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Discussion Starter #1
Can any one tell me what is going on with my truck's gas gauge? I'm still learning about this truck. It HAS BEEN worked on by others before I got it. I have filled the tank on slow flow several times now and all the gauge reads at fill up is 3/4 full. After driving for a few days the gauge comes off 3/4 towards half full, the needle swings back and forth about the 1/4 tank markings until it bottoms out at empty. I'm now getting about 22+ miles per gallon so it takes awhile for the gauge to move down the scale to empty. It seems to me that the sending unit has been replaced and not installed in the right position since it swings so much and the register being off. I had to redo the ground on the back of the truck after finding wiring issues. I don't seem to have any wiring issues now. Everything works now, just the gas gauge doesn't register correctly. It has been this way since I got the truck. Appreciate any helpful feed back. Thanks
 

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It's pretty hard to install in the wrong position. If the gauge is swinging wildly up and down, I would suspect that a baffle has broken loose inside the tank allowing a lot of fuel sloshing around. One other thing is there can be corrosion in the resistor at the sending unit. Hope this helps or at least eliminates a couple of things that can go wrong. If it turns out you need a sending unit I might have you covered, but I only have two and one is already spoken for so far.

Joe

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Joe. I'm not looking forward to dropping the gas tank to check out the sending unit or if a baffle has broken off inside the tank. A winter project I guess. I don't remember if the other El Caminos I had had a normal, steady read out or a fluctuating needle on the gas gauge.
 

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dropping the tank isn't to bad of a job at all.you need a new sender unit and while you have it down replace all the rubber hoses so you don't have to pull it apart again anytime soon.Drop the tank with as little gas in it as possible of course. Good luck.
 

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My gauge on my 86 bounces around all the time when the tanks not completely full - swings about 1/4 tank so I usually don't run it below a 3rd of a tank - it does read full when I fill it up though. & I agree with 454 - dropping the tank isn't much of a job.
 

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I'm now getting about 22+ miles per gallon so it takes awhile for the gauge to move down the scale to empty.

If I was getting 22+ MPG I wouldn't care what my fuel gauge was showing! Okay . . . not really, but my '68 327 and 396 aren't in that ballpark. Eventually pulling the fuel sending unit sounds like the right approach to solving your problem.


Greg
 

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I had something similar happen years ago on an old truck I had. I had just filled up the truck, and hadn't even gone 10 miles when I had a really hard panic stop. After that the gauge was reading much as you describe and would never come to full. When I dropped the tank I found that the full load of fuel surged ahead in the tank and had bent the rod attached to the float on the sender.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's interesting Dave, on your fuel gauge sending unit arm being bent. Hey Greg, when I bought this truck a year ago I was getting 9 miles per gallon, had 3 computer codes and I fixed 2 of them right away then the last code was the Throttle Positioning Sensor. I had the carb rebuilt and since then have been getting upwards of 22+. As for all of the other responses, Thank you. I just want everything to be working like it was when new when possible these days. Dave
 

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Road 86: If you have fuel injected throttle body on your 86 it is possible it could be the tank sending unit. Dixie Restoration has a beautiful stainless sending unit that is very nice and since you are pulling the tank is worth replacing. It comes with pump, screen etc, everything you'll need. If I remember correctly you can adjust the fuel gauge by removing and replacing the arm of the gauge in the correct location. (I could be wrong there I might be thinking of one of the other gauges). I have rebuilt every gauge on my 86 fuel injected and now have everything working as needed.
 

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Dave, Sounds like your sending unit is bad on your car,BUT, if it reads correctly at 1/4 to empty I wouldn't worry about it. If you want a new one I would Very Highly recommend the sending unit from SPECTRA out of Canada. They make fabulous products, look them up. UPDATE ***** I looked the sending unit up on Spectra site and they don't list one for it . Summit does have one
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Kam86, I have a stock 305 with Q-jet carb, so that doesn't seem to be the problem. Thanks for your response.
Hey Wayne, good to hear from you again. What you are saying about the gauge sending unit being bad, well, that's what I was fearing. I havn't tried to find a new sending unit yet but I'll check out your reference. Thanks, Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the reply JJ. That's on the list of things to do before dropping the tank. I have dealt with Dixie before. Good source for parts.
 
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