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Fixed my fuel gauge finally

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tRustyK5, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Replaced the guage cluster housing. Swapped all my old guages into a spare cluster I had in storage.

    I guess the printed circuit board was messed up somehow on the old cluster, because now all my dash lights work and the fuel gauge too. :) Having a working fuel guage in a diesel truck is pretty important, luckily I never ran it out of fuel in the last 6 months or so.

    Rene
     
  2. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    congrats....

    i've been dealing with it for about a month now and its a nuisance... tho its been MY decision to drive around with no dash while i transform the interior...

    and i mean no dash at all... ;) no speedo doesn't bother me, just losing track of fuel...
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I ran like that for a couple of days...it's weird. I don't have a dash pad on it anymore since the cage went in, so it's a little ugly. At least the cluster and the plastic overlay still fits up.

    The fuel gauge was annoying, but I could keep track of the mileage. Having no dash lights ticked me off though.

    Rene
     
  4. FWP

    FWP CRS

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    Good deal. What were the symptoms, for those of us that haven't been paying attention :blush: :grin:
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Fuel gauge worked intermittantly after the cluster had been re-installed for the 5th or 6th time. Within a week the guage went pegged overfull and just stayed there. The dash lights quit about the same time...so i felt it was related to the cluster itself rather than the sending unit.

    I also knew i had a spare cluster lying around, so if i was wrong I only wasted $0 and 20 minutes of my time.

    I had a previous problem with the GM clusters. My previous cluster prob's were when the only two guages working were the speedo and the fuel gauge. No temp gauge, no oil press guage and no volts guage. Took that cluster apart and swapped in some other gm guages I had and everything was cool.

    It pays to keep 3 or 4 gauge clusters around...but now I have to find a few more for the next time :crazy:

    Rene
     
  6. FWP

    FWP CRS

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    Good info, Gracias :)
     
  7. savagek5diesel

    savagek5diesel 1/2 ton status

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    I've been having a similar problem, but if i hit my guages hard enough the lights usually come back on. but a couple days ago the fuel light went out and has yet to come back on. also the oil pressure guage hasn't worked since i bought the truck. so i guess this problem is just fualty circuit board or bad gauges?
     
  8. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    I've had a "half tank" for 3 years now....

    how do i tell if the sending unit or gauge is bad, or is there something else?


    I've had the sending unit out and the float wasn't stuck but that doesn't mean the sending unit is ok.
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    The intermittant lights are pretty easy to fix. Remove the twist bulb holder and pry the contact tabs up a little, then put it back in. A little scotch bright on the copper works good too.

    DW17, might just be a bad guage. I've had quite a few dead guages in these clusters over the years. Usually if a sender goes bad the guage will be pegged full or empty. If the needle doesn't move at all I'd bet guage.

    Rene
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Grounding the pink sending unit wire with the key on should move the gauge. If it doesn't, gauge issue. If it does, sender issue.

    Of course, the problems could be compounded, I had both a bad fuel gauge AND sender, which made diagnosis interesting. Bad readings from sender, bouncy gauge because the gauge was bad.

    I agree with Rene, if it doesn't move at all, it's probably not a sender issue.

    After my recent fun with rewiring my gauge setup for the later electric speedo, I can tell you the printed circuit that "drives" the lights and all the gauges is very simple. All gauges essentially have one wire that comes from a sender or switch (headlight dimmer for lighting, oil, fuel) that is on the printed circuit board, all the other "circuits" on the board are simply + or -. '90-91 PCB's are pretty cool, the + and - is actually embossed in the copper, and all gauges/lights share the same +. If one connection goes bad, all will lose power or ground, or you will simply lose the individual input for whichever gauge. I'm having to learn WAY too much about how these things work from this swap. :) At least I hope that gives a bit of understanding of how the gauge cluster works. It's not a big mystery. The fuel gauge for instance only has one specific wire for it...in my case it's the same pink one that comes off the tank.

    Only problem is that you've got to remove the cluster to get at the PCB, but no problem in my case, I knew there was a reason I haven't yet installed the dashpad.
     

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