Cazzy

Gas gauge stuck

35 posts in this topic

I have a practically new 196ssi with 19hrs on it. Fuel gauge goes up to half and back down to empty when I turn the ignition key on. 

Dealer tells me to run it a bit and float is stuck. Local Mechanic says his experience is that the float is broke, but remove from top of fuel tank and try moving it but only when half full. 

Any advice? There are 5 or 6 chrome or stainless bolt heads and then the brass  fuel coupler. Haven't done this before. 

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If the boat was sitting for long time with fuel in the tank, the chances are the float is gummed up and stuck. Run it for a bit in choppy water before you decide to dismantle/test/replace the fuel sender.

Just in case ... when you get there, remember the gasoline fumes are explosive. Relocate/extend the hose and use boat's ignition protected blower to evacuate the fumes. Do not use shop vac or any other household device to evacuate fumes or vent the area.

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Great advice. I prob would not have thought of that. I've run the boat for an entire weekend already but no luck with the fuel gauge working other than as I noted it goes up to half and right back down upon start up. 

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What no warranty?

Any advice? There are 5 or 6 chrome or stainless bolt heads and then the brass  fuel coupler. Haven't done this before. 

And the bolts are in a very particular order, mark the plate before removing .

 

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Remove the wire at the sending unit. Turn key on. Fuel gauge should read empty. Now ground the wire to a good clean metal surface. Fuel gauge should read full. If this works as stated, you have a sending unit problem. This test proves that the gauge and wire to the sending unit are good.

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On 9/1/2017 at 10:01 PM, TNBrett said:

Then its time to take it to a professional:)

:D:D:D

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Plan to tackle checking to see if the float is stuck today. The fuel line coupler going into the top of the fuel tank is directly over the sending unit cover & 5 bolts. Do I remove the fuel line from this stainless coupler? and do I need a sealant or when reconnecting?

Is there a torque value for the sending unit cover and rubber gasket?

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On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 7:34 PM, SterndriveEd said:

Remove the wire at the sending unit. Turn key on. Fuel gauge should read empty. Now ground the wire to a good clean metal surface. Fuel gauge should read full. If this works as stated, you have a sending unit problem. This test proves that the gauge and wire to the sending unit are good.

You should try this first before opening up the fuel tank.  It will literally take 2 minutes, and will tell you if the issue is indeed the sender.  

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5 minutes ago, TNBrett said:

You should try this first before opening up the fuel tank.  It will literally take 2 minutes, and will tell you if the issue is indeed the sender.  

There is no wire exposed.  There is a black cap that has a red tie clip. Wil take a pic & post. 

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On 9/1/2017 at 8:43 PM, Cazzy said:

That's above my knowledge and skill grade. 

Then you don't need to be messing with explosive fuel vapors. Working on a gas tank is serious stuff. Take it to a pro. 

brick

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4 hours ago, brick said:

Then you don't need to be messing with explosive fuel vapors.

That's exclusive privilege of NJ and OR residents, you do not belong there, I guess.
Rest of the World deal fine with gas and its derivatives.:D

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I looked up the wiring diagram.  I think you should find two wires coming out of that connector, one pink, and one yellow.  Yellow is a  ground, pink goes to the gauge.  Unhook the connector from the sender, and turn the key on.  Gauge should read empty.  Jump across the two terminals with a short piece of wire (you're grounding the pink wire to the yellow one), and turn the key on.  Gauge should read full.  If everything works the way it should, then you have now isolated the problem to the sender, and its time to replace it.  I hope this helps.

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Thanks TNBrett. I appreciate you taking the time to research this for me. I was apprehensive to cut the small red zip tie having never done this before and not knowing what I expose. No worries about gas fumes as the engine hood is up and ventilation is good. 

I know no power tools but wouldn't need them anyway. It's unhooking the connector properly without breaking something having never seen or done it. I did buy permetex aviation form a gasket to lightly spread around the rubber sending unit gasket and fuel line coupler upon reinstalling. 

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Ok I removed the sending unit. It is a rod style not an arm type. The float moved freely up and down and I reinstalled it. The fuel gauge moved from empty to 1/3 full so I thought it was just a stuck float. 

Filled the tank up today and still 1/3 full ffs. I didn't remove the black cap on top of the send Rod that has a red tie clip, to check for these two wires that were mentioned. So now I'm still not sure if it's the sending unit or the guage.  

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You were so close to figuring this out. With the sending unit out and all wires still hooked up try this. Cover the fuel tank hole to keep fumes in there. Next turn the key to the ON position. Not running the engine. Now just slide the float up and down while you watch the helm gauge. The needle should move and be close to empty, mid, and full positions as you slide to each position.

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6 minutes ago, SterndriveEd said:

You were so close to figuring this out. With the sending unit out and all wires still hooked up try this. Cover the fuel tank hole to keep fumes in there. Next turn the key to the ON position. Not running the engine. Now just slide the float up and down while you watch the helm gauge. The needle should move and be close to empty, mid, and full positions as you slide to each position.

Yes I should've thought of that. I still don't understand how it recognizes the fuel level. There is nothing but the rod going through the middle of the float. Can someone explain. 

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Resistance/ohms ... as float is moved up and down the rod, the resistance of the core (rheostat) changes and the fuel gauge registers the change.

Here is a cheat sheet for how to determine where the fault is, sender or gauge ...

http://www.boatingmag.com/checking-boat-fuel-guages-and-fuel-sending-units

... more info and videos on the net if you need to go into more testing.

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7 hours ago, SterndriveEd said:

You were so close to figuring this out. With the sending unit out and all wires still hooked up try this. Cover the fuel tank hole to keep fumes in there. Next turn the key to the ON position. Not running the engine. Now just slide the float up and down while you watch the helm gauge. The needle should move and be close to empty, mid, and full positions as you slide to each position.

Ok I took it apart again SterndriveEd. The guage moved to full when the float was up to the top of the sending rod and then showed mid and then empty as I moved it down. I put it back in the tank, which is almost full, guage showing a 1/3 tank. Frustrating. 

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Sounds like it was working correctly when you moved it by hand out of the tank?  If that is the case the only thing it could be is a bad float or the float is hanging up on the sending rod, wouldn't you agree?  Unless I misread what you said it sounds like your gauge and sending unit are working as they should.

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