unit

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  • Fuel System: sending unit

    The sending unit on my 57 Commander quit all together.When it started acting up it would register somewhat but not accurately.Now the dash gage shows nothing,I grounded the wire at the tank and the gage went to full,so I have a bad sending unit.I want to know if the float is cork or copper,if it is just the cork float and I dry it out what can I coat it with that the corn gas won't dissolve.If it is copper it might have filled with gas and I can drain and resolder.Thanks in advance. An update on my sender problem,yes the sealant was dissolved off the cork floats,yes there were two end to end.I had to cut a piece out off the trunk floor at the hole where you remove the sender because there was no way I could of remove the fuel line,possibly I could of modified a wrench to get at it.I installed a float from Brattons Model "A" catalog I should of ordered two but seems to work ok.I cleaned off the old cork gasket and installed a rubber gasket or neoprene,the gas weeped out around the gasket,I had a thicker one same problem.I made a gasket from rubberized cork which sealed ok I suspect the tank top was warped enough that only the cork was soft enough to fill in the depressions.I welded in the patch (carefully) and i'm good.
    Last edited by rocket1; 06-05-2019, 01:09 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    probably cork
    sigpic
    1961 Hawk ...4-Speed;4bc;Twin Traction


    Ken Byrd
    Lewisville,NC

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rocket1 View Post
      the sending unit on my 57 commander quit all together.when it started acting up it would register somewhat but not accurately.now the dash gage shows nothing,i grounded the wire at the tank and the gage went to full,so i have a bad sending unit.i want to know if the float is cork or copper,if it is just the cork float and i dry it out what can i coat it with that the corn gas won't dissolve.if it is copper it might have filled with gas and i can drain and resolder.thanks in advance.
      any body have a definite on the float composition?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rocket1 View Post
        any body have a definite on the float composition?
        I don't see why it would matter now since you have to remove it to repair it and you would then have it in your hand.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          If someone in the last 20 years replaced it with a aftermarket replacement it COULD be Plastic, but chances are it is Original and ALL Original Studebaker or (NOS) senders definitely had Cork Floats.

          The shellac coating and the Cork will be destroyed by the 10% Alcohol/Ethanol Fuel causing it to sink.

          Ford Brass Floats are easily available at Ford Websites cheap, to replace the Cork, IF the Sender happens to actually work when tested off the Car as Gary said.

          What is not the MOST Common, is that "Original" '56 and '57 Studes. all have the Fuel output Line Fitting coming OUT of the Sender. This means the Tank has NO output Line.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 05-23-2019, 03:09 PM.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            I have a couple NOS '61 senders, they are cork. (they're actually marked 1961; probably by the guy who bought them new. He had several Studes including a '61)

            I just had my sender out last week. It was doing the same thing. It had evidently been replaced and had a brass float. The float had a hole in it; it did appear to be the Ford type. I didn't want to replace it with a NOS one because of the cork. The sender worked fine, it just needed a working float. I had a new GM float, they're about 3/4 the cost of Ford floats, about 3/8" longer and has rounder ends; I used it. It fit perfectly and works great now.

            The cork float can be replaced with the brass one if you bend the rod that went through the cork into a ring to snap around the brass. The float should swing up so it's top surface is the height of the bottom of the sender mounting plate, and drop so the bottom of the float is 5" from the bottom of the mounting plate. You may need to bend the rod to shorten it to achieve the proper swing. Mine, (and a used one I have) has a full loop bent into the rod.

            Our '53 has a '56 tank in it so no pickup tube. I made a tube and brazed it into a generic Stewart Warner sender decades ago. It's still working fine.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Here is a modern replacement for the cork, and it will stand up to the crap gas we have to use.

              https://www.brattons.com/neoprene-gas-gauge-float.html

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the info,i suspected cork that was sinking due to corn gas.i got a price of $150.00 includes shipping for a replacement,but now i probably can just replace the float and i will test it before reinstalling.i will order it from brattons,need a few "a" parts also.

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                • #9
                  If you can replace or repair the float ( I have successfully used tank sealer on them) and clean it up with electrical contact cleaner, there is a good chance it will work.

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                  • #10
                    I just bought one from SDI abt $85 and it is brass. Chet

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                    • #11
                      Another way to go is to get a float from a newer car with pump in tank they work with the new gas most repair shops have old pump senders laying around. I replaced the float on my Clipper with float from newer car pump. A point to watch is that the float and pickup tube have to be made to fit into opening in tank Another point is the sender for Clippers are not same ohm rating as Studebaker senders

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                      • #12
                        I've had 3 Buicks in the past few months with non working tank senders. I fixed one by bending the rubbing contact down and putting a small curl in the worn end. They are now made with such thin metal that they wear out way too soon.
                        One mechanic said corn gas left corrosion on a sender, and he had luck by using Textron gas additive to clean the corrosion.
                        When I worked at the junk yard I used to save the modern floats, but I sure didn't save enough.

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                        • #13
                          Can anyone recommend a specific sealant for the new sender gasket - or just a dry fit?

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                          • #14
                            The GM brass float I used cost $8, the Ford ones cost $11 with free shipping on ebay. A new Stewart Warner, generic sender with a plastic float, currently costs $20 to $30 depending on where you buy it, shipping can also be free. I used a VDO neoprene sender gasket, with no sealer, $5.50 from the local Napa store was the best price I found.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tomnoller View Post
                              Can anyone recommend a specific sealant for the new sender gasket - or just a dry fit?
                              Hi Tom, if you have a New Cork Gasket as Original, the #2 Permatex should work as good as any, just NOT Silicone RTV Gasket Maker.

                              A Neoprene Gasket should not need anything, but all need New Copper Washers under the 5 Screws!
                              StudeRich
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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