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1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)


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Nice job, Gary!  Just like old times being able to come onto the forum and be treated to one of your excellent presentations.  I have the same system on my '41, installed by a previous owner, but not nearly as elegantly as you have done yours.  But when I put a new wiring harness in, I concealed the fuel pump wiring in "old school" wiring loom the way you did.  It works just as you describe -- hit the switch and wait until the sound of the pump fades out and you're good to go.

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9 hours ago, 1937McBuick said:

Is there a reason you chose electric primer over a check valve?   

Just curious.

 

The way I understand today's modern fuels is that they are more volatile and actually evaporate faster.  I hope I have that correct.

So, it's not so much that the carburetor is draining out, (which, I'm sure it is), but the fuel in the bowl is actually evaporating.

 

This little pump fills the system quickly and  I'm not running the starter excessively.  

 

All I can be certain of is that now it takes anywhere from 15 seconds to maybe 45 seconds depending on the length of time she sat idle and we're off.

 

Thanks for following along...  great to be back on here adding to the story!

 

Gary

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gary W said:

 

The way I understand today's modern fuels is that they are more volatile and actually evaporate faster.  I hope I have that correct.

So, it's not so much that the carburetor is draining out, (which, I'm sure it is), but the fuel in the bowl is actually evaporating.

 

This little pump fills the system quickly and  I'm not running the starter excessively. 

 

This is correct. A lot of people seem to believe that gas is somehow being sucked out of the carburetor and back into the tank, but it's actually evaporation. If it was merely a siphoning action, it would happen quickly upon shut-down not slowly over the course of a week. A check valve alone probably won't help and the volume of fuel that may (or may not) remain in the line between the check valve and the carburetor wouldn't be enough to fill the bowl, never mind start the car. Until the bowl(s) are nearly full, no gas is going into the venturis, and that means no start. The electric pump is the correct solution. European cars have been using this solution since the '30s, so it's not new or questionable. It neatly solves a problem that wasn't as pronounced when these cars were driven daily using completely different fuels that didn't evaporate nearly as fast under conditions that didn't stress them as much.

 

GloomyCanineIntermediateegret-size_restr

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Gary - great work! I'm constantly impressed by your craftsmanship. Too bad Brillman didn't have the wire you needed, but the wrapped wires look great.

 

Matt, your gif game is squarely on point - I almost spit my coffee on my computer!

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Beautiful work Gary!

 

Your car is so awesome, I did not want to criticize, but I'm glad you moved the cut off master switch and hid it.  The engine compartment seemed perfect and the switch detracted from it, in my opinion.  And as you said, popping the hood to flip the switch every time can be a drag.

 

I added a similar electric pump to my garden tractor because in the winter when I use  it to clear snow after sitting for weeks at a time, the carb was dry.  I found that fuel would not flow freely through the pump, but I didn't try to push it through the original vacuum pulse pump either and then shut off the electric pump once the tractor started.  I just bypassed the pulse pump.  Now your experience makes me wonder if I could use it just to prime the pump and carb, then shut it off and see if the pulse pump will continue to draw through the electric non running pump.  I may try that.

 

My old Buicks have strictly electric pumps right to the carb and are used 100% of the time.  The pump fills the carb bowl in about 5 seconds, then I switch off the pump to prevent flooding and switch back on once started.  I wonder if yours takes longer to fill because you are pushing through your original fuel pump as well...?  I'm familiar with the change in pump sound when the priming is complete.

 

Your wiring skills are a match to your other restoration skills.  These updates are very motivational!  Thank you as always for sharing!

 

What is your next project that we can all look forward to following along with?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Gary,

 

Another detailed photographic tour de force. Would you mind letting me know where you sourced your cloth wiring wrap please. 

 

I agree with 27donb, can't wait for your next project, having withdrawals since you completed the '37

 

Cheers

 

Paul

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Hi Paul! 

So nice hearing from you again.

 

The wrap I used is from Restoration Supply Co.  It's called "Linen Cord".  It is a nice waxed cord that stays put and when done, you use their "Q-Dope" to secure it.

 

 

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I used the Black, part # ELE098.

 

Gary

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  • 1 month later...

Very nice! I'm not being nit picky,just curious,but I just replaced the front rubber motor mounts on my 35 Buick,I thought the old ones were original due to the shape they were in,with new ones and with mine the castle nut is on top with the bolt coming up from the bottom and the round rubber donought is between a thick flat washer and the bottom of the metal mount. One of ours is upside down but maybe different on a 35. Let me know if you can ,Greg.

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I also replaced my front motor mounts during the restoration.  I also believe my were original just going by their condition.  I was very very careful to photograph every step of the way, and here are the photos of the front motor mount on my '37:

 

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Here are the motor mount bolts before and after wire wheeling all the rust off them.

 

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Installing the bolt through the rubber washer and the lower vulcanized mount.

I used a strong piece of wood through the round opening as a lever to push the bolt down and compress the rubber so we could catch the bolt underneath.

 

 

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Front right motor mount before and after photo.

The original rubber was hopelessly deteriorated 

 

I hope this helps answer your question.

Gary

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Wednesday November 25, 2020:    I ran out of gas on my way home

 

I now have 1800 miles on the Buick and enjoying every minute of every ride!  I'm still getting  "this and that"  done on the car, and I'm planning a couple updates soon.

 

But this afternoon I drove over to visit my friend John and bring him one of my wife's pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving.  John lives only 2.5 miles away.

On my way home, she lurched, died, came back alive, lurched again and just stopped on the side of the road.

(The Buick, not my wife)

I was only about 2 miles from home and my wife ran over with my 5-gallon gas can, and in minutes I was up and running and back home.

 

The problem is that the dash gauge was showing just slightly under 1/4 tank.  

 

My routine is to add 10 gallons as soon as she gets to the 1/4 tank mark, and I was actually on my way to the Sunoco station when it stopped.

During the restoration, I had my original sending unit completely restored.  I thought it was working fine, but I never let it get lower than that 1/4 mark.

I guess I was running on fumes, thinking I still had 4-5 gallons in the tank.  

 

Now, the funny thing is when I bought the car, it had black electric tape on the dash gauge at the 1/4 mark as the warning to fill up.

I thought that since I had it all restored, I was good to go.  I wonder if this sender float is bottoming out inside the tank?

 

So, I guess I'll be back under there soon, pulling the tank and running the sender through its range, checking the dash as I go.  

Right now, I know I have only 5 gallons in the tank and the needle is just under the 1/2 mark on the dash.

 

According to the Buick manual, the dash gauge should show "E" when there is 1 1/2 gallons reserve in the tank.

I figure with an 18-gallon tank, minus the reserve, the dash unit should reflect approximately 4 gallons per quarter. 

So when the dash gauge is at 1/2, I figure there should be about 9 - 10 gallons in the tank.

 

Has anyone tried the new senders from Bob's?  I'm thinking that may be a better way to go.

Or maybe I can bend the float arm  up  a little?

 

I'm up for any thoughts.  In the meantime, I'll keep it above the half line!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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4 years ago I bought the car.  The previous owner had black tape on the spot where it was time to fill up!

It's just so odd that it ran out of gas at that same spot today.

 

 

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This is the gauge with ONLY 5 gallons of gas in the tank.  It's too high.

I think 5 gallons should put the needle just under the 1/4 mark on the dash gauge, not the 1/2 mark.

I figure there should be about 8-9 gallons in the tank at this position.

 

 

Hope you all enjoy and make the best of your Thanksgiving

 

Gary

 

 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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I put in a new sending unit from Bob's on my '41 few years ago, and it's been working perfectly.

 

(By the way, the photo you posted reminds me that I wonder what became of that period "air conditioning" fan that was on your car when you got it.  I think I posted earlier that I was hoping that you would restore the fan as carefully as you restored everything else on your car.  Did you retain the fan?  I hope so since I think it's a great vintage touch!)

 

Neil

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1 hour ago, 1937McBuick said:

Neil,   there wasn't even a guard covering the blades.  Lol,  different times.   

 

But aren't the blades made of flexible rubber?  That's what it looks like.

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Yes rubber blades. The fan is a defroster.

 

As for the gauge, I assume the wire is new because you replaced the harness. If you have not added a ground wire or strap to the tank add one. That might fix it. If not you need to pull the tank.

 

By design, 0 ohms is empty and 30 ohms is full. Any stray resistance causes the gauge to read high.

 

First, disconnect the wire from the sending unit and ground it. That should make the gauge go to zero. Leaving the wire floating should make the gauge peg high. If it will do these two things, the wiring and the gauge are probably OK. If it will not, you have trouble with the wiring, or the gauge, or the gauge's ground at the instrument cluster.

 

If it will go to empty with the wire grounded, and will peg full with the wire disconnected, the trouble is in the tank.

 

With the tank empty check the sender with an ohmmeter. It should be very close to zero ohms. Getting actual zero is impossible but it needs to be real close. If there's 6 ohms or something you are going to have a bad time (remember 30 is full). If it won't go low enough (probably), there is either too much stray resistance in the sender, or the float is bottoming out in the tank. Take the sender out and try again. If it goes way lower, the arm is probably bent. If not, the sender needs repair.

 

The float should not be allowed to hit the top or bottom, and the sender has built in travel stops. You should be able to turn the tank right side up and have the resistance very near zero, then turn it upside down and have 30 ohms or more.

 

Once it passes that test, put enough gas in it on the floor to make the sender come above zero ohms. Then, leaving the ohmmeter connected, suck gas out through the pickup with some sort of hand powered transfer pump (do NOT use an electric one) into a gas can. Keep wiggling the tank, because the original senders have a tiny brake on the float arm to keep the gauge from waving too much. The brake probably doesn't still work in 2020, but you never know. When you get down to the lowest reading (almost zero, like you had when the tank is truly empty), move the output of the transfer pump to another gas can. Keep pumping until you suck air. The gas in this second can is the size of your reserve. If you need to rebend the arm to change it, now is the time. Remember it shouldn't hit the top or bottom.

