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87 Chevy Celebrity fuel guage not working


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03-16-04, 12:59 PM   #1  
drewdale
87 Chevy Celebrity fuel guage not working

The fuel guage in my 87 Chevy Celebrity does not work. The needle sits horizontally beyond full and doesn't move. Is this something at the dash or at the gas tank that needs to be fixed? Or is it something else? Thanks.

 
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03-16-04, 04:49 PM   #2  
It could be either although the tank unit is the more frequent failure. One of the Chevy guys should be able to guide you through the test for that model. I'd have to look it up and don't have that info at home.

 
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03-16-04, 08:41 PM   #3  
mike from nj
not a chevy guy, but i own an 87 buick. if i unplug the wires to the tank, the gauge goes to 'full'. if i ground the sensor wire (on the harness end) the gauge goes to 'empty' this tells me all the wiring and gauge is good, and the problem can only be inside the tank(sensor). the way this system works, the tank needs to be well grounded to the chassis, if there's tons of rust around the tank and straps, it could be contributing to your problem.

 
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03-17-04, 03:41 AM   #4  
Originally posted by mike from nj
the way this system works, the tank needs to be well grounded to the chassis, if there's tons of rust around the tank and straps, it could be contributing to your problem.
I thought most of them had their own ground wire.

 
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03-17-04, 11:04 AM   #5  
drewdale
Where on the tank are the wires connected? Thanks for the help.

 
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03-17-04, 02:35 PM   #6  
I f I remember right they are near the rear of the tank above the rear axle.I think it's 4 wires 2 for the pump and 2 for the sender.

 
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03-17-04, 08:07 PM   #7  
mike from nj
i guess the celebrity might be grounded through the harness, mine is rwd and only has 3 wires to the connector, 2 for fuel pump and one for the sender.


i guess these two cars are different

 
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03-18-04, 04:13 AM   #8  
Originally posted by mike from nj
mine is rwd and only has 3 wires to the connector, 2 for fuel pump and one for the sender.
One of those three should be a shared ground.

 
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03-18-04, 09:07 AM   #9  
There should be a 3 or 4 wire connector leading to the top of the fuel tank. Disconnect that connector, and on the vehicle side of the connector, ground the purple wire to a GOOD ground with the key on and the gage should go to empty. If it does, the sending unit in the tank is failed. If it doesn't , the wire between the gage or the gage itself is failed. Chances are good it is the tank sender though.

 
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03-18-04, 02:25 PM   #10  
drewdale
How do I replace the tank sending unit if it is bad? About how much do you think this costs?

 
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03-18-04, 04:31 PM   #11  
You'll have to price the parts at the dealer. They vary a lot from one vehicle to another. Usually somewhere between $200 and $500. To change it you'll have to drop the tank out of the car. The unit is in the top of the tank and is held in by a "turn and lock" type lock ring. A hammer and a screwdriver will turn it loose. Be sure to blow awy all the dirt in the area before removing the ring. Dropping the tank is no picnic if you've never done one before.

 
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03-21-04, 02:49 PM   #12  
drewdale
Thanks everyone for your help. I appreciate it.

 
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