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Author Topic:   Magnetic Fuel Gauge
hauptjm posted 08-29-2000 11:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for hauptjm  
Recently, I bought a replacement fuel gauge from a local Whaler dealer. I was missing just the magnetic dial that sits on the fuel tank "sending unit". Obviously, this is just the under-the-inspection-port mechanical fuel gauge. I put the dial on, and it doesn't work. Regardless of fuel level, it constantly reads less than empty; around "7 o'clock". Has anyone dealt with this problem before? I almost collapsed at the price I had to pay for this "dial". Locally, the cost was $50.00. It looks like maybe $.30 worth of materials at best. Could the dial be defective? Is there a special way I have to mount? The dial definitely fits just one way. If I turn it around, the indicating arrow moves relative to the dial, but stills points at 7 o'clock relative to the boat. Assuming the bow is 12 and the stern is 6. Any help would keep me from running out of fuel!!!! Thanks.
lhg posted 08-29-2000 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sounds like a problem for your Dealer. If he wants to make the big bucks on the sale, he should help with the problem. Even though I have those gauges in my boat, I have no knowledge on trouble shooting them. Maybe the sender unit mounted in the tank is bad.
Can you tell us who is the manufacturer of that item. This could be valuable in the OEM section for others.
hauptjm posted 08-30-2000 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Great idea on the manufacturer. I don't have it with me as I write. I'll check it out tonight, and get back. My best guess right now is that it's a floating mechanism with a magnet attached to the float. As the float gets closer (full tank) or farther away (empty tank), the magnetic field changes, thereby moving the needle in the gauge. Mine may literally be stuck and therefore not responding to the changes in fuel level. I've even considered trying to "move" it with a non-metallic "stick" to see if I can get some kind of reaction from the gauge. Trouble there is the inspection port on the tank is at the aft section and I'm not sure I can reach it from there. Not to mention I'm not crazy about fooling around with gasoline and the encumbent fumes that comes with 60 gal. I know that may seem silly, but I've seen the results of a gas fire and the human skin. Gas 1, Skin 0.
bigz posted 08-31-2000 06:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Jim -- Larry's right -- get the dealer to help --- those tanks are made for Whaler by a firm in Florida and the dealer should have all the information necessary on the adjustment proceedure or replacement of the sending unit --- Tom
reel remarks posted 08-31-2000 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for reel remarks  Send Email to reel remarks     
I have a similar guage on an older Mako, made by the Rochester Co. in Dallas, TX. If yours is like mine, the guage feeler goes into the tank and ends with a wheel that is attached to an arm with a float on it. As the float moves up and down, it turns the wheel which in turn rotates an internal magnet on at the top which is under the guage itself. But you're right, the guage has to be turned correctly. It also has to be a guage that works with the "pick-up" probe. All you can do is keep rotating the guage until you get a proper reading. Then fasten it in that position.

But you got good advice. If that dealer charged you $50, you paid enough for him to install it properly for you!

Let us know what happens. Regards Stan

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