Fuel Gauge - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 2:38 PM Thread Starter
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Fuel Gauge

1972 Malibu. Not an SS. Sweep dash (if that makes a difference). Fuel gauge stuck on empty. I've read numerous posts regarding how to troubleshoot this, and all I've seen begin by disconnecting the tan wire by the license plate which should result in the gauge reading "Full". Mine stays on empty. Any help would be appreciated. Or direct me to previous posts regarding this. Perhaps I need to word my searches differently? Thanks
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 2:47 PM
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Levon
 
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Some links:

https://www.chevellestuff.net/tech/f..._diagnosis.htm

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 3:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Thanks. I've seen both of those. The video describes having the gauges out on the bench. I'd like to avoid that if I can. It also shows SS gauges. Wouldn't they be different from non-SS with a sweep dash? The other link says "Locate the fuel sender feed wire near the fuel tank. You're looking for a single tan colored wire. With the tan wire disconnected at the fuel tank, the fuel gauge should read past full with the ignition on." I've done that, and the gauge stays on empty. It doesn't go to full. I appreciate the reply, though.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 4:11 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Start disconnecting the sender wire closer to the gauge. There is a harmonica type connector on the fuse panel that can be disconnected. See what happens there. Also check your fuses as the gauge will not work without power.

Levon Hovagimian
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 4:12 PM
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Eric
 
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Disconnect the fuel gauge wire at the gauge, the gauge should go past full with the key on. Make sure there is power and ground to the gauge.

You're just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 5:54 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

So all you have seen is by beginning with disconnecting the tan wire by the license plate which should result in the gauge reading "Full" and this is just the beginning of the troubleshooting. It's also one of the most easier spots to get an idea as to what is going on.

You may have to get further involved with things as the fuel gauge system is a LOT more than just a tan wire by the license plate.

I can guarantee that when troubleshooting stuff, just disconnecting the tan wire in the back will not always get the gauge needle to move as you have found out. Since it did nothing, then you have to move forward towards the gauge for more troubleshooting.

You could have lost power and/or ground at the gauge, you might have the tan wire pinched to ground between the gauge and the connection in the back of the car, you could have have a gauge that just gave up, and who knows what.

If it's not the gauge fuse (and do not just "LOOK" at it thinking it's good) but test for power with a meter, you may have to get even deeper into things. Sorry, but that's just how it is some times.

Jim

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 8:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Thanks! I can dig :=). I've had the car for a few years & the gauge never worked right. It's always read low, and sometimes it would bounce around a little. Don't know if that means anything or not. Question: I'll replace the gauge fuse regardless, but does it effect the idiot lights? They work.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 9:00 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Keep in mind too, you might not have one issue but multiples.

I would love to offer one thing that is wrong with what you have but it just doesn't work that way. Now throw in it hasn't worked right for a while and this adds to things.

The test on the wire/connection in the back of the car may or may not make the gauge needle move by grounding and ungrounding the wire side that goes towards the gauge and then this test gives no real results as to how well the sender in the tank is working or not, or how the ground is for the sender.

You just have to go through some logical step by step process. Just like me doing car audio for years, I can have a car with no sound out of one speaker and who knows if it's a speaker, a connection on the speaker, a wire run to the radio, and/or an issue with the radio. Throw it into being an older car that may or may not have an amplifier and/or might have had the wiring compromised through the years just adds to needing to do things a step at a time and logically.

Jim

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 10:09 PM
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I'm actually going through the same thing. My gauge reads half full even though the tank is full. I unplugged the wire at the tank and with key on the needle went way past full. Plug it back in and back to half a tank. At this point im pretty convinced I'm missing the resistor behind the gauge so maybe this weekend I will pull the dash pad and hopefully prove my theory.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 10:23 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake28050 View Post
I'm actually going through the same thing. My gauge reads half full even though the tank is full. I unplugged the wire at the tank and with key on the needle went way past full. Plug it back in and back to half a tank. At this point im pretty convinced I'm missing the resistor behind the gauge so maybe this weekend I will pull the dash pad and hopefully prove my theory.
No your not going through the same thing.

You're just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

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1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 20, 11:16 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
No your not going through the same thing.
You're*
67_LS1 and 1968 like this.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 4:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel Gauge

All of ur replies are appreciated.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 7:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel Gauge

I'm missing closer. Removed dash pad (and the Vintage Air defroster vent), jiggled the connection to the gauge. The tan wire test (disconnected read full - grounded read empty) worked! Now the gauge is stuck on full. The search continues.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 7:57 PM
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Re: Fuel Gauge

You currently have an open circuit it the gauge is reading past full. So probably a bad sender connection at the gauge.

You're just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 20, 8:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fuel Gauge

Thanks. Will the gauge come out or at least get disconnected without pulling the instrument panel?
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