Changing the Petrol Gauge.

It's just a simple mechanical unit which is a straight swap! well no it wasn't....

Taking the old one out is easy, just disconnect at the tank, take the clamp off the back and pull the bulb holder out, job done

New Petrol GaugeFitting the new one should be easy, but with modern 'pattern' parts nothing is ever that straightforward I'm afraid. The 'new' replacement I sourced from Paruzzi had a plastic case and a screw to retain the cable at the gauge end.

The retaining screw faced the gauge itself so initially stopped the unit fitting through the dashboard hole so no problem, I'll ease a slot on the inner dash side where the screw goes. No good, still would not go in.

Next I took the cable retaining screw out (circled in the image) drilled a new hole for it on the opposite side but the gauge still would not go into the actual hole....

So what next, well the plastic gauge housing was to big to fit in the dash panel so ease the painted panel or grind the plastic case which is behind the dash once fitted. Grind the case.

OK so I then removed the dash panel itself so I could fit the gauge in and then put that back on the car as one piece. Still no good. The cable stopped the unit going low enough to line up the dash panel 'lugs' with the locating slots

Once I knew the gauge fitted into the dash panel I took it out, fitted the panel back on the car, then fitted the gauge. A simple 5 minute job had taken an hour!

Fitted Petrol GaugeNow I have a working petrol gauge but (there is always a 'but') as its meant for a Left Hand Drive car and made in Brazil.

It's in Portuguese. Empty is V (for Vasio) and Full is C (for Cheio) but at least we have a working gauge

Learned a lesson DON'T assume 'new' parts will be any good. The replacement gauge really didn't show the correct fuel level so had a look at the one that was in the car originally once again to try and see why it was sticking.

It turns out after closer inspection that the outer cover was damaged and if the cable was bent in to tight a curve it would stick. Now the cable is not replaceable so what to do?

The solution was pretty simple and 'cheap' as I already had the necessary bits to fix things laying around, I just wished I had thought more about it earlier before ordering a Brazilian replacement.

Gauge Cable Sheaf

First, I slid a length of 'Heat Shrink' tubing over the cable and shrunk it down to secure the damaged outer cover of the flexi cable. Then I cut a length of clear plastic water/petrol tube and slipped that over the cable with a short piece of heat shrink at each end and shrunk that to secure it.

The heavier clear plastic tubing is a nice 'snug' fit and whilst not as flexible, it still allows the cable to line up and the inner part now moves in and out quite freely. The original unit is now back in the car!

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