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Old 12-03-2004, 03:51 PM
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fuel level sending unit question

I have been working on the fuel system for my 34 Olds project car and I just realized that I need to solve a potential problem. I plan on using the original fuel level sending unit in the original tank, but it is a 6 volt system that will be converted to a 12 volt set up. Is there anything I need to worry about by hooking up 12 volts to this original sending unit? I really and clueless about the electrical stuff and I sure do not want to burn the original unit out. I don't even know how this ting works, somehow by turning a gear the level is converted to an electrical signal that registers on the dash gauge. This seems like magic to me. You help is appreciated. Thanks. Mike

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Old 12-03-2004, 05:17 PM
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Hi Mike,

The sending unit is a potentiometer (variable resistance) sort of like the adjustable light switches in your house to vary the light level. As the fuel level changes the arm moves changing the resistance. This resistance change changes the voltage to the fuel gauge which changes the needle position.

I've never used the 6 volt sender myself and someone here could probably provide more detail infomation on doing so.

Are you using a modern gauge set? If so I would obtain a sending unit from the gauge manufacturer that will work in your tank. The one in my '35 Coupe for the Classic Instruments gauge package has an adjustable depth to work with the original tank.

Hope that helps some and good luck with your project.
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts. My plan was to use the original gauges but have them reworked to handle the 12 volt upgrade. I recall that one of the gauge restoration outfits can do this. The plan for the first build is to maintain as much original look as possible with high performance running gear and nice paint/chrome. I would like to keep the stock instrument cluster and dash but just update the workings. I would be fine with changing the sending unit in the tank to a modern 12 volts set up. I'll look into the vendors that can help. Thanks again, especially for the explanation!. Mike
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:48 AM
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Yogi's in Iowa has a variety of sending units that are adjustable for the depth of your tank and suitable for a lot of gauge applications. Most of them are about $25.00. They were also very helpful and courteous in exchanging things when I inadvertantly ordered the wrong unit (I am using Faria gauges that are now mostly available for marine applications).
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