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My fuel gauge has read full ever since I've owned my car. I've relied on my trip odometer to keep from running it empty, but now that has failed too. I'd like to fix the gauge.

 

Both wires on the sender - FULL 

Both wires off the sender - EMPTY

Both (sender) wires shorted together - FULL

 

These previous three tests seem to point to a sender which is shorted and always has zero resistance regardless of fuel level.

 

0-200 ohm potentiometer - Always reads full regardless of resistance. (yes I had it hooked up properly)

 

This last test case baffles me. How is this possible? This should have moved the needle through its range. Ideas?

 

thanks

eric

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Could be the gauge, sender should read 0-75 ohms. Just to make sure the pot isn't wonky, find a resistor that is roughly 30-40 ohms and test with that, it should read about 1/2 tank. If that doesn't work I would try a known working gauge or find the sender wire behind your cluster (the wiring diagram shows which one in the round plug is for the fuel gauge) and hook up your multimeter and test the resistance there, if it is showing the same resistance as at your tank then the gauge is probably bad.

 

If the gauge is bad your options are:

1. replace the entire cluster

2. replace just the pod with the fuel/temp etc.

3. or you can replace just the gauge in the pod (once you have it apart it is pretty easy, if you find a pod that doesn't match yours then just take the gauge out, they were the same for all years)

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I tested the pot on a meter, it's fine.

 

I remembered I had another gauge cluster from an automatic. I swapped the fuel gauge sub-assembly and it works!

 

Not entirely sure if I actually replaced a bad gauge or just improved the connections to it during the swap. I noticed the grounding method is different (improved) on the 76 cluster i pulled the gauge from.

 

thanks guys!

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