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temp sending unit

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  • temp sending unit

    I've got a '55' 259 engine in my 53. not sure if the temp sending unit is a 6V or 12V unit. Guage is original and has a resistor on it so that it has 12v to it lowered to 6V at the guage. the guage checks out if shorted, it goes to hot. When checking ohm resistance in sending unit it goes from .5 to .3 when the engine gets hot but does not move the guage. The sending unit is not in an easy location so trying to check it out before going through removal.
    Any ideas? I have resisted buying a Napa guage and putting in glove compartment. Would like to get original guauges working.
    Thanks for any info you guys can share.

  • #2
    If I remember correct, the 6V sending unit is a LOT bigger then the 12 V unit. 6V senders are hard to find I think.

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    • #3
      Studebaker Parts in Phoenix has them (1953 - 1955 6 volt) for $46.00
      The 1956 model year, was the change over year to 12 volts, for Studebaker.

      You might want to check with Studebaker vendors in your area, for pricing.


      • #4
        How can you determine whether a sending unit is good. I have an old one out of the original 232 engine that was in the car. I put an ohm meter on it and heated it up over the cooktop and it had about the same reading. Started at .5 or 5 cold and went to .25 or 2.5 when heated. Is this is what is expected?


        • #5

          This is not a direct answer, but... I had measured the charactoristics of '53 gauges some time back and for the heat gauge I found that the sender resistance to get the needle positions was this:

          On 6.5V power (to the gauge) the needle position vs sender R is:

          <C >130 ohm (or open)
          C 129 ohm
          Center 51 ohm
          H 21 ohm
          pegged Gnd

          From this data, if your sensor is only a couple of ohms, it may be bad. It should probably be >100 ohms at room temp and 20 or less in boiling water.

          Jeff in ND

          '53 Champion Hardtop

          Jeff in ND


          • #6
            In re-testing I set the mulitmeter on a different scale and I get a reading of about 50 across the sending unit cold (instead of 5) and when heated I get it to about 20. With nothing on the probes the guage reads pegged to infinity. When I touch the sending unit and get the 50 I assumed that would be the built in resistance. I have checked the voltage to the guage and it is ok and the guage will peg when grounded from the ign post to the sending unit post. It sort of does a bumpy ride to get there so not sure if it is just hanging up a little. Of course the guage is to be grounded and I have it screwed solidly to the dash panel so would think that would do it. Any other suggestions.
            The service manual indicates a different mounting on the 6 cylinder from the V8 which shows two mounting screws. Studebaker International and the parts manual only lists one number for sending unit. Does the 6cylinger one just screw into the mounting plate and than attached to the block?
            Thanks again for helping a struggling studebaker putterer.