Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fuel Gauge Sending Unit

Fuel Gauge Sending Unit

Are any of you people driving around out there without a working fuel gauge? If the answer is "yes", the procedure for testing and changing your fuel gauge sending unit is actually very simple. You don't even have to get underneath your car!

The sending unit which tells your car's fuel gauge how much gas you have in your gas tank is located in the gas tank mounted underneath the floor of the trunk. To gain access to the sending unit you simply empty your trunk and pick up the trunk matting. You will see a hump located approximately in the middle of the trunk with a metal plate on top. There is one screw which holds this plate in place. Once you remove the plate, the top of the sending unit will be visible. Two wires will also be visible. One wire will be short and is connected to the sending unit resistor. The other wire is long and goes to your fuel gauge. Remove the wire going to the fuel gauge from the sending unit. You can test the operation of your fuel gauge by touching the wire you just removed from your sending unit to any good ground on your car. If your gauge reads full when the wire is grounded, your gauge is operating properly and any problem you were experiencing with your fuel gauge is lilely to be a defective sending unit.

Replacing the sending unit is very simple, but before you begin make sure you have no more than a half a tank of gas in your car. Make sure you have not only ordered the sending unit, but also the gasket which fits between the sending unit and the gas tank. Lastly, never smoke when working around gas!!!

If you have not already removed the wires going to the sending unit. do so now. Clean off any dirt and vacuum the area clean. 1955 and 1956 Thunderbird sending units are secured by screws around the perimeter. Unscrew the screws, gently tap the top of the sending unit and the unit should lift out of the gas tank. On 1957 Thunderbirds there are no screws. A metal retaining clip holds the sending unit in place. Simply work the clip out. A little WD-40 will help. Once you have slid the clip out, just tap the top of the sending unit and lift it out of the gas tank.

The new sending unit is installed reversing the above steps. Don't forget to install your gasket. You may need to bend the float up or down to get an accurate float reading on your gas gauge. I thank Ken Smizinski for furnishing this month's "tech tip."

1 comment:

Beep said...

I need just the sending unit for a 93 thunderbird LX 5.0 liter.. I already have the fuel pump.

Anyone have one?