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Thread: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Looking for opinions on who manufactures the best fuel sending unit for a 60 BE. I replaced my original when I did the fuel tank a couple of years back.
    I cannot remember if who I bought it from (came with new gasket and screws).
    However it lasted about a year and change (600 plus miles) before just quitting and going to full with the switch on.
    I have done all the trouble shooting with all sorts of wires and such but no success.
    Changing the sending unit on a BE is a real pain and I am getting too old to do this a third time.
    Looking for who everyone thinks supplies the best sending unit , repair is an option if there is someone who does a good job,
    Just annoying to drive using the trip meter for fuel.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Austin-Heal...IAAOSwImRYUZhP I recently installed this one. I haven’t had it in for but a short time so I don’t know how long it will last. NFI but it is a company close to me that I trust.
    "Age considers; youth ventures." Rabindranth Tagore
    1975 Spitfire

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    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    The following is not a recommendation for a specific fuel sending unit but it still might be of interest.

    As you are certainly aware, the early cars would have the magnetic fuel gauge while the later cars used bimetallic gauges. Components from the two systems (not voltage stabilized and stabilized) cannot be mixed... until now.

    Visit the Spiyda Design website (link below) and read their information about their Gauge Wizard. The Gauge Wizard will let you use normally incompatible sending units and gauges even if their resistance changes happen in the opposite direction. My point is... if you find that the sending unit from a later car is likely to last longer, you could add a Gauge Wizard to your car and use the later type sending unit. It might prove to be a wise investment in the long run.

    Link to Spiyda Design's Gauge Wizard:
    https://www.spiyda.com/fuel-gauge-wizard-mk3.html
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1

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    Senior Member Desert Rat's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    If you saved your original unit send it out and have it rebuilt.
    I did that with mine after having replacement units constantly fail. Havenít had a problem since.

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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Doug
    Thanks for the link, however it is negative ground only. I am still in the dark ages with the pos ground. Just too lazy to repole the generator.
    Desert Rat
    Thanks but I am think the old one got tossed after the new one was installed.
    Who repairs the sending units.

    NOSLocators has them for $50 plus bucks. Moss is NLA and I do not know who manufacturers for Victoria these days
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Senior Member Desert Rat's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Schlosser View Post
    Desert Rat
    Thanks but I am think the old one got tossed after the new one was installed.
    Who repairs the sending units.

    NOSLocators has them for $50 plus bucks. Moss is NLA and I do not know who manufacturers for Victoria these days
    Morris Mintz at West Valley Instrument Specialists restored mine.
    I had 3 senders from Moss fail pretty quickly. My restored original has been flawless.

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    I went with the NOS locators unit. The usual pain to drop the tank and replace.
    I did all sorts of checks to make sure it wasn't a wire or something and the new unit worked semi bench and in the tank.
    Obviously it was the unit. See how long this on lasts
    I will save my old one, I cannot remember where I bought it.
    I took the cover off the old unit and could not see anything visibly wrong. Is there any way to bench test these units with a meter or anything.
    How close should the arms be the coil.
    Just wondering what the problem was
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Yes, you can test and troubleshoot your old sender.

    Set your multimeter to measure resistance (Ohms) and connect it between the sender's mounting flange and the insulated terminal. Move the float arm through its range of motion. "Empty" should measure close to 270 Ohms. "Full" should measure close to 30 Ohms. These values are for the later bimetallic gauges and are nominal. Don't get upset if the values you measure don't match exactly.

    Depending on the construction type you will find a coil of resistance wire wrapped around a circuit board or an insulating tube. One end of that wire is typically riveted or crimped to the sender's insulated terminal. There will be one or two wipers positioned to rub against the coiled resistance wire as the float arm moves. The wipers typically make/complete a ground connection.

    Likely places for failure are the crimp connection between the wire coil and insulated terminal. After long term use the resistance wire itself can break. Also over time corrosion and deposits can form which prevent the wipers from establishing a ground connection. Generally repair is by replacement but as was stated above you may find a few shops willing to recondition your old sending unit.

    If I remember correctly some sending units only have the one insulated terminal and get their ground connection via the fuel tank. Therefore, it is important that the tank have a ground connection. With "screw on" sending units you can easily add a ground using a length of black wire with ring terminals on each end. Secure one end of the wire to the tank using a fuel ending unit mounting screw. Secure the other end to the car's body making sure to clean that spot to bare metal first.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Doug
    Thanks, I did run a separate ground for both the old and new sending units.
    I will stick my meter on it later. Obviously if the coil is bad I will get an open circuit. The old coil is an encapsulated cylinder.
    How close should the "arms" be to the coil?? I took a look at the failed one and they not close.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Those wiper arms should be rubbing on the coiled resistance wire.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1

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    Yoda
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    Re: Bug Eye fuel gage sending unit

    Quote Originally Posted by dklawson View Post
    The following is not a recommendation for a specific fuel sending unit but it still might be of interest.

    As you are certainly aware, the early cars would have the magnetic fuel gauge while the later cars used bimetallic gauges. Components from the two systems (not voltage stabilized and stabilized) cannot be mixed... until now.

    Visit the Spiyda Design website (link below) and read their information about their Gauge Wizard. The Gauge Wizard will let you use normally incompatible sending units and gauges even if their resistance changes happen in the opposite direction. My point is... if you find that the sending unit from a later car is likely to last longer, you could add a Gauge Wizard to your car and use the later type sending unit. It might prove to be a wise investment in the long run.

    Link to Spiyda Design's Gauge Wizard:
    https://www.spiyda.com/fuel-gauge-wizard-mk3.html
    Dog gone!! [keeping it clean!]

    I just sprung for a new tank! The later tank has more capacity and the only thing preventing me from fitting it has been the gauge incompatibility!

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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