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'32 Stude Six temp guage bulb removal


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I'm getting ready to paint the car and I wanted to remove everything from the firewall to prep it. I tried to remove the temp gauge sending bulb and it is frozen in the block fitting. I tried some judicious heating with an acetelyne torch, gently tapping the flange with a brass drift, picking around the flange with a dental pick, reinstalling and tightening the brass backing fitting & tapping the outer fitting, all to no avail. Any ideas? Not wanting to ruin a perfectly good temp gauge!

Thanks.

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First; be very cautious with the torch! If you overheat the area, you can not only peg the gauge, but also distort the bourdon tube inside. This means major gauge repair!

I'd suggest continuing your efforts at loosening the bulb in the block. The bulb withdraws from the block when the brass packing nut is removed. If the bulb is stuck, it means there is rust built-up between the bulb and the inside of the large steel retaining nut. This debris can be difficult to break-up when working from the outside of the motor.

If the bulb still won't withdraw, but you want to remove it, you have two options:

A) Cut the tube. You'll have to then remove the gauge and have the tube repaired and the fluid replaced. But at least the gauge head won't be damaged.

B) Unscrew the gauge so it's free from the instrument cluster. Then unscrew the large steel retaining nut. For this to work, you'll need to simultaneously rotate the gauge unit as you turn the steel nut. I haven't tried this, so I don't know if the spring-wound tube is able to rotate while it is angled into the block. You'll just have to try it. However, if this works, you'll be able to remove the big steel nut along with the bulb, and gain access to clean around the bulb from the backside.

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Thanks for your input. Yes, I was very careful with the heat, never allowing the gauge to go above 175*. I even tried compressed air at about 20PSI. I put an expandable rubber freeze plug in the lower water pump port and applied some pressure to the upper neck while gently tapping the base of the bulb with a small brass drift punch, but to no avail. Thought about your plan "B", but the firewall opening isn't big enough to pass the gauge through and I don't think I can rotate it because it makes a sharp 90* bend and I'm afraid of breaking or collapsing the tube with repeated flexing. I may ultimately try that, though. I've even considered pulling the head and seeing if I can press the bulb out from the inside or saturating the bulb and steel retainer with vinegar to maybe unfreeze it. I guess I'll just keep working at it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Bernie, and welcome to this forum. I don't have an extra hood center strip but I'll pm you a possible contact. Tell us a little about your St Regis. I thought about looking for one to restore and use my Regal sedan as a donor car, I love the St Regis body style!

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An update: I removed the dash, pulled the gauge out and had a friend turn the gauge and tube while I carefully unscrewed the NPT fitting from the head. Took about 45 minutes but the line didn't break! It is now soaking in some vinegar solution to try and remove 80 years of mineral "glue"deposits.

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