Oops! I think I just broke my fuel gauge! - TriFive.com, 1955 Chevy 1956 chevy 1957 Chevy Forum , Talk about your 55 chevy 56 chevy 57 chevy - Belair , 210, 150 sedans , Nomads and Trucks, Research, Free Tech Advice

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Electrical Questions and Answers This is the place to ask all your question about electrical problems and instalation issues.

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Old 11-30-2019, 03:41 PM   #1
restoman1
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Default Oops! I think I just broke my fuel gauge!

I replaced the fuel gauge sender a few months back because it never read right (when the tank was full, but gauge read half full), and the new one works great.

However, a few days ago my gas gauge started to act erratically, going all the way full, then half way, then 3/4 full, then it would start working correctly again. Yesterday, it started doing it again so I pounded on the dash to see if I could "fix" it. Well, I "fixed" it alright. Now it does nothing but read full all the time so I guess I broke it. Full when the car is "on" and empty when the car is "off".

I pulled the radio to check that out a few weeks ago (a different thread), so it's easy to get my hands up in there to check the wires, but they seem to be okay. Both the tan and the brown are connected to the gauge nice and tight, so it appears I may have broken the gauge.

My question, can the gauge be repaired? Or do I have to buy a new one?

Thanks
Ed
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:34 PM   #2
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Maybe you just knocked a wire off the back of the gauge....It was probably loose already giving you the erratic readings and you finished it off by smacking it. Check real good back there. Sometimes by feel, you feel the wrong thing or it is not as you think.

I think if it is disconnected from the sender, it will show full. If the sender wire is grounded it will show empty.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:05 PM   #3
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Ok, good news, it's not the gauge. I can get it to work sometimes if I jiggle the wiring up under the dash. The tan and brown wires are tight on the gauge, as a matter of fact, I can't even get them off - do they just pull off or what?

Anyway, it appears I have a loose wire somewhere under the dash, so now I'll have to hunt it down.

Ed
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:06 PM   #4
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The wires should pull off the rear of the gauge.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:41 PM   #5
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It is basically a stud on the back of the gauge that a terminal slips over. The terminal gets friction by slipping over the groove on the stud. Here is a link to a picture of those>>>> https://www.classicchevy.com/product.../6440/image/1/

Working from behind the dash makes everything harder. I have found more than one that was seemingly on tight, but in reality, the connector was loose enough, corroded, tarnished enough to make connection only when being wiggled or tweaked. A little squeeze and some cleaning will probable fix it.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:20 PM   #6
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Well, I shook, pulled, twisted and can't find the loose wire which means I'm probably going to have to pull the dash to find it. I HATE pulling the dash. It's such a PIA.

The wiring up there is a rats nest anyway. Original 62 year old wiring that's been spliced, taped and who knows what. It really needs to be replaced, and I will next summer, so in the meantime I'll just fill it up every few weeks.

Thanks for the assist guys.
Ed
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
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Anytime something acts erratic in my old ride I start looking for a good ground.
Make sure the gauge is grounded to the dash.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:21 AM   #8
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I would replace that wiring sooner rather than later. One incident under the dash and your car could go up in flames.

If you buy and AAW direct replacement kit, it won't be difficult at all. It is almost plug and play.

The AAW upgrade kit allows you to add things like air conditioning and electric fans, etc. is not really difficult but is time consuming.

Wayne
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:37 PM   #9
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I'd love to replace the wiring but Christmas takes priority. Especially with 3 grandchildren!

I have a master battery disconnect switch in place and don't drive the car that much, even less in winter, so I'm sure it'll be okay until I can scrape up the $$$.

Ed
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