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Fuel tank sending unit
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Viper Guy
Posted 2020-07-10 10:03 AM (#600658)
Subject: Fuel tank sending unit



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Location: Branson, MO
Hey guys - looking for some advise. My '59 Firesweep gas gage is working on the dash but the sending unit must be stuck as the
gage moves very little from empty and I have about 1/2 tank of gas in the car. My dilemma is getting to the unit through the
trunk floor without ruining my original DESOTO trunk mat that is very brittle. I don't want to take the chance of it breaking into
pieces when trying to remove it.

Are there any rubber rejuvenator chemicals that will soften the rubber without harming the material in any way, shape, or form
that anyone has had success with? I would like to sort of roll it up from the back until the sending unit access is available at least
if I can make that work.

Time is not a factor - if it takes weeks of penetration, it's fine with me.

Thank you,

Fred
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jboymechanic
Posted 2020-07-10 10:31 AM (#600660 - in reply to #600658)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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Location: Muskego, WI
I've had good luck with the "original" Goop hand cleaner (white pasty stuff) to soften up original windshield gaskets. Not sure if that would work the same way for a trunk mat. If you're really worried, can you drop the tank? It's really not that hard to do in these old cars.
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56D500boy
Posted 2020-07-10 10:33 AM (#600661 - in reply to #600658)
Subject: RE: Fuel tank sending unit



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My neighbour swears by the 303 Aerospace Protectant for softening up hardened rubber things. I bought some and am trying it on the rubber cap that fits in the trunk over the gas tank sender. No conclusions yet.

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60 dart
Posted 2020-07-10 2:28 PM (#600674 - in reply to #600658)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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original go-jo . it has lanolin which is the property that makes it work but if its to the breakable stage , aint nothin goin to help it -------------------------------------------later
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Viper Guy
Posted 2020-07-10 6:03 PM (#600686 - in reply to #600674)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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Location: Branson, MO
60 dart - 2020-07-10 1:28 PM

original go-jo . it has lanolin which is the property that makes it work but if its to the breakable stage , ain't nothin goin to help it -------------------------------------------later


Hate to hear that. May have to resort to pulling the tank. No big deal just time consuming.

Being that the car sat for a long period of time while I was, and still am, in therapy for arm and shoulder arthritis, I'm hoping that
driving it, and letting the gas slosh around in the tank, it just might free up and start floating again. Might be wishful thinking but
you never know until you try it.

I have used Go-Jo on the door seals and the like and it works quite well. But this trunk mat material seems to be a lot
different and without the pores of the door seals, I'm skeptical of any penetration into the material.

I'll just drive it around for a bit and see if possibly it'll free up on its own.

Thanks for your responses guys - they are sincerely appreciated.
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NC Adventurer
Posted 2020-07-11 1:24 PM (#600726 - in reply to #600686)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit


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Hey Viper Guy,

Sorry to hear you're having issues with the fuel sender. Are you sure the float is still attached to the arm in the tank? When I pulled my tank, the arm had rusted in two allowing the float to bob around on its own inside the tank. The inside of the tank had about 1/2" of mud-like sludge in the bottom.

Van's in Wisconsin had all the parts I needed, great prices and super customer service.

Hope it helps!
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Viper Guy
Posted 2020-07-11 4:11 PM (#600735 - in reply to #600726)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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Location: Branson, MO
NC Adventurer - 2020-07-11 12:24 PM

Hey Viper Guy,

Sorry to hear you're having issues with the fuel sender. Are you sure the float is still attached to the arm in the tank? When I pulled my tank, the arm had rusted in two allowing the float to bob around on its own inside the tank. The inside of the tank had about 1/2" of mud-like sludge in the bottom.

Van's in Wisconsin had all the parts I needed, great prices and super customer service.

Hope it helps!


I’m not sure what’s going on inside the tank. All I can tell so far is the gage on the dash moves when I turn the key on and it registers just over empty. I know there is about a half tank of gas though. The car runs just fine and the gas coming into the carb is crystal clear with no restrictions.

I did learn that the sending unit is accessible from under the car without removing the tank. It’s located at the front of the tank above the axle assembly. I was not aware of that as I am more familiar with ‘56s where the sending unit is through the trunk floor. Hallelujah for the location change in ‘57. My next move is to pull the sending unit and check things out inside the tank and of course the unit itself.
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NC Adventurer
Posted 2020-07-13 10:04 AM (#600793 - in reply to #600735)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit


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Viper Guy - 2020-07-11 4:11 PM

I’m not sure what’s going on inside the tank. All I can tell so far is the gage on the dash moves when I turn the key on and it registers just over empty. I know there is about a half tank of gas though. The car runs just fine and the gas coming into the carb is crystal clear with no restrictions.

I did learn that the sending unit is accessible from under the car without removing the tank. It’s located at the front of the tank above the axle assembly. I was not aware of that as I am more familiar with ‘56s where the sending unit is through the trunk floor. Hallelujah for the location change in ‘57. My next move is to pull the sending unit and check things out inside the tank and of course the unit itself.


If your car's sender location is similar to mine ('60 Desoto), you do have a bit of room but not a lot. I am sure with some perseverance you could pull/change the sender.

I encountered two small issues when I reinstalled mine. I had replaced the tank and the catch ring fit was a bit looser than I preferred. It took almost no effort to turn in into the lock position. If you're not replacing the tank, that won't be an issue for you. I would however think about using a scope to see inside your tank to check out how much gunk is floating around. You may decide to drop the tank after seeing that extra layer on the bottom. Mine was very easy when empty but could be a bit of a pain if there's fuel in it. I believe gas weighs about 6 pounds per gallon, if I remember right.

The second issue I encountered was the flat seal drifting around while trying to tighten the catch ring. My initial installation resulted in fuel dripping all over my garage floor. I rectified the problem by both tightening the pinch points on the catch ring (per the instructions from Van's) and by using Permatex Fuel Resistant Gasket Maker to "glue" the seal in place on the back of the sender before I assembled it to the tank. No leaks now and fuel sender works like a champ.

I have attached a pic here of what you are likely to see when you crawl up under your car. Hope it helps!



(FG-1-2.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments FG-1-2.jpg (67KB - 9 downloads)
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jboymechanic
Posted 2020-07-13 10:32 AM (#600795 - in reply to #600658)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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Location: Muskego, WI
I've been thinking about this, maybe there isn't anything wrong at all. I think every Mopar I've ever owned has a similarly reading fuel gauge. After a fill up, the gauge is very slow to drop from F to about 3/4 full. Then, it sweeps from 3/4 down to 1/4 very quickly. Finally, the gauge drops very slowly once again from 1/4 to E. I thought this was perhaps Chrysler's way of trying to prevent people from running out of gas. My 1960 Plymouth behaves this way, and I dropped and cleaned the tank and properly installed a new sender from Van's. Following vehicles that I recall behaving this way:

1998 Dodge Ram
1979 Cordoba
1982 Cordoba
1958 Plymouth
1956 Imperial
1960 Plymouth
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Viper Guy
Posted 2020-07-14 2:31 PM (#600868 - in reply to #600658)
Subject: Re: Fuel tank sending unit



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Posts: 1530
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Location: Branson, MO
Thank you all for your information. It is sincerely appreciated.

Next on the agenda is to put it on my lift and work on the sending unit starting with the connections. Then, if necessary, I'll have to dive into the removal of the unit and go from there.
Since I'm not in a huge hurry, I'll probably wait till the temperatures get closer to the 70 degree range - right now we are in the 90's.

I'll keep you posted as to my findings and possibly will help others with similar issues.
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