E26 Fuel Gauge Sender and Ground

KS Dave

Member II
Blogs Author
In troubleshooting my fuel gauge, I've noticed something about the wiring I hope I can get help clearing up. My fuel gauge doesn't seem to work. I haven't performed troubleshooting with a meter yet, but some things about the wiring are confusing.

First, only the positive side seems to be attached to the sender:
FuelTankTop.jpg

I had @Roger Janeway send me pictures of his setup (we have twins) and his is the same.
NoraJFuelTankSender.jpg

Second, there's a black wire that runs along the top of the tank, wraps itself around the fuel fill hose, then is left hanging (with a ring terminal on the end) back behind the starboard stern access panel. I see a note on the wiring diagram that mentions 'Fuel Tank Ground'. Where should this wire be attached to?

What might I be missing for getting the fuel gauge to work? How should I test it? What typically 'completes the circuit' for the gauge to work?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Our boat also has a black wire the runs from one of the attachment screws on the underside of the ss deck fitting for "fuel", to a ground screw terminal (a short welded-on aluminum tab on the tank) , and then on to the DC ground tie-in behind the main power panel. I am real sure that this is required by ABYC regs.
I have never had to trouble shoot an electric gauge before, so someone else will have to comment on that.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I just did this a few days ago. My boat has a tab on the tank for its own ground. Here are the Aoditeck sender install instructions :

-Connect ground (blue) wire from AODITECK sending unit to a common grounding hook-up.
-Connect signal (brown) wire from AODITECK sending unit to gauge hook-up. If your gauge has color coded hook-ups, maintain this coding as you connect the sender and ground wires.

ground Ericson 38 fuel tank.JPG
 
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Dave G.

1984 EY30+ Ludington, MI
Definitely need to connect a ground to the tank. In looking at the 2 pics I notice you have rubber(non metallic) fuel line & Roger has metal fuel line. That may be why his works(if it does ?) and yours doesn't. Try attaching that loose ground wire to one of the screws holding your fuel gauge sending unit. You may need to also run a ground wire from the tank to a known system ground.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
Isn't that a grounding spade connector on the fuel sender assembly I see in your photo? Run a wire from that to ground and see if it solves the issue.
 

Brad Johnson

Member II
The Black wire wrapped around the fuel fill hose needs to be installed with a machine screw to one of the screws holding the fuel fill fitting. I just replaced my fuel fill and did reconnect the ground. not a fun job but recommend
 

KS Dave

Member II
Blogs Author
Thanks for the various replies.
Isn't that a grounding spade connector on the fuel sender assembly I see in your photo? Run a wire from that to ground and see if it solves the issue.
I thought so. It just bother's me that Roger's works without it. I plan to try this during further testing.
 

KS Dave

Member II
Blogs Author
The Black wire wrapped around the fuel fill hose needs to be installed with a machine screw to one of the screws holding the fuel fill fitting. I just replaced my fuel fill and did reconnect the ground. not a fun job but recommend
Ah-ha! I need to replace my fuel fill hose - it's pretty dry and crackly. Probably a good time to re-attach this wire.

What did you replace your fuel fill fitting with? What make/model?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
What did you replace your fuel fill fitting with? What make/model?
Old fuel fill hoses are usually an odor source, even if not actively leaking. I replaced our deck fills years ago with the SS ones from Scanvik. We like the tilt-up tab to open them -- no key needed. There are other "keyless" versions for sale now on the web, I would note.
If anyone were to ask, altho they haven't, I would say to arbitrarily replace *any* fuel hose at the two decade mark.
A mechanic told me of his 'test' for permeation -- wet a small cotton towel with hot water and rub it on the outside of the fill hose. If it smells faintly of diesel, replace that hose. This "test" also works well for the 1.5" hoses on the head plumbing--- hold your nose slightly further away.
:)
 

KS Dave

Member II
Blogs Author
If no solution appears consider the gauge.
Thank you for saying that. Part of me says just spend the $50 on a new sender + gauge and start from that point. But, 50 bucks is 50 bucks.

I replaced our deck fills years ago with the SS ones from Scanvik. We like the tilt-up tab to open them -- no key needed. There are other "keyless" versions for sale now on the web, I would note.
I think Scandvik has stopped making the SS version; the composite version is on clearance - $9/each. Hmm...


The kind I have do have a flip-up tab on them. I'm wondering if an O-Ring and safety chain replacement would be plenty sufficient for my needs?

FuelFill.jpg

Are the SS version significantly better or more reliable? Or is it just a "look" thing?

If anyone were to ask, altho they haven't, I would say to arbitrarily replace *any* fuel hose at the two decade mark.
These have '1984' stamped on them, so I'd say they are originals.

This "test" also works well for the 1.5" hoses on the head plumbing--- hold your nose slightly further away.
HA! I'm sure I'll run into this once I get the marine head back online. That's on the short list as my regular "crew" consists of 3 females. :egrin:
 

Shankara

New Member
I just bought this bad boy to replace my fuel fill hose. Pretty darn expensive - over 20 bucks a foot. Fits good on the top but won’t go on the tank fitting very well. Guy at the Englund marine said to soak that end in boiling water to soften it up.

There is a black wire screwed to the top fuel fill port (on the inside), which leads to nothing. I’m guessing it used to go to the fuel gauge sender on the top of the tank? All gauges in my boat have been clipped so it’s a bit of a mystery being slowly solved.
 

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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I just bought this bad boy to replace my fuel fill hose. Pretty darn expensive - over 20 bucks a foot. Fits good on the top but won’t go on the tank fitting very well. Guy at the Englund marine said to soak that end in boiling water to soften it up.

There is a black wire screwed to the top fuel fill port (on the inside), which leads to nothing. I’m guessing it used to go to the fuel gauge sender on the top of the tank? All gauges in my boat have been clipped so it’s a bit of a mystery being slowly solved.
I have been dealing with Englund Marine (Astoria store) for 20 years. Good people and they know their business.
That black wire is the grounding wire from the metal deck fitting to (usually) a little welded tab on the fuel tank. From there it should go to the ground terminal behind the DC breaker panel. If your tank has an electric sender, it probably has a ground wire going back to the same place, or is attached to the tank ground lug and thus completes the ground side of the circuit.
(Our OEM tank gauge used a manual one with a little mechanical dial on top and a float on an arm inside the tank. I have changed to an electric gauge with a remote readout at our power panel, when installing a new larger tank.)

When I last replaced our fill hose it was expensive, but not that expensive, but that was a few years ago. Inflation. :(
I did buy it from Englund, however.
I have found that a little liquid soap will help those stubborn hoses, as well as some heat -- KY jelly, too. :)
 

Rhett_m

Junior Member
Have you pulled your sending unit out and looked at it? I find that they are usually the culprit. On an older boat that’s likely had water in the tank over the years, the sending units can become rusted out.
 
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