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Discussion Starter #1
So, the fuel level sender in my LTD was toast and I bought a replacement. Upon installation of the replacement and securing the retainer ring, one of the flanges on the tank bent out of shape (flange towards the bottom of the opening). So now the pickup/sender isn't seated against the tank and putting more than a half tank in causes gas to leak onto the ground. I ultimately plan to replace the tank as there is some damage to it, but in the meantime I need a way to close this up. I've thought of a couple fixes, but not sure how they are...

1) Try to bend the flange back into place. Not certain about that since it bent out of shape to begin with, it might bend out of shape again as soon as the retainer ring is reinstalled.
2) Find some kind of small hooks to secure to the exterior of the tank to either side of the opening. Use them to strap down the pickup tube flush against the opening and then seal it with something like Seal-All to prevent further leaks.

I'm not certain either of these is the best way to go, so I'm open to suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's probably what I'll end up trying first. With any luck, I can get it done this weekend without interruption. And if it works, I can get to work on fixing my Buick, too. Interesting how a 38 year old Ford wagon is actually in a lot better shape than a 15 year old Buick...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Turns out it wasn't bent. When I removed the retainer ring, I was able to see that the ring just happened to pop out without bending the flange. I used more caution installing it again and now it's firmly seated and no longer leaking. However, after filling the tank to verify it sealed correctly, I noticed something goofy with the fuel gauge:



The tank was completely filled at this moment with nothing leaking.
 

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Might be the float isn't calibrated to your tank. My 73 Ranger tank never reads full and the previous owner warned me never to trust it below a quarter. I just learned to live with it as I've been too lazy to drop the tank to figure it out further.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quite possible. Going to contact the merchant to see if there's anything they recommend. In the meantime going to see what effect driving around has, and pay better attention to the level the next time I fill the tank, see if maybe it just doesn't rise as far as it should.
 

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A wild hair?
An expression meaning to do something you may regret. I've heard where people had a lot of luck with them and others where they still weren't quite right. I only mention it as I went looking for a source for an OEM designed sending unit for your car and really didn't see any.
 

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That's pretty much what you have to do with a universal, if it's adjustable, save your money and work with what you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interestingly enough, yesterday the whole thing was working perfectly. This morning, not so much. The gauge has now dropped to empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nevermind. It's just back to to working how it was. I added in a few gallons of gas and it went back to being weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, sorry to resurrect the thread, but this is still bugging me, and want to get on the right track before I make myself ill breathing in gasoline vapors again.

I've noticed that when I fill the tank, always stopping it when the pump does the auto shutoff, the fuel gauge does not read consistently. There always seems to be a 1/8 x 1/4 tank variance as to what it deems full, and always less than a full tank, but more than a half tank. By time it reads empty, it still has a half tank. And from time to time it will read a full tank, even though it is not full. For example, recently there was no more than 3/4 tank and it read full. After a couple days driving it dropped by a little less than 1/8 tank. Then it went back to whatever it was previously doing and showed between 1/4 and 1/2 tank.

So, now that it's warming up and I can get back to working on the car, is it still my best bet to pull the sending unit to see what it's doing? Or does this seem more like an issue with the gauge or wiring?
 

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That's a tough call. I'd be pulling the tank, but I own an old truck, it's easier for me.
 

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HEY old school trick costs about ten bucks. If you want pull cluster loose enough ton reach behind and unplug'
next with key off use two jumper wires and the six volt lantern battery you bought hook battery to gauge terminals and turn on key be quick if needle moves right way will show a half tank if goes the other way shut off and reverse wires.

If this shows a half tank suspect a bad voltage regulator on cluster or bad wiring. Or you can bend float arm.

meagain
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dropping the tank shouldn't be too tough on the wagon, everything is easily accessible with nothing underneath. And the fuel pick up and all doesn't require dropping the tank, it's mounted on the front side, facing the axle. But, I'd like to explore possibilities that don't require accessing the tank. I've had too much exposure to gasoline vapors lately, and it's getting me sick.

I'll give the dash a check, though. The front face over the cluster comes off easily enough, just not sure about the cluster itself. I don't have a 6V lantern battery, but I do have 4 D cell battery pack for a lantern, so that should do the trick. It's just so confusing why it behaves this way. At least I knew the sender was bad because the gauge didn't do anything at all until I installed the new sender and pick up. So, if the cluster itself is the remaining issue, is there a write-up somewhere on how to fix it? I've tried researching it, but everything I found only talked about replacing/repairing the sender, not the the gauge.

Also, I'm not sure bending the float arm will help, if the gauge is not malfunctioning. But if I must, then I'll pull the sender out and check it. I'll probably just run it dry first to reduce the vapors. I "fixed" my gas can recently so I can actually have a quick and trouble free time filling the tank. It's not fun standing on the side of the road in 15 degree weather holding a full 5-gallon gas can for 10 minutes, getting gas all over your gloves and only getting 4 gallons out.
 

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I've never heard of anyone repairing a gauge, just replacing them. By pulling the sender, you can slowly move the pivot arm while watching the signal change. If the signal change is smooth it's probably the gauge. No chance that the float is hanging up on something in the tank?
 
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