Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Dale
 
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Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

Can anybody tell me how to test a console fuel gauge that is out of the car? I can get it to peg to full, but when grounding the sending unit tab, I cannot get it to go to EMPTY. I have a dash mounted fuel gauge that I can get to move in both directions, but I cannot get the console one to move to the Empty position.
I'm having the same problem in the car and bought a new gauge and I want to make sure it is functioning correctly before I change it out.
Thanks.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 06:03 PM
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge goes from empty to full as resistance from the sender goes from 90 ohms to zero.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 08:59 PM
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

I wonder if whatever you are using to short the terminal for the sending unit is not conducting ?. In the one test you could get the other gauge to swing to full and empty so I'm wondering if anything has changed in the way you are testing the other gauge ?.

When the gauge is powered up (and grounded as well) and nothing is connected to the sending unit terminal then the gauge should read full or above and then when the sending unit terminal is grounded to the same source as the gauges ground, then the needle should swing to empty. If you can do these tests right at the gauge as sometimes existing wiring may have a problem.

I wonder too if on the one gauge that you cannot get it to swing to empty that maybe there is corrosion on the gauges sending unit terminal ?.

I would have to think that if the tests are consistent then the gauge that does not work has a problem.

I do remember reading about a resistor that goes across some terminals on the gauge but I am not sure of when it is needed and what it actually does.

Jim

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

The gauge that I am testing for the console gauge set has a ceramic resistor installed and is brand new. The other center dash gauge that I had laying around is from a pace car and it will swing both directions. I am using alligator clips to the battery and a good ground and it just won't reverse to empty like the other gauge. Both gauges have resistors installed.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 12, 09:22 PM
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jl8dale View Post
The gauge that I am testing for the console gauge set has a ceramic resistor installed and is brand new. The other center dash gauge that I had laying around is from a pace car and it will swing both directions. I am using alligator clips to the battery and a good ground and it just won't reverse to empty like the other gauge. Both gauges have resistors installed.
It then sounds like a bad gauge to me. I don't know if you can return it or not but it might be able to be taken apart and checked internally for possible open connections but I would check to see if it could be returned first.

If it was me and I had access to a meter I might just double check the alligator clips and wiggle the wires on it just to make sure there isn't an intermittent open occuring on them. I've seen stranger things before and it might be something just as goofy as that. Doubtful but possible.

Jim

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 12, 12:35 AM
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

Test the ohms from the sender in different positions to rule out a bad sender or bad sender ground first.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 12, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
Test the ohms from the sender in different positions to rule out a bad sender or bad sender ground first.
I already installed a star washer on the sending unit ground so it should be good. The sending unit is brand new and I don't want to drop the tank if it is the gauge.
I bought this latest gauge brand new off of Ebay and it is non-returnable. I can't understand why I have 2 gauges doing the same thing, one in the car and one out. I find it hard to believe both are bad.
I must be missing something here.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 12, 10:40 AM
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Re: Bench Testing a 1969 Console Fuel Gauge

If the sticky gauge shows a level at two different sending unit positions when dc power is applied at individual times, then the gauge may be good.
Doesn't necessarily have to go to zero each time power is off.

Some gauges don't return to zero when power is off.

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