 

If you bent the arm, recheck everything.

 

There is absolutely no room for compromise on this system if you want a gauge that goes from empty to full and has a reserve. There is no way to electrically tune errors out because they designed it with empty at zero ohms.

 

P.S. Don't use the original cork floats. I did, and despite the fact that they seemed fine after I deliberately sunk them in gas for a week, they eventually absorbed gasoline and stopped floating. Bob's has new coated ones.

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Bloo....  Thank you for the step-by-step instructions!  I really appreciate it!  

I'm really hoping a simple bend in the arm will fix it, but I'm going to have a new one on hand from Bob's just in case.

 

 

9 hours ago, 1937McBuick said:

Who did your gauges?

All my gauges, INCLUDING the sending unit were restored by Bob's in Howell MI.

 

2 hours ago, Bloo said:

As for the gauge, I assume the wire is new because you replaced the harness. If you have not added a ground wire or strap to the tank add one. That might fix it. If not you need to pull the tank.

All my wiring is new, soldered ends and a dedicated ground wire to the sender

7 hours ago, neil morse said:

I put in a new sending unit from Bob's on my '41 few years ago, and it's been working perfectly.

I think that's a good backup plan.  Did you have to "calibrate" once inside your tank or simply drop it in? 

I'm assuming the float is not cork?  And..... do you have the flared fitting or the "rubber hose" connection.  I prefer the flare if possible.

 

7 hours ago, neil morse said:

I wonder what became of that period "air conditioning" fan that was on your car when you got it.

I still have the fan.  It still works fine, and it is all cleaned up and boxed.  

I don't know if I'll ever use it, only because it completely hides your vision of the dash panel instrument cluster when it's on the column.

And, I like the dash looking as "clean" as possible.

But a lot of people get a kick out of that fan, so maybe as a  "car show"  accessory?

 

 

BACK TO THE TANK:

 

I just learned that the sender has a "brake" sort-of on it to slow the undulations as gas sloshes around back there.

I didn't know that, and I'm not sure my "brake" is really working as my gauge does tend to bounce around, I figured it was just normal.

BUT..  As I think of it, the dash gauge slipped under the 1/4 mark, and stopped "bouncing".  I didn't give it a thought.

 

But it makes sense that the float hit the floor of the tank before it hit the bottom stop of the sender.

 

(...and it was most likely doing this with the previous owner as well.  When I had it restored, they restored the mechanism to 0-30 ohm, but they wouldn't bend the arm)

 

Going forward, the first thing I'm going to do is drive it for about 30 miles to burn the 5 gallons down to about 2-3 gallons.  

I'll watch the dash gauge as it approaches the 1/4 mark and when it stops "bouncing" I'll get my scope camera down the tank and try to visualize where the float actually is.

If I can get a direct visualization, that would be a great start to tracking down the fix.

 

Thanks for all your help!

It's always appreciated.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

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I tested my `36s tank/sender/gauge on the kitchen table. Original gauge, new sender, when wired up needle swept from slightly below the 1/4 mark to a little past the full mark. I just slightly tweeked the gauge needle to line up with the empty mark, then the sweep was right on, E to F.

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The main trouble is much more likely to be electrical than bending the arm. Go after it methodically. First short the sender wire and make sure the stuff in the dash is OK. Then get the sender to sweep 0-30+ on the bench, then add the tank and see if it changes.

 

The little brake isn't perfect, and you will get some movement even when it works. It is a little cork washer under a keyed brass washer and a long spring down by the exposed gears. Since the gauge is an instant response type, you would probably have a lot of waving with an undamped unit (like a modern one).

 

Since Bob's unit is universal and fits a whole bunch of different Buicks, it is unlikely to just drop in and work correctly. All the same conditions need to be met. 0 ohms empty with some reserve left, 30 ohms or a little more full, and not hitting the top or bottom.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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My first job at GM/ AC Spark Plug was calibrating fuel sending units.

 

Besides bending the arm towards the float end, most of the calibration occurred between the pivot point and the stops for the swing of the arm.  Changing the stops would have the float hitting the top or bottom of the tank.

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On 11/26/2020 at 7:35 AM, Gary W said:

Bloo....  Thank you for the step-by-step instructions!  I really appreciate it!  

I'm really hoping a simple bend in the arm will fix it, but I'm going to have a new one on hand from Bob's just in case.

 

 

All my gauges, INCLUDING the sending unit were restored by Bob's in Howell MI.

 

All my wiring is new, soldered ends and a dedicated ground wire to the sender

I think that's a good backup plan.  Did you have to "calibrate" once inside your tank or simply drop it in? 

I'm assuming the float is not cork?  And..... do you have the flared fitting or the "rubber hose" connection.  I prefer the flare if possible.

 

I still have the fan.  It still works fine, and it is all cleaned up and boxed.  

I don't know if I'll ever use it, only because it completely hides your vision of the dash panel instrument cluster when it's on the column.

