View Full Version : Fuel Guage
01-06-2005, 09:05 AM
I'm trying to fix my fuel guage, and I'm getting ready to break into the fuel tank to clean up the sending unit and make sure that the foam float isn't stuck. I'm assuming that this is located on the top right side of the tank where the fuel line goes. I'm just curious how much of that do I need to take out, and what should I use to reseal it?
01-06-2005, 12:00 PM
Before you do anything radical, try pulling the wires at the tank and at the gauge and cleaning the contacts. Some emery paper and maybe a bit of contact cleaner should do it. Then check for voltage at the gauge. To locate the sender look at the top of your fuel tank. You should see a black disc about 3" in diameter with about eight screws holding it down. There will be wires coming out of it that go to your fuel gauge. A fuel line will not be coming out of it.
If the voltage is not there then consider scrapping the old unit entirely. There really should no be anything in your fuel tank causing the old unit to jam. They just wear out.
I put a later model solid state sender in the tank of my 1996 ProStar 190. I suspect it will also drom into yours. The wiring just plugs into the existing wiring. It's adjustable for full and empty so if you want to play with it you can make it very accurate. It should come with new gaskets. No caulk is used. It was an easy install and was worth the $100.00 that M/C charged. Your dealer can tell you if it will work for you.
Good luck with your project.
01-06-2005, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the info. What I'm worried about though is that the guage does come on when I turn the key, it's just that it is stuck at 3/4 of a tank. I've only had the boat out 3 times for short runs (1 hour each), so unfortunately I found this out the hard way by running out of gas on New Year's Day. :mad: I will still check all of the connections, but my preliminary troubleshooting seems to show that the guage itself works fine, but is receiving a false signal. :confused:
01-06-2005, 03:03 PM
This is what happened on mine...maybe it will help you:
The foam that you mention travels along a guide within a round aluminum tube. If that tube becomes even slightly warped, the foam part will get stuck. The curve in the tube will not be visible and would be nearly impossible to straighten correctly.
If you shave down the diameter of the float with a utility knife, it should travel just fine.
To remove the sending unit, first unplug the the wiring harness. There is a black plug about one foot from the unit. Then you will have to unscrew the brackets that hold the gas tank in place. Once removed, you can slide the tank forward (so do this when the tank is nearly empty).
You will be able to clearly see a round part that screws into the top of the tank. Once the screws are removed the whole assembly will lift up and out. On the bottom of the round tube there are two very small screws that hold a plastic disc in place. remove this and free up the float with a long screwdriver.
Shave down the float and reinstall it. As for the gasket, mine was foam and I just reused it. You can see if this works by connecting the wiring harness and tipping the assembly upside down and right side up several times with the key on.
In my case, this has worked for over a year with out a problem. It is an easy thing to try before buying a new unit.
01-06-2005, 03:07 PM
The likely source of your problem is the magnets on the float have fallen off and are stuck to the circuit board at the 3/4 mark. The float still goes up and down, but it dosen't have the magnets attached to it to give you the proper reading.
Remove the brackets that hold the tank in place so that you can slide the tank out just far enough to unscrew the sending unit. After unscrewing the unit, pull it out and take it apart. It is a cylinder looking piece about the size of a cardboard paper towel holder. Inside the cylinder is a circuit board and foam float. Likely, the magnets have come off the float and therfore giving you the same constant reading. First off, make sure the float sildes up and down the cylinder without any resistance. If there is resistance, get out a file and make the grooves a tiny bit bigger. Next, get some super glue and re-attach the magnets to the float. You should be able to tell from where they fell off. Put it back together and give it a whirl. This is a common problem and a relatively easy fix. Let me know if you have any questions.
01-06-2005, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the help everyone, I am going to take a look at it tonight. I don't have to worry about gas in the tank, took care of that on the last outing. I wish I had pictures of the little dinghy with a 2HP Yamaha towing me in a good 1/8 mile. That thing was whining a bit.
01-06-2005, 03:57 PM
As Pdoppenheim said the permanent fix is the newer electronic sending unit.....
