Pre-Power Stroke Diesel (7.3L IDI & 6.9L)Diesel Topics Only
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Good deal considering NAPA wanted to charge me $110 (I got the $60 one). Autozone had no clue what the heck I was asking for.
Popped a couple of connectors on the pins for ground and sensor, and hooked up to existing wires (stripped an soldered). Lathered the whole thing in liquid electrical tape. Added about 6in or so of fuel line to reach bottom of tank, and cut bottom of line into a "V" as suggested.
Fuel gauge works near-perfect. Never appreciated knowing how much fuel I've got in the tank as much as I do now...
Looks like you're using a gasser sending unit. I did the same thing and it does work great. The only difference between your repair and the one I used is the electrical connection. The exposed wires with liquid tape appears to be a problem waiting to happen. Somebody on this website advised me to cut-off my original "diesel" two wire sending unit plug and re-attached a 4 wire plug, the style typically used on a gasoline sending unit. Since the diesel wiring harnes only has two wires in it, you'll have a 4-pin plug that only has two wires. The replacement 4-wire plugs are available from NAPA for around 8 or 9 bucks. The NAPA part number is ECH FPC100. Solder in the two wires and you're done! Works so good I feel obligated to pass along the same advice given to me!
I have another IDI that i recently bought for $1200.00 with 125k miles 1986 F250 4wd aftermarket turbo. From a person I have known for 15 years, his father in law sold it to him many years ago and he only drove it down in the baja for 3 months a year for the past 10 years and there is not much you can drive to here so milage is low. So mileage is accurate. It is a rust bucket, and have fixed many minor things now like AC, switches for lights, wipers horn, on and on. Starts with one battery. So finally addressed the fuel pick ups on this one and on this one neither fuel level senders were operating. So did my modifications and getting the proper length is easy, trial and error as someone suggested works great.
I have found that the fuel level senders can be "hacked " and repaired. I will post what I did after this post.
I have two recommendations here, One tank the front the float was the problem, and IMHO if you have this off you should solder the float to the metal wire to prevent it from puncturing the float in the future. only takes a few minutes. And if it is the pcb in the sender I have come up with a way to get another 30-40 years out of them that takes 30 minutes to do.
Being down in baja I can not get replacement parts without waiting a few weeks or longer when they are special like for a diesel. So you learn to do some tweeking..
On my 1986 F250 the front tank sender was fine and easy to get to without removing the tank. I did the fuel pick up on that one last weekend and fixed it. Did it with a bit of diesel fuel hose and a strainer as i pictured in my pictures, I did this with my 1990 F350 front and rear tanks a few years ago..
I found that the sender float had a hole so this is why the guage was not working. At the point at the end of the wire arm that locks in the float they have too much pressure on the float. This caused it to punch through over time with vibration like sloshing around.
I was able to fix the float. I noticed they had soldered the float together. So I emptied it out, and then with a dremel with a very light wire brush i polished the groove and all around the hole area. You must have a light touch. The float is very thin and I also polished the holding arm where it would make contact with the float. Then with some thin gauge brass from a hobby shop i have had for 20 or so years cut a small patch about 1/8 inch square to cover the hole. I pre tinned the areas on the float with solder. Then put my patch in (i polished the patch material with the dremel before I cut it) and soldered it in and had some difficulty because of the heat causing air pressure but with trial and error sealed it. Next i bent the end of the arm out so it would not dig into the float again. I then gently put the float in and it was slightly loose on purpose. Then I soldered it in. Total time about 30 minutes just for the float including getting soldering iron our and putting everything away..
On my 1986 f250 today I dropped my rear fuel tank to fix the fuel pick up today the same way. It is now assembled and ready for me to put the tank back on this weekend. (I have no idea how I am going to get that tank back in, it took a bit of cheating to get it out. and have no idea how I am going to get the fuel filling hose back in correctly.) I have a cap on the bed so did not want to do the remove the bed. But now I do not think I have a way to do the tank filler breather hose without doing it.
On this fuel sender I measured the resistance and it was all over the place. IE not working. So took it apart to see the pcb. I have come up with a way to fix the fuel senders. Could even last about the same amount of time. When taking it apart one side has the tab that you press out to open it. Once open you need to remove the pcb without damaging anything else. Once you have it out, with a dremel with a soft brush you clean the contacts between the black (resister) and the old area of contact that you can see is visibly scratched off from wear. You will see some lines that are just a different color. What you have to do is remove the coating on these lines with a light touch with the dremel(in the electronics industry we call it dielectric). This will give you about 1/16 of an inch of new material that the brush can travel on. Test with an ohm meter, you should be able to get 9 ohms all the way to 84 ohms as you slide the ohm meter probes on the new exposed contact material. If there are dead spots you need to remove a little more of that contact material. So the next task is you have to shift the pcb over about that distance in the holder. And there is enough room to do it. I shifted it over and had to remove a little material from two of the retainers with a soldering iron to take some of the pressure off pushing it to the old position. Then from the bottom heat staked the two corners to lock the pcb into the new position with the soldering iron. and test again once assembled.
I wish I had taken pictures when I did it, believe me I am not taking it apart right now, being in baja I do not get second chances. If someone has an open one and can take a picture I can mock it up and post the concept.
Next if anyone has any tricks for getting the tank back on where the breather line/tube in the fuel filler pipe is in the right place would love to hear it. Looks basically impossible to me to do it right other than pulling the bed. If I do not put the breather tube back in I assume the ramification is I can not pump fuel into the tank at a reasonable speed it will just click the fill mechanism of a pump constantly.
I installed the rear tank this morning. put some fuel 2-3 gallons in from a can and the truck was able to run.... so biggest problem fixed can suck fuel from the bottom of the tank now. And the gauge actually showed E vs way below E. I will have to go fill and give a report.
I was concerned I could not get this done, put the tank in from below. One note is definitely siphon out all the fuel to keep the tank light. I believe I was able to get the vent in the filler in correctly. I will find out when I go to the gas station.
The trick was to only put the tank in a part way with the filler tube only threaded through the space between the frame and the bed partially and hook up the outer tube that attaches to the body and clamp that down. Then lift the tank in completely, since the tank is so light I have it on my chest just push it up by hand and hold the back up with my knee while re-attaching the sender, hoses, and the trick for doing the hoses is I disconnected them from the changeover valve so I had extra play in the lines at the back at the tank. I had disconnected those when disassembling it or would have never been able to disconnect the rear tank. I did this removal and install by myself no helper and took me about 2 hours to install.
To remove it took me about 2 hours too, note with a dremel to clean the threads that hold the tank up and then lube. Tried to do it without doing that and it was impossible. (note, I do not have air tools, and am doing this on sand with the rear tires up on a 4 inch offset riser/curb to give me good space underneath) Another tip is you want a flat 13mm wrench to hold the bolts from the top of the tank holding bolts, if angled or offset it pops off a lot. I had some flat gearwrench that worked perfectly.
So I believe I am done with that for 40 years...
Just filled the rear tank to full, was able to fill at full speed at the pump so assume i got the breather hose in correct and the gauge shows a full tank.
So as I said by moving the pcb which there is room for the 1/16 of an inch and removing the dielectric you can get another 30 years of life on the pcb. Removing the dielectric was simple with a dremel soft wire brush, you just have to make sure you do not take the traces down. So hit it light and keep checking with the ohm meter for continuity ie exposed traces.
You have nothing to lose by trying this if you see your resistance all over the place with infinity readings too. If I can aquire a bad one in the future I will document with pictures, or if someone wants me to walk them through it send me pictures and will explain step by step.
As a side note I have designed a few PCBs with resistors screened on them before. I would make these and sell them ( $3.00) if there was a large enough market, but i think there are only a few dozen of us willing to get down and dirty.
one other note...
When raising the tank to its final position, make sure that you do not crimp the new fuel line between the frame and the tank. Before tightening the strap bolts, make sure this line moves freely and is not crimped.
I did have a crimped hose and had to re-adjust, you can see this also at the side of the truck looking in from the wheel well area.
search terms for people to find this thread "cone of failure" or "shower head"
I found a source for the pickup foot at DieselOrings.com.
When repairing and replacing the foot in my 96 dually, I had a hell of a time getting the tank out because the Ford shop manual is so general. Getting it in was even harder, but I figured it out and got the sequence right both for in and out.
The first thing to take out is the filler hose assembly. Clean the outer hose thoroughly and mark the bottom with white paint. take out the three bolts attaching the top end to the filler housing. In a dually take out the fender rear splash shield and fender supports. Not so sure of the layout in a non-dually truck. Loosen the top hose clamp by going over the frame. Usually the clamp nut from the factory is on top of the hose facing forward. Slide the clamp over the frame onto the hose. Now rotate the hose assembly downward into the wheel well and work it out behind the rear tire. Do not separate the filler hose from the outer hose.
Next unplug the sending unit above the front of the tank. Take the tank breather hose loose from the holder. Support the tank (I made a small platform out of 2x2 and plywood fitted on my floor jack) and remove the straps. Lower the tank enough to undo the fuel lines using a good metal release tool available at NAPA. Carefully lower the tank (mine still had nearly 5 gal. of fuel in it).
I siphoned out the fuel and filtered it using cheese cloth. By using a length of 3/4 inch plastic hose and putting clean fuel in the tank, I sloshed it around, tilting to one corner, and siphoned out nearly all residue left from the broken pieces of the rotted foot. It took about 5 times to do this.
At this point I cleaned all rust from the outside of the tank, treated with rust converter and under coated the tank. I replaced the foot and using a new gasket from Ford dealer ($1.67). Reversed the steps.
The only difference is put the hose clamp facing backwards to the rear of the tank. Tighten this last after you bolt the hose to the filler box (white paint on the bottom of hose facing own) , so you get the hose alignment correct. Using some 1/4 inch extensions and holding the clamp in place, slide the socket and extension (be sure to tape all together so you don't lose parts in the wrong place) through a wire loom hole in the back frame work of the truck. You can get a good angle on the clamp and tighten it.
Some say pull the bed, but I have a 8ft bed with a frame mounted fifth wheel hitch and it would be a whole lot more work than just pulling the rear tank. The total reinstall time was a shade over 30 minutes counting putting the fender supports and shield back in.
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