1956 Ford Replacement Gas Tank Sender Unit Anyone found One that Works?


http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/Topic145549.aspx
Print Topic | Close Window

By oldcarmark - 5 Months Ago
Looking for a replacement Sending Unit for 56 Passenger Car that actually is Accurate. There's several out there that don't work , Has anyone found One that Works?
Friend looking for One and does not have an Original to get repaired. 
By Gene Purser - 4 Months Ago
If you find one I would like to know about it. All I have been able to do with the resistance style senders is get them where they tell me when the tank is about empty.
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
Most of the Replacement Ones have the wrong range of Resistance Values. They all claim they are for this Application but I have read most are inaccurate as You have found.
By kevink1955 - 4 Months Ago
This is a discussion we had a while back, I still have not attempted to repair the original sender or re-calibrate the gauge to read correctly with the new resistor type sender.  I need to get to it soon and will report back


http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/Topic142832.aspx
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
I just had a look at the One offered by Summit Racing. 9 Reviews and they are all Positive. Anyone tried One of theirs?
By kevink1955 - 4 Months Ago
The sender I posted about last year is the Summit sender.  While it works it will never read empty.  If you look at the other post I have the sender in a test stand next to the fuel gauge and you can see it never reads empty. best I could do was a little under 1/4 with the arm all the way down.

The wiper that the float moves is off the  wire wound part of the of the resistor when the float is all the way down so no amount of arm bending will make it go lower.  The resistor winding is just not right for the application.  If you could live with saying your tank is empty when the gauge falls below 1/4 the sender will work but I would want better than that.

I am still going to investigate repairing the original sender or re calibrating the gauge empty point, I am told it can be done.
By DryLakesRacer - 4 Months Ago
I wrote a pretty long on how I did mine with an aftermarket and it works well enough for me...it's somewhere in the site but i'm not good on searching.
 I mounted the new one on a block of wood parallel to the tank with a wood screw and laid it on the trunk floor and connected it to the electric connection. Turn the key to accessory and watch the guage, it's a slow mover and it takes some time. I measured the depth of the tank and worked from there.

Full was pretty easy as the top of the float would be same as the bolt down plate. When I moved the level and float down so the the bottom of it would be on the bottom of the tank the guage was off about as much both full and empty. I started bending the arm in a "ZEE" until I liked what the guage read for full and empty. So what i really did was shorten the arm. Like I said "it takes a while" I used 2 needle nose pliers to make the beds AND no I don't have any photos as I did this 6 years ago. 

Now mine reads full for about 50 miles or so before it moves and when it gets at 1/4 tank I fill up and it takes 12-13 gallons and the tank holds 17 so I'm OK with it...Good Luck

By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
kevink1955 (5/2/2019)
The sender I posted about last year is the Summit sender.  While it works it will never read empty.  If you look at the other post I have the sender in a test stand next to the fuel gauge and you can see it never reads empty. best I could do was a little under 1/4 with the arm all the way down.

The wiper that the float moves is off the  wire wound part of the of the resistor when the float is all the way down so no amount of arm bending will make it go lower.  The resistor winding is just not right for the application.  If you could live with saying your tank is empty when the gauge falls below 1/4 the sender will work but I would want better than that.

I am still going to investigate repairing the original sender or re calibrating the gauge empty point, I am told it can be done.


OK Thanks for the Info. If I going to spend Money for a replacement I want One that works properly. I will keep looking. My Friend disposed of the Original not realizing it could be repaired. Hindsight is a great thing.



By kevink1955 - 4 Months Ago
This thread got me moving again so I went out to the garage to pull the original sender to see if it could be repaired.  When I got the sender out I found the float almost full of gas, guess thats why it always read empty

I hooked the sender up out of the car and it works!!!     Going to order a float from Macs and call it done.    I still think the Summit sender could be made to work if you re calibrated the gauge but I am not going to mess with a working original gauge to find out.

Got lucky with that one, no help to you OldCarMark as your sender is no longer in your possession
By tjaybo52 - 4 Months Ago
So to tac on to this thread... will an original sender from 55 fairlane w\ 6v pos ground work in a car converted to 12v neg ground?
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
Yes it should work fine. U have to use an adapter to drop the Voltage to Gauges back to 6 Volts anyway. you can buy an adapter from places like Macs or find a voltage Regulator used on Fords in the 60's. It was on the back of the Dash Panel. They all worked on 6 Volts to Gauges. 56 was the  only Year gauges were 12 Volts. 
By bergmanj - 4 Months Ago
From the thread 4 months ago:

"The King-Seeley system does not work on "resistance"!!!!  The shop manual has a good basic description of its workings.

