Author Topic: Busted gas gauge  (Read 320 times)

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1528
    • View Profile
Busted gas gauge
« on: April 23, 2017, 05:34:00 PM »
The gas gauge has gone kaput on my beloved old '73 Chevy truck.  You'd think GM could build a truck that the gas gauge would work longer than 44 years.  I have not done any diagnostic work yet, but that gauge has lied optimistically since day one.  Now it lies really optimistically, always above full.  LMC has the sender, so that should be no problem.  The hard part will be wrestling with the tank.  I had to replace the amp gauge a number of years ago, had to put a new sender in the temp gauge, now the gas gauge is on the blink.  The thing still runs okay and the Flowmasters sound as good as they ever did.  Nothing quite like the sound of a big block in full song....... :D
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

Alfista

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2017, 07:56:30 PM »
(snip) the Flowmasters sound as good as they ever did. 

And that is all that REALLY matters!


-Tim

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 772
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 08:56:28 PM »
Shortly before I bought my '86 Mustang, I was out in the country on a bike ride.  A black '86 convertible pulled out from a drive and accelerated away from me.  I was in love.

As to the gas gauge, try running a ground from frame to tank first.  It's quick & easy and save much heartache if it works.

Chris Campbell

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1528
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 08:16:26 AM »
The redundant ground is a good idea.

I wonder if it will be easier to remove the bed than for me to crawl under the truck and drop the tank to replace the sender, if that is what it needs. 
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

Bill

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 06:05:30 PM »
Sometimes removing the bed/box is easier, especially if the gas tank is full. Good luck!

Bill

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 772
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2017, 08:52:35 PM »
There's another option, depending on the nature of the old vehicle.   If it's a restored classic that you want to keep pristine, ignore this.  If it's just a useful old truck, one that's a bit banged up and showing some experience, you could cut an access hole in the bed, maybe a nice circle of the right diameter, and then cover it up with a steel cover secured with sheet metal screws.  Then you can play with the gauge to your heart's content without any strenuous activity. 

Chris Campbell

19and41

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 09:44:21 AM »
I had to replace the float on a '73 Ranchero, a '79 Ranchero, an '88 Bronco II, a '94 Mustang and a '96 F-150.  Each were around 20 years old when they failed.  Those little brass capsules fracture where the arm clips onto them.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

Bill

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 07:31:26 AM »
How are you coming with the sending unit?

Bill

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1528
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 09:42:09 AM »
I have projects in line ahead of fixing the gas gauge.  The weather has been so horrible around here that I have gotten exactly nothing accomplished outdoors.  The golf cart project, my Concert Grand cabinet back project, repainting the windmill, all have come to a complete halt due to the weather.  After the sun comes out, all I will get done is mowing.  Somebody thought it was a good idea to fertilize the lawn and let the fertilizer "get rained in good."   ;)

New wheel bearings in the Pontiac is ahead of fixing the gas gauge.  I drive it more and the front wheel bearings have been howling for the last 80,000 miles.  They are almost louder than the radio, so it may be time to do something.  Wheel bearings on front-drive cars are different than normal wheel bearings.  I'm not in danger of losing a wheel, they just make lots of racket and get worse over time.  This car had a bad wheel bearing in in when it has 16 miles on it.  I complained and was told that was "normal" for that car.  It has nearly 186,000 on it now and both of the front wheel bearings are howling.  I was only going to drive this car for a year and get rid of it.  It is white with plastic hubcaps and is butt ugly.  The unfortunate part of that is that it has been one of the best cars I have ever owned.  I put a new serpentine belt, spark plugs and wires on at 110,000, two sets of tires, and three fuel pressure regulators.  It has the original brakes on the rear and the original struts.  I change the oil every 5,000 miles and the fuel filter and trans fluid every 15,000.  It has not gotten any prettier, but I believe it runs as well as it did when it had 16 miles on it.
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 772
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 08:41:04 PM »
Ah, wheel bearings.  The little Ranger truck got all noisy about a year ago so I took it to the dealer and said "right front wheel bearing, please."  The service guy was all impressed because I was right.  By last week it was all grumbly again so I went back.  "Same wheel bearing, please."  They charged me $16 for new seals, the rest free.  That night I headed for where my Mom, boat, and cottage live, 145 miles away.  About 50 miles down the road I stopped to buy Peanut M&Ms where I always stop.  I just had a feeling that the right-side disc brake was hanging up so I poked my finger on the rotor and Ouch!  Got a burn.  Geez, what to do?  Friday night at 9 p.m., nothing open.  So I figured that the brake would wear itself a little clearance.  Down the road I went.  Sat. a.m. I started calling garages.  The 4th one, the Ford dealer, took me in.  We decided to replace both calipers.  (It's Michigan; road salt plays havoc).  1-1/2 hours later I was off again.  But gee,lots of rattle.  And after I had worked on the boat and on the cottage I put the truck in reverse--got a loud bang, lots of grinding noise.  Not good.  Headed to Mom's.  Whenever I applied the brakes moving forward, there was a loud clunk.  And even more rattling under way. But by now it was 6 p.m. Saturday--dealership not open.  So I crawled under the truck with a flashlight.  The top caliper bolt as gone; the bottom one was loose.  The caliper would pivot--in reverse, it put the pads outside the wear zone, on the rusty part (grinding noise).  In forward, it would rotate a bit, making the clunk.  I consulted the bolt collection, added a suitable one with a lock washer, and tightened the bolts on both sides (the other side was loose too).

The moral of the story is "do it yourself," but for us working guys, sometimes we just have to let somebody else do it in order to get it done.  The service manager has fallen all over himself apologizing and promising a reward ($).  I figure they're lucky that I knew what bad sounds sounded like and found the missing bolts before the second one fell off.  That would not have been pretty

Chris Campbell

danrclem

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 09:44:13 PM »
I think it was in 1999 when my oldest son got out of school and got a teaching job.  His fuel pump went out in his 88 Chevy pickup but he was able to make it to the school parking lot.  If I remember right it had the sending unit made onto the pump.  I know that your truck has a mechanical pump and just the sending unit in the tank but I'm guessing it should be similar job to change either one. 

He didn't have much extra money and I wasn't working at the time so I volunteered to make the 35 mile trip and change it for him.  Well as luck would have it the tank was almost full.  I was able to drop the tank and change the pump before he got out of school.  It was a long time ago but I remember it being pretty tough getting the tank back up there.

If I were you I'd drain the tank as much as possible and I don't think the job will be very hard.  Unless there's something I'm missing I'd much rather do that than take the bed off.  I wish I had been able to drain my sons tank but didn't have that luxury since he didn't have it at home.     

Bill

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
    • View Profile
Re: Busted gas gauge
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 08:26:24 PM »
Draining the tank or lifting up the box, either way it's not fun even with a hoist.  Good luck Greg.

Bill