fuel gauge -- any suggestions? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 10-04-2009 Thread Starter
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fuel gauge -- any suggestions?

My 1980 Pearson 32 has a mechanical fuel gauge at the top of the metal tank which is meant to be viewed through a port in the cockpit sole. The port is not optically clear, but the problem is deeper than that -- I cannot read the gauge even when I peer into the engine compartment aided by a bright light and an inspection mirror. I can see the needle but the markings are all worn off.

At the moment my fuel management system consists of topping off, recording the engine hours, and remembering to top off before too many hours have gone by.

I would like to replace this gauge this winter, probably with an electrical version. I have done some looking at suppliers on the web, but I don't find much which is claimed to be usable with diesel fuel. [I am not sure why some gauges are rated for gasoline only.]

Does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement system?

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post #2 of 25 Old 10-04-2009
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Here's a non-electrical, fairly foolproof system:

About Tank Tender

A variation of this technique is widely used in industrial level measurement - very reliable and this one has no power requirements whatsoever.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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post #3 of 25 Old 10-04-2009 Thread Starter
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Looks foolproof, but it is a lot more expensive than I had been planning to spend...


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Here's a non-electrical, fairly foolproof system:

About Tank Tender

A variation of this technique is widely used in industrial level measurement - very reliable and this one has no power requirements whatsoever.

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post #4 of 25 Old 10-04-2009
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True, 'tis pricey... but a bit of tubing, a pressure gauge in the appropriate "inches watercolumn" range and it would be easily constructed yourself.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #5 of 25 Old 10-04-2009
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when you replace your tank... yes that is or should be on your list of things that must be done. Moller tanks come with a new sending unit already installed. then you can hook up a proper fuel gauge!

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #6 of 25 Old 10-05-2009
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I took a long look at Tank Tender but the prospect of dragging all the pipes through the nether regions of my bilges from 5 different areas was more than I could deal with.

I have been looking at automotive tank units but at this time am still struggling to find an instrument that will read the variable resistance offered by the coil. If and when I find a solution, I'll post it here.


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post #7 of 25 Old 10-05-2009
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I had a tank tender on previous boat - stopped working effectively and therefore couldnt be trusted. I stick with engine hours - which are needed for oil/ fan belt etc anyway. If you have burnt enough diesel, you will know your fuel consumption /hour or even / distance.


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post #8 of 25 Old 10-05-2009
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I installed a fuel gage system, sending unit in the tank and 2" round display in the cockpit. The boat had this system but always read Empty. I went through and replaced the system to restore functionality. The system cost at the time was around $40. 35 to 240 ohm system is standard. If you are interested, check out the link below:

9.2 fuel


It has been over 6 yrs and it is still working well. I would use engine hrs, but that would require cruising at the same burn rate. I get around 37hrs on 11 gallons, but that was at 2,800 rpm. It is time to top it off for the winter season, a little cetane stabilizer and bio additive to keep the diesel bugs out.

Cal 9.2 #19 SilverSwan

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post #9 of 25 Old 10-05-2009
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Pegasus,

Our boat has this Mechanical Fuel Gauge by Tempo.

When we bought the boat a number of years ago, the gauge dial was broken, but was very easily replaced. Very reliable unit.


P.S. It's available at the Sailnet store, too:

TEMPO MECHANICAL FUEL SENDER WITH GAUGE T and BW 2-TRG1175M 11-3/4 Shop.Sailnet.com - sailing resources, shopping, sail, blogs


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post #10 of 25 Old 10-05-2009
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Pegasus

Here is the link to some documentation and pictures of my fuel system upgrade, including the Wema fuel gauge and sending unit that I installed. No float arm, a vertical float instead. I love it.

Irwin Citation 34 - Fuel System Upgrades

Rik

Irwin Citation 34
Mystery
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