It works on a system of heating elements and bi-metal-springed points affected either by pressure [in the case of the fuel sender], or heat [in the case of the engine temperature gauge system.
You MAY be able to get a correct range of resistance on an aftermarket sending unit by "fudging" around; however, you can't just measure the sender or gauge resistance and expect to "match" it; it's an entirely different operating principle.  To do that, use a variable power resistor of a range from about 20 ohms to about 500 ohms (or some select individual power resistors in that same range), set it at it's maximum resistance range, and insert into circuit IN PLACE OF the sending unit, then carefully and very slowly (over several minutes of time - the gauge is very slow acting) start to reduce the resistance 'till you just notice the gauge coming off of "empty"; then take the resistor out of circuit and measure the resistance: That will be your "high" range end of resistance needed. Re-insert the resistance into the circuit and, again, very slowly start reducing it's resistance until you just "hit" the "full" gauge mark; then re-measure the resistance of the variable resistor: That will be your "low" range end of resistance needed. [You could also try this at "mid" range just to get some idea of  your "system's" non-linearity, if you want.]  Now you can try to locate an aftermarket "resistance" sender to meet your needs.  EDIT: Please note that you need to ind an aftermarket sender that is at it's "high" end of resistance when the float is dropped for empty, and is at it's "low" end of resistance when the float is high for "full"; some senders might be "backwards" from what you need!!!

NEVER apply the full 6 or 12 V to the gauge directly: It will burn out in fairly quick order - this is why you start the resistance check at it's highest resistance!

I've adapted my '55 6V system to a 12 V conversion by using the original sender/gauge SYSTEM, measuring the TOTAL SYSTEM resistance (mine measured about 35 ohms), and adding an equivalent series  power resistor in series with the sender/gauge circuit (I "hid" my resistor just under the fuel tank sender access plate in the trunk floor).

In a case like mine [using the original King-Seeley 6V system in a 12 V conversion - NOT the same as the 3rd paragraph above explains in detail for "aftermarket"], the MINIMUM power dissipation rating of the 12-to-6V dropping resistor MUST be figured by calculating the current draw using the circuit voltage-drop (6V  --  to drop 12 V to 6 V) divided by the measured resistance (35 ohms in my case) to equal 0.171 Amps [171 mA]; then, taking the voltage drop (6 V) times the calculated current draw (0.171A) which calculates to 1.08 Watts. OR using the voltage drop squared [6*6=36] divided by the circuit resistance [35 ohms] gives essentially the same answer for minimum power dissipation [in watts].

Because of the "intermittent" (continually opening and closing) nature of the sender points in this King-Seeley system, a 1 Watt resistor is probably "adequate", though a two or 5 watt resistor might be more reliable over time for this specific application. You MUST calculate the above for YOUR system; I only used my system for my calculations as an example of how to do it; and, it may NOT fit your system.  As usual: It's YOUR responsibility as to whether or not to try and use the above information for YOUR use.
I hope that this information is helpful to others.

Regards, JLB"
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
bergmanj (5/3/2019)
From the thread 4 months ago:

"The King-Seeley system does not work on "resistance"!!!!  The shop manual has a good basic description of its workings.

It works on a system of heating elements and bi-metal-springed points affected either by pressure [in the case of the fuel sender], or heat [in the case of the engine temperature gauge system.
You MAY be able to get a correct range of resistance on an aftermarket sending unit by "fudging" around; however, you can't just measure the sender or gauge resistance and expect to "match" it; it's an entirely different operating principle.  To do that, use a variable power resistor of a range from about 20 ohms to about 500 ohms (or some select individual power resistors in that same range), set it at it's maximum resistance range, and insert into circuit IN PLACE OF the sending unit, then carefully and very slowly (over several minutes of time - the gauge is very slow acting) start to reduce the resistance 'till you just notice the gauge coming off of "empty"; then take the resistor out of circuit and measure the resistance: That will be your "high" range end of resistance needed. Re-insert the resistance into the circuit and, again, very slowly start reducing it's resistance until you just "hit" the "full" gauge mark; then re-measure the resistance of the variable resistor: That will be your "low" range end of resistance needed. [You could also try this at "mid" range just to get some idea of  your "system's" non-linearity, if you want.]  Now you can try to locate an aftermarket "resistance" sender to meet your needs.  EDIT: Please note that you need to ind an aftermarket sender that is at it's "high" end of resistance when the float is dropped for empty, and is at it's "low" end of resistance when the float is high for "full"; some senders might be "backwards" from what you need!!!

NEVER apply the full 6 or 12 V to the gauge directly: It will burn out in fairly quick order - this is why you start the resistance check at it's highest resistance!

I've adapted my '55 6V system to a 12 V conversion by using the original sender/gauge SYSTEM, measuring the TOTAL SYSTEM resistance (mine measured about 35 ohms), and adding an equivalent series  power resistor in series with the sender/gauge circuit (I "hid" my resistor just under the fuel tank sender access plate in the trunk floor).

