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Gremlins Galore

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  • Gremlins Galore

    I am doing it, I am throwing myself at the feet of the group, because I am truly baffled. I have a 62 GT, which just keeps bitting at me[}], like a little dog, just knawing away at my ankles. I have two gauges that will not work. They both have been treated to new sending units, the whole car has been treated to a new Studebaker's West wiring harness, yet the fuel gauge, and the temperature gauge just sit there like a bump on a log. Their lights shine brightly, or kinda brightly[8D], and I am stumped. I have not found too many gauges available at our trusty vendors, that fit this car. Suggestions from the best? Thanks in advance, guys and gals.

  • #2
    I would look at grounds. Get a test light and check where power starts and power stops.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tom - Valrico, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona

    Tom - Bradenton, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
    1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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    • #3
      If the grounds were bad, would the dash lights not work? Also, ran a jumper from the engine to ground, and that did not help.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have the same two gauges act up on me occasionally in the 1966 Cruiser I have in my garage. I asked someone on the forum about it and said it sounded like a bad voltage limiter. My wiring is old, unlike yours, but my senders are both good.

        Anyway, if you can find out what a voltage limiter is (I don't), you could try checking that.

        He might have meant voltage regulator.[?]
        "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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        • #5
          Take a look at my posting "fuel level senders 1956 to 1962" on 4/20/07. I am battling much the same problem on the fuel guage. My temp guage works just fine. I haven't found my problem with the fuel gauge yet. I agree, the first place for you to look is the ground circuit.

          To answer your question about if the light
          works shouldn't the gauge work, the answer is not necessarily. The gauge circuit uses a lot less current that the light circuit. Even a "fair" ground connection (as opposed to a good connection) will decrease the gauge current to the point that the gauge system won't work. The light bulbs use more current and can also operate on less than full current and voltage, so a voltage drop across a less-than-perfect ground connection will not have as great an effect as in the gauge circuit and the lights will still work.

          Since you have 2 gauges that don't work I would start adding ground wires under your dash. The dash is fiberglass (nonconducting) so there must be a ground connection from the body and engine to the metal frame that holds the fiberglass dash and from there to the actual gauge. There must be some wires under the dash that do this, but don't trust them! They could be broken (usually at the connector) or the actual ground connection could be corroded. Try to trace the existing wires if you want, or just add new wires. Since is it so much un-fun working under the dash you might prefer the latter. These ground wires should be at least 16 guage wire. 16 gauge wire might be a little overkill, but it certainly won't hurt. Bigger wire is always better in low current applications because it has less resistance.

          If you are lucky, this will cure your problem. Is so, please let the forum know! If not you have more work to do, such as adding a 16 gauge or larger ground wire between the frame and the body (next step) and then more ground wires to the fuel guage, as follows.

          I have added numerous ground wires to my 62 hawk because any ground connection that is 45 years old is totally not to be trusted. For the fuel gauge add a DIRECT wire connection from the gauge flange to either the body or the frame, making sure that there is bare metal available at both ends of the new wire. I did both. This wire can be 18 or 20, even possibly 22 gauge, since it is only serving the fuel gauge system.

          Worst case, you may have the same problem I am now suspecting - that the gauge unit is defective. You are right - 62 to 64 hawk gauges are a little scarce. I have found a working earlier hawk fuel gauge, and is supposed to be electrically identical, so I am now working with that. Lets keep in touch.

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          • #6
            Ok, I went in and checked the grounds. The wiring harness had a new ground wire in it, and I went in last night and checked the ground, and cleaned everything, to no avail. I cannot get any movement of the gauges by changing the amperage to the gauges. Seems to me that the gauges are bad. The question becomes, who rebuilds these things? They are not available thru regular channels.

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            • #7
              In the shop manual there are directions for testing the gauge. Do you have the manual? Another option is to go a parts store and get a generic fuel gauge and connect it to the circuit just for testing. If it works, you know the original one is bad. Same thing cound be done for the temperature circuit.

              Have you been able to test the continuity of the wire harness wires?
              "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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              • #8
                Continuity tested OK. Will try the generic gauge. Yes I have a shop manual. Did not think to look for that test in there. Will try that also. The fuel gauge is sitting way past full.

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                • #9
                  If the fuel gauge is sitting past full it could be bad, but more likely you have the ground connected to the connector wire that goes on top of the sender somehow.

                  One of the tests to check the gauge is to take the wire that connects to the sender and touch it to ground. I think that wire is still connected to ground somehow and it shouldn't be. The ground is accomplished through the screws that attach the sender to the tank.
                  "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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                  • #10
                    Just a safety reminder;When working around the gas tank sending unit
                    disconnect thew battery as sparks can occur & KA-BOOM.
                    I had the same problems with my 63 GT.The fuel gauge was the tank sending unit & temp gauge was the gauge itself.
                    62-3-4 GT's all had the same instruments in the dash & they show up on Ebay now & then.I have some spares if you get desperate & can't locate any.

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                    • #11
                      Don't feel TOO bad about the travails recounted here. I (a former aircraft electrician!) have yet to overcome the craziness of the fuel gage in my 58 wagon.
                      New gage - new sender - wire to gage replaced AS WELL AS ADDING a supplementary ground from the tank to the car's frame. I had the tank out and set up on a workbench along with the gage cluster. Between working with the sender arm (bending it) and adjusting the gage itself (it can be done!), I had a perfect working gas gage .....on the bench
                      Put those items BACK in the car ..... crap! Took tank out and did the bench proceedure again - put them BACK IN and ADDED yet another ground to the cluster housing ..... crap again!
                      I'll address it again when I get the car back in the shop.[}]

                      Miscreant adrift in
                      the BerStuda Triangle


                      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                      1960 Larkvertible V8
                      1958 Provincial wagon
                      1953 Commander coupe

                      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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                      • #12
                        Mr. B, how well I understand. I used to work for an outfit called Windecker Research in Midland, Texas. We manufactured the first all plastic aircraft in the early 70's. We had to put an aluminum plate under the floor, so that radar could see the plane when the transponder would go out. It was really the worlds first stealth aircraft. Had all kinds of electrical gremlins, although it wound up being a great airplane, only 40 years ahead of its time.
                        I know a gentleman who has a Cessna twin, the engines are consecutive engine numbers, zero timed side by side, and yet the oil pressure reads totally different on the two engines.
                        At least we are not dealing with Lucas electrics.......

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                        • #13
                          Do you have 12 volts going to the gauges? Each of those gauges has 3 connections: power, sending unit, and ground. I have never seen a "voltage limiter" on a Studebaker; they do exist on some Brand X cars, though.

                          Are you sure you have the power and sending unit wires going to the correct studs on the gauges? I believe that connecting them the wrong way would make them peg out, but I'm not certain.

                          And yes, you do want to be certain that the cases of the gauges are grounded. They should get a ground via the metal box that houses the lamp, if it is assembled properly.

                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                          • #14
                            I did not see a voltage limiter anywhere on the wiring diagram. I took the car to an automotive electrician for a second opinion, and he is a Stude owner. He checked it over and said that the gauges are not working. He had a wiring diagram and checked it over with a meter, and could not get a response from the gauges. Sounds like they are DOA.

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                            • #15
                              Chuck, I remember the Windecker well! I used to follow general aviation pretty close. It was like WOW! when the first pics of it debuted. I guess it flopped?

                              I gotta say that when I first read the title of this thread, I thought I was gonna read about someone stumbling onto an AMC nut's stash of compacts![}]

                              Miscreant adrift in
                              the BerStuda Triangle


                              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                              1960 Larkvertible V8
                              1958 Provincial wagon
                              1953 Commander coupe

                              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                              Comment

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