I think Ron's problem is unlikely to be the ground, since the gauge
apparently worked fine before his conversion to 12 volts. Rather, the
problem is the gauge itself, which was designed for six volts but now has 12
running through it.
1.) Buy a gas gauge voltage converter. I got one of these from, I think,
Chevy Duty, and it wasn't much good. Maybe I put it in wrong, but there
aren't too many ways they can go in, and I know I read the instructions at
2) Buy a '55 gauge. '55 1st series were made for 12 volts, so if you can
find one and afford to pay for it, it ought to bolt right in and end your
worries...until your visa bill arrives.
3) Send the thing off to United Speedometer (or someone else offering
similar services). They're in Riverside CA and you can find them on the
internet and in lots of classic car/truck mags. They can do a lot more than
fix your fuel gauge. The photos in their ads look pretty neat. Again,
there's the old question of how much do you want to spend?
4) (a) Go to your local parts store, thumb through the Stewart-Warner (or
other gauge maker) catalog until you find a modern gas gauge with a similar
needle style (sweeps from below the face, not through the center) and a
similar arc from E to F as the original gauge.
(b) Carefully drill out the two small rivets holding the face to the
works of the original gauge. Do the same for the new gauge.
(c) Use tiny machine screws in the old rivet holes to put the old gauge
face on the new works. On the ones I did, there was some plastic on the new
gauge bodies that I could tap right into. I made pilot holes with the
heated end of a paperclip. You may have to carefully trim the bottom of the
face to clear the sweep of the new needle. Remember that the bottom of the
gauge is hidden by the cross-in-circle shaped internal bezel when you put
everything back together, so a little trimming down there won't show.
(d) This is a good time to reface the gauge (and the other gauges too)
with a new vinyl stick on gauge face that all the good suppliers sell. Clip
off the needle from the old gauge and super glue it over the new needle so
you'll match the other gauge needles. Reassemble and reinstall.
(e) Now, you'll have to deal with the sender, because the original
sender sends a different kind of signal than modern gauges like. Here,
you'll want to essentially take the same approach as with the gauge. Get a
modern sending unit, and after stripping the old sender off of the in-tank
tube, solder or braze the new system in its place. Before you strip off the
old sender, note where the fulcrum of the old float arm was, and try to
match that to the new one. Hook up the wires and put it all back together.
Total cost should be around $50.
Regards, Grant S. email@example.com
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959