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EFV-8 Club Forum / General Ford Discussion / Replacing 36 Ford fuel sending unit

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Posted By Discussion Topic: Replacing 36 Ford fuel sending unit

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pauls36fordor
10-12-2018 @ 8:03 AM
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2018
          
I have a 36 Ford Fordor with trunk. My gas gauge reads 1/4 full when the tank is full, and goes to empty when the tank is 1/2 full. So I'm guessing its the fuel sending unit. I recently purchased a new one and my question is do I need to drop the tank to replace the sending unit or is there another way to get to it?

1937sedandelivery
10-12-2018 @ 9:17 AM
Member
Posts: 335
Joined: Jul 2014
          
Not sure about a 36, but my 37 Fordor Slantback has an access cover plate in the trunk that allows you to remove/replace the fuel sending unit. See pic. Also, I have read that some of the aftermarket sending units do not properly work with the stock 6V gauge, can't say for sure. Others can/should comment on this, better than I.
gregg


Attached File37 Fordor trunk area.pdf (548 Kbytes)

MG
10-12-2018 @ 10:52 AM
Senior
Posts: 886
Joined: Nov 2009
          
Had the same problem with my '37. I removed the sending unit and found that the float was made of cork and its protective coating was washed away due to today's alcohol gasoline - the cork was heavy because it had absorbed much gasoline. I replaced the cork float with a new fuel resistant float I purchased from MAC's. See > https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_model_a/model-a-ford-gas-gauge-float-modern-neoprene-improved-compound.html - Buy two!

I epoxied two of these together to make one float. See attached picture

Ideally, you don't want to and should not have to replace the sending unit....

This message was edited by MG on 10-12-18 @ 11:10 AM


Attached FileSending unit with new float 0011.jpg (41 Kbytes)

pauls36fordor
10-12-2018 @ 3:20 PM
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Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2018
          
Thanks for the pictures and comments. That was uber helpful.

pauls36fordor
10-12-2018 @ 3:30 PM
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2018
          
I don't want to have to replace the fuel sending unit, but what else might it be? My thinking was if the needle is moving its probably not the gauge itself but likely the float on the sending unit. Could I be wrong about that? I'm not looking forward to draining the tank and going through the hassle. I just bought a sending unit from obsolete that was made for the original 36 fuel gauges. The aftermarket version was slightly cheaper but I opted for the other. Was there a reason you think that might not be necessary or a good idea?

1937sedandelivery
10-12-2018 @ 4:17 PM
Member
Posts: 335
Joined: Jul 2014
          
As MG mentioned, it could very well be just the float of the sending unit. They tend to get saturated and become heavier than normal, thus resulting in a premature "empty" condition. The float is easy to replace:
- remove the access cover plate in the trunk
- pull the entire sending unit out (have to remove a number of screws holding it in and the sending wire)
- replace the float
- re-install the unit
voila, done!

gregg

MG
10-12-2018 @ 8:02 PM
Senior
Posts: 886
Joined: Nov 2009
          
What makes you think you have to drain the tank in order to replace the sending unit?
Just don't smoke while you're doing the job. If you decide to replace the original sending unit in your car without replacing the float first, please send the original sending unit to me - I'll pay the postage. I'm confident that there is nothing wrong with it. Forget about it if it's an after market sending unit and not an original....

This message was edited by MG on 10-12-18 @ 8:06 PM

LarryK
10-13-2018 @ 4:52 AM
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Aug 2012
          
I would recommend disconnecting the battery before accessing the sending unit.

Larry

pauls36fordor
10-15-2018 @ 7:28 AM
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2018
          
Thank you all for your help. This has been terrific. And not draining the tank is music to my ears. And yes Larry, disconnecting the battery is a great tip. Will do.


Drbrown
10-22-2018 @ 9:38 PM
Member
Posts: 445
Joined: Nov 2013
          
The original cork float on my '47 OE sender unit arm also got saturated. I removed the sender from the tank and tested it outside the car by running jumper wires to it. It worked fine as the wire arm was raised and lowered. I bought a vinyl replacement float from Mid West and it snapped right onto my existing sender arm. It is a Dale Carpenter product. I didn't need to do this but the Sender can be disassembled and cleaned with electronic cleaner. The gauge and sender work great and are still original.

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