In a case like mine [using the original King-Seeley 6V system in a 12 V conversion - NOT the same as the 3rd paragraph above explains in detail for "aftermarket"], the MINIMUM power dissipation rating of the 12-to-6V dropping resistor MUST be figured by calculating the current draw using the circuit voltage-drop (6V  --  to drop 12 V to 6 V) divided by the measured resistance (35 ohms in my case) to equal 0.171 Amps [171 mA]; then, taking the voltage drop (6 V) times the calculated current draw (0.171A) which calculates to 1.08 Watts. OR using the voltage drop squared [6*6=36] divided by the circuit resistance [35 ohms] gives essentially the same answer for minimum power dissipation [in watts].

Because of the "intermittent" (continually opening and closing) nature of the sender points in this King-Seeley system, a 1 Watt resistor is probably "adequate", though a two or 5 watt resistor might be more reliable over time for this specific application. You MUST calculate the above for YOUR system; I only used my system for my calculations as an example of how to do it; and, it may NOT fit your system.  As usual: It's YOUR responsibility as to whether or not to try and use the above information for YOUR use.
I hope that this information is helpful to others.

Regards, JLB"

When I converted a 1953 Ford ( 6 Volts + Ground) Years ago I simply used the Gauge Power Regulator I described as a drop down Device. They were simply a set of Points that opened and closed providing an Average of 6 Volts (according to Ford). The new Ones from Macs etc are solid State. No Points. Why would You need to do anything else if the Gauges (only) are still being powered by 6 Volts as they have always been? In the Articles I have read regarding 6-12 Volts I have never run accross the Procedure You described. Simply drop the Voltage to Gauges to 6 Volts and carry on with the rest of the Conversion. Just asking for my own knowledge.
By kevink1955 - 4 Months Ago
I am surprised the old points style 6 volt reducer works with the King Sealey type gauge as the system does not draw continuous current due to the opening and closing of the points in the sending unit.  The solid state type should work fine
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
kevink1955 (5/3/2019)
I am surprised the old points style 6 volt reducer works with the King Sealey type gauge as the system does not draw continuous current due to the opening and closing of the points in the sending unit.  The solid state type should work fine

My Experience was on a 1953 Ford. Were they King-Sealey? Don't know.Those Point Type Regulators were used for Years in the 60's on many Fords.
By bergmanj - 4 Months Ago
FWIW (remember - "free" advice here), the solid state regulators would be good IF their regulation was good, consistent, and reliable; most that are available to us in the "classic car" consumer market are not; they are made very cheaply and expensively priced.

Having retired from 45+ years of working in precision electrical/electronics (NOT "consumer" stuff - a lot of which is "junk" - which I have also worked on for myself, friends, and family), I would not personally use one of the old "points" regulators as they can be notoriously "out of calibration", and the points can weld shut - passing the full 12 volts through.

I've also seen way too many "consumer-quality" solid-state type regulators fail catastrophically - and, would not trust them on my own system to not "burn-out" the sender/gauge circuit by failing and passing the full 12 volts through to the 6V gauge system.  Using my resistor technique protects these old systems from very serious potential damage.  I simply won't take the chance with my own by using other methods - too expensive and difficult to replace them if damaged!  That's why this thread in the first place.

Using a measured and calibrated resistor as described will usually fail only one way: Open-circuit; and, will not harm the circuit in any way if properly applied. Besides, it's the simplest solution: Just put the "right" resistor in series with the gauge circuit [anywhere between battery accessory feed and ground], and go. And it's not polarity-sensitive (works equally well with + or - ground systems).

The measurement is actually very simple: Just measure the complete circuit resistance (unpowered, with the power feed connection completely disconnected between the ignition switch and gauge circuit [so as to not be measuring "other" things too]) between gauge power connection and ground (mine was around 35 ohms), and match it with a, say, 5-watt-rated power resistor of [or close to] the measured circuit resistance.  I only went into all the detail to benefit those that want to know those measurements and calculations.

Same holds true for the temperature gauge circuit.

Regards, JLB
By kevink1955 - 4 Months Ago
bergmanj (5/3/2019)
FWIW (remember - "free" advice here), the solid state regulators would be good IF their regulation was good, consistent, and reliable; most that are available to us in the "classic car" consumer market are not; they are made very cheaply and expensively priced.

Having retired from 45+ years of working in precision electrical/electronics (NOT "consumer" stuff - a lot of which is "junk" - which I have also worked on for myself, friends, and family), I would not personally use one of the old "points" regulators as they can be notoriously "out of calibration", and the points can weld shut - passing the full 12 volts through.