And, I like the dash looking as "clean" as possible.

But a lot of people get a kick out of that fan, so maybe as a  "car show"  accessory?

 

 

BACK TO THE TANK:

 

I just learned that the sender has a "brake" sort-of on it to slow the undulations as gas sloshes around back there.

I didn't know that, and I'm not sure my "brake" is really working as my gauge does tend to bounce around, I figured it was just normal.

BUT..  As I think of it, the dash gauge slipped under the 1/4 mark, and stopped "bouncing".  I didn't give it a thought.

 

But it makes sense that the float hit the floor of the tank before it hit the bottom stop of the sender.

 

(...and it was most likely doing this with the previous owner as well.  When I had it restored, they restored the mechanism to 0-30 ohm, but they wouldn't bend the arm)

 

Going forward, the first thing I'm going to do is drive it for about 30 miles to burn the 5 gallons down to about 2-3 gallons.  

I'll watch the dash gauge as it approaches the 1/4 mark and when it stops "bouncing" I'll get my scope camera down the tank and try to visualize where the float actually is.

If I can get a direct visualization, that would be a great start to tracking down the fix.

 

Thanks for all your help!

It's always appreciated.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

Gary:

 Welcome to my world..... When I got my car back on the road in 2012 I did what I thought was appropriate to remedy the same problem. Cleaned and checked the sending unit. Made new cork floats etc. All seemed to be functioning correctly. On our trip to South Bend in 2013 after several fill ups the gage seemed to be functioning great. Until it was not! Somewhere along route 20 in northern Ohio I had noticed we had been driving for over an hour with the gage not moving. Just sitting at a bit less than 1/4 tank. Oh-oh. No filling stations along route 20 any more as they all moved up to the interstate exits. In a panic I did find a woman working in her garden to ask where the nearest filling station was. Only about 3 miles further down the road at an intersection. Phew!! If only we had enough gas to get there. When I filled up it took 17.4 gallons! That was close. From that time on I kept close tabs on mileage. I have a notebook with all reports. For the next day even after filling up the gage goes up to the same spot at just less than 1/4 tank. Driving across a railroad track somewhere in Indiana the gage bounced back up to 3/4 reading and seemed to we working fine for the rest of the trip. But now I would not trust it. After that trip the gage pointer always drops to below zero with ignition off and only up to the same spot (below 1/4 tank) ignition on. 

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On 11/26/2020 at 4:35 AM, Gary W said:

I think that's a good backup plan.  Did you have to "calibrate" once inside your tank or simply drop it in? 

I'm assuming the float is not cork?  And..... do you have the flared fitting or the "rubber hose" connection.  I prefer the flare if possible.

 

Hi Gary:

 

I just tested the Bob's sending unit outside the tank to make sure it was working, and then installed it.  I did not have to calibrate it since it was reasonably accurate the way it came out of the box.  The needle reads "full" when the tank is full, and there are about three gallons in the tank when it reads "empty."  I know I read in the manual that the gauge is designed so that there's a "reserve" when it reads "empty," but I think it's supposed to be less than three gallons.  I figure having a bigger "reserve" is not a bad thing -- especially since my car gets about 10 miles to the gallon on a good day with a tail wind, so I just left it that way without fussing any more with it. 

 

Yes, the unit I got from Bob's has a metal float as opposed to a cork.  On the connection, I know that it's better to have as little rubber as possible in your fuel lines, but I opted for the "rubber hose" connection because that's the way it was on the old one and I wasn't comfortable trying to convert the existing line to a flare fitting.

 

Neil

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On 11/26/2020 at 4:35 AM, Gary W said:

I still have the fan.  It still works fine, and it is all cleaned up and boxed.  I don't know if I'll ever use it, only because it completely hides your vision of the dash panel instrument cluster when it's on the column. And, I like the dash looking as "clean" as possible.  But a lot of people get a kick out of that fan, so maybe as a "car show" accessory?

 

Yeah, after I posted about your fan I looked at the photo again and realized that it's not too practical since it blocks the view of the gauges.  I wonder if it could be mounted down on either side?  Anyhow, I'm glad to hear that you cleaned it up since it's a great "funky" period accessory.

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Saturday November 28, 2020:  1937 Buick Fuel Tank Removal to gain access to the Fuel Sending Unit:

 

For those following along, my sender was signaling that I had a quarter tank of fuel when in actuality, the tank was bone dry.

I was left on the side of the road, and my wife came with a 5-gallon can of gas and I was on my way.

I came here and got great advice from Bloo and others, but especially Bloo who basically walked me through the diagnostics  to locate the problem.

 

I followed every step, and I think I've got it fixed!  So I send a sincere thank you out to my fellow forum members once again.

 

I'm breaking up tonight's post into TWO SEPARATE POSTS:

1. Gas tank removal.  I think it's good to go over some of the basics to show anyone contemplating this job that it can be done in about 40 minutes.

2. Diagnose and "fix" the sender.  A separate post just dealing with the sending unit.  The diagnostics that I ran, the "fixes" that I made and the results.

