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Misc Electrical & Gauges Post your speedometer, gauges, interior and non audio/video questions here.

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Old 01-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
bert296
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Default gas gauge doesn't work?

i have a 93 4.0 the when i bought it the gas gauge would work when it wanted to otherwise it would stay at 1/8 of a tank. i thought it was a conection so off came the bed and they were a little loose, so i sodered them on still the same out come the gauge would work when it wanted to. this all happened about a month ago. now the gauge never works stays at 1/8 of a tank all the time. ive read that the float could have a hole in it? but the fuel pump and sending unit were replaced in july so i dont think its that. any ideas???
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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There's a good possibility that the wire that runs from the connector on top of the tank to the gauge cluster may be damaged, or broken, or grounding, or something screwy.

There's a very slight possibility that the replacement float (or the circuit board behind it) are bad, even with a new part. It's not especially common, but it happens.

Do a visual inspection of both, and let us know what you find. If you don't see anything obvious, I can give you instructions for testing everything with a meter.

Also (not accusing, but just checking) not everybody knows how to solder properly. Make sure the wires and the pins were both bright and clean, that you heated the wire and pin together (not just the solder) and that nothing moved between the time you pulled the heat away, and the time the solder solidified. A poor joint will look dull and grainy, a good joint will look smooth and shiny.

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Last edited by Spott; 01-08-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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Intermittent connections, bad or improperly seated fuel gauge module inside the instrument cluster, bad or improperly seated slosh module inside instrument cluster.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hawk1339 View Post
Intermittent connections, bad or improperly seated fuel gauge module inside the instrument cluster, bad or improperly seated slosh module inside instrument cluster.
what and where are the fuel gauge module and slosh module and how would i go about changing them?
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:41 AM   #5
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what and where are the fuel gauge module and slosh module and how would i go about changing them?
The gauge modules are the individual sections that the gauges are mounted to within the instrument cluster. Depending on whether you have the plain cluster with no tach or the enhanced cluster with the factory tach, there will be either 3 or 4 module sections in the cluster. These sections plug into the cluster backplane with pins and clips making the electrical connection. These clips can loosen and/or oxidize and corrode causing the electrical connection to be broken.

The slosh module is a small circuit board, about the size of a matchbook, that plugs somewhere into the cluster. The purpose of this circuit is to dampen out large swings in the fuel level signal caused by the sloshing of fuel in the tank. It makes the gauge indicate a steady reading rather than a bouncing needle.

Before tearing the dashboard apart in order to get to the cluster, check all the wiring to the tank again, particularly the grounds.

Last edited by Hawk1339; 01-10-2012 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Hi I'm new to this site and have questions concerning my '93 Ranger. I'm female and invariably feel mechanics are pushing their luck with me about what's wrong with my truck. Since I'm not a mechanic I've joined this site to learn more about the problems I'm experincing w/my truck. My Ranger's gas gauge sits at 1/4 full w/engine off; EMPTY w/engine on. On a trip over the mountains the gauge started working! Back on flat desert it returned to Empty. Two repair places want to drop the gas tank..they tell me its the "float valve". Any thoughts?

I also have ABS/Emergency Brake light that comes on as soon as pressure is applied to brakes. So far I've now have a couple of ideas to present to a mechanic thanks to the knowledge of others on this site.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on my truck problem!
Martin93
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Martin93 View Post
Hi I'm new to this site and have questions concerning my '93 Ranger. I'm female and invariably feel mechanics are pushing their luck with me about what's wrong with my truck. Since I'm not a mechanic I've joined this site to learn more about the problems I'm experincing w/my truck. My Ranger's gas gauge sits at 1/4 full w/engine off; EMPTY w/engine on. On a trip over the mountains the gauge started working! Back on flat desert it returned to Empty. Two repair places want to drop the gas tank..they tell me its the "float valve". Any thoughts?

I also have ABS/Emergency Brake light that comes on as soon as pressure is applied to brakes. So far I've now have a couple of ideas to present to a mechanic thanks to the knowledge of others on this site.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on my truck problem!
Martin93

I drive a 93 and have had the ABS light coming on intermittently for several years. As near as I can figure, the most likely culprit is the ABS valve- a somewhat pricey and difficult to change item. When the ABS control detects a fault it turns on the light and shuts off the system and the brakes revert back to ordinary non ABS brakes, and that's ok by me. I'm kind of old school and don't care if I have ABS or not.

When it comes to gauge problems, the fuel level is probably the most difficult to diagnose and repair, simply because the sender is located in the fuel tank, and to access it one must remove the bed from the truck. With any gauge issue, the most common cause is a connection problem- dirty connector, dislocated pin, broken wire. Since there is like 4 or 5 connectors between the fuel gauge and the sending unit, there are a lot of places for something to come undone. in addition, the fuel level sender- the so-called "float valve"- and its wiring and connections are exposed to all the horrors of weather and road crud. The sender itself is an electrical/mechanical device that lives inside the tank, with gasoline sloshing around it, so it has a tough life as well. Now, if yours did work at some point, I would suspect the connector at the top of the sender assembly. It could be a tough reach to crawl under the truck to try to reset that connector. The fuel pump is bolted to the same sender bracket and has power wiring that goes through the same connector, and since that has apparently been working, the connector isn't totally bad.

Here's what a fuel level sending unit looks like, without the fuel pump. Everything below the disc at the top is inside the tank. Also, there is no need to drop the tank to change this- removing the bed takes 4 (or 6?) bolts and 1 connector.

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=275655
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