I've also seen way too many "consumer-quality" solid-state type regulators fail catastrophically - and, would not trust them on my own system to not "burn-out" the sender/gauge circuit by failing and passing the full 12 volts through to the 6V gauge system.  Using my resistor technique protects these old systems from very serious potential damage.  I simply won't take the chance with my own by using other methods - too expensive and difficult to replace them if damaged!  That's why this thread in the first place.

Using a measured and calibrated resistor as described will usually fail only one way: Open-circuit; and, will not harm the circuit in any way if properly applied. Besides, it's the simplest solution: Just put the "right" resistor in series with the gauge circuit [anywhere between battery accessory feed and ground], and go. And it's not polarity-sensitive (works equally well with + or - ground systems).

The measurement is actually very simple: Just measure the complete circuit resistance (unpowered, with the power feed connection completely disconnected between the ignition switch and gauge circuit [so as to not be measuring "other" things too]) between gauge power connection and ground (mine was around 35 ohms), and match it with a, say, 5-watt-rated power resistor of [or close to] the measured circuit resistance.  I only went into all the detail to benefit those that want to know those measurements and calculations.

Same holds true for the temperature gauge circuit.

Regards, JLB



I like your way of thinking the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method is almost always the best way.  You have obviously researched the workings of the King Sealey system and applied your working knowledge of electronics to finding a fix.  Thanks for your help. 

I wish the manufacturers of the sending unit would have done a little more research before putting them on the market.  The Summit sender comes close to working, it needs about 35 more ohms at empty to make the gauge read empty.

I am glad my problem turned out to be a leaking float and my 60+ year old sender still works
By bergmanj - 4 Months Ago
Thanks,

KISS is almost always the "best" way; and, I consider it to be the most "sophisticated" solution for almost all problems/issues/designs.

Many things are way "overengineered" much to their detriment [IMO].  I worked on manufacturing and test of some extremely complicated U. S. military {for example DoD - Air Force, Navy (China Lake Naval Weapons Center at Ridgecrest CA - QF4N Aircraft Interface unit, Chaff & Flare Panels), and Army (Redstone Arsenal - HAWK system Pulsed Acquisition Radar & 3-axis guidance unit; Ft. Monmouth - Helicopter Comms Radio)]} and Fed. Govt. [FAA - Digital Altitude Setting indicator] systems which could have been designed and made much simpler and much less expensive if certain other design folks had not been "carried away" with their level of "sophistication"; there's also a time and place for that too, though.

Keep it KISS, if at all possible.

Regards, JLB
By oldcarmark - 4 Months Ago
bergmanj (5/3/2019)
FWIW (remember - "free" advice here), the solid state regulators would be good IF their regulation was good, consistent, and reliable; most that are available to us in the "classic car" consumer market are not; they are made very cheaply and expensively priced.

Having retired from 45+ years of working in precision electrical/electronics (NOT "consumer" stuff - a lot of which is "junk" - which I have also worked on for myself, friends, and family), I would not personally use one of the old "points" regulators as they can be notoriously "out of calibration", and the points can weld shut - passing the full 12 volts through.

I've also seen way too many "consumer-quality" solid-state type regulators fail catastrophically - and, would not trust them on my own system to not "burn-out" the sender/gauge circuit by failing and passing the full 12 volts through to the 6V gauge system.  Using my resistor technique protects these old systems from very serious potential damage.  I simply won't take the chance with my own by using other methods - too expensive and difficult to replace them if damaged!  That's why this thread in the first place.

Using a measured and calibrated resistor as described will usually fail only one way: Open-circuit; and, will not harm the circuit in any way if properly applied. Besides, it's the simplest solution: Just put the "right" resistor in series with the gauge circuit [anywhere between battery accessory feed and ground], and go. And it's not polarity-sensitive (works equally well with + or - ground systems).

The measurement is actually very simple: Just measure the complete circuit resistance (unpowered, with the power feed connection completely disconnected between the ignition switch and gauge circuit [so as to not be measuring "other" things too]) between gauge power connection and ground (mine was around 35 ohms), and match it with a, say, 5-watt-rated power resistor of [or close to] the measured circuit resistance.  I only went into all the detail to benefit those that want to know those measurements and calculations.

Same holds true for the temperature gauge circuit.

Regards, JLB

Thanks for the Information. Back to my Original Question because I am not Converting anything. Has Anyone found a Replacement for 1956 (12 Volt) that actually works without having to re-engineer the Unit? Why would I spend Money on Something that doesn't work as Advertised? I did run across One made by Stewart-Warner but not Sold under their Name. Several Aftermarket Suppliers sell this Unit. Anyone have Experience with this One? You would think Stewart-Warner Unit would be Accurate but I guess it could be an Off-Shore Production under the Stewart-Warner Brand? 
By mgcookwv - 3 Months Ago
I would take that as a win for my 55, mine reads full when you fill it up but when you have ran some out it drops to empty and no idea how much gas I have.
Will you share the model you bought from Summit?