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Question about gas gauge on my 50

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  • Speedo / Tach / Gauges: Question about gas gauge on my 50

    So my gas gauge didn't work, and I replaced the rusted sending unit with a universal one. So now after I drive for about 10 min I'll see the gas gauge slowly creep up til full but then it drops back down to empty? Any idea's?

  • #2
    Perhaps this “universal” sender is sweeping up to its limit and the circuit is somehow opening up (infinite ohms)? Do you have a poor ground that opens up with vibration etc when driving?

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    • #3
      Does the universal sender have the same resistance reading as the original sender? Was it for a 6 volt car with Stewart Warner gauges?

      I have never heard of a universal gauge sender. Would you tell us more about it, please? Like: model number, where you got it, who told you it was universal, brand name, and everything else so we can figure out what it really is.
      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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
        Does the universal sender have the same resistance reading as the original sender? Was it for a 6 volt car with Stewart Warner gauges?

        I have never heard of a universal gauge sender. Would you tell us more about it, please? Like: model number, where you got it, who told you it was universal, brand name, and everything else so we can figure out what it really is.
        The sending is basically a variable resistor so any one should cause the meter to move (how accurate it is would vary ). The sending unit I use it the type you can cut to fit, and figured give me a reading and I could go from the there.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
          Perhaps this “universal” sender is sweeping up to its limit and the circuit is somehow opening up (infinite ohms)? Do you have a poor ground that opens up with vibration etc when driving?
          You might be on to something there!

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          • #6
            The "Universal" unit might be from a universe that's not 6 volt positive ground.

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            • #7
              It's just a resistor it doesn't care about voltage, the trick is getting current to get the gauge to read correctly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Matt N View Post
                It's just a resistor it doesn't care about voltage, the trick is getting current to get the gauge to read correctly.
                It’s not voltage, but 6V and 12V gas senders have different ohm ratings. So, in a sense, they are voltage dependent.

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                • #9
                  Most 12v system gauges ( at least on Mopars) are stepped down to 5v anyways so there shouldn't be much of a difference. It think NCDave51 might have been right, the sending unit is going past the the rheostat and going back to zero I'll have to try and check my float position.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Matt N View Post
                    Most 12v system gauges ( at least on Mopars) are stepped down to 5v anyways so there shouldn't be much of a difference. It think NCDave51 might have been right, the sending unit is going past the the rheostat and going back to zero I'll have to try and check my float position.
                    We’re talking about Studebakers, not Mopars. Studebaker didn’t “step down” the voltage on any of their gauges.

                    It sounds like you’ve installed a part that’s incorrect for your car, then asked for advice as to why it doesn’t work, and now insist that the advice given is wrong.

                    Good luck with your project.
                    Last edited by mbstude; 12-31-2020, 06:04 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Again we are just working with a rheostat (an adjustable resistor), if you can calibrate it properly, it doesn't matter what the votages is it can be made to work. Studebaker or some other make..​​​​​​

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                      • #12
                        A good starting point would be finding out what the ohms operating range for the Stude 6V gas gauge should be. a 12 V unit is 33 to 240 ohms. lots of senders in that range and advertised as for Stewart Warner systems.If you have a lousy ground that don't help. you may have to bend the float arm a bit. Luck Doofus

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                        • #13
                          There are many variations of sending unit ohms ratings. I started a thread where the ohms could be entered for future users to consult. I may have been the only entry.
                          I found (after much experimenting) that the 37 studebakers used a 0-90 ohm sending unit. Newer models changed over time.
                          You need to have a sender which matches the ohms of the gauge. Or get an electronic device which compensates.
                          It is unfortunate that the ohms information seems to be unavailable in the manuals.
                          You can figure it out with a multimeter using the ohms setting to avoid having to remove it from the tank.

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