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fuel gauge not working

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toonrider View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/04/2012 at 6:29pm
While out in the pontoon today I noticed my fuel gauge was not working. 2 days ago when I was out the gauge was working great. I took the  wires off from the tank, which I suppose were for the sending unit and cleaned the connections, but nothing happened. I don't know if all the water that was spraying on the tank from the motor 2 days ago shorted something out or what? So does anyone have any suggestions on what could have went wrong.  I didn't see any fuse under the console going to the gauge, so I'm open to suggestions. I would think the connections on the tank for the sending unit are meant to get wet, but maybe not a constant spraying of water on them like I had. Is there a way to test the sending unit to see if that went bad?
Randy
2008 SunTracker 190
2008 Mercury 60hp Bigfoot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/04/2012 at 7:01pm
First thing is to make sure you have 12 volts to the gauge when the key is in the ON position. Just check for voltage from ground to the "I" terminal on the gauge and see what you get. If you have voltage, then remove the send wire (usually a pink wire) from the fuel sender and turn the key on. The gauge should read empty. Next ground the send wire (before you turn the key on so you get no sparking) and the gauge should read full with the key on. You would have to remove the sender to check it with an ohmmeter. I'm betting you lost 12 volts to the gauge. Do your other gauges work OK? Most times the 12 volt supply for all the gauges are daisy chained from one to the other..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/04/2012 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by rickdb1 rickdb1 wrote:

First thing is to make sure you have 12 volts to the gauge when the key is in the ON position. Just check for voltage from ground to the "I" terminal on the gauge and see what you get. If you have voltage, then remove the send wire (usually a pink wire) from the fuel sender and turn the key on. The gauge should read empty. Next ground the send wire (before you turn the key on so you get no sparking) and the gauge should read full with the key on. You would have to remove the sender to check it with an ohmmeter. I'm betting you lost 12 volts to the gauge. Do your other gauges work OK? Most times the 12 volt supply for all the gauges are daisy chained from one to the other..
I checked the voltage with the key on, and if I did that right I had 9.9 volts. I then removed the pink send wire from the sending unit, and turned on the key. The needle never moved, then I grounded the pink wire, and the needle on the gauge went to full. So what's all this telling me? - bad sending unit?
Randy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/04/2012 at 10:32pm
Most likely Randy. Replied to PM, but let everyone know how it works out here. Might help someone else.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 1:11pm
I am going to replace the sending unit, don't know if I should stick with a Tracker Marine unit, or go to something like the Moeller universal unit. Moeller has a 35-240 ohm unit for tanks 4-27 inches at around $25. The reviews don't sound too bad, and it sounds easy to adjust for whatever depth tank one has. Has anyone tried the Moeller universal sending units?
Randy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 1:28pm
Yep, just follow directions on the package.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 4:07pm
Ditto.  We just put one in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 6:19pm
Well, I jumped the gun too soon. I order a sending unit, and after that I checked Rick's pm to me. Rick I'm not blaming you, but Rick had suggested I check the ground at the sending unit. My tests of the fuel gauge and wiring were good along with the ohms on the sending unit. So after Rick's suggestion I cut the end of the ground wire and installed a new plug. Still nothing, so I ran a new ground wire from the sending unit to a ground on the motor and wham! The gauge needle came up to full, which was the position I had the sending unit at. I then moved the arm of the unit and watched the needle fall as I moved the arm. Well, I started thinking where is this not being grounded correctly. I followed the wires from the sending unit to where they split and went to the console, then to the battery. Everything seemed fine, and everything had been working 2 days before the problem occurred. I have 2 batteries in the back 1 for starting and the other is house, and what I had was the sending unit ground wire going to the house battery. The house battery runs to the fuse block under the console, which is the main ground on the boat. (I thought) I would have thought that would have been a good ground. What I ended up doing is removing the ground wire for the sending unit from the house battery, and installed it on the starting battery for the motor, and the fuel gauge is now working as it should. So now I'm a little puzzled to as why the ground on the house battery that supplies the fuse block didn't work. Confused I believe I ought to run a ground cable from battery to battery - right? Now, the reason the gauge was working 2 days earlier was that I must have had the ground wire for the sending unit connected to the starting battery.
Sorry for the long post, but I'm trying to sort all this out!
Randy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 6:49pm
You want the ground wire to the same battery from which is supply the power. If its the house battery then + and - HOWEVER, a distribution ground should have been installed - ground from BOTH batteries go to this common ground, then all your accessories are grounded to this common ground. In the event anything is faulty, its generally the ground from whatever is being grounded. Most people tend to look at fuses and yes, sometimes thats it but it can and usually is a bad connection, thus the reason we always ask you check your connections. its also why we put troubleshooting into the tips area. Test leads of a LONG wire for both negative and positive will help rule that a gauge works. Wink If gauge works, then look at the wires (common ground 1st, then broken wires/chaffed wires, etc)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 8:09pm

He confirmed that there was a good ground and 12 volts present at the gauge. So that was fine. By grounding the send wire from the sending unit and the gauge reading FULL, it proved that the gauge was working correctly. Only thing left was to test the sender. After seeing the results of the Ohmmeter test on the sender, that's when I sent a PM suggesting that the ground at the tank be checked, since the readings were right on. Guess I was a tad late in the reply. Maybe you can cancel the order. But glad to hear you got it figured out..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toonrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 9:46am
Rick, I don't think your reply was late, I always have a tendency to jump the gun.Embarrassed I just want to thank you for all your help, and boy, did I learn alot in a short time. I was contacted by the seller of the sending unit that I had ordered, and they did cancel the order, so no harm was done. Thanks again for everyone's help and advise!
Randy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:55am
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