Here goes!

 

Step - By - Step Gas Tank / Sending Unit Removal:

 

 

 

With the car still on the ground:

1.  Release the bayonet base wire (sending unit wire) in the trunk and pushed the wire through the hole and rest it on top of the tank

2. Remove the gas filler neck and rubber fender grommet.

(Originally you would unscrew the "extension" that protrudes out of the fender from the tank filler pipe.  My car's filler pipe was cut and the previous owner simply used a heavy duty hose and clamps to attach the two.)

3. Remove completely the fill pipe support clamp from the chassis and the fill pipe and slide it off.

 

The rest is done with the car raised at least a foot:

 

4. Jack the car up at least a foot, and securely set jack stands under the frame by the rear running board support irons.  Chock the front wheels.

5. Drain the tank into a suitable container by removing the 9/16" plug from the bottom of the tank.

6. Once you have it mostly drained, replace the 9/16" plug as gas will spill out when you twist and turn to drop it free.
7. Disconnect the fuel supply line from the front of the tank.  Need a 9/16" and a 1/2"  flare wrench

8. Remove the gas tank support straps using a 9/16" deep socket

9. Tank is now loose and ready to drop (If it has't already!)  By pushing the drivers side up and forward you can carefully turn the tank and it will come down.

10. There may be a dedicated ground wire attached to the base of the sending unit.  If not, you may consider adding one before re-installation.

11. Remove the sender wire from the sending unit.  It's a good time to check the end is soldered tight and the insulation/shrink wrap is good.

12. Sending unit is affixed with 5 machine screws and a gasket.

 

Photos of each step:

 

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1. Locate the sender wire in the trunk.  Release the bayonet coupling and push the black wire through to the top of the tank.

 

 

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Be sure it is free and won't get snagged on the supports or get pinched when the tank comes down.

 

 

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2. Remove the gas filler neck that protrudes through the fender.  In my car, the previous owner cut the original tank fill pipe and replaced it with a heavy hose and clamps.

In an original car, the extension unscrews from the tank fill pipe.

 

 

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Gently twisting and careful of the paint, remove the rubber grommet and filler extension completely.

 

 

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The hose stayed together, which made reinstallation a little easier.

 

 

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3. Completely remove the fill pipe support clamp from the chassis and the pipe. (That photo is from the restoration, easier to see)

 

 

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This is how it looks working under the finished car.

Slide it off the pipe completely.

 

 

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4. Jack the car up at least a foot.

 

 

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Support the frame with heavy jack stands.  I also chocked the front wheels.

 

 

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5. Remove the 9/16' plug and let the tank drain into a suitable container.

 

 

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6. I then lightly replace the drain plug because more gas will spill out as you turn it trying to remove it.

 

 

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7. Disconnect the fuel supply line.  You'll need a 9/16" and a 1/2" flare wrench.

 

 

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Before I started disconnecting the fuel line, I turned off my plug valve which I recently installed with my electric priming pump.

It stops the siphon effect and keeps the fuel pump filled.  And a little less gas gets in your eyes!

 

 

DSC_4198.thumb.jpeg.fabdaad27ec07daf1b7fefa7b7ba7cca.jpeg

Now disconnected, that's the last part before the support straps come down.

 

 

DSC_4201.thumb.jpeg.22f99079513d015fc66ed787be94d7c1.jpeg

8. Use a 9/16" DEEP SOCKET to remove the nuts that hold the support straps tight.

I did the one near the fill pipe first (passenger's side).  The fill pipe acts like a helping hand when you do the other side.

 

 

9. The tank is now loose and ready to drop.  You may have to push against the muffler hanger a bit.

I had to push up on the driver's side while turning the tank and the fill pipe snakes out of its opening and boom.

It's out.

 

 

DSC_4210.thumb.jpeg.5b5a2659877275c66c1a18faa015947b.jpeg

10. Be aware of the wires.  I have a dedicated ground wire.  I left plenty of slack to drop the tank if needed.

If you do not have a dedicated ground to the sender, please consider installing one before you replace the tank.

 

 

DSC_0634.thumb.jpeg.0a52804aee3f0c43192a900ed7796317.jpeg

11. Remove the sender wire and the ground wire from the sending unit.

 

 

DSC_4227.thumb.jpeg.3a403569b1eb94add403e8b6bbba2d61.jpeg

12. Remove the five mounting screws and carefully raise the unit out of the tank.

It will require a 90 degree tip to get the float out.

 

 

Next post will document all the diagnostics and the modification to the sender to get it to work properly.

 

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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Saturday November 28, 2020:  Diagnosis and fix Fuel Tank Sending Unit:

 

A methodical approach to figure out where the trouble lies.

 

On 11/26/2020 at 3:16 PM, Bloo said:

The main trouble is much more likely to be electrical than bending the arm. Go after it methodically. First short the sender wire and make sure the stuff in the dash is OK. Then get the sender to sweep 0-30+ on the bench, then add the tank and see if it changes.

 

 

I took this advice and went about the diagnostics very methodically.

I'll go through each step using photos:

 

THE FIRST SIX PHOTOS SHOW DIAGNOSTIC TESTS THAT WERE ALL RUN WITHOUT REMOVING THE TANK

THESE WERE ALL DONE RIGHT IN THE CAR AND GIVE YOU A LOT OF INFORMATION:

 

IMG_3043.thumb.jpeg.af874b92215ac1bb93b226b96f1cb3c1.jpeg

Locate the bayonet coupling in the trunk. This is the wire that sends information from the sender to the dash gauge.

Yellow goes directly to your dash gas gauge.

Black drops under the trunk and attaches to the sending unit.

 

 

 

IMG_3090.thumb.jpeg.681c7fd16fe6a4ed782b2e3809e0d64b.jpeg

FIRST: With the KEY ON, I simply unplugged the bayonet base and separated the two wires.

With the sender wire free, the dash gauge immediately pinned to FULL

I then attached a small wire to a clip in the trunk for ground, and touched the yellow wire and the gauge bottomed out right on the EMPTY mark.

So the dash unit is functioning OK.

 

 

IMG_3093.thumb.jpeg.a04802c4a5b63a31c72354a909b0540e.jpeg

Next, I emptied the tank completely.

My gauge shows just under the 1/4 tank mark when bone dry.

(This is where it was when I ran out of gas on the road)

 

 

IMG_3108.thumb.jpeg.8150b85200938ef0732172f0e23806e1.jpeg

With the tank empty, I again went into the trunk with my ohm meter.

I used ground from the lamp housing in the trunk lid, then touched the black wire that is connected directly to the sender.

With an empty tank, my sending unit is showing 6.1 OHMS.

(I think at this point it should be at or close to zero)

 

 

DSC_4167.thumb.jpeg.e077fabd5c928688353bd9976a315075.jpeg

I'm showing this photo only because in my car, the sender float bottoms out RIGHT AT THE DRAIN OPENING.

I could look right up there and see the float sitting on the bottom of the tank.

So I went in for a better look at things:

 

 

IMG_3029.thumb.jpeg.b1f86dfdbad44e1b6156bd43d028ff7b.jpeg

Horrible photo, but from my scope camera.

The bright spot at the bottom is the sunlight coming in with the drain plug removed.

The float and the fuel pick up tube are visible.  (If you squint!)

In future pictures you'll be able to make this one out better.

 

 

IMG_3020.thumb.jpeg.83dbc75743281109318b8b05604346c3.jpeg

The other thing the camera picked up is when the float is bottomed out against the floor of the gas tank, the arm doesn't quite hit the stop.

So I now know the float is bottoming out too early.

 

 

SO FAR, THIS IS WHAT I HAVE:

IMG_3094.thumb.jpeg.f613f1e318b0af45d90225a5d4fb4abd.jpeg

1. Tank Bone Dry                 2. Sender wire free         3. Sender wire grounded               4. Key OFF

 

 

15491612_DSC_42272.thumb.jpeg.ed4200a8571fdab9bf4e0241cddfa58b.jpeg

I removed the tank and double checked the OHMS here as well.

Confirmed 6.1 OHMS

 

So I removed the sender and bought it into the garage on the bench.

 

 

DSC_4214.thumb.jpeg.1a628a9e3b59eceb8eb0d9ad3cf93454.jpeg

When I tested the sender on the bench, the float was allowed to fully drop.

It was better, but still a long way off at 5.7 OHMS

 

 

IMG_3097.thumb.jpeg.77050e6b825859ccf8e4605da3d526b6.jpeg

Sender at full drop and seated against the stop.

Showing 5.7 OHMS.

 

 

IMG_3070.thumb.jpeg.51d8a7b709ad396e2688d691532c8734.jpeg

I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO ADJUST THE STOP.

So, what I did was use my dremel and S-L-O-W-L-Y removed metal from the area marked with the "X" above.

With every pass of the dremel, the OHM Meter would drop a little, a little.....

 

 

IMG_3089.thumb.jpeg.04d25a03e350d9e754e8be9676a34b7d.jpeg

So here is the before and after of the sending unit where it contacts the "stop"

I guess I could have gone a little more, but I was afraid of going past the point where the teeth don't mesh and ruining the whole thing.

But you can clearly see the angle change of the unit after removing some of the metal

 

 

IMG_3100.thumb.jpeg.5a3417aa29d87f0a1ad574fdb478e846.jpeg

So, after removing the metal and allowing the float to fully drop against the "NEW" stop, I got it down to 0.6 OHMS.

I stopped there as it is much closer to zero and at the end of its workable area.

 

Once I had this measurement, I went back and forth to the tank.

I set the unit in the tank and looked up the drain hole.  Still hitting.

Bent the arm a little.  Tried again.  Still hitting.  Bent a little more, tried again.....

 

Finally, I got the unit so where the float was just about 1/2" off the bottom of the tank and at its NEW STOP.

 

 

IMG_3080.thumb.jpeg.76b457157203a79b9dfed8a28d534eba.jpeg

Here is the sender before and after.  The metal removed to allow it to drop fully, and the arm bent so it doesn't hit the bottom of the tank.

The arm actually had a downward bend at the beginning.  It needed a serious bend to clear the tank bottom.

One last bench measurement confirms the 0.6 OHMS.

 

 

DSC_4222.thumb.jpeg.ec61df925fa5a450498a2cab25965093.jpeg

Now, install the unit into the tank, still sitting on the ground, and again confirm 0.6 OHMS.

I then measured up through the drain hole one last time to be sure of my clearance and I have just under 1/2" before she hits.

 

 

 

NEW DATA AFTER ALL ADJUSTMENTS AND TANK RE-INSTALLED:

IMG_3086.thumb.jpeg.aea1b8aa5d1d3e83eec1444bced1fa50.jpeg

 Bone Dry                                    2 gallons                          3 gallons                             4 gallons  

AND 1 gallon of gas                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

So, this morning I had to get her out and check out my work.

I left the house with exactly 4 gallons of gas in the tank and drove to Sunoco where I put in another 10 gallons.

IMG_3113.thumb.jpeg.a906038c2730f399c1c54612fdedd82e.jpeg     

4 gallons                                                                                   14 gallons  

 

That mark seemed pretty realistic for 14 gallons, about where I expect it to show.

 

The only thing I notice is that the dash gauge is definitely more "wavy" as I accelerate, brake and turn.

At the lights and on smooth highway, it holds nice.

I'll check my mileage and my gauge often but overall I'm happy with the results and I feel I can trust the gauge.

 

Again, thanks for all your help, especially BLOO, who's instructions were very very helpful.

 

Also....  If that is NOT the way to adjust the "STOP", please chime in!  I don't want anyone to make a faulty repair on my advice.

 

Thanks again, and...

Have a good night out there!

Be Safe!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Gary W said:

Saturday November 28, 2020:  Diagnosis and fix Fuel Tank Sending Unit:

 

A methodical approach to figure out where the trouble lies.

 

 

 

I took this advice and went about the diagnostics very methodically.

I'll go through each step using photos:

 

THE FIRST SIX PHOTOS SHOW DIAGNOSTIC TESTS THAT WERE ALL RUN WITHOUT REMOVING THE TANK

THESE WERE ALL DONE RIGHT IN THE CAR AND GIVE YOU A LOT OF INFORMATION:

 

IMG_3043.thumb.jpeg.af874b92215ac1bb93b226b96f1cb3c1.jpeg

Locate the bayonet coupling in the trunk. This is the wire that sends information from the sender to the dash gauge.

Yellow goes directly to your dash gas gauge.

Black drops under the trunk and attaches to the sending unit.

 

 

 

IMG_3090.thumb.jpeg.681c7fd16fe6a4ed782b2e3809e0d64b.jpeg

FIRST: With the KEY ON, I simply unplugged the bayonet base and separated the two wires.

With the sender wire free, the dash gauge immediately pinned to FULL

I then attached a small wire to a clip in the trunk for ground, and touched the yellow wire and the gauge bottomed out right on the EMPTY mark.

So the dash unit is functioning OK.

 

 

IMG_3093.thumb.jpeg.a04802c4a5b63a31c72354a909b0540e.jpeg

Next, I emptied the tank completely.

My gauge shows just under the 1/4 tank mark when bone dry.

(This is where it was when I ran out of gas on the road)

 

 

IMG_3108.thumb.jpeg.8150b85200938ef0732172f0e23806e1.jpeg

With the tank empty, I again went into the trunk with my ohm meter.

I used ground from the lamp housing in the trunk lid, then touched the black wire that is connected directly to the sender.

With an empty tank, my sending unit is showing 6.1 OHMS.

(I think at this point it should be at or close to zero)

 

 

DSC_4167.thumb.jpeg.e077fabd5c928688353bd9976a315075.jpeg

I'm showing this photo only because in my car, the sender float bottoms out RIGHT AT THE DRAIN OPENING.

I could look right up there and see the float sitting on the bottom of the tank.

So I went in for a better look at things:

 

 

IMG_3029.thumb.jpeg.b1f86dfdbad44e1b6156bd43d028ff7b.jpeg

Horrible photo, but from my scope camera.

The bright spot at the bottom is the sunlight coming in with the drain plug removed.

The float and the fuel pick up tube are visible.  (If you squint!)

In future pictures you'll be able to make this one out better.

 

 

IMG_3020.thumb.jpeg.83dbc75743281109318b8b05604346c3.jpeg

The other thing the camera picked up is when the float is bottomed out against the floor of the gas tank, the arm doesn't quite hit the stop.

So I now know the float is bottoming out too early.

 

 

SO FAR, THIS IS WHAT I HAVE:

IMG_3094.thumb.jpeg.f613f1e318b0af45d90225a5d4fb4abd.jpeg

1. Tank Bone Dry                 2. Sender wire free         3. Sender wire grounded               4. Key OFF

 

 

15491612_DSC_42272.thumb.jpeg.ed4200a8571fdab9bf4e0241cddfa58b.jpeg

I removed the tank and double checked the OHMS here as well.

