Recently, I made mention of problems with my fuel gauge sending unit float
and bonnet release cable. Thanks to T.R. Householder, John Rossi, Randall
Young, Neal Grotenhuis and Ray James for their ideas and suggestions. In
repairing the fuel gauge float, I learned two techniques that may be of value
to other newbies. The float that I had was approximately 85% full of
gasoline, and the leak was almost a pinhole size leak. I discovered that
while holding the float in my hand, the heat from my hand would cause the air
inside to expand and force a small amount of fuel out of the float. The
solution to the problem of getting the fuel out of the float was to heat
sequentially heat and cool the float (I used a hair dryer - Thanks Randall)
to gradually eliminate the fuel. This process becomes more efficient as the
volume of fuel is reduced. Of course, if you use an ignition free heat
source in a well-ventilated area your chances of success are greatly
improved. After a good cleaning, I coated the float with "Hot Fuel Proof
Dope" that I obtained from a local hobby shop (again thanks Randall).
Several coats of the lacquer-type paint sealed the float. To ensure that
there would not be a temperature change that would blow out the new seal, I
immersed the repaired float in hot water to see if the expanded pressure
would blow out the seal. My concern was twofold. First, I did not want the
float to get warm and blow out the plug, so to speak. Also, I did not want
the float to be cooled and draw the plug and any gasoline in which the float
may have been submerged into the float. I also tried to clean the dope off
of the float with gasoline to ensure that it was impervious to the gasoline,
and I think that this is good stuff. The remainder was simple to complete.
The usual problems of reinstalling the sender, running out of gas on the way
to the station, etc.
On another note, John Rossi had a great suggestion about my broken
bonnet-release cable, that is to install an emergency release. Ray James had
a good idea about shortening the cable by replacing the T-handle with a loop
of the cable to create a loop handle, covered with spare fuel line to make it
a little more comfortable to pull. I have decided to combine the two ideas
and replace my existing cable to maintain originality and to use the broken
handled cable to fabricate an emergency release cable that I will run up to
my grill. This one will have a looped handle. Boy, the ideas you get from
the real pros on this list are great and make owning and driving these cars
even more of a pleasure.
Best regards and happy motoring to all.
76 TR6 with operating fuel gauge and soon to be modified with emergency