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Discussion Starter #1
My mechanic tells me that I need a new sending unit to fix the problems I have with my gas gauge. Unfortunately he also said its not longer made, and the local parts guy in PA (who has never failed me in the past) doesn't have it. Any ideas?

Thanks
Rob
'93 Esprit
 

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I'm having a problem with the gas gauge on my 83 Esprit- the fuel problem tell tale light starts blinking just below 1/2 tank, and when the gauge reaches 1/4 tank the light pretty much stays on. Once it gets below 1/4 tank it goes to empty in no time.
 

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I had a 93 with the same issue (before it decided to hit a post :eek:). I pulled it out completely as Travis suggests, and gave it a complete good cleaning. While the gauge still moved a little bit (in relation to gas movements in the tanks) it did fix the pegging. If yours is truly broken, VDO may likely have a suitable replacement...some have adjustable lengths, and are likely dampened to resolve the spurious movement on the gauge.
 

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I have a bouncy needle in my 93.5...... wasn't sure if that was normal for these cars or not. I guess not.

Where is the sending unit? In the driver's side tank (US car) ?? I replaced my whining fuel pump last month and I don't remember seeing a fuel level sending unit in the passeneger side tank.
 

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^^^
Yes, it's in the left tank.
 

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Yes, on the driver side tank. From my recollection it was kind of a PITA to get out...I recall the seat belt holder and plywood having to come out. Since the Lotus fuel gauge is VDO on your car...I would be surprised if you couldn't find a match brand new that would perform superior to the vintage '93 one.

ALAS I Adjustable Fuel Sender, 6-15 3/4", 3-180 Ohm, with Low Fuel Warning Contact | Fluid Level Senders & Accessories | VDO Instruments and Accessories

Part of the issue with the Esprit's tanks are I believe they lack baffles to control fuel movement...so you will always get some shakey needle readings...but a new sender may be dampened.
 

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so, now I'm a bit confused. Are the stocks senders not damped? Why would someone have to have aftermarketed damping circuitry if the stock unit is already damped?

On a functioning Esprit fuel sending unit, should you have a fluctuating fuel level needle, repending on accelleration, braking, etc?
 

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they are not damped.

Most of the sloshing can be cured by a clean sender with a tight connection, but the fuel level will change due to acceleration front to back (due to sender orientation) or side to side (as the fuel transfers from one tank to the other).
 

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The sender arm is not dampened. It is just a stiff wire with a plastic float on the end, and by design it will move a lot with sloshing fuel or in turns when fuel moves from one tank to the other. So bouncing is normal.
The only way to truly eliminate it is to change to a tube type sender. However the latter are hard to find in the correct spec and with a low fuel warning output.

We are presently looking at a new install for a tube sender and low warning light setup.

We will post our results when/ if it works.

Randy
89.5 SE
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My sender is bad. On a smooth flat road it will peg itself when the tank is less than 3/4 full but more than 1/4 full. Between 3/4 and full it is solid no matter wha road I am on.
 

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yes, on the sender. Could use di-electric grease, and clean the contacts, or make sure they are tight.

I removed the sender unit and cleaned it with WD-40 and it worked much better since then, that was back in 2005.

Di-electric grease is always a good idea on connectors that could corrode, but remember that this grease actually *prevents* electrical connectivity. You have to have clean metal on metal contact displacing the di-electric grease if you are going to have a good contact.

So clean your connectors well because just adding this grease isn't going to fix a bad connector, but it will keep it from going bad.
 
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