Well, this is as good a place as any to post this. Here's the problem IMO:
The gas gauge (pre-07 at least) is a long resistor strip with a float. The float has two contacts - one on each side - that run along the resistor strip, thus changing the resitance reading which is interpreted as your fuel level. In the past, peopl have tried to fix erratic reading by taking Scotch-brite to the resistor strip, with the theory being that the strip was getting 'gummed up'. This helped at times - but sometimes not, and not for long. We were barking up the wrong tree.
If you pop the bottom off the float (it is glued or plastic-welded) you will find that the two contacts are separate pieces - one for each side. Now this is the important part: THE TWO PIECES ONLY LAY ON TOP OF EACH OTHER UNDER THE FOLAT BOTTOM (see pic with my hand in it) In other words, the circuit depends on thos two piece of metal laying on top of each other (!!!!!) There is NO connector or screw to secure the plates and ensure they stay in contact (double !!!!!!!!!!).
When I took my float apart, I found that the two contact plates (brushes) were discolored from time and fuel exposure - including where they overlapped and were supposed to be closing the circuit. I cleaned them up and placed a TINY drop of solder to hold them to each other. (Disclaimer - I have NO idea if solder in your gas is a BAD idea, but the amount was tiny and then I slathered the whole thing in epoxy to glue the float back togther.
Alex this was a very good post so I cut a copy of your post out so it wouldn't get lost.
My gauge better keep working then... And you could've at least fixed the typos...
Again, I emphasize that the two pieces were just laying on top of each other - not even glued to each other. Just the bottom plate of the float supposed the keep them pressed together. Sort of like trying to wire a circuit by stripping wires and then just setting them on top of each other and laying a book on top.. This approach for a circuit that is going to remain immersed in gas!!!
Despite the fuzziness of the pics, you can still see how discolored the contacts were - on an '06 with about 12.5k miles.
From when I bought my 03, around 7,000 miles on it to about 11,000 miles my gauge never worked.
Last winter I ran Sea Foam through the thing and my fuel gauge has worked ever since. Now at almost 16,000. I will say I still set the trip just in case, but it seems to function dead on now...
Here is the Sea Foam website with all the info below. Our Wal-Marts up north at least where I am don't have it. I get it at a Menards, home depot or probably a Lowes I would assume has it. Otherwise just a hardware store.
Been reading about these problems a bit and I don't have the problem BUT oxide on Copper is conductive, shouldn't be a problem. Is the plating on those contacts copper ?
__________________ RF_R_US aka John
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Other Fossil Fuel Burning Toys: '05 FLHTCUI, '96 KLR650, '73 Chevy Nova SS yeah it's :bad: