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Buick '28 model 54 sport rdsr mechanical gas gauge system


John A
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I restored my '28  mod 54 Spt Rdstr in the 1970's. At that time I used a  wound conduit with a fine stainless steel wire running thru it. I inserted it in the original outer conduit. The length was 13 ft 6 in. It worked perfectly for 25 years. During that time the car was used frequently for tours, rallys and parades and has always been garaged in a climate controlled environment. Since 2000 the car has seen little activity and since 2010 the gas gauge has not worked properly. I removed the tank and the cable assembly and worked it with lube to  be sure the wire that connects the tank float to the gauge was free to slide easily. This is a mechanical arrangement and is actuated by the spring tension in the dash gauge and the float weight in the tank. As the float moves up and down it turns the horizontal dial in the dash gauge from 0 to 19 gallons. My setup now seems to have too much resistance for the stainless steel wire to slide easily so it will not register freely the full to empty reading.

I have some ideas for a replacement conduit/wire combination but would like to get some insight from ones that have replaced this assembly. I don't want to go to an electric gauge.

Finally with the problems related to the ethanol  content in gas, I need to locate a tank float or material to make one for the sending arm that will not be affected by the ethanol. (neoprene or nitrile) size 2- 7/8" long  x  1- 7/8" diameter with a 1/8" center hole.   

Thank you,    John Plummer    AACA  member # 691584   BCA member # 12138

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John,

 

I have moved your post to the Pre-War Buick Forum. I suspect you will find some better advice in this forum for this particular question. Regarding the float, for my 1937 Buick I found that the Model A Ford Supplier's gas tank floats worked. Without checking closely, I think a Model A Ford gas tank float is close enough to the size that you need to work well. 

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Thank you for re-posting. I tried Mac's Ford supply, Out of Biz. sold to Fla Company and  I read poor reviews so have not contacted them yet. Do the ford floats have a hole for mounting and are they brass?

Who else supplies ford items?

John

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:25 PM, MCHinson said:

https://www.brattons.com/neoprene-gas-gauge-float.html 

 

They have a hole through them that will slide onto a metal rod. They are neoprene and are ethanol and gas resistant. Better with ethanol than the original cork and varnish. 

Thank you MCHinson. I am still anxious to collect info re the system , tank float to the dash gauge.

John Plummer

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Morgan Wright, Thank you. Actually last year I made a float for my Marvel carb using wine bottle corks. I think after 89 years the original cork float was taking on gas. I made flat surfaces and glued them together then shaped them to fit in the carb chamber. That worked OK but I am not sure the cork is of a quality that will endure over time with the current gas/additives. I plan to use non ethanol gas for more certainty and may make floats for carb and gas tank using nitriphyl or neoprene if I can find a supply in stock large enough to shape as I need.                    

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dibarlaw, Thank you , glad to hear Snyder's has floats that are appropriate for Buicks of the 20's. Most anxious to know if the gas gauge system in your '25 Standard and Master Buicks is like the one I have in my '28 Master. The connecting wire in its conduit does not move freely enough to move the dash gauge through it complete range so need to devise something new to restore it to good working order.

Thanks,  John Plummer

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Mike6024, Thanks for the Bike shifter cable suggestion.    I am searching for a bike shop that I can visit to explain my need and show a sample of the cable I want to replace. If you can suggest one I will contact them to discuss my requirement.

John Plummer

 

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Thanks Larry, I guess from '25 to'28 they started getting more complicated to make it more convenient for the driver to monitor his fuel supply. I would like to contact someone that has found it necessary to restore or replace the conduit and wire from the tank to the dash gauge on a '28 model. On my master model 54 that length is about 13 feet of cable/wire. It runs along the frame on the right side and then makes a sharp turn up into the cowl and to the gauge connector. That turn radius is quite sharp and restricts the movement of the wire. It was OK when I restored the car 40 years ago but now it is only free when the run is straight.

John Plummer

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Hi I fixed my 23. Used bicycle shift/ brake housing has a smooth nylon liner and water proof. Got some stainless steel spring wire  was about the size of your hair . The bike cable comes in the bulk. The float was from Snyder's I punched a small hole in the end and slipped it on the wire end a drop of solder sealed the hole and also attached the wire.

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Hi Mikefit, Thanks for your post. How long was the run from tank to dash gauge and was it routed along the chases and up in to the cowl?

Did the tank assembly have an arm for the float? Sounds like it just hung in the tank for the way you connected the float that must be brass if you soldered the wire to it. Does it register completely from empty to full? I have reinstalled my cable-conduit with fine wire after saturating it with  silicone. I don't know how well it is going to work but is moved very freely after the silicone.. I did a thorough de-rusting of the gas tank interior and sealed it with KBS Fuel Tank Sealer. While at it I made a float using wine corks that I machined, epoxied together and coated with the KBS. Also treated my vacuum fuel tank the same way I did the gas tank.

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It was a 23 7 passenger Buick I think I got 14 ft of it . I soldered the wire arm of the float mechanism (put  a hole  in the end of the float cleaned and tin before hand used a electric iron) also got a cable adjustment sleeve / nut and 2 small cable clamps for the thin inter wire all from a bike repair shop in Valparaiso Indiana the adjustment sleeve / nut was to fine tune the gauge all I need to know when it was low on fuel. I hate to ask my wife to walk to town for more fuel 

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Thanks for the detail. I could not find a bicycle repair shop in my area so I re-assembled my sender, cable and fine wire to the gauge using the original cable housing and the adjustable slide connector at the back of the gauge for the fine tuning you described. I also decided the main thing to know from the gauge is when the fuel is approaching empty. Glad you are so considerate of the wife having to walk to get more gas. If my reuse of the original cable assembly does not react well I will be more diligent in locating some bicycle shift cable housing and some fine stainless steel or piano wire for the connection. My roadster has side mounted spares and a large trunk on the rack over the gas tank making tank removal a challenging project that I hope I will not have to repeat.

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Mikefit, Thank you, that is very nice of you. I de-rusted and re-coated the interior of the gas tank using KBS product. Even though I have reinstalled the tank and the gauge system I have not put any fuel in the tank yet. I am allowing it to cure thoroughly, also, I am in winter here in Maine so no need to operate the car. When I do put fuel in the tank I will see how the gauge works. If it does not I will contact you or Bucks Bike Shop. Thanks again.

John

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