So I am trying to get my fuel pick-up to work correctly. Its been in there for a long time and it just reads empty with the red light on. I can disconnect the wires and get the red light off. I have pulled the pickup out and it does make the gauge go from full to empty when I mover the arm. So it just not in the tank correctly for the float arm to move up and down. Do I need to (cough) bend it with trial and error to find a spot where it moves freely? Does anyone have any new tips since these have been out for a long time now. There has to be a cheat on these things by now. Any help would be great. Even jokes are ok since this sucks. Oh and when you take the small bolts out you should shove a rag in the corner so when you drop something it does not go into the abyss and it takes an hour just to find the dam thing. So I am thinking to attach the wires and just try hit and miss until I get lucky and it works? I thought I would ask here first since you guys need something to do. THANKS!!!
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My suggestion would be to make sure your float floats. Since the empty light is always on and the gauge does move when tested out of the tank the float is the likely culprit.
Also, be VERY careful bending the arm as it is brittle. I wasn't willing to risk it. In my case the float rubbed against the side of the tank. I bent it just enough to clear the side. I filled an empty gas container a gallon at a time, marked the container and then pumped in a gallon at a time (used old electric fuel pump) while watching the fuel gauge. I also measured the resistance of the fuel sender. My gauge read half full with 15 gallons. There are a couple of threads covering this.
As far as I know, you can't buy a float separately and you need to synchronize the sender to the gauge by bending the float rod.
As I recall, in order to get the low level correct, the full level will be off. What will happen is that the gauge will just stay on full longer then it should.
Wilkinson services the assembly from a Fiat part. The way the thing works, it is probably the original source.
You cannot reliably get the fuel sender out of a tank with it in a Pantera without bending the float arm, with a high risk of breaking the assembly. You should first remove the left side rear window and trim (it only pushes in). Once that's out and working thru the now-open window space, you can direct the assembly out and back in, clocking it to miss the internal tank anti-slosh baffle. Both Wilkinson and Larry Stock/PPC have brand new late model senders in stock..The early type is no longer available. They are not expensive.
There are two different senders- early and late style with a fuel feed built-into the late one. There are also two floats- brass and plastic foam. Both have given trouble. The soldered brass, like similar ones in carburetors, can develop a leak and let gas inside which makes it heavier. It can be heard by shaking the float. There is no practical fix. The plastic foam is coated and if the coating is damaged, the foam will soak up gas and also get heavier. Again, no reliable fix.
But a float from a sender for any FIAT or Alfa interchanges with a Pantera, since they all use the same sender with a different float-arm for different cars. A foreign junkyard is your best source for just the float. Very SLIGHT bending of the middle of the long swinging arm will radically change the gauge calibration. Rough handling or mauling the thing getting it out without removing the glass will usually break the arm at the 90 degree bend coming out of the little box. The sender mechanism is just a simple potentiometer and the tiny internal wires sometimes break after 50 years. Such a sender is junk.
Note- the stock fuel lines from the tank or late sender are less than 5/16" ID, so they cannot flow enough fuel by fuel pump suction to support more than about 450 BHP continuous. All the above was the subject of several past illustrated articles in the nearly 600 archived POCA Newsletters going back to 1973. Also note- I no longer fabricate custom senders with much larger ID fuel lines for higher horse engines (Silver State ORR, Bonneville etc).
Well I checked the pickup sender with my meter. Does not always read. Numbers either read correctly (goes higher and lower) or it just stays at one number when I mover the arm. I am thinking its kaput which kinda sucks. Wilkinson does carry one so when I check the unit for the 10th time, after I sprayed it with carb cleaner, if it still is funky then I will purchase a new one. At least I know after checking the wires that they are good. I even inspected the tank which looks good too. Oh after this is done I need to find the leak on my overflow bottle. I am guessing its the tube at the bottom of it. I dont know yet but will post terrible pictures of it when I find it. I am sure that job will suck also.
Why not just buy a new one?
The 'overflow tank' often leaks when the cheap overflow hose cracks- often at the bottom where its not visible. Take the hose off and check the solder joint on the hose stub, too. I once had a leak on the primary tank due to a poor solder joint on the tank neck.
Looks like the main issue is corrosion of the bottom of the tank. You can see a hole in the attachment tube and the rest of the bottom I can feel crap. I stuck a screwdriver into the tank through the hole and it was full of hard junk. So at least I know what the issue is and now start the hunt for a new long tank.
I ordered a new sender pickup from Wilkinson. Should get it today. Hope that solves another problem off my list.
I did buy an edelbrock carb and whoa starts up fast and idles pretty good. Electric choke works good too.
Removed the tank and found holes on backside of the bottom. Bingo thats the issue. Also made a new issue since the bolt on the strap that holds that tank snapped soon as I tried to turn it. Now whats left of it is stuck in the bracket. Used heat has not loosened yet. Of course its in a hard to reach place. Oh and inside the tank was full of rusty water, never though of it getting so bad.
The long overflow tank is available reconditioned from Larry Stock's www.PanteraParts.com in NV. I think its bracket bolts to the upper right subframe, visible if you remove the engine screen & rt side piece. I removed mine so long ago, I can't remember if I cut it or just unbolted it!
By cutting the weld that holds the short swirl tank bracket to the inner fender, you can remove it for work as necessary- the rubber linings deteriorate and lets both tanks move around to rattle To replace the swirl tank bracket, simply drill a hole or two and use sheet metal screws to hold it. .When you do this, re-rout the A/C hoses and reposition the tank & bracket closer to the right-side decklid shock. This makes it easier to access #4 sparkplug.
So I was able to drill a hole in the original bracket next to the broken/stuck bolt. I am going to use a sheet metal screw in that. I did see that the stuff the use around the bottle is no any kind of rubber strip seal. Looks more like they used some kind of foam piece, hard to tell since its been baked for 50 years. I will try some window seal and see how that works. The more rubber type not cheezy foam one. So temporarily I sprayed the bottom of the crusty bottle with Flex Seal. It did cover all the holes. Since the bottle is not under pressure it could work until I find what Im look for. Thanks Boss.
I think you're right- it looked like stiff black foam rubber 50 years ago. Some guys use felt strips as a substitute. All thats necessary is to just hold the tanks firmly. As I said, I once saw a Pantera long tank with a gallon soup can soldered to the rusted out tank! Looked horrible but held water.....