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'41 Champion fuel gauge

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  • Fuel System: '41 Champion fuel gauge

    I just received my 1941 Studebaker Champion coupe (and love it), but there is one slight problem. The car is very well restored, but the fuel gauge is not quite accurate. It usually stays near the top, and the car came with a note from the original owner saying "don't rely on the fuel gauge." I just ordered an original factory service manual, but was wondering whether there's anything I should look for so I don't wander around aimlessly trying every different solution until it (hopefully) works.

    I posted a picture of the car, just incase anyone is curious.

    (incase the picture doesn't appear: )

    Last edited by kmb; 08-10-2011, 10:48 PM.

    "What a lucky thing the wheel was invented before the automobile; otherwise can you imagine the awful screeching?" - Samuel Hoffenstein

  • #2
    Welcome to one of the nicest, most helpful forums you will ever find. I too have a 41 Champion so it is good to see a new owner out there. Your sedan looks great! What is the story on the car?

    You are on the right track with the service manual. If you did not order it at the same time get the parts books as well. In many ways they are more useful than the service manual because they have very nice exploded diagrams of everything. If you have not done so yet join the Studebaker Drivers Club and the Antique Studebaker Club. The magazines are good and between the ads and this site you should be able to find any parts you need.

    About the fuel gauge--The system consists of the gauge, the wiring, and the sending unit. Any (or all!) could be bad but the gauge itself is probably the least likely. Assuming the restoration included new wiring (and that the wiring is correct) your sending unit is the likely culprit. The bad news there is a 41 sending unit is a very hard part to find. I got lucky and found a expensive NOS unit but that is literally the only one I could find. I made a real effort to fix my old one but 60+ years of sloshing in the gas tank really did a number on it. Even my NOS unit is not great. When the tank is empty it shows a little more than 1/4 full. But I just fill it up at the 1/2 mark. If you just buy gas every 200 miles you will be fine but if you really want to tear into it I have a ton of pictures on my web site:
    There is no access hole so you have to drop the tank to get to the sender. However there is a nice drain plug on the tank and it is not that hard to get out.