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Fuel gauge / fuel sender

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  • Electrical: Fuel gauge / fuel sender

    '51 Champion, new fuel gauge, new sender. Gauge stays on empty. Removed the two leads at the sender and hooked a test light up to them. Turned the ignition on. Test light doesn't come on. Fuel gauge goes to full. Not sure what to do next.

  • #2
    The proper way to test for Power at the Fuel Gauge dash unit is; connect your Test Light on the Wire coming from the Ignition Switch to the Gauge or the stud on the gauge and the Ground Test lead goes to GROUND on the dash frame, of course with the Ign. Sw. turned Left to ACC. never turn it "ON" with the Engine off.
    If the Wire and it's connections are good, you WILL get a Light.

    NOTE: Incorrect "Testing" of a Gauge can result in Dash or Tank Unit failure.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Thank you.

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      • #4
        If I proceed as instructed and do NOT get a light, is the problem limited to the wire and its connections, or could there be something else in play?

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        • #5
          Sure, if the Turn Signals, Heater Fan, Defroster Fan and if you have Electric Wipers all are inoperative, it is very likely the Ignition Switch, or possibly Wiring unless your Test Light failed and should be tested at the battery!
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Edsel Face View Post
            '51 Champion, new fuel gauge, new sender. Gauge stays on empty. Removed the two leads at the sender and hooked a test light up to them. Turned the ignition on. Test light doesn't come on. Fuel gauge goes to full. Not sure what to do next.
            So you have a two-terminal sending unit? With two, not one, wires going to two insulated studs on the sending unit case? The two studs look alike, and are separate and distinct from the five mounting screws? One wire going to a single stud, and another ground wire going to one of the mounting screws does not a two-terminal sender make.

            Seeing as the gauge did go to "full" with your test light setup, I would suspect that you have a one terminal sender that someone provided with a ground wire to a mounting screw. The test light did not come on because the fuel gauge has sufficiently high internal resistance that it won't pass enough current to light the lamp.

            First, let's get clear on which sender is in there. The single terminal sender, seen from the top, is a round, flat disc, mounted by five screws, with ONE insulated terminal, slightly off center. The two-terminal sender is a similar disc, with a small metal box on top, with a terminal stud at each end of the box. Looks very different.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              Thank you. It is a one terminal sender, as was the previous which I removed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Edsel Face View Post
                Thank you. It is a one terminal sender, as was the previous which I removed.
                Well, then, if the gauge goes to "full" using the test lamp instead of the sender, either the sender is bad, or the tank and sender are not properly grounded. If you have a multimeter, set it on a low ohms range, and measure the resistance of the sending unit from the terminal stud to the base plate. You should see a number between 33 and 150 ohms. If you see "infinity", or much more than 150 ohms, then the sender is effectively open-circuit, bad. If you see a number between 33 and 150, transfer the ground probe from the base of the sender to a good ground on the car body. Bumper should work. If it now goes up way over 150, then your tank is not properly grounded. Easiest way to fix that is to run a dedicated ground wire from one of the sender mounting screws to sheet metal screw driven into some inconspicuous, but easily-reached point on the body.
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                • #9
                  Thank you, tomorrow's project.

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                  • #10
                    Progress report, I hope, on this subject: ohm reading at the fuel sender shows . 129 ohms with the ground probe in two different locations. Given that there is a decimal point preceding the 129, is that not a desirable reading?

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                    • #11
                      That would depend on just WHAT Level the Float was at! Maybe about at Half full?
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                      • #12
                        If I had to guess, and I can measure that tomorrow, it is about 1/2 full. I have not used an ohm meter before. So I was confused by the reading . Gordr said it should read between 30 and 150 ohms. Is that the same as .30 and .150?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Edsel Face View Post
                          If I had to guess, and I can measure that tomorrow, it is about 1/2 full. I have not used an ohm meter before. So I was confused by the reading . Gordr said it should read between 30 and 150 ohms. Is that the same as .30 and .150?
                          30 ohms is not the same as 0.30. You'll have to look on your multimeter at your knob setting and figure it out from there.
                          -Dwight

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                          • #14
                            Not sure what to figure out. I followed Godr's instructions and got the same reading several times.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Edsel Face View Post
                              Not sure what to figure out. I followed Godr's instructions and got the same reading several times.
                              If you can photograph your multimeter that might help us figure out how to read it. There are different kinds of multimeters.
                              --Dwight.

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