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Discussion Starter #1
Gas float fix

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.

So far, so good! But what a terrible design...

 

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Color me Gone
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Alex this was a very good post so I cut a copy of your post out so it wouldn't get lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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!!! :chair:

Despite the fuzziness of the pics, you can still see how discolored the contacts were - on an '06 with about 12.5k miles.
 

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Silver Bullet
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This is a great post that makes a lot of sense. Have you considered sending this to Harley? They may be unaware of how the parts work that they purchase to put into thier bikes.
 

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Dj, Vrodder
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182 Posts
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...
 

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Is running seafoam in these bikes ok? I have run it once before and heard that it can harden seals and stuff... true?
 

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Is running seafoam in these bikes ok? I have run it once before and heard that it can harden seals and stuff... true?
I've used seafoam in all three applictions (injectors, fuel, & oil) on my truck without incident.

I've used seafoam to stabilize the fuel for winterization on both bikes (V-Rod & Ultra) without incident.
 

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What is Seafoam and where do you get it? I have an 03 which I bought with 10000 miles on it. Gas gauge worked about 3 days and quit!
 

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Dj, Vrodder
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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.

http://www.seafoamsales.com/motorTuneUpTechGas.htm


What is Seafoam and where do you get it? I have an 03 which I bought with 10000 miles on it. Gas gauge worked about 3 days and quit!
 

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Friend of Max.
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Has anyone else tried this fix? I'm looking for a follow up report.

Thanks.

RJ
 

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George
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Man, Alex was a pretty sharp dude... good fix!

I still get a little "misty" when one of his threads comes back though.
 

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Premium Member
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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 ?

John
 

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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 ?

John
I believe the are Brass not Copper
 

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I DON,T KNOW WHY
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Very smart ! If this works out to be the fix for 02thru 06 do you know if the 06 sender will fit in the 07?
 

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Super Moderator
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Very smart ! If this works out to be the fix for 02thru 06 do you know if the 06 sender will fit in the 07?
No. The earlier sending unit is physically incompatible with the newer fuel tank and electrically incompatible with the newer fuel gauge circuit.
 

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Sea Foam...

I am not a mechanic, can barely get through changing the oil on my '04 VROD in under two hours so I am not sure if I want to A) try this fix on my own or B) pay someone at Harley to fix my gas gauge if I can use the Sea Foam.

I appreciate the link to the Sea Foam site but I was not able to find anything that specifically talked about motorcycles or how much to add to a motorcycles talk of gas?! They did say about 1 ounce per gallon. Is this 1 ounce per gallon recommended for the VROD as well? And it says when the engine is warm.

So maybe fill up the tank, drive around for a few miles, then drop in 3-4 ounces, wait five minutes, and then start the engine again? I am nervous about this so I wanted to post for some reassurance before attempting this.

Thank you ahead of time. First time on the site, first post, but excited now to read through the threads. I have had many small issues with the bike now over the years and the gas gauge not working is just the latest. I am happy I hopped online to google some questions-this looks exactly like the site I was hoping would exist!

smerks
 
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