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Fuel guage stopped working on 38xx...troubleshooting advice?

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    Fuel guage stopped working on 38xx...troubleshooting advice?

    OK...one diesel fuel gauge stopped working. It's registering 0 and won't move even if I thump it a few times. I'm about 99% sure the tank is NOT empty...I fill them both to the same level, and they both should be around half full. The gauge is inside the cabin, so I kinda doubt it's the gauge itself (although I plan to switch them this weekend to see if it IS actually just the gauge itself..I'm sure that would be the easier fix).

    I suspect the issue is the fuel level sender in that tank (I think it was port engine's tank, but can't remember for sure). I do know the tanks are under the bed in the guest stateroom, but that's about all I know at this point. I know nothing about the diesel fuel level senders nor how to get to them on the 38xx's (yet)...any advice to start with? I'm hoping there's some way to access the fuel level senders on both tanks without breaking out any saws...a hatch under the bed maybe...something like that. *Fingers crossed*. :-)

    Thanks guys!
    Dave

    #2
    unless you are lucky enough to find something obvious like corrosion or a broken wire, you will have to test the circuit.... there is lots of information on the web about how to do this https://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/tes...e-sending-unit
    here is more info than you need, for any of the gauges..just scroll down thru it for the info you need. and its good to keep a copy for future reference... https://www.jamestowndistributors.co..._Reference.pdf

    if you have to replace the sender, upgrade it to a newer reed switch type sender....


    NU LIBERTE'
    Salem, OR

    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
    5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
    N2K equipped throughout..
    2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
    2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
    '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
    Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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      #3
      I upgraded my sensors to wema sensors. But the gauges (have the starwars ones) still like to get stuck on empty. Tapping doesn't help all the time either, but if I pull them they seem to work. Any fuel gauge will work I believe, but I just haven't gotten around to changing the gauges
      1985 3870 175hp Hino's

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        #4
        For the one not working try grounding the sense wire at the fuel tank and if the gauge goes to full it's the sender.
        1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

        Mike

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          #5
          Under the port stateroom bed there is an access to the senders near the firewall.
          Remove the small pieces of plywood and that is how you remove the sender.
          senders are not expensive but be sure to buy one that is for a 2 station helm.
          The float may be stuck.
          You could switch the 2 wires to the fuel gauge to see if it is the sender.
          If you replace the sender be sure it goes back in the same clock position.
          Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

          Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
          Twin 350 GM power
          Located in Seward, AK
          Retired marine surveyor

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            #6
            Dave,
            Just so you understand how they work- 12vdc is supplied to the gauge when the key is on. The sensor supply's the ground signal going thru a wire wound resistor- The more resistance the lower the gauge reads. If you connect the sender wire directly to ground the gauge will read full. If grounding the sensor wire does nothing check that you have 12vdc at the gauge.
            Gibraltar, Mi.
            1986- 3870- Hino 175's - Just purchased May ,2017
            34' Tollycraft- sold
            88 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
            14' Zodiac Bay Runner

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              #7
              Agree with the fellas. Access the sending unit at the tank then temporarily connect the senders wire to a known negative (grounding the senders wire) the gauge should peg full. If it does then your issue is likely a faulty sender.
              Dave
              Edmonds, WA
              "THE FIX"
              '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
              (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
              The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
              Misc. projects thread
              https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

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                #8
                yeah just check the 12v and the gauge and 99% you will find it's time to replace the unit. They are not expensive. Of course the simplest test is just swap the wires behind the gauge and viola you will see the gauge works.

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                  #9
                  "I'm about 99% sure the tank is NOT empty...I fill them both to the same level, and they both should be around half full"

                  This happened to me a couple of years ago. After a lot of work and spending some money I found out I had no fuel in one tank.
                  Someone pumped over 60 gallons out of it.
                  1999 Bayliner Ciera 2655
                  5.7 Bravo 3

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                  • nickg795
                    nickg795 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Check under the helm at the back of the gauge there is a connector that plugs onto 2 screws studs. Sometimes from vibration they come loose and slip off. Just plug it back on. You can visually see this by looking up through the access door just left of the fridge on a 3870.

                  #10
                  Originally posted by Nauti_Mike View Post
                  For the one not working try grounding the sense wire at the fuel tank and if the gauge goes to full it's the sender.
                  OK, found that hatch! As said above, it's under the bed in the guest stateroom, toward the foot of the bed on the aft side. The hatch is just a piece of carpeted plywood that fits very snug, around 24" x 6" or so, no handle, no screws...you have to pry it open with a screwdriver or similar.

                  I took the positive wire off and shorted it against the ground wire...the guage and wiring are working fine, it's definitely the fuel level sender that's the issue.

                  I got the info off the top of the other fuel sender that was working...it's stamped "Sparta TM" and "348 614"...a quick Google search didn't turn up anything.

                  Anyone have a URL or at least model number that will work well for our 38xx's? I'll probably just replace both while I'm at it...

                  Cheers,
                  Dave

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                    #11
                    Sending units are fairly universal, the big variation is the length and ohms.
                    Heres an example from a manufacturers site.
                    http://www.moellermarine.com/product...uges/electric/
                    P/C Pete
                    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                    1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
                    MMSI 367770440
                    1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
                    Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

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                      #12
                      The ohms are set for 1 or 2 station.
                      The float has an adjustable float, be sure the float is pointing in the correct position as original.
                      The depth and length on most senders is adjustable.
                      Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                      Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                      Twin 350 GM power
                      Located in Seward, AK
                      Retired marine surveyor

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Found this thread on the WEMA fuel senders:
                        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...90-gctid721559

                        So, sounds like the tanks are 16" deep, so looks like WEMA 15" SSS/SSL might be the right one? Part# JKS02202?
                        http://wemausa.3dcartstores.com/Fuel...0-in_p_9.html?

                        Dave

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                          #14
                          Originally posted by boatworkfl View Post
                          The ohms are set for 1 or 2 station.
                          The float has an adjustable float, be sure the float is pointing in the correct position as original.
                          The depth and length on most senders is adjustable.
                          By "two-station", I assume you mean two fuel gauges per tank (one at downstairs helm, one at upstairs helm)? I only have one fuel gauge per tank, at the downstairs helm...so I'm assuming I need the model with the ohms set for 1 station. Lemme know if I'm interpreting this wrong!

                          Thanks!
                          Dave

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                            #15
                            If you only have fuel gauges at one helm and not the other you need the single station sender.
                            1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

                            Mike

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