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Petrol Gauge fiasco.

nandohartmann

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hey all, first thread here for me.
The Back-Story: i got my p's around 6-7 months ago, and bought myself what i thought to be a decent commodore. it has problems, but it gets me places, which is what matters. The original owner informed me of a good 50% of problems it had. i fixed those 50% first up, a number of others have since come up. He told me that the petrol gauge was not working. All other instruments worked at that points.
Not too long later, both the odometer and tripmeter cut out. I have since had no way of knowing exactly how much fuel i have, and me being the conservative type, i always throw in as much fuel as possible, whenever i can. The drain on my pocket is getting to me now, and i want ot get the petrol gauge working.

What i was told is that the original owner needed to replace something in the fuel pump, and in the process he bent some kind of pipe or tube, which in turn disable the petorl gauge's function.
I've asked around about how to rectify the situation, even looked at the forums on this site, but found nothing i would be comfortable attempting.

So im just after general ideas from anyone with more experience than me with mechanics, how much would it cost to get this bent pipe/broken fuel gauge fixed?
As far as i know, the pumps for VR's are inside the tank itself, so it would require tank removal etc.
thanks for any information, and apologies for the long read.
 

kopper69

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Hi mate,

Welcome. There are two things that I would be going for - the instrument cluster and fuel gauge near the pump. If your instrument cluster is playing up I would start by replacing that. When your odometer starts playing up there is a small gear that you can replace (I have made up a how-to in the how-to section), but as your tripmeter is also playing up I would save yourself the hassle and go down to the wreckers for a new instrument cluster. A decent wrecker wont charge much more than around $50. There is a small switch on the bottom that allows you to switch between V8 and V6 (to accomodate for the different size tanks) so just make sure that it switched correctly. You might be lucky and find that putting a new instrument cluster in fixes your fuel gauge problem too.

Follow this guide to get the instrument cluster out. http://forums.justcommodores.com.au/holden-commodore-how-tos/12428-broken-odometer.html

If that doesnt fix your fuel gauge problem the fault is most likely with the mechanism. You are on the money with your info. The mechanism to measure the fuel indeed sits in the tank. The fuel pump and measuring parts sit as one assembly. Its not an easy job, the assembly is in a bit of a dog leg shape. If someone forces it out or in, they can bend or break the rods that are used to measure how full the tank is. Obviously if the rod is stuck and doesnt move it isnt going to send the correct signal to the instrument cluster and youre not going to get a reading. You could give it a try yourself. You have to drain/cyphon the fuel, disconnect the hoses, undo the bolts and pull the assembly out. Easiest fix is probably to go to the wreckers and get a new assembly. Put the new assembly in, keep yours as a spare, particularly the fuel pump.

To get someone to do this for you will set you back a couple of hours labor plus the cost of the parts. If you want to give it a crack yourself, get the parts from the wreckers in advance, test the pump by putting 12V on the connections (not too long, just to confirm that the pump works) and allow a full day. You dont have to drop the tank but you can if you find it easier.
 

nandohartmann

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Hi mate,

Welcome. There are two things that I would be going for - the instrument cluster and fuel gauge near the pump. If your instrument cluster is playing up I would start by replacing that. When your odometer starts playing up there is a small gear that you can replace (I have made up a how-to in the how-to section), but as your tripmeter is also playing up I would save yourself the hassle and go down to the wreckers for a new instrument cluster. A decent wrecker wont charge much more than around $50. There is a small switch on the bottom that allows you to switch between V8 and V6 (to accomodate for the different size tanks) so just make sure that it switched correctly. You might be lucky and find that putting a new instrument cluster in fixes your fuel gauge problem too.

Follow this guide to get the instrument cluster out. http://forums.justcommodores.com.au/holden-commodore-how-tos/12428-broken-odometer.html

If that doesnt fix your fuel gauge problem the fault is most likely with the mechanism. You are on the money with your info. The mechanism to measure the fuel indeed sits in the tank. The fuel pump and measuring parts sit as one assembly. Its not an easy job, the assembly is in a bit of a dog leg shape. If someone forces it out or in, they can bend or break the rods that are used to measure how full the tank is. Obviously if the rod is stuck and doesnt move it isnt going to send the correct signal to the instrument cluster and youre not going to get a reading. You could give it a try yourself. You have to drain/cyphon the fuel, disconnect the hoses, undo the bolts and pull the assembly out. Easiest fix is probably to go to the wreckers and get a new assembly. Put the new assembly in, keep yours as a spare, particularly the fuel pump.

To get someone to do this for you will set you back a couple of hours labor plus the cost of the parts. If you want to give it a crack yourself, get the parts from the wreckers in advance, test the pump by putting 12V on the connections (not too long, just to confirm that the pump works) and allow a full day. You dont have to drop the tank but you can if you find it easier.
thanks for the info bud.
but yeah as i said, im certain its those rods that measure fuel levels. going to the wreckers to get an assembly is probably a good idea, though i would have to drive a fair way to find a decent one.

got any idea how much it would cost to just let a local mechanic have at it?
including parts and labour? just a rough estimate would do
cheers
 

kopper69

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If you give a local mechanic a call they should be able to give you a rough price. It would take at least 2 hours, part would be at least $50. It could take up to 4 or 5 hours though, and maybe $100+ for the part, depends on the mechanic and where he is getting his parts.
 

nandohartmann

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If you give a local mechanic a call they should be able to give you a rough price. It would take at least 2 hours, part would be at least $50. It could take up to 4 or 5 hours though, and maybe $100+ for the part, depends on the mechanic and where he is getting his parts.
thanks mate.
 

DANVSUTE

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i had same problem with my fuel gauge un my ute.. , my sender unit was stuffed...
so i got a complete unit from a wreckers for $50. and replaced it one weekend.. im not a mechanic, but with a gregories book, everything is much easier. was all done in under 2 hours...
but like its mentioned above, the sender unit is a pain to get out, and also back in.. because of the shape it is, and being careful not to damage anything..
but if you have a fair idea of whats got to happen, and a bit of patients, i cant see you having any real dramas mate.
 

nandohartmann

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i had same problem with my fuel gauge un my ute.. , my sender unit was stuffed...
so i got a complete unit from a wreckers for $50. and replaced it one weekend.. im not a mechanic, but with a gregories book, everything is much easier. was all done in under 2 hours...
but like its mentioned above, the sender unit is a pain to get out, and also back in.. because of the shape it is, and being careful not to damage anything..
but if you have a fair idea of whats got to happen, and a bit of patients, i cant see you having any real dramas mate.
sweet.
going to see a mechanic soon to get an expert opinion on the problem, as well as a quote on job price
 
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