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Old 06-03-2021, 01:37 PM   #1
TexaRican
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Default boat fuel guage ?

One day it was working, the next day it wasn't. I have a WEMA SSL 15 sending unit. Pulled it today and float looked fine, definitely not stuck but may not be floating, can't tell. Wiring looked good but I forgot to take my multimeter down to the boat so I could not Ohm it out. I won't order a new sending unit until I go back and do that but just wondered if anyone had experienced this and had any theories on it. Fuel guage is showing E until I turn the key on then it drops just below E. I have about 22 gallons in the 24 gallon tank right now.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:42 PM   #2
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You may try to run some gas with Techron in it. It seems to help car sending units. Or go get a bottle of Techron fuel system cleaner at autozone.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:44 PM   #3
ultrastealth
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I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.
Seldom seen anyone care either save for the offshore guys
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:49 PM   #5
TexasBob
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Other gauges working? I'd check the ground to that gauge or all. Seen boat gauges go nuts with a bad ground.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:12 PM   #6
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I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.
Even when they work they don't usually work well.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:16 PM   #7
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Even when they work they don't usually work well.
I wouldn't trust one.............
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:20 PM   #8
TexaRican
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Only other guage is a tach and it's working. Since I really only have one wire set running to the cranking battery I didn't bother disconnecting the negative there. Everything else works fine. I'll just run back down this weekend with the multimeter.

I do care how much fuel I have as my good buddy here doesn't go a day without somebody in our circles ribbing him over one epic night when he ran out of gas on the lake years ago. All the wrong people were involved in the tow-in. That won't be me.
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TexaRican View Post
One day it was working, the next day it wasn't. I have a WEMA SSL 15 sending unit. Pulled it today and float looked fine, definitely not stuck but may not be floating, can't tell. Wiring looked good but I forgot to take my multimeter down to the boat so I could not Ohm it out. I won't order a new sending unit until I go back and do that but just wondered if anyone had experienced this and had any theories on it. Fuel guage is showing E until I turn the key on then it drops just below E. I have about 22 gallons in the 24 gallon tank right now.
Eliminate the gauge first. To do so, go to the fuel tank sending unit. There should be two wires. Take the top one off and "ground" it to the other wire momentarily. This bypasses the resistance. If the gauge goes to Full when you touch the sender wires, this usually means the gauge works and the sender is bad. If the gauge does nothing, you probably have a bad gauge (and maybe a bad sender). This should be done with the key ON.
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:21 PM   #10
TexaRican
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Originally Posted by TeamAmerica View Post
Eliminate the gauge first. To do so, go to the fuel tank sending unit. There should be two wires. Take the top one off and "ground" it to the other wire momentarily. This bypasses the resistance. If the gauge goes to Full when you touch the sender wires, this usually means the gauge works and the sender is bad. If the gauge does nothing, you probably have a bad gauge (and maybe a bad sender). This should be done with the key ON.
Good idea. I was going to just eliminate the sender first by ohm testing those same 2 wires. I know what it should read at full and at empty and my tank is nearly full. Nice to have a way of testing the guage too!
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.
This lol
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:06 PM   #12
TexaRican
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Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.

I can’t function that way. Have good friends who are polar opposite and will go fish with the most jerry-rigged boat with nothing but the throttle working. Me, I won’t sleep well knowing something on my boat is broken. Sometimes I think I should have been an engineer.


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Old 06-03-2021, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamAmerica View Post
Eliminate the gauge first. To do so, go to the fuel tank sending unit. There should be two wires. Take the top one off and "ground" it to the other wire momentarily. This bypasses the resistance. If the gauge goes to Full when you touch the sender wires, this usually means the gauge works and the sender is bad. If the gauge does nothing, you probably have a bad gauge (and maybe a bad sender). This should be done with the key ON.
This^^^

Then If good, ohm out the actual sending unit. Using your meter you will see it increase and decrease as you move the float up and down. I’ve ran into some that had bad spots on the resistor in the sending unit and would simulate intermittent signals. It’s one of the two assuming the wires are good all the way to gauge.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:46 PM   #14
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I have fuel gauges on the 3 tanks, but I run off my fuel burn average. The suzuki gauges are usually within a gallon of fuel used, but I just can't trust those.
I know what you mean tho by having everything in working order tho.
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Old 07-03-2021, 08:27 PM   #15
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Finally found time to pull the sending unit and test with ohm meter. It tested fine so I ordered a new gauge which took me maybe 15 minutes to install tonight. All good now and ready to venture out with the idiots tomorrow to watch fireworks.

Not looking forward to being on the lake in that mess and the huge logs I saw floating today have me even more worried. At least I won’t run out of gas


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Old 07-03-2021, 09:26 PM   #16
S-3 Ranch
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Originally Posted by Duckologist View Post
Seldom seen anyone care either save for the offshore guys
Yeah being 60-80 miles east of the jetty I try to keep a eye on both the fuel gauges and both flow meters to have peace of mind
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:23 PM   #17
Mayhem
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Default boat fuel guage ?

Mine hasn’t been accurate since day one. The most accurate way I can tell on mine is when I fill it up I clear the gauge on the gallons used.

At the end of the day I see how many gallons I had burned and it is usually close. The digital percentage gauge and fuel range is way off.


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Old 07-04-2021, 07:50 AM   #18
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I have never trusted a boat. I know what I burn and fill it every time i put in the water. Boat im in now has the tank visible under the console and I now trust it because I can see it
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Old 07-04-2021, 08:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckologist View Post
Seldom seen anyone care either save for the offshore guys
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Glenn View Post
Even when they work they don't usually work well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
I wouldn't trust one.............
All of the above !
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:05 PM   #20
TexaRican
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Ok lost again. I had a full tank when I wired this up and since it showed full I assumed it was right. Ran the lake yesterday and it never moved.
Here is the wiring


On the original all wires came over from the tac so wired up to that original plug. On the back of the tac it showed ground (black) ignition (purple), send (gray and did not go on to the fuel gauge harness, and there was a pink wire that skipped the tac but came in to the fuel gauge plug from elsewhere. Also a blue wire I figure to be the sensor.

So with red to purple, blue to black, black to blue I get a full reading when the key is turned on. If I turn on my nav lights it moves the needle to empty. Neither yellow or orange wired to pink change that. Gauge also stays dark. So I seem out of options.


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Old 07-25-2021, 07:29 PM   #21
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Updating for those who tried to help - it was a broken sending unit wire down under the boat. I swam under and temporarily fixed it while we were floating this weekend. Will rewire properly next time I have the boat on a trailer.


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Old 07-25-2021, 07:34 PM   #22
CabezaBlanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrastealth View Post
I've seldom seen a boat with a working gas gauge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Glenn View Post
Even when they work they don't usually work well.
19 gallon tank on my boat…6 gallons from E to F!
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