Author Topic: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?  (Read 63 times)

Offline Ericb760

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  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 28
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« on: August 01, 2020, 08:41 PM »
Today I did my 30 minute monthly exercise of my generator. It ran fine under AC load. I had put $50 worth of gas in the tank six weeks ago but my gas gauge is on empty now. I know I have at least 1/4 tank because the gennie ran fine. So, it seems I need to replace the gauge. Has anyone done this before (I'm looking at you, Rick!)?
1989 Winnie Chieftain 28'

Online Rickf1985

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  • Year: 1989
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  • Engine: 454
Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 07:28 AM »
The  gauges themselves very rarely ever go bad. The sending units do go bad more often and the wiring to the sending units and the grounds from the sending units especially go bad. I have not done mine. I have done probably a hundred on various vehicles over the years and they vary from ten minute easy to ten day hard. Yours is going to be on the bad end of that scale unfortunately. You have two options, drop the tank or cut a hole in the floor. Personally I would drop the tank for the main reason that you have 40 plus year old hoses and lines up there that all need attention. With the tank down you can do it all at that time. Getting the tank out is not an easy job since the fill hose and fill vent are wedged between the frame and the body and then they go through the rear cabinet. You cannot get to the clamp to get the hoses off right at the tank so the first section of hose has to come out with the tank. This is something I can explain how I did it on mine but it is best done on the phone since it is rather involved and I simply cannot type it all out here.

Online Oz

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Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 08:01 AM »
Do you have the manual for it?  If not,
Go to the member area and check.  Not sure if that will cover it, but worth a try.
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Offline Ericb760

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  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain 28
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 12:20 AM »

I was really hoping you were going to give me some better news. Oh, well. If that's the case, I just don't have the space to drop the tank right now. Question: An I okay running if I know I have gas in the tank? I mean, the sending unit is just that, it doesn't have anything to do with actually sending fuel as that would be the fuel pump. The gauge does work. After I put $50 in it moved up to about 1/4. Am I safe with filling the 60 gallon tank and just assuming I'm getting less than 10 MPG? (I always keep a 5 gallon can onboard just to be safe).
1989 Winnie Chieftain 28'

Online Oz

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Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 05:04 AM »
Definitely always assume you're getting less than 10mpg!  10 is very, very rare unless you tavel all highway on flat land.
Be safe, assume you're getting 7mpg.
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Online Rickf1985

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Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:16 AM »
I will say you should be safe BUT, like I said before the lines are 31 years old so no guarantees. Also remember that 5 gallons spread over that huge 60 gallon tank bottom will be about 1/2" deep, not enough for the pickup to reliably suck up. 5 gallons at 6-7 MPG equals 30 miles. Welcome to Class A world!

Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: Replacing the OEM fuel gauge?
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 08:51 AM »
 :)ThmbUp  Once again Rick and Mark are spot on. LJ and I had the same problem with our 75 before I finally changed out the gauge and sending unit. Have you got two tanks or a reserve in your tank? We kept a log on how much fuel we took on board at fill up. We drove figuring on 5 miles to the gallon and kept track. Eventually we figure out how far we could make it on a take of gas. Luckily we have two tanks so we would run the main tank out,switch to the reserve and stop at the first gas station in route and refill. I did eventually switch out to two Autometer fuel gauges and sending unite and am very satisfied with them.