01-06-2005, 03:59 PM
Is that unit only available through Mastercraft? I'll probably call over to my local dealer today and see if they can get me one.
01-06-2005, 04:02 PM
One other question, is the new sending unit a straight swap requiring no other mods at all?
01-06-2005, 04:07 PM
If it is the magnets you can fix it very cheaply. I had a 97 that had the same problem where the magnets fell out of the float. They were both stuck to the inside of the gage. I used JB Weld to adhere them back on to the foam. JB Weld is a two part epoxy like substance that you should be able to find at any hardware store. It has been 4 years since I did that and have not had a problem with it since. Just make sure you let the JB Weld dry for a couple of days before you put it back in the gas tank.
01-06-2005, 10:20 PM
Okay, my magnets were stuck to the board, and the float was sticking. I'm trying to put the magnets back on the float, but I am not sure how they were originally. Are the two magnets supposed to be stuck together in the center of the track on the float? There is a small line scribed on the float, and I'm assuming that this is where they are supposed to go. I was going to line up the seam between the two when they are stuck together with the line for lack of a better idea. Any thoughts?
01-06-2005, 11:06 PM
so far no matter what I do, the gauge stays stuck at 3/4 of a tank so I must have some ther problem with it.
01-07-2005, 10:18 AM
Before you do anything radical, try pulling the wires at the tank and at the gauge and cleaning the contacts. Some emery paper and maybe a bit of contact cleaner should do it. Then check for voltage at the gauge.
At least, I'm not the only one! :uglyhamme
This happened to us on New New's Day, while foot'n on my BF 200. What a way to start off the year, we go out barefoot'n w/ tank reading 3/4 full and we run out of gas after only 2 out of 3 of us get to foot :mad:
Wasn't sure of the reason why, until I squeezed the primer ball and it did not harden. I then proceeded to tap on the tank and got a hollow sound, tanks empty. We also, ended up being towed in- I'll post that photo soon. We took the boat out, trailered it to a local gas station and before adding fuel, I removed the sending unit from the tank in the rear and re-installed it. Pumped in $20 of gas, filled it 11.5 gals. into a 40 gallon tank.
Gauge now reads EMPTY! We took it back out on the water to slush it around and it ran fine ... however, the black bars on the gauge don't show that's there's any fuel in the tank. I will try pulling the wires at the tank and at the gauge and cleaning the contacts w/ emery paper as pdoppenheim suggested, after work later today.
I'm really :confused:
Any other suggestions or ideas?
01-07-2005, 10:34 AM
The same thing happened to my 91 BF200 not once but two times.
The first time it happened I replced the the sending unit assembly in the tank with a new one that looked idenical to the original. Three years later the same problem again, I ordered anthoner new sending unit and when it arrived it looked different the the first two, the outside tube was now metal instead of plastic. The overall apperance of the newest model was much better.
I sold the boat earilier this year and the newest sending unit had been in for 3 years with no problems.
FYI: I ordered both of these units, as I do all my parts, from Rambo Marine. They had the unit to me within a few days each time.
The best I can remember they cost about $50.00 including shipping.
I hope this helps.
My 96 190 PS is having the same problem with gas gauge. I am planning to change the sending unit this spring. Unfortunately I figured out something was wrong with the sending unit after I filled the gas tank for winter storage. My question is do you have to pull the tank out to change the sending unit or is the tow hook hole is sufficient to allow access?
01-07-2005, 01:58 PM
I'm not sure how an '86 is laid out, but I had to partially remove the gas tank in my '91. Not hard, I just removed the brackets, didn't disconnect any hoses, and just slid the one end out far enough to get access to the sending unit. The whole job took about 15 or 20 minutes. Though I screwed around with the sending unit for 2 hours before I realized it was dead :mad:
01-07-2005, 01:59 PM
I meant '96, but probably some what similar to an early 90s one for general layout
01-07-2005, 02:09 PM
The same thing happened to my 91 BF200, not once but two times.
Sounds like the same original type of sending unit, semi-short rounded plastic cylinder shaped tube, length's approx. 12 inches and the end is the size of a half dollar?
The other day, I went to our local MC Dealer JOA Marine, (not by choice) because I had too. The new one's that replace those are now a metal tube, which you speak of. They wanted a whopp'n $100 bucks, so while I was stand'n at the parts counter I called Rambo and spoke w/ Les who always answers.
He had quoted me $85.00 plus shipp'n. JOA matched the price on the spot, I havn't bought from either one of them yet. Going to attempt to repair it myself first, I let you know the outcome.
Curious to know, why did you sell your BF200? :confused:
I plan to keep mine 4ever!
01-07-2005, 02:17 PM
I owned my BF200 for eight years and loved it, but with two young kids it was time to move to an open bow for more "family friendly" boating.
I just bought a 94 PS205, I can only hope it is half of the barefoot machine my old boat was.
01-07-2005, 04:22 PM
I gave up on my sending unit and ordered one of the new ones from Rambo marine. I tried everything, but it just kept reading 3/4 of a tank no matter what I did, even with no float or magnets. I'm not sure what the price was, I ordered a few other things, too. Once I get it in, I'll let everyone know how they work.
Thanks! and good luck with yours!
01-07-2005, 09:42 PM
Came in after dark, no chance to sand contact points. :noface:
Plan to do it early morning, then headout to barefoot.
Will report in after our return, updating you on the results. :cool:
01-08-2005, 01:24 PM
I tried everything, but it just kept reading 3/4 of a tank no matter what I did, even with no float or magnets.
If you got the 3/4 reading with wires disconnected from the sender, I don't think that the sender is your problem. With the wires off, the gauge should drop to E. The sender is like a variable resistor and the gauge acts like a volt meter. With the wires off, the gauge gets no voltage and will drop to 0. When the tank is full (or the float is stuck near the top of the sender) there is no resistance, the gauge gets battery voltage and reads full.
01-08-2005, 03:08 PM
I had a problem with my 1989 fuel gauge not reading properly. The new part wasn't that expensive so I just bought a new one rather than messing around. In my model year it was a fairly easy swap out and when I replaced it everything worked fine. I think it was about 7 years old at the time when it failed and the replacement worked fine until I sold it last year.
01-08-2005, 03:32 PM
Haven't tried a reading w/ wires off. Did this am, sand the contacts w/ emery paper and I'm still gett'n a low read'n on 3 solid bars.
Also, I filled another $25 bucks of gas into the tank this morn'n.
It's now hold'n approx. 20 gals plus full, but still goes back to empty.
Good news, I did find an exact replacement part (photo below), current one in tank is made of plastic and new one looks like it's made from aluminum, I think. The company is called ISSPRO out of Portland, OR.
I'll call Monday to order a new one.
Meanwhile, I'll also try aother read'n w/ the wires taken off.
01-08-2005, 07:48 PM
Haven't tried a reading w/ wires off.
Good news, I did find an exact replacement part (photo below), current on in tank is made of plastic and new one looks like it's made from aluminum, I think. The company is called ISSPRO out of Portland, OR.
I'll call Monday to order a new one.
Meanwhile, I'll also try aother read'n w/ the wires taken off.
If you take the wires off (removing 1 will do it) , you should get an empty reading. If you connect the two wires, your gauge should read full.
Checked the sender on the ISSPRO site, they look like a match. It would be worth checking the resistance range of your unit to see that they match up. What is the length do you need? My boat is not easy to get at right now so I am not able to check it myself for a few weeks......With all the screwing around I've done on mine, it might be worth replacing it even though it is working now.
Thanks for the lead
01-08-2005, 07:56 PM
Let me know what you find on the sender as far as price and if it is a replacement part......it might be worth replacing it even though it is working now.
Is your like the one in the photo or like the other kind, long single slinder tube?
01-08-2005, 08:01 PM
Yep it is like the photo.....from memory, mine seems to be a little longer than the tube shown there. I revised the earlier post as I see they offer quite a selection of lengths.