Confirmed 6.1 OHMS

 

So I removed the sender and bought it into the garage on the bench.

 

 

DSC_4214.thumb.jpeg.1a628a9e3b59eceb8eb0d9ad3cf93454.jpeg

When I tested the sender on the bench, the float was allowed to fully drop.

It was better, but still a long way off at 5.7 OHMS

 

 

IMG_3097.thumb.jpeg.77050e6b825859ccf8e4605da3d526b6.jpeg

Sender at full drop and seated against the stop.

Showing 5.7 OHMS.

 

 

IMG_3070.thumb.jpeg.51d8a7b709ad396e2688d691532c8734.jpeg

I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO ADJUST THE STOP.

So, what I did was use my dremel and S-L-O-W-L-Y removed metal from the area marked with the "X" above.

With every pass of the dremel, the OHM Meter would drop a little, a little.....

 

 

IMG_3089.thumb.jpeg.04d25a03e350d9e754e8be9676a34b7d.jpeg

So here is the before and after of the sending unit where it contacts the "stop"

I guess I could have gone a little more, but I was afraid of going past the point where the teeth don't mesh and ruining the whole thing.

But you can clearly see the angle change of the unit after removing some of the metal

 

 

IMG_3100.thumb.jpeg.5a3417aa29d87f0a1ad574fdb478e846.jpeg

So, after removing the metal and allowing the float to fully drop against the "NEW" stop, I got it down to 0.6 OHMS.

I stopped there as it is much closer to zero and at the end of its workable area.

 

Once I had this measurement, I went back and forth to the tank.

I set the unit in the tank and looked up the drain hole.  Still hitting.

Bent the arm a little.  Tried again.  Still hitting.  Bent a little more, tried again.....

 

Finally, I got the unit so where the float was just about 1/2" off the bottom of the tank and at its NEW STOP.

 

 

IMG_3080.thumb.jpeg.76b457157203a79b9dfed8a28d534eba.jpeg

Here is the sender before and after.  The metal removed to allow it to drop fully, and the arm bent so it doesn't hit the bottom of the tank.

The arm actually had a downward bend at the beginning.  It needed a serious bend to clear the tank bottom.

One last bench measurement confirms the 0.6 OHMS.

 

 

DSC_4222.thumb.jpeg.ec61df925fa5a450498a2cab25965093.jpeg

Now, install the unit into the tank, still sitting on the ground, and again confirm 0.6 OHMS.

I then measured up through the drain hole one last time to be sure of my clearance and I have just under 1/2" before she hits.

 

 

 

NEW DATA AFTER ALL ADJUSTMENTS AND TANK RE-INSTALLED:

IMG_3086.thumb.jpeg.aea1b8aa5d1d3e83eec1444bced1fa50.jpeg

 Bone Dry                                    2 gallons                          3 gallons                             4 gallons  

AND 1 gallon of gas                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

So, this morning I had to get her out and check out my work.

I left the house with exactly 4 gallons of gas in the tank and drove to Sunoco where I put in another 10 gallons.

IMG_3113.thumb.jpeg.a906038c2730f399c1c54612fdedd82e.jpeg     

4 gallons                                                                                   14 gallons  

 

That mark seemed pretty realistic for 14 gallons, about where I expect it to show.

 

The only thing I notice is that the dash gauge is definitely more "wavy" as I accelerate, brake and turn.

At the lights and on smooth highway, it holds nice.

I'll check my mileage and my gauge often but overall I'm happy with the results and I feel I can trust the gauge.

 

Again, thanks for all your help, especially BLOO, who's instructions were very very helpful.

 

Also....  If that is NOT the way to adjust the "STOP", please chime in!  I don't want anyone to make a faulty repair on my advice.

 

Thanks again, and...

Have a good night out there!

Be Safe!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Gary, my next job is to drop the tank in my '36 to deal with what I think is a faulty sender unit and or float so your detailed summary is very timely and of great assistance, Cheers Paul 

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Looks good! Normally I wouldn't think you would grind on the stop. I wouldn't expect it to help. The setting is normally made with the solder joint from the gear to the shaft, and man is it a PITA. It seems the magic spot for the wiper to be is tiny, and if there is any corrosion at all where the resistance wire is riveted on to the post, it is extremely difficult (maybe impossible) to get below an ohm with any wiper position. Glad it worked out!

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

The setting is normally made with the solder joint from the gear to the shaft

 

I was looking at that unit and I figured the solder joint must come into play for the adjustment but in the back of my mind I was kinda ready to get a new sender so I figured just adjust the wheel that hits the stop and see what happens.  When I saw the OHM meter readings go from 5.7 to 3.3 with just a little grind, I went a little more and she read 2.1... I just kept going until I was running out of meshed teeth.

Thanks for your help.  I really appreciate it.

Gary

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