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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

fuel gauge fix?

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Old 07-20-2008, 08:07 PM
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Default fuel gauge fix?

Hi all,

My fuel gauge is constantly reading empty even when I have a full tank. I've been told that it's either a stuck float or the sending unit is bad. I took the bed off so I could get at the fuel tank easier. Can someone tell me how to check to see if the float tabs or the sending unit are bad? What do I have to remove from the tank to check (and how)? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:48 AM
iraqvet iraqvet is offline
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Find the wire that goes to the sending unit for the guage.....remove the wire and touch a clean ground. If the guage goes from one extreme to another, the guage is fine. If there is no movement in the guage, the guage or wire to the guage is bad.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:45 PM
peckens peckens is offline
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

mine is insanly jumpy and surprisingly fuel cleaner helps alot
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:17 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Anyone know what color that wire is? I'm leaning toward stuck float tabs because the gauge hovers between 1/4 and empty when the truck is running. When I unplug the sending unit the needle drops to empty (and the truck stalls). How do I get at the tabs to check? Does the cap (that the filter and regulator are mounted to) just screw off or do I have to pry it off? If the ground was bad wouldn't the gauge read completely empty? I'm very confused.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

fuel gage sending unit mounted on fuel pump in gas tank.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Is there a way to just remove the tan colored cap?

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Old 07-23-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Its a giant nut. Just get wd40 and spray it. Turn it to the left to loosen. Make sure when you take it off you dont get dirt inside the tank.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:10 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Thanks crazy. So after I remove the cap I will be able to get at the float tabs (or whatever they are) to see if they're stuck? Or is it more complicated than that?
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

After you unscrew the plastic cap and get it off, the entire assembly just lifts out. You'll be able to see the tabs once you get the unit out of the tank. All you have to do is bend them a little bit more so it makes good contact. I used a dremel tool to brush all the years of "gunk" off of the contact points as well.
Things to make sure of: You might want to take a marker, chalk, or something else and mark how everything sits in the tank. Make sure you put the unit back in the tank in exactly the same position it came out of...When I put my unit back in, I was off by about 1/4" and the float wouldn't come up because it was hitting the side of the tank. Also, make sure you get that "giant nut" back on TIGHT! If you don't the system will leak and besides not passing any state inspections, the smell will be very annoying plus the fuel won't stay in the line after you shut the truck off.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: fuel gauge fix?

Thanks for the help guys. I finally got the nut off with the help of a hammer and a railroad spike. It turns out that my sending unit is fine but the float was getting hung up on the side of the tank just like bluesfool said. Hopefully I installed it correctly and it wont get stuck anymore. Thanks again
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